Rob Roy MacGregor fought in some early Jacobite battles against the British government, but 'settled down' to become a well-known cattleman at a time when cattle rustling was a commonplace means of earning a living. Defaulting on his loans he became an outlaw and a price was placed on his head. Escaping capture several times turned him into a folk hero and in later life due to his fame or notoriety, King George l gave him a pardon, and converting to Catholicism in later life, he died peacefully near Balquidder. The Rob Roy Way is a 124km walk linking Drymen with Pitlochry in Perthshire, which goes through areas that were his old haunts and certainly on routes where the MacGregor clan drove their cattle towards market towns in the area. The route joins paths and tracks through highland scenery, taking advantage of attractive villages and small towns. The walk begins in the pretty village of Drymen, whose Clachan Inn is the oldest registered licensed pub in Scotland and would have been known by Rob Roy as it was run by his sister! It then passes through the forests of the Trossachs, crossing the River Forth at Aberfoyle and down beside Loch Venachar to Callander, before leading out through fine glens by Loch Lubnaig and Glen Oich to Killin. From here the route climbs high into the hills on the remotest stretch of the walk, before descending to follow the quiet path along the southern shores of Loch Tay. Descend to Aberfeldy via the famous Birks, and the final stretch along the river and over the moors to Pitlochry.
The walk is graded Moderate, perhaps on the easier side of moderate. The terrain is hilly, there is quite a bit of road, track and forest trail walking. Some steep slopes and some times boggy sections with ill defined paths. Distances vary between 9.5 miles / 15 km to 14 miles /22km.
Make your own way to Drymen which is a small town north of Glasgow that is a gateway to the Highlands. On the way you may have time for a boat ride on Loch Lomond from the village of Balloch. If you arrive early in Drymen there is a teashop with home made cakes across the green and the small Clacan Inn where Rob Roy used to come down for a swift pint whilst collecting "Blackmail." There is quite a nice view point towards Ben Lomond 10 minutes walk away from the green.
Accommodation: We stay overnight in a guesthouse, where the host will make you more than welcome and has become a favorite with our customers.
The walk starts from the centre of Drymen and you can follow the West Highland way for a short distance before heading off beside the forest and the side of Muir Park Reservoir, reaching the day’s high point by a radio mast where in good weather there are attractive views out to the east and south. A walk along a minor road takes you onto a track into the Loch Ard Forest. The final walk into Aberfoyle is along a tarmac road crossing the River Forth and you pass ruined Kirkton Church with its 'Mortsafes.' Aberfoyle has become a popular outdoor activity centre, has an autumn mushroom festival and claims to have the longest zip-wire in the world. If you have an hour or so extra walking energy, you could climb Doon Hill, famous locally for its fairy-folklore.
Accommodation: Normally a bungalow situated in the beautiful countryside amidst horse fields. En-suite rooms, or room with private bathroom, panoramic conservatory and living room, with wood burning stove. Other alternatives include an attractive Victorian villa under the local rocky crags, or motel just out of the town.
Walking out of the village follow along the edge of the forest next to the Aberfoyle Golf Course. The track continues to climb towards the Menteith Hills. There is a further short climb passing by a small loch. This is the highest part of this section of the walk. There will be occasional views north through breaks in the forest to Stuc Odhar, Ben Ledi and Loch Venachar lying below the forest. The track then branches off down to the East Lodge on the south shore of Loch Venachar, from where you proceed along a metalled road to Gartehousie. Walk through Coilhallan Woods, follow a footpath which climbs to give you some good views across to Callander before dropping down to cross the River Teith into the town's Main Street.
Accommodation: A Victorian ex station master’s house, en-suite, respectfully decorated rooms and great breakfasts! Other local B&Bs of a similar standard may also be used.
From the centre of Callander follow the route of a cycle track passing the site of a Roman Fort and then the line of the old railway along the south bank of the River Teith. Continue along a well surfaced track on the west side of the Falls of Leny. This is through wooded areas with Ben Ledi dominating the skyline ahead. The pathway twists round the Falls and approaches the south end of Loch Lubnaig. You soon gain some views towards Strathyre, across to Glen Ample and south to the Pass of Leny. The path descends to the Loch side once again as Strathyre is within sight. The Way climbs again into a forest walk before reaching forestry cottages and the Main street. Strathyre is a small community mainly located on either side of the A84 road from Callander to Lochearnhead. There is a general store and an Inn that offers both food and drink.
Accommodation: A traditional house from the early 1900s. There is a sitting room with log fire for cold days and a small library is available for guests use. From the dining room enjoy the views of Ben Vane & Ardnadave Hill and the surrounding countryside.
Pass a renovated church and War Memorial to climb through a small glen, over a small burn before reaching the main forest road as it climbs gradually uphill north towards Kingshouse. This is a pleasant forest walk with views west over Strathyre, then into Balquhidder and Loch Voil. After another mile or so, The Way starts to run along an old railway line. There is a 4 mile (there and back) optional detour to visit Rob Roy's grave in Balquidder. The route starts to climb steeply and there are several commanding views east over Loch Earn which is some 100 metres below you. The path crosses an old railway viaduct before it reaches the head of the Glen Ogel, where you pass by a small loch. Ahead is a great vantage point, to the north east lies Killin, Loch Tay and Ben Lawers. It will take a further 60 to 80 minutes to walk into Killin. The section from here is almost totally downhill on forestry tracks. There are many attractive views across Loch Tay to the mountains on the northern banks. Coming into Killin, you will see the fairly impressive "Falls of Dochart."
Accommodation: Our B&B, is one of several possible guest houses in the centre of the town, providing an excellent stay in comfortable rooms, all of which are en-suite.
Today The Way takes you to the South of Loch Tay. You are now on a single track road that climbs south east through forests. As the climb levels off, The Way comes above the tree line opening up wonderful views to Ben Lawers. Looking back there are commanding views up Glen Dochart and Glen Lochay. This countryside was traversed by the Macnab brothers on the Christmas raid on the MacNeish Clan in 1612. The track now ascends a little further for panoramic views over Glen Beich and towards Glen Lednock. You cross the Newton Burn by a wooden bridge then follow a rough farm track which emerges onto a single track road descending into Ardeonaig. You arrive at the South Loch Tay road at the Ardeonaig Hotel and the nearby Finglen Burn. Follow the road along the banks of the Tay to Ardtalnaig. There are commanding views both west and east along the Loch. Ardtalnaig is a small hamlet with only one or two houses and a telephone box!
Accommodation: There is only one place to stay in Ardtalnaig, this is in one of two 'Armadillo' shaped wooden cabins overlooking Loch Tay. The cabin is fully self contained with wet room, fridge and microwave. A transfer is included to Kenmore for dinner. There are great views from the cabin, but we realize that these are not for everyone, and they are quite 'compact.' You thus have a choice to have an extra night in Killin and have a transfer set up to take you back and return to Ardtalnaig the following morning. If this is the case or if the cabins are fully booked there will be an additional cost involved with the transportation (normally £25 each way). You can also choose to stay in an small luxury hotel 3 miles before Ardtalnaig in Ardeonaig. This option will mean 3 miles less walking today, 3 miles more tomorrow. Prices on request.
From Ardtalnaig follow the road then track to The Falls of Acharn. There are great views of the Falls from a Hermit's Cave. There are further interesting views of the Falls on leaving the Cave and crossing over a wooden bridge. The Way now follows the Queen's Drive, named after Queen Victoria who was inspired by the views from this pathway. The Queen's Drive generally follows a parallel line to the loch side road some 250 metres below. The views to the north start with the now familiar Ben Lawers in the west, then Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh. Further behind is the distinctive mountain called Schiehallion. Be ready to climb over a series of high stiles as elements of the forest path are divided by deer fences. You reach the attractive stone cottage at Tombuie and you will soon get views into the Tay valley, Castle Menzies and then the town of Aberfeldy. Walk around by the Falls of Moness and down to the centre of Aberfeldy, via a gorge area called 'The Birks.' You may have time to visit ‘Dewar's World of Whisky’ which is quite near the town.
Accommodation: We generally use a comfortable, modern bungalow within minutes of the town centre, close to the main street and restaurants.
Starting from the centre of Aberfeldy, a riverside walk descends onto the banks of the Tay. You can enjoy great river views across to the north bank and the Braes of Cluny. The footpath leads onto the old railway line embankment directly into the centre of Grandtully. A section goes over Dunfallandy Hill, then we take a minor road and the public right of way that leads to Pitlochry. Along a forested section there is a pre-historic stone circle, and then you start the descent towards the Tummel Valley going steeply downhill. As you descend, there will be glimpses through the trees of Pitlochry lying below. Once near the town, take the road below the entrance to the theatre and as it approaches the Tummel River at Port-na-Craig there is a footbridge to the right. The Memorial Park in the town is the end of the Rob Roy Way. Strong walkers in the long days of the summer and in good weather could consider walking up Ben y-Vrackie, not quite a ‘Munro’ but a beautiful walk. Extra distance: 13 km/9.2 miles. Extra Time 3 - 4 hours. Ascent 720m
Accommodation: Our final night is at a beautiful Victorian house located in the centre of Pitlochry.
The tour will end after breakfast.
Per Person, Twin Share