The Rob Roy Way
The Rob Roy Way is a long distance footpath from Drymen through the Trossachs to Pitlochry. Named for the 17th Century Scottish Robin Hood, it is approximately 80 miles, mostly on forest trails and old railway lines. In 2017 Mike Emmet and his fellow Scottish wanderers (Brian, Dave, Margaret, and John) chose to cover the Rob Roy Way in six days of walking. Mike and friends choose to do the route using B&B accommodation, but hostel accommodation is available in the following locations.
CALLANDER HOSTEL On the route of the Rob Roy Way at Callander
TROSSACHS TRYST Group only accommdation available along Invertrossachs Road less then 1km from the path
PITLOCHRY BACKPACKERS HOTEL On the route of the Rob Roy at at Pitlochry
Day 1 Rob Roy Way Drymen to Aberfoyle.
The first day we walked on the road out of Drymen before joining forest tracks. The Rob Roy Way is not as well posted as the West Highland Way, many of the markers have been taken as souvenirs, a map and guide book proved useful. Alongside the tracks there are several strange looking buildings, they are part of the system that takes water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow. The first day we walked 11 easy miles.
Day 2 Aberfoyle to Strathyre
It was raining when we left Aberfoyle and the first two miles were on good forest tracks but the next 2 were on a very boggy footpath in the Menteith Hills. Back on firm track we walked past Loch Venacher, took a footpath round Calender to Kilmahog. By bthis time it had stopped raining. From Kilmahog the path is shared by walkers and cyclists and as it follows a dismantled railway past Loch Lubaig the walking is easy. The longest day, we walked 18 miles.
Day 3 Rob Roy Way Strathyre to Killin
We started the day walking through woodland and along forest trails to the hotel Mohr 84, which is still marked as Kingshouse on maps. The name has changed to avoid confusion with the hotel at the top of Glencoe. We then walked well made footpaths almost to Lochearnhead where we joined the old railway line into Killin. Easy walking on the track and beautiful views over Glen Ogle, and the Falls of Dochart to admire in the town. Today’s walk was 14 miles .
We visited the Crannog at Kenmore, a stone age hut built over the water.
Day 4 Killin to Ardtalnaig
This was the only day with any climb. The track out of Killin climbs past Lochan Breachlaich, used as a source for hydro eliectric power, and reaches almost 2000 feet. After a short walk alongside a water pipeline we followed a well posted footpath past the ruins of old, small buildings used by shepherds who took sheep to the higher pastures in summer. The path emerges from moorland at Ardesnaig Outdoor Centre and then we walked the road above Loch Tay to Ardtalnaig. The views north along the way were the best so far, partly because the clouds had lifted but also because of the view of the Ptarmigan Ridge and Ben Lawers. Today’s walk 12 miles.
Day 5 Acharn to Aberfeldy
A bit of a cheat, we cut out a couple of miles of road from Ardtalnaig. The trail goes uphill from Acharn to the “hermit’s cave” and waterfalls and then follows The Queens Dive across fields and through forest. Great views of Schiehallian. Approaching Aberfeldy we visited the Birks of Aberfeldy, waterfalls, woodland walks and an inspiration for Robbie Burns. Today’s walk 11 miles.
Day 6 Aberfeldy to Pitlochry
Having passed Dewars Distillery we took the footpath alongside the River Tay, partly old railway line, crossing it at Strathtay and following footpaths uphill to Ballechin Wood. Over the ridge and along forest tracks into Pitlochry, complete with salmon ladder. Today’s walk 10.5 miles giving a total of 76.5.
This walk is not as tough as the West Highland Way. It is about 20 miles shorter and it is not as scenic either, in my opinion. Nevertheless it is quite a challenge and we range from 67 to 73 years old! Thanks for the photos goes to Brian and Margaret Algar and Dave Kear.
This article shows the location and details of the hostels and bunkhouses along the trail. Full details of the route can be found on the LDWA website.