A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
The Rob Roy Way is one of Scotland’s great footpaths – a route that introduces walkers to a beautiful and hilly countryside as we move in a generally north-easterly direction from Drymen, north of Glasgow, to Pitlochry, north of Edinburgh. When I completed the route in 2013 with Gavan Meehan, a former student and longtime walking partner, we chose an eight-day itinerary to complete the 80-mile route – but it can be completed by well-conditioned walkers in as few as six days. If you do it in eight, as we did, you will find yourselves leaving the route on a number of occasions to seek accommodation; speedsters will find that some of the nearby towns can be bypassed altogether.
The Rob Roy Way is not overly strenuous – otherwise my seventy-five year-old legs would not have survived the endeavor. But there are steep stretches on a number of the days and one or two of the stages can be lengthy – particularly if you are choosing one of the six or seven-day options. On occasion we would have appreciated a few more strategically placed waymarks, but route-finding was not a major problem. Our trip was organized by the folks at Mickledore – which means that our accommodation was arranged in advance and our luggage was ferried forward for us. Mickledore also supplied us with the 2012 edition of the Rucksack Reader description of the route by Jacquetta Megarry and Ordnance Survey Maps in the Explorer series: sheets 365 (The Trossachs), 378 (Ben Lawers & Glen Lyon), 379 (Dunkeld, Aberfeldy & Glen Almond) and 386 (Pitlochry & Loch Tummel). You can always let me know how you got on by using the Contact Page.
Don’t expect any noontime pubs on this route but the Rob Roy Way is never far from useful sites (with pubs) for an overnight stay; if you want to arrange your own accommodation or if you are new to the walking enterprise in general you may wish to get started by consulting my book, A Walker’s Alphabet: Adventures on the Long-distance Footpaths of Great Britain – published in 2010 and available from the publisher at www.authorhouse.co.uk or from www.authorhouse.com or from www.amazon.co.uk or from www.amazon.com.
Our stages were as follows:
Day 1: Drymen to Aberfoyle – 11.5 miles
Day 2: Aberfoyle to Callander– 10.5 miles
Day 3: Callander to Strathyre – 9.5 miles
Day 4: Strathyre to Killin – 12.5 miles
Day 5: Killin to Ardtalnaig – 12.5 miles
Day 6: Ardtalnaig to Kenmore – 6.5 miles
Day 7: Kenmore to Aberfeldy – 8 miles
Day 8: Aberfeldy to Pitlochry – 10 miles