Rob Roy Way
Last month Peter Draemann from Zurich walked the Rob Roy Way with us. A 79 mile holiday from Drymen up to Pitlochry. Peter has very kindly shared an account of his walking holiday with us. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have. Peter began by saying, “First of all I would like to thank Mickledore for their perfect organisation and provided detailed OS maps.”
Day 1, Drymen to Aberfoyle
First I walked in the wrong direction to take some photos of the church. On my way back was a sign pointing to a viewpoint. From there you have a pleasant view to Loch Lomond. Then I started walking the Rob Roy Way. It is boring walking a long distance on tarmac but there is very little traffic. Passing Muir Park Reservoir there is quiet a pleasant view. Reaching the parking space at Old Drymen Road I turned left on to the forest track, avoiding the tarmac of the Rob Roy Way. At the aqueduct I joined the Rob Roy Way again till I reached Aberfoyle.
Day 2, Aberfoyle to Callander
My host recommended to go up to the waterfall of Aberfoyle, so I did. A pleasant walk and view and I also spent some time at the nearby wildlife view point, watching birds and squirrels. Then I walked on the forest track for a while, don’t miss the small, steep path going down to the Rob Roy Way. This is for some time a forest track then turning into a small path, sometimes wet and later being quite swampy but nice to walk. Reaching Lochan Allt a’Chip Dhuibh this would be the place for picnic with a lovely view over the water but I missed it there having my meal along the track over Loch Venachar. Later on the track turns down to the loch, there are also some Picnic areas along the loch. There is now a bit of tarmac till after a bridge , then turning uphill on a forest track which changes on the highest point into a path leading down to Callander.
Day 3, Callander to Strathyre
The Rob Roy Way would be all day along the national cycling route no. 7. I only follow it to Kilmahog then turning uphill on a private track, later onto sheep tracks partly over moor until I reach the highest point at Bealach Gaoithe . Some meters steep down the hill, then turning right and following a swampy path presumably from deer, leading me further down to a forest track which a follow for a long time, later on turning down to Loch Lubnaig which I reach at Ardchullarie More. Now I have to follow the main road till Runacraigh . There I turn over a grassy patch (and through some blackberries!) into the wood where I find a forest track again which leads me near Strathyre. A short bit along the road and right at the beginning of the village is a coffee shop where I get my first Espresso of the day.
Day 4, Strathyre to Killin
My host recommended an alternative route from Balquhidder over the hills to Killin. But as rain started yesterday evening and carried on all day today I stuck to the original route which is on the dismantled railway track which is also the cycling route. There is a lot of water coming down the hills, especially in Glen Ogle. On the top there is a forest track leading into the valley, joining the railway track again. At the entrance of Killin there are the falls of Dochart with plenty of water today. The Inn with the same name provides me with my daily Espresso.
Day 5, Killin to Ardtalnaig
More pleasing weather today, cloudy but dry. The Rob Roy Way follows first the small road to Loch Tay, after a while turning uphill but still tarmacked until you reach Loch Breaclaich. From there it is a natural track still going uphill to 500 meters. Crossing some sheep the track leads me down to the pipeline and the track follows this. After some 100 meters there is a high post with a yellow mark on top. This leads to the path over the moor and the path is waymarked like this right to Brae Farm. Over the moor you cross some remains of shieldings. Four times this day there are rainbows over Loch Tay, a very lovely sight. From the farm a tarmacked road leads down to Aldeanaig. Now it’s all tarmac again along Loch Tay to Ardtalnaig. There I meet Deborah and William from Florida, which missed the junction going uphill and walked all along the Loch. They stay at the same B&B in Killin. We also join for dinner.
Day 6, Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy
Today I walk with the couple from Florida. A taxi brings us to the start at Ardtalnaig from where we have to walk along the Loch Tay to Acharn. There we leave the road uphill to the very nice waterfalls of Acharn and the Hermits Cave. Still going up we reach a rock where we have a break for lunch. A sign directs us to the Queens Drive but after a while I feel we are wrong. A look on the map confirms this, we are to low down but a path leads us up to the forest where we join the Queens Drive. A nice walk along the hillside follows until we meet the small road to Amulree. On this we go uphill passing by the left turn at Tombuie Cottage to the Rob Roy Way still going uphill until we reach a no named reservoir. From there leads a track to Aberfeldy through a lovely solitude hilly scenery. Sometimes are black grouse flying from the bushes. For a longer time we follow Urlar Burn. Near Aberfeldy a path leads through the forest to the Falls of Moness, Birks of Aberfeldy and after that it is only a short distance into the town.
Day 7, Aberfeldy to Pitlochry
I join the couple from Florida again and we walk out of town. At the distillery of Aberfeldy there is a short Scottish shower, my umbrella is only for protecting my camera. Turning left after the cemetery we reach river Tay, now walking a longer time along its shore which is a very pleasant walk. After a while we are on the dismantled railway track, formerly leading to Aberfeldy. At Grandtully we walk till the camping site, there is also a large picnic area where we enjoy our lunch, sitting at the sun. Three minutes’ walk through the wood brings us into the village where we are surprised to find the Highland Chocolatier, which of course we visit. We cross the bridge to Strathtay, soon going uphill, following the sign pointing to Pitlochry. At first along the Tullypowrie Burn, then over grassland we reach the highest point where we come into a forest. Soon after that there is a stone circle (only 3 stones) on the left side to the forest track. Steadily going downhill we come to Middleton of Fonab, then crossing the A9 with a lot of traffic. Now Pitlochry is not far, on the way into the town we have coffee and cake. Today we do not have the same B&B but we join for a last dinner in the evening