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Katia Fernandez Mayo September 6 2021

The Rob Roy Way is one of Scotland’s most popular long-distance walking trails, traversing the beautiful Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park past shimmering lochs, imposing mountains, and pretty waterfalls.

While other undeniably popular trails in the Scottish Highlands such as the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way see thousands of visitors walking well-trodden paths each year, the Rob Roy Way is a delightful and rather quiet alternative.

The trail covers 79 miles (126 km) starting from Drymen – just south of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond – and culminating in the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry in lush Highland Perthshire.

 

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One of the best times of the year to walk the trail is in Autumn, where the varied patchwork of thick forests turns various shades of red and gold.

There is no better encouragement than the satisfying crunch of dry leaves underfoot and the fresh scent of morning dew, leading you onto your destination at a cosy inn in a sleepy Highland village where a warm welcome awaits.

 

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But who was Rob Roy?

Rob Roy MacGregor was born in 1671 in Glengyle, close to Loch Katrine. He was a cattle drover, an outlaw and a Jacobite supporter. He protected local farmers from cattle thieves, albeit, using some rather drastic measures. Farmers were rather forced to accept his services, or face the consequences! Rob Roy controlled cattle thieves in the region, and could indeed offer protection – or the opposite.

His life took a turn after a failed business venture with the Duke of Montrose, who declared him an outlaw. In his years as an outlaw, Rob Roy raided the rich Duke’s property and earned his status as a ‘Scottish Robin Hood’. Sadly, Rob Roy was eventually caught and imprisoned.

His romantic life has been immortalised by the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and later on, by a rather colourful portrayal by Liam Neeson in the 1990s film.

The route on the Rob Roy Way itself crosses the Trossachs where Rob Roy MacGregor lived most of his days, but the stops along the trail all have various connections to the events in his thrilling life.

 

A route through lochs and waterfalls

The Rob Roy Way winds through some incredible Highland scenery, weaving through various lochs and rivers and offering stunning mountain views. For those hardy people, such as our fearless director Sheila, the Roy Roy Way also offers plenty of wild swimming opportunities in the fresh and revitalising Scottish waters.

A gentle start from Drymen, just south of Loch Lomond, leads through the forests of the Trossachs beneath the Menteith Hills, before descending to Loch Venachar. The views towards the water are spectacular.

Past Callander, a short detour will take you to The Falls of Leny. Admire the impressive sight as the swells of water force their way between the rocks in the narrow Pass of Leny.

The trail continues through quiet thick forests, eventually reaching the shores of Loch Lubnaig. This is one of the best spots for wild swimming in the country, as the water is fresh and clear (and chilly!). The long narrow loch is surrounded by high hills which offer shelter from the wind.

The route sticks to the shores of Loch Lubnaig towards the pretty village of Strathyre. Following forest tracks and a cycle path, the route then opens up towards Loch Earn and later continues along the south side of delightful Loch Tay. The sections along Loch Tay are one of the highlights of the Rob Roy Way, offering glorious vistas of the neighbouring hills and blooming heather.

 

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As you approach Aberfeldy, the following section takes you up past the dramatic Falls of Acharn and continues along the hillside, which offers more wonderful views.

The final descent to Aberfeldy follows a scenic path through the wooded gorge of the beautiful Birks of Aberfeldy. The Birks were named after a poem by Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. Breathe in the fresh air as you wander through birch, oak, ash and elm, and enjoy the sound of the roaring white water surrounding you.

Finally, the trail follows the River Tay towards Grandtully and the beautiful town of Pitlochry, with its Victorian architecture and well-kept gardens.

 

Pretty villages and cosy inns

The Rob Roy Way not only offers wonderful scenery, but it also stops in picturesque and peaceful villages with welcoming inns, quirky tearooms and the best of Highland hospitality.

The stops along the route include the charming village of ​​Aberfoyle, located in the magnificent Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, and the Victorian settlement of Strathyre on the eastern shores of the River Balveg.

One of the highlights of the route is Callander – a quintessential Scottish town, full of bustling shops, great eateries.

The best place to get a packed lunch in Callander is undoubtedly Mhor Bread, a family-run business that offers a mouthwatering selection of giant meringues, hot pies, delightful cakes and pastries, and generously-filled sandwiches. All fresh and all homemade!

 

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Halfway through the route, Killin is a small village right at the Falls of Dochart, a spectacular series of rapids at the western end of Loch Tay. This is an incredibly picturesque traditional Scottish village, ​​with cute cottages, pretty Victorian houses and photogenic stone bridges.

The Falls of Dochart Inn overlooks the waterfalls and has a cosy bar with a large open fire, the perfect setting to warm up after a long day’s walk!

Pitlochry is the endpoint of the Rob Roy Way, a vibrant town in the heart of Highland Perthshire. This pretty town, with its stunning architecture and beautiful surrounding scenery, has been a popular tourist destination since Victorian times.

As you amble your way towards your accommodation, you can browse the many outdoor shops, visit one of the two whisky distilleries in the town, or warm up with mulled wine in one of the many great pubs!

Pitlochry offers a variety of additional activities, so you might wish to add an additional day to spend some time exploring this wonderful town.

Wander through the pretty Faskally Wood, take a day trip to the stunning Blair Castle nearby, or a short bus ride to the spectacular viewpoint overlooking Loch Tummel at the Queen’s View. Pitlochry really is the ideal location to finish your walking holiday!

 

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Escape into Rob Roy Country

The Rob Roy Way offers an idyllic escape in the Trossachs and Highland Perthshire. Follow in the footsteps of the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor and enjoy impressive waterfalls, peaceful lochs and charming Scottish villages amidst the breathtaking scenery of golden foliage and heather-clad hills.

Absolute Escapes offer self-guided walking holidays on the Rob Roy Way which include accommodation, daily baggage transfers, guidebook/map, and full information pack.

Send us an enquiry today and we’ll be delighted to help you plan your escape in Rob Roy country!

Classic Trails in Scotland

Rob Roy Way

From £625pp

Walking Holidays
Distance 79 miles / 126 km
Duration 7 - 8 Nights
  • Follow in the footsteps of legendary Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor
  • Walk through beautiful forests and alongside some of Scotland's finest lochs, rivers and waterfalls
  • Discover the well-worn track used during the dramatic Jacobite uprisings and clan feuds

West Highland Way

From £455pp

Walking Holidays
Distance 96 miles / 154 km
Duration 6 - 10 Nights
  • Experience one of the world's most famous long-distance walks
  • Enjoy breathtaking scenery from Loch Lomond into the heart of the Scottish Highlands
  • Relish the wonderful international camaraderie of your fellow walkers

Great Glen Way

From £450pp

Walking Holidays
Distance 73 miles / 117 km
Duration 6 - 8 Nights
  • Experience one of Scotland's most famous long-distance walks
  • Explore mysterious Loch Ness and enjoy a cruise on the loch
  • Hike through deep glens, ancient forests and dramatic mountains

Speyside Way

From £575pp

Walking Holidays
Distance 80 miles / 129 km
Duration 6 - 8 Nights
  • Sample whisky at some of Scotland's finest distilleries, such as Glenlivet and Glenfiddich
  • Walk through the magnificent Cairngorms - Britain's largest National Park
  • Visit Ballindalloch Castle, one of the most romantic castles in Scotland
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