Scotland's Great Trails




PLANNING INFORMATION

This section of the website provides information on a host of useful data so that you can plan your walk in the full knowledge of :-

walking distances


maps

walking surfaces


walking terrain

grid reference directions


area weather

route gradients


communications

accommodation locations


refreshments

transport options


emergency precautions

lambing and dogs


cattle grid diversion

Rings of Breadalbane



We recommend that you spend a little time looking at this while planning your walk on the Rob Roy Way so that you select the walking option that best suits your requirements and you have the necessary information to make the walk a straightforward success.


Walking Distances

This section details distances on the main route alternatives, the first option being the more direct route from Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy, the second taking in Glen Almond Amulree and Glen Quaich.


Drymen to Aberfoyle

11 Miles

Aberfoyle to Callander

9.5 Miles

Callander to Strathyre

  9 Miles

Strathyre to Killin

12.5 Miles

Killin to Ardtalnaig

11.5 Miles

Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy

14 Miles

Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

9.5 Miles

Total

77 Miles

Drymen to Aberfoyle

10 Miles

Aberfoyle to Callander

9.5 Miles

Callander to Glen Ogle

17 Miles

Glen Ogle to Ardtalnaig

15 Miles

Ardtalnaig to Amulree

17 Miles

Amulree to Aberfeldy

16 Miles

Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

9.5 Miles

Total

94 Miles


Walking Surfaces

It has been recognised that there are several sections of the Way that travel along quiet single track roads or on metalled tracks. This can be hard on the feet especially if walking in boots. It has been our intention to work over the years to see where route alterations might be made to break up some of these sections with softer terrain. We have been successful in certain sections such as Aberfeldy to Strathtay and now on the approach into Callander. We see this revision to route terrain as being important and continue to address the other sections where road walking presently exists.
We are therefore responding to the comments of some walkers and detailing where walkers might be advised to us a cushioned trainer for walking longer sections on tarmac surfaces.
  • Killin to Loch Breaclaich (If the Glen Ogle to Loch Breaclaich option is taken this is not appropriate)
  • Ardeonaig to Acharn (If the Glen Almond and Amulree option is used then this section is reduced to Ardeonaig to Ardtalanig)


Grid Reference Directions

In response to comments received from some walkers, we have produced in collaboration with Walking Support a detailed instruction on directions based on O/S Grid References. This will remove any concerns on what junctions to take especially in some of the forest sections. To obtain an electronically sent copy of the instructions click on the "BUY NOW" button below and notification of an electonic payment of a nominal 3.99 we will return an attached word document with all the details to your e-mail address.


Route Gradients - Altitudes

Walking Support has produced a detailed graph and table defining the major ascents and descents along the length of the Way.
Altitude graph1

Altitude graph2
If you would like this in hard copy with supporting tables click here and Walking Support will return an attached word document to your e-mail address.


Accommodation Locations

This section is set up to offer suggestions on where individuals or parties might stay while on the route. Not all stages stop at locations where there is accommodation or eating facilities, but in all cases local communities and transport provision by private hire are readily available if booked in advance. All suggested locations have catering and refreshment provisions.

End Point

Overnight Location Suggestions

Transfer Times (approx)

start

Drymen

zero

Aberfoyle

Aberfoyle
Callander

zero
10 min

Callander

Callander
Strathyre
Aberfoyle

zero
10 min
15 min

Strathyre

Strathyre
Callander
Lochearnhead
Killin

zero
10 min
5 min
15 min

Glen Ogle

Killin
Strathyre
Lochearnhead
Callander

5 min
10 min
5 min
20 min

Killin

Killin

zero

Ardtalnaig

Ardtalnaig (limited)
Killin
Acharn
Kenmore
Aberfeldy

zero
25 min
10 min
15 min
25 min

Amulree

Amulree
Aberfeldy

zero
15 min

Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy
Pitlochry
Kenmore

zero
20 min
10 min

Pitlochry

Pitlochry

zero

To link for suggestions on service providers click on accommodation, or transport & bag carrying provision.


Transport Details

The provision of public transport to and from the start and end locations is straightforward with bus services running to Drymen from Glasgow (No 8 from Buchanan Street Bus Station) and to Pitlochry from Perth and Edinburgh (National Express 538 & 588) (Scottish Citylink 957 997). Pitlochry also has train provision (North to Inverness and South via Perth to Glasgow or Edinburgh).

Aberfoyle is served by bus from Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station this being a No 10.
Callander is also served with Scottish Citylink buses operating from Edinburgh (No 974) twice a day in both directions. There are additionally local services to and from Stirling (C49 & C59).

Local Services between the various walking locations are as follows:

Route

Mid points

Route Numbers

General Comments

Callander to Killin

Strathyre, Glen Ogle

Nos 359, 59 & C59

359 runs on schooldays, 59 on non schooldays

Callander to Aberfoyle

Kilmahog

Postbus route 024

Depart Callander 14.30, Aberfoyle 15.27 return Callander 16.05

Aberfeldy to Killin


Postbus route 212/213

Depart 09.00 Killin 12.05 return to Aberfeldy 13.55

Killin to Ardtalnaig


Postbus route 027

Single direction departing 07.55 arriving 09.55

Pitlochry to Aberfeldy


Stagecoach route 27 & Caber Coaches 83

Additional No 26 service in term time, Caber Coaches cover Sunday three time in each direction.

Amulree to Aberfeldy


Stagecoach route 896

Twice a day in both directions in school term time only

Ardtalnaig has only one postbus service per day which is very slow. This is only suitable for starting on day 5, not for collection at the end of day 4. It is therefore necessary to rely on private hire from either Killin or Aberfeldy.

Amulree has had no public transport outwith the school terms until the more recent introduction of the Rings of Breadalbane service. Event this service is only on a June to October timetable and operates on 3 or 4 days a week. Outwith the term times and the Breadalbane ring timetable if transport is needed private hire from Aberfeldy is the most appropriate .

Useful Contact Numbers


Rings of Breadalbane Explorer - Bus service

A new service that operates during the walking season is known as the Ring of Breadalbane and this route links up with various points on the Rob Roy Way. The map below shows the bus route in red while the other markings are for walks or cycle routes.
Rings of Breadalbane Map
The key points of interest in this bus service is that it passes between Aberfeldy and Amulree, opening up opportunities for walkers on the Amulree loop of the Rob Roy Way to use cheap public transport between the Amulree break point and overnight accommodation. The circular bus service, runs in both a clockwise and anticlockwise direction and it passes Aberfeldy, Acharn, Killin, Lochearnhead and Amulree, all point on the RRW. For up to date information on this service click on this link and select the "Rings of Breadalbane Explorer button.


Maps

The walk is not waymarked as a separate walk, some sections are marked as public footpaths, forestery walks, cycle route, or part of the public road network.
We therefore advocate that an up to date map to a scale of atleast 1:50000 is used and the walker comes prepared with compass. The O/S Landranger maps relevant to the walk are Nos. 57, 51 & 52.
We are able to advise walkers that the latest editions of the O/S Explorer and Landranger maps now show the Rob Roy Way on the relevant sheets.

The Official Guide and Map is published by Rucksack Readers. This can be obtained through Visitor Information Centres and some bookshops in the surrounding areas or ordered directly from the Publisher.
Tel +44(0) 1786 824 696
info@rucsacs.com
On-line at www.rucsacs.com/books/rrw/

A recent addition (2013) is a single sheet map published by Harvey. This is printed on a "Tough Polyethylene" and has the advantage that the map sections all have grid lines. This means that the Walking Support route directional / grid reference data can be read in conjunction with the Harvey Map. This publicaton can be accessed using this link. (http://www.harveymaps.co.uk/acatalog/Rob_Roy_Way_maps.html)

Terrain

This has been divided into a section for each of the days, and may be of specific help for those who are undertaking only parts of the route.

Section

Terrain

Drymen to Loch Ard Forest

Road work along a minor single track and sometime hilly road. By using the alternative route out of Drymen walking east and picking up a short section of the West Highland Way this road distance can be reduced.
This can be at time exposed but in general this is an easy walk

Loch Ard Forrest to Aberfoyle

This is mainly on forestry track which is in good condition. At times it can be muddy where logging work is being undertaken. Walking boots are required.

Aberfoyle to Loch Venachar

Short section of road and pathway followed by forest track then path. Finally out onto open grassland with uneven path and some bolders. Generally firm then returning to forest track. Generally within forest but a small section at high level with no protection. Walking boots required

Loch Venachar to Callander

A short section of single track public road, then woodland walk before entering the Main Street across a pedestian only bridge. This has limited gradients, some good views, and is an easy walk

Callander to Kilmahog

All on cycle/walking track with good surfaces. Cushioned footwear or lighter boot might be advised.

Kilmahog to Strathyre

Starts on cycle/walking track with good surfaces, becoming more of a walking track along Loch Lubnaig, with some limited gradients. Finally ending on a single track roadway. One section could be subject to wet conditions underfoot. Walking boots recommended.

Strathyre to Kingshouse

Starting on a narrow forest path before joining a good quality forest roadway along the majority of the section, but be prepared for forestry working. Initially a gradual long climb, then steeper descent. Walking boots recommended.

Kingshouse to Glen Ogle

This can be undertaken on cycle and walking track all the way unless you divert through Lochearnhead. This way has one very steep section just to the west of Lochearnhead. Overall this section has a gradual but constant incline, most noticeable in Glen Ogle.
Cushioned footwear or lighter boot might be advised if harder surfaces are a potential blister problem.

Glen Ogle to Killin and then to Loch Breaclaich

This is a mixture of cycle and forest tracks of good quality followed by track along a disused railway line. From Killin the way starts on a minor single track road before turning off and ascending steeply on a moorland vehicle track. This latter section is exposed to the weather. Walking boots are required on the section above Loch Breaclaich.

Glen Ogle to east of Loch Breaclaich

This is a mixture of forest tracks of good quality, single track road them moorland vehicle tracks. From high level forestry the route passes onto open land and glens, exposed to the weather. Walking boots are recommended.

Water pipe to Braetran

This is grassland and heather, some section are rather wet. With only single file paths at best this may demand some limited trailblazing. This is part of a steady descent to Loch Tay. Waterproof boots are essential.

Braetran to Ardtalnaig

Onto single track road, the greatest hazard will be the passing car or bicycle. Cushioned footwear or lighter boot might be advised for those who find hard surfaces tough on the feet.

Ardtalnaig to Acharn

This is all on a single track minor road with only limited inclines. Be prepared to have to mount the grass verge if traffic passes. Cushioned footwear or lighter boot might be advised for those who find hard surfaces tough on the feet.

Acharn via Tombuie Cottage to Birk of Aberfeldy

Climbing steeply on rough track before transferring onto farm tracks, then forestry path. A short road section is followed by further grass tracks and paths with some forestry tracks towards the end of the section. Walking boots are essential.

Ardtalnaig to Achnafree

Climbing steeply on single track road before transferring onto rough vehicle track. One section of grass path, ill defined at Dunan before a very rough quad bike track. The route then returns to an ever improving vehicle track. This is through high level glens with little protection from the weather. Walking boots are essential.

Achnafree to Glen Quaich

This starts on a farm track but changes to a single file walking trail through fern and heather. Opening out into a wider glen along the side of a small burn, the pathway is not very clear and can be rough and wet. Returning to a vehicle track on the descent into Glen Quaich. Walking boots essential.

Glen Quaich to Amulree

Single track public road with few gradients, but in an open valley.

Amulree to Lochan above Tombuie Cottage

A mixture of vehicle track, farm road and single track public road. One section is subject to a steep incline. Walking boots are recommended.

Lochan to Urlar

Moorland track all the way crossing high level open sheep grazing. Walking boots strongly recommended.

Birks of Aberfeldy

Walking track mainly single file with many steps and bridge sections. Descending all the way, but care is needed on this narrow way . Can be wet underfoot in parts. Boots recommended

Aberfeldy to Strathtay

Once the footpath reaches the distillery on the outskirts of Aberfeldy the path is on riverside tracks or grass paths before the final section on a tree lines path that has been made out of a disused railway. Walking boots recommended.

Strathtay to Pitlochry

Walking path up through woods then onto high level fields, before entering forestry roads and then forest walking tracks. Returning to single track metalled road before entering Pitlochry. Open to the elements in parts, then some pretection from the forest. Walking boots are required.

Weather

This can vary from day to day and area to area. Some of the walk is in open glens and high level moorlands, so mist and low cloud can be present and make visibility and navigation more difficult. The weather is as likely to be bright and in this circumstance there are only limited sections where the trees will afford a break from sunlight.

For information on the weather forecast within the region you can call Weathercall. (This is a premium rate telephone service run by the Met Office.)
Relevant Regions and Dial Numbers:

Region

Walking Day

Dial Number

West & Central Scotland

1-2

09068 232 791

East & Central Scotland

3-6

09068 232 792

Grampian & East Highlands

7

09068 232 794

Alternatively access the Met Office Website.

Communications

Communications in the form of mobile phone cannot be relied upon throughout the route but are generally available at the start and end points. There are variations between the various networks.

Day

Mobile Signal

Public/Emergency Telephone

1

Generally good but limited in parts of the forest

Adequate facilities in Drymen and Aberfoyle

2

Generally good

Adequate facilities in Callander and emergency use around Kilmahog

3

Generally good and works on some networks at the finishing point

Available in Strathyre or by diverting into Lochearnhead

4

Becoming patchy or non-existant in the middle section

Available at Ardeonaig and Ardtalnaig at the end of walk.

5

Patchy or non-existant in places.

Available in Amulree

6

Patchy or non-existant in places but generally improving towards the end of walk.

Adequate facilities in Aberfeldy

7

Generally good coverage

Adequate facilities in Pitlochry

Refreshments

Section

Refreshment options

Drymen to Aberfolye

No provisions along the route but there are shops and eating houses at the start and end.
Require to carry food and liquids.

Aberfolye to Callander

No provisions along the route but there are shops and eating houses at the start and end.
Require to carry food and liquids.

Callander to Glen Ogle or Killin

Plenty of shops at the start of the section and at Killin. Along this section there are refreshment stops at Kilmahog, Strathyre, Kingshouse, Balqhidder Station, Lochearnhead (short diversion) and snack caravan at the head of Glen Ogle.

Killin to Ardtalnaig

Restricted provisions along the route limited to the Ardeonaig Hotel. Starting from Killin there are shops and eating houses but there are no provision at the end.
We strongly recommend walkers to carry food and liquids with some reserves on what is a more exposed and isolated section.

Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy

Almost no provisions along the route, with the exception of a small shop in Acharn, but there are shops and eating houses at the end.
Require to carry food and liquids.

Ardtalnaig to Amulree

No provision along the way with no shops at the start or end. In Amulree there is a tea room and hotel.
Walkers need to carry food and liquids and we strongly recommend some reserves on what is a more exposed and isolated section.

Amulree to Aberfeldy

No provision along the way with no shops at the start but plenty at the end.
Walkers need to carry food and liquids and we strongly recommend some reserves on what is a relatively isolated section.

Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

Only one shop offering limited snacks along the route at Strathtay. Plenty provision at start and end points.
Walkers are advised to carry provisions.

Emergency Precautions

The walk takes you into Glens and Forests where you are possibly going to see very few other individuals. This may be one of the charms of this walk, but it is also important to recognise that assistance in an emergency will not necesarily be at hand. We also know that mobile telephone reception can be poor in some of the remoter areas, sometime being possible with one provider and not with another. It is therefore recommended that walker leave word with someone on the route being taken and the expected time of arrival at the days destination. We also recommend that each group has one person carrying some basic first aid kit, and that the group has water and some high energy food in case of having to stop for assistance. Proper outdoor clothing is required as on inclement days a walker could become very wet and cold without the right protection.

Lambing and Dogs

This section has been added with a specific reference to a section of the Way on the Mentieth Hills. It is however pertinent to all section of the route where walkers are crossing land where sheep cattle or any form of livestock are grazing.

The map below relates to the Menteith Hills and the two starred points are where the new gates are being installed.

The above map shows the section where new self closing gates are being installed to protect the livestock from escaping due to an open or not securely gate. The farmer has also raised concerns of dog that are not on the lead and wants to stress the importance of walkers controlling dogs at all times when passing across fields containing any animals.
The Land Reform Bill places responsibilities on both landowner and walkers and this includes the control of dogs when in the countryside. It is also worth remembering that in some of the sections to the south of Loch Tay walkers are crossing hills and land that are used for Deer stalking and for Grouse shooting, so once again dog owners need to be aware of this form of wildlife and keep dogs under close control.

Cattle Grid Diversion

Walkers with dogs have experienced difficulties in the Upper Farochil to Dunskiag plantation section just to the west of Aberfeldy. For those coming from Ardtalnaig this is as you descend from the Bolfracks Hill.
Below are two images, the left being the cattle grid which has no side gate that allows you to continue on the track of the Rob Roy Way. This is the more easterly gate/grid and is at grid ref 837 479. The second image is at grid ref 836 478 and is the gate that walker approaching Aberfeldy come across at the foot of Bolfracks Hill.

If coming east with a dog do not pass through the gate as shown on the right but walk along the field keeping close to the fence on the rhs of the image. Within about 100 metres you arrive at the galvanised 7 bar gate that is shown on the left hand picture. This can be opened and you are then onto the track at the east side of the cattle grid.
The left hand picture is the view that walkers leaving Aberfeldy and walking west will encounter and the diversion is simply the reverse of what has been stated previously.

We thank Hilary Tillett for providing the two images.


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