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9 great reasons to walk, run or cycle the Rob Roy Way

A waymarker on the Rob Roy Way. Credit: Jim Barton

The Rob Roy Way is one of Scotland’s long-distance walking and cycling trails and extends 79 miles (127km) northwards from Drymen in Stirlingshire to Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross.

The way starts on pleasant forestry trails before a section of cycle way through glens to Killin. The route then heads into the hillls before returning to lower terrain along the shore of Loch Tay.

The walk continues through the attractive town of Aberfeldy and contines along a river and over moorland to reach Pitlochry.

Get support: Highland Transfers offers support and luggage transfer for people who would like to walk, run or cycle the route.

Here, we reveal nine reasons to walk, run or cycle the Rob Roy Way.

Expect beautiful views on the Rob Roy Way. Credit: Jim Barton

History highlights

The Rob Roy Way passes through areas rich in Scottish history and heritage and many places are linked to Rob Roy MacGregor. The famous outlaw, lived between 1671 and 1734, later became a folk hero. You can take a visit to Balquhidder to see Rob Roy's grave.

You’ll also walk over Glenogle Viaduct, and, on the approach to Pitlochry, have the chance to see a 3600-year-old stone circle and a fish ladder. (Also read on for "meeting of two trails".)

Scenic beauty 

The trail, which passes through stuning scenery on the eastern edge of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, takes in many beautiful spots and views in Scotland, including Loch Ard and Loch Ard forest, near Aberfoyle; the Menteith Hills; the lochs of Venachar, Lubnaig and Tay;  and waterfalls, such as the Falls fo Leny near Callander and the Falls of Dochart at Killin.

You’ll also walk what is known as Queen's Drive, which was one enjoyed by Queen Victoria (1819-1901), with spectacular views over Loch Tay and the mountain of Schiehallion.

There is a mix of trail terrain on the Rob Roy Way. Credit: Stanley Howe

Trail variety

The Rob Roy Way provides a range of different terrain to enjoy, including forest tracks, cycle ways, former railway lines and moorland footpaths. There’s an optional “wilderness extension” linking the settlement of Ardtalnaig with Aberfeldy via Glen Almond and Glen Quaich.

It's iconic - but not so walked

The Rob Roy Way joined a growing stable of Scotland's Great Trails in 2012, however it is not a route that is as well-known as others, such as the West Highland Way. So it's a generally quieter walk and this also makes it easier to book accomodation along the way.

Good for beginners

The route is split into seven days with distances of between nine and 15 miles. The total elevation over the full trail is little more than 2300 metres. Some days have as little as 150m of elevation. This makes a multi-day walk on the Rob Roy Way very achieveable for many people, so long as you put in a bit of walk training beforehand. It could be the perfect long-distance walk to complete before doing the West highland Way.

A hillier section of the Rob Roy Way. Credit: Ian Cleland

Great for runners

It’s a route that is runnable in many places and would make a good goal for a holiday with friends. You could run the route over a few days, or enjoy the full seven day schedule and spend more time sightseeing and visiting places along the way.

A warm welcome 

The seven-day walking schedule takes you between different villages and towns, where there are welcoming and friendly pubs, B&Bs, guest houses and hotels, as well as cafes, restaurants and shops. 

The daily walking schedule is suggested as Drymen to Aberfoyle; Aberfoyle to Callander; Callander to Strathyre; Strathyre to Killin; Killin to Ardtalnaig; Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy; and Aberfeldy to Pitlochry.

Cyclists will be able to complete the route in two to four days.

History and scenery on the Rob Roy Way. Credit: Anthony O'Neill

Meeting of two trails

The Rob Roy Way and the West Highland Way link at the popular tourist village of Drymen, close to Loch Lomond. Drymen has a long history. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the village was a popular stopover for Highland cattle drovers. The parish was built in 1771 and just outside the village are the ruins of Buchanan Castle, dating to the 17th century.

Lots more to discover 

There is a dedicated book by Jacquetta Megarry entitled "Rob Roy Way" and sold by Rucksack Readers with plenty more information about the route, as well as a Rob Roy Way website. 

Get in touch

Highland Transfer offers support for a range of walks, runs and cycles in Scotland. Please do contact us for more information.


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