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An enchanting outlaw trail for Highland Rogues — Rob Roy Way

daedmike (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

An enchanting outlaw trail for Highland Rogues — Rob Roy Way

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

91.7 mi

8,950 ft

8,775 ft

The Rob Roy Way follows in the footsteps of Scotland's most notorious outlaw through some of the most stunning countryside in Britain.

Starting in Drymen, the route travels 77 miles (124 kilometers) northeast through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, across the Highland Boundary Fault—a geological fault where the Scottish Highlands meet the Lowlands—to Pilochry, on the edge of the Cairngorms.

The route explores some of the most breathtaking countryside in the UK. Expect picturesque lochs encircled by mountains, prehistoric monuments nestled amidst glorious scenery, wild and expansive Highland vistas, enchanted forests, cascading waterfalls, rich wildlife, and more.

Designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails in 2012, the Way follows paths used by folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734); a soldier, trader, cattle-rustler, and outlaw who roamed this wild landscape in the early 18th century.

MacGregor’s path to outlaw status began in 1711 when he borrowed money from the Duke of Montrose to buy cattle. A few months after the purchase, Rob Roy's head drover sold the herd and disappeared with the money.

After failing to locate the thief, Rob Roy returned home to find the duke had seized his land and evicted his family. In retaliation, Rob Roy waged a relentless campaign of cattle-rustling, theft, banditry, and kidnap against the duke. Over time, the ‘Wild MacGregor’ clan grew into a racket that extorted many other wealthy landowners, too.

Rob Roy took part in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 and was subsequently wanted for treason. However, tales of his battles, captures, cattle-rustling, and cunning prison breaks grew and in 1723 Daniel Defoe published Highland Rogue about him. In 1726, Rob Roy received a Royal Pardon. He died two years later.

The Rob Roy Way is signposted throughout, however some sections might not be obvious. Trails are well-maintained and the walking is leisurely, albeit with a few tough sections.

In this Collection, we split the route into six stages. Of course, you can split up each stage into as many days as you are comfortable with. You can also walk any single stage, or a couple of stages, in isolation.

Every stage finishes close to accommodation, even if there are only a few options nearby. However, places to stay are not always abundant so it is worth planning in advance and scheduling any rest days accordingly.

If you are planning to arrive by public transport, you can catch a train to Balloch, typically via Glasgow. From Balloch, you can catch the 309 bus service to Drymen. To get home, Pitlochry has a railway station with direct services to Edinburgh and Perth and connecting services around Britain.

If you are planning to arrive by car, your best bet is to negotiate with a hotel or B&B a rate to stay for a night either side of your hike in Balloch and leave your car there for the duration. To get back, you can catch a train from Pitlochry to Balloch, typically with changes in Glasgow and Perth, and then the 309 bus back to Drymen.

For more information about the Rob Roy Way, visit: robroyway.com.
For the 309 bus timetable, visit: bustimes.org/services/309-balmaha-alexandria-or-bonhill.
For train timetables and tickets, visit: thetrainline.com.

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Rob Roy Way

79.1 mi

7,675 ft

7,550 ft

Last updated: November 8, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:44
    15.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage rises above Loch Lomond into rugged upland scenery and then descends through the Loch Ard Forest.

    

    Typically a short stage, this hike takes a wee detour from Drymen to explore the ruins of Buchanan Castle and then enjoy a fine view of Loch Lomond.

    

    The trail climbs to a high point at Muir

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    08:08
    18.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This mammoth stage passes two Highland lochs and the magnificent Falls of Leny.

    

    At 18.5 miles (30 kilometers) long, and with a considerable amount of climbing, only experienced hikers should attempt this in one.

    

    The town of Callander conveniently marks the midpoint and has plenty of accommodation, if

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    06:03
    13.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a challenging previous stage, the distance is more manageable on this hike, giving you ample opportunity to explore.

    

    The stage begins with a long climb through Strathyre Forest, which opens in places to reveal glorious views.

    

    You descend through the forest and pick-up Kendrum Burn as it flows into

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    06:21
    13.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A prehistoric stone circle and fine views of Loch Tay await you on this stage.

    

    Before you leave Killin, it is worth a short detour to see Kinnell Stone Circle, which is located in pleasant countryside on the banks of the River Dochart.

    

    The stone circle—which comprises six slabs up to six-and-a-half feet

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    07:20
    16.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,900 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Breathtaking waterfalls, a quirky cave, prehistory, and abundant Highland beauty combine for a memorable penultimate stage.

    

    From Ardtalnaig, you join Cycle Route 7 once again and continue along Loch Tay until Acharn.

    

    At this point, you make a sharp right and climb steeply alongside Acharn Burn until the

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    06:28
    14.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Starting by a historic Scottish castle and finishing at a waterfall by whisky distillery, the final stage is a celebration of the Highlands.

    

    As the final stage is a short one, there are a couple of detours to pique the interest and make it a good hike.

    

    From Aberfeldy, start by making a brief detour over

    by Dan Hobson

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    91.7 mi
  • Duration
    41:03 h
  • Elevation
    8,950 ft8,775 ft

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An enchanting outlaw trail for Highland Rogues — Rob Roy Way

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