Rob Roy Way is a trekking route in the southern highlands of Scotland, stretching from Drymen near the Trossachs National Park, to Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross.
The path is one of Scotland’s Great Trails, and named after the 18th century Scottish outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor, who used these tracks during his lifetime.
Rob Roy was famous for being a cattle-reiver, someone who stole cattle. He also ran a successful protection racket, for which farmers and landowners paid him to protect their cattle from being stolen.
This trail follows the routes that Rob Roy would have used as he lived and fought in the area. As well as learning about this important part of Scottish folk history, you can experience the beauty of the area and see some of Scotland’s wildlife.
- Scotland’s mountain scenery
- Historical connection to Rob Roy
This walk begins in Drymen near Stirling. From there it is a gentle introduction to the trail as you wind through the forested area of the Trossachs National Park.
You are then hiking through the stunning landscape of the Southern Highlands, as well as through small towns and villages where you can stop for refreshments, accommodation and stock up on supplies for the next day. The end of the route is in the Victorian town of Pitlochry.
The path consists of a mixture of rural tracks, old drovers’ routes, small roads and cycle paths. It is easy to follow, although there might be some places where the way is not clear.
Being a hilly region, you can expect some climbs and descents, although the pathways are fairly smooth and even.
You can walk this trail in either direction, but form Drymen to Pitlochry is favoured because you have the prevailing wind in your back and the gradients are kinder.
Rob Roy Way is one of the quieter walks in the collection of Scotland’s Great Trails, and although you will see other hikers, there is still plenty of solitude.
Other paths that cross Rob Roy way include the Cateran Trail, Great Trossachs Path, and the West Highland Way.
It is possible to walk the route in stages.
From Glasgow, it is less than an hour’s drive to Drymen.
There are regular bus services from Glasgow to Drymen, as well as between the towns and villages along the route.
Pitlochry has a train station, as is also well served by bus transport.
If you are flying to Scotland, there is an international airport at Glasgow.
The length of this path depends on what route you take. The shortest route is 121 kilometres and the longer way is 151 kilometres and runs via Amulree.
If you don’t fancy hiking the whole length, you can walk in stages. Or simply stay for a few nights in the towns and villages to rest before taking on the next part of the trail.
Grade and difficulty of the walk
Rob Roy Way is graded 3/5.
The difficulty of this route will depend on your level of fitness, and how much equipment and supplies you are carrying.
Some parts are easy. Sharing some of the way with cycle routes and small roads means that there is tarmac underfoot.
There are steeper and more remote parts as you head north-east, and this is where the hike becomes more challenging. However, this route can be walked in stages so you can pick the parts of the track to suit your level of fitness.
The main challenge of this walk is to hike the entire length with overnight stays.
People of all abilities can enjoy this trail.
The flatter, cycle path sections are easy for beginners to walk, while those who like more of a challenge can hike the hilly parts.
The way is marked with signposts, however the path may not always be clearly defined. Having a map with you will give you peace of mind if you should lose your way, plus it will give you detailed information about the surrounding areas.
You do not need any permits to walk the Rob Roy Way.
Guided or Self-Guided
Rob Roy Way can be hiked as either guided or self-guided.
With plenty of accommodation options it is easy to organise this hike yourself.
Guided walks are useful as many of the logistics are taken care of, your bags are transported and all you have to do is enjoy the trail.
Even if you choose to walk this trail independently, you may still be able to arrange transport for your backpack between overnight stays. This gives you the best of both worlds as you are still free to follow your own pace and itinerary, without having to carry heavy backpacks.
This route is open all year round.
The best time to walk is in the spring, summer and autumn months, as this is when the weather and temperatures are at their best.
One thing to watch out for during summer are little biting flies called midges. Wear plenty of repellent.
Winter will bring cold conditions, and there may be snow on the ground. While it is still possible to walk, if you plan to hike the more remote sections, make sure you are well prepared.
A typical itinerary would be:
Drymen to Aberfoyle: 18 kilometres
Aberfoyle to Callander: 15 kilometres
Callander to Strathyre: 15 kilometres
Strathyre to Killin: 26 kilometres
Killin to Ardtalnaig: 19 kilometres
Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy: 24 kilometres
Aberfeldy to Pitlochry: 15 kilometres
The longer route takes you from Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy via Amulree.
Ardtalnaig to Amulree: 24 kilometres
Amulree to Aberfeldy: 25 kilometres
This area is popular with hikers, and there are plenty of accommodation options along the route.
Bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels can be found in Drymen, Aberfoyle, Callander, Strathyre, Killin, Aberfeldy, Amulree and Pitlochry.
Hostel accommodation is available in Callender and Pitlochry. There is also a campsite at Pitlochry.
Wild camping is legal in Scotland. If you do decide to wild camp, you must stick to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code of conduct.
Learn about the character of Rob Roy Macgregor. Although he spent most of his life in the Trossachs, this colourful Scottish character is linked to many places along the route.
The Trossachs National Park is an area out outstanding beauty. Immerse yourself in the pine forests and keep a look out for wildlife including deer and red squirrels.
The further north you go, the more hilly the terrain. You may see birds of prey circling above, including eagles.
Take a side trip to visit Loch Almond, a 27 kilometre hike from Ardtalnaig. This will add another day to two to your trek.
Spend some time admiring the Falls of Leny near Callander.
Visit the stone circle in Fonab Forest.
Enjoy the welcoming Scottish hospitality at the towns and villages.
|Starts at||Drymen, the Trossachs. G63. Scotland.|
|Finishes at||Pitlochry, PH16. Scotland|
|Length of route||121 - 151Km|
|Average time to complete||7 - 10 Days|
|Possible to complete sub-sections||Yes|
|Highest point||565 metres|