Rob Roy Way: Everything You Need to Know!

By Natascha Langelaan

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Rob Roy Way: Everything You Need to Know!
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The Rob Roy Way starts in the picturesque village of Drymen, just outside Glasgow, and finishes in the lively tourist town of Pitlochry in Perthshire. This route follows in the footsteps of Rob Roy MacGregor, the legendary Scottish outlaw who made the area unsafe around 1700. The Rob Roy Way follows small paths and narrow roads and passes through dense woodland past the impressive Lakes of Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Verdien, and Loch Tay. Along the way, you can enjoy the many views of the mighty peaks of the Scottish Highlands of which Ben Lawers is the highest. Alternately, the route follows quiet scenic roads and paths through the Scottish countryside where time seems to have stood still. Join us on this historic route and follow Rob Roy closely.

The Rob Roy Way is one of Scotland's 'Great Trails' and is 128 kilometers long, or 80 miles. The route runs from Drymen to Pitlochry. With an alternative, wilder route via Amulree, you can extend the route to a total length of 155 kilometers. Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of Scotland's most beloved villain? Let's go!

Did you know that we can book all overnight accommodation for the Rob Roy Way for you? Check out all our options here.

Origin of Rob Roy Way

Rob Roy became Scotland's most famous outlaw through circumstance. Roy is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic 'ruadh', which means red: Red Rob. Rob is not be confused with Robin Hood. His territory was confiscated and his surname was banned for 40 years after his death. Some considered him a hero because of his generosity to the poor, others saw him as a villain because he stole livestock. Rob Roy is buried a short distance from the route. Now - three centuries later - a long-distance trail bears his name as a tribute.

The route passes through places where Rob Roy and his clan were active, particularly around Aberfoyle and Killin. It also follows many of the tracks and paths that would have been used by Rob Roy, and the walk gives a good idea of the place where he worked, fought, and lived. For history lovers, the route passes many historic sites, including Roman forts and viaducts, crannogs (houses built on lakes), and standing stones, forts, and stone circles left by prehistoric settlers. Along the path, you'll come across military roads and bridges built by English troops during the Jacobite Rebellion, while locations of clan feuds and stories of Rob Roy's adventures add to the charm of this scenic walk.

Origin of Rob Roy Way

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Distance: How Long is The Rob Roy Way?

The Rob Roy Way starts in Drymen, where the West Highland Way also passes and ends in Pitlochry. The route is more south than the Great Glen Way, is 128 kilometers long, or 80 miles, and is divided into 7 stages. The route takes you through beautiful Highland scenery, through forests, along valleys and rivers. It also takes you past the places where Rob Roy worked, fought, and lived, and past Roman forts and stone circles.

Rob Roy Way: Weather and Best Season

When it comes to the best season to walk the Rob Roy Way, the weather is pretty much the same no matter when you go. You can see this as either an advantage or a disadvantage. In the Highlands, the weather is always bad. You can even experience all four seasons in one day... and it will certainly rain. That is the hard truth. Officially, the best time is in the summer months, July and August. During summer, the average temperature rises slightly and the days are longer. But during those two months, it is mosquito season and that can be quite annoying. A more suitable time is spring, i.e. May to June when temperatures are about the same as in summer, there is less rain and, most importantly, no mosquitoes.

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Rob Roy Way with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Rob Roy Way: Map

Below is a map of the 7 stages of the Rob Roy Way, starting in Drymen and ending in Pitlochry.

Rob Roy Way: Route From Day to Day

The Rob Roy Way is divided into 7 stages, starting in Drymen and finishing in Pitlochry. This route does not include the alternative, wilder route via Amulree, which can be done in one extra day.  

Day
1

Arrival in Drymen

Today you will have to make your way to Drymen. Here, you will spend the night preparing for your Rob Roy Way adventure.

Drymen Inn (Drymen)

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Drymen Inn (Drymen)
Day
2

Drymen to Aberfoyle

Duration: 04:43 h
Distance: 17.5 km
Ascent: 220 m
Descent: 250 m
The path leads you into the forest and soon crosses the West Highland Way. You pass the picturesque Muir Park Reservoir surrounded by open meadows. The path continues through the extensive Loch Ard Forest with its occasional sweeping views and on to High Corrie and Corrie Viaduct. The route continues via Clashmore Cottage to the ruins of Kirkton Church.

The Forth Inn (Aberfoyle)

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The Forth Inn (Aberfoyle)
Day
3

Aberfoyle to Callander

Duration: 04:30 h
Distance: 16.1 km
Ascent: 330 m
Descent: 270 m
Today the path begins again in the forest and leads you eastwards to the Mentheit Hills. The path begins to climb until you have spectacular views of the peaks of Stuc Odhar and Ben Lei. You will also have a wonderful view of Loch Venachar. From here you descend to the banks of Loch Venachar and through the woods of Coihallan Woods, you reach Callander.

The Waverley Hotel (Callander)

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The Waverley Hotel (Callander)
Day
4

Callander to Strathyre

Duration: 03:57 h
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 160 m
Descent: 100 m
The path takes you past a former old Roman fort to the railway line along the south bank of the River Teith. The path leads you into the forest and passes the Falls of Leny, with the top of Ben Ledi in the background. You then walk through open meadows to the southern banks of Loch Lubnaig. From here the path ascends and gives magnificent views of Glen Ample, the Pass of Leny, and Strathyre.

Ben Sheann Hotel (Strathyre)

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Ben Sheann Hotel (Strathyre)
Day
5

Strathyre to Killin

Duration: 05:59 h
Distance: 21.7 km
Ascent: 350 m
Descent: 360 m
Today you start by crossing the river Balvag, after which you walk into the forest. Then you cross the river Kendrum Burn and walk in front of Lochearnhead. The path ascends a little which offers wonderful views of the long-stretched Loch Tay, Ben Lawers, and Killin.

Killin Hotel (Killin)

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Killin Hotel (Killin)
Day
6

Killin to Ardtalnaig

Duration: 05:39 h
Distance: 19.4 km
Ascent: 520 m
Descent: 510 m

Today the path starts right away with ascending through the forest, where you'll find the small reservoir Lochan Breachlaich, along with beautiful views over Loch Tay with the summit of Ben Lawers in the background. Please note that the path can be a little boggy in places.

Since there is no accommodation available in Ardtalnaig, you will stay in The Killin Hotel for 2 nights. You will be transferred from Ardtalnaig back to the hotel in Killin, and the next morning, you will be brought back to Ardtalnaig, to continue your hike.

Killin Hotel (Killin)

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Killin Hotel (Killin)
Day
7

Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy

Duration: 06:53 h
Distance: 24.3 km
Ascent: 510 m
Descent: 550 m
The path follows the banks of Loch Tay and at Acharn, you will ascend past the Falls of Acharn. The path now continues on the open hillside (also known as the Queen's Drive) and gives great views of the peaks of Ben Lawers, Meal Garbh, and Meal Geigh. You then pass Kenmore which lies down on the banks of the Lach Tay, with Taymouth Castle.

The Townhouse Aberfeldy (Aberfeldy)

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The Townhouse Aberfeldy (Aberfeldy)
Day
8

Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

Duration: 04:19 h
Distance: 15.1 km
Ascent: 350 m
Descent: 350 m
You first follow a wooded path along the River Tay until you reach Garandfully. Here you cross the river to Strathtay. The path continues through the Dunfallandy Hills, into woodland, and passes a historic stone circle. The path then descends to the River Tummel and you finish over the bridge in the center of Pitlochry.

McKays Hotel (Pitlochry)

Info
McKays Hotel (Pitlochry)
Day
9

Departure

After breakfast, our services and your Rob Roy Way adventure will be over. Have a safe trip back home!
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Rob Roy Way Accommodation

On the Rob Roy Way, you can either spend the night in a cozy hotel in a small town or camp on one of the various campsites along the way. Wild camping along the Rob Roy Way is also an option. However, accommodation options can sometimes be limited. The problem with the Rob Roy Way is that the stages usually start and end in very small towns, where there are usually only 1, 2 or maybe 3 accommodation options. The Rob Roy Way is a popular trek in Scotland and welcomes thousands of trekkers every year. Organizing the stages and booking accommodation should not be taken lightly. Hotels can be fully booked months in advance.

Luggage Transport on the Rob Roy Way

The Rob Roy Way is a very popular trek that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Thanks to its popularity, there is always a possibility of transporting your luggage. Your suitcase will be collected from your hotel each morning and waiting for you at your next hotel at the end of the day. Pretty convenient, right?

Luggage Transport on the Rob Roy Way

Walking the Rob Roy Way: Starting and Ending Point

The Rob Roy Way starts in Drymen and ends in Pitlochry. The path is traditionally walked from south to north, although it can also be done in the opposite direction. Both Drymen and Pitlochry are reachable by public transport.

Starting point

To get to Drymen, the easiest option is to take a plane, train, or bus to Glasgow. From there it takes about 2 hours by train and bus to get to Drymen. Drymen has a long history of tourism. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Drymen was a popular stopping place for Highland cattle drivers. Nowadays, this no longer happens, but Drymen is just as touristy as it was then! There are several restaurants, churches, and the ruins of Buchanan Castle.

Ending point

The Rob Roy Way ends in Pitlochry. From here, you can return to Glasgow by train and bus in about 3.5 hours.

Walking the Rob Roy Way: Starting and Ending Point

Packing List for the Rob Roy Way

No matter where you go hiking or for how long, bringing the right equipment is of utmost importance. For your hike, the first thing you need is a good backpack. The size of it will depend on the number of days you will be trekking, the season and the clothes you take with you. If you have luggage transport, the comfort level of your daypack is most important. We have compiled a packing list with a few essential items of clothing you should bring and some extras you might find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

At Bookatrekking.com, we not only book your accommodation and luggage transport, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Rob Roy Way, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

Safety tips for the Rob Roy Way

Although this is far from being a trek in the Himalayas, unexpected things can always happen and you might also find obstacles on the hiking trails along the way. The Rob Roy Way is safe, the trails are quite straight forward and there is not an extreme difference in altitude. However, for your safety, every hike deserves a level of respect; respect for the terrain, the trails, wildlife and vegetation, local rules and regulations, and above all, your physical capabilities and safety. Therefore, for an unforgettable and safe hiking memory, please keep the following safety recommendations in mind:

  • Know your limits

    Always prepare each stage carefully to use your energy wisely, respect your physical and mental limitations, and avoid taking unnecessary risks. When ascending or descending, if applicable, always use the aids provided, such as handrails and ropes. Is this trek suitable for you? Well, familiarize yourself with the grading system and figure out if this trek matches your capabilities. If you still need professional advice you can always contact Bookatrekking.com experts.

  • Stay on marked trails

    The most important thing is to never leave the marked paths. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B in the Rob Roy Way. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you.

  • Fully equipped

    Make sure you have the necessary gear for the conditions you'll be facing, including appropriate clothing, footwear, and any necessary equipment for the terrain you'll be hiking on. Always wear clothing adapted to the weather of Rob Roy Way and protect yourself from cold and wetness or heat and sun. Besides, make sure you carry enough food and water for the duration of your trek. On the way, you might (or might not) be able to buy snacks.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Rob Roy Way.

  • Respect for nature

    Do not litter, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

Where Can I Book the Rob Roy Way?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Rob Roy Way and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations, organizing luggage transportation and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Rob Roy Way not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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