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The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days

The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days


Postby andrewl7642 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:44 pm

Route description: Rob Roy Way

Date walked: 07/06/2014

Time taken: 6 days

Distance: 142 km

Ascent: 521m

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The Rob Roy Way is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs from Drymen to Pitlochry. The path was created in 2002 and runs for 92 miles. The route crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological fault where the Highlands meet the Lowlands


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After walking the Great Glen Way, The West Highland Way, The East Highland Way, The Speyside Way, The Formartine & Buchan Way, The Deeside Way and The Three Lochs Way, the next long distance route would be the Rob Roy Way.

The original plan was to walk the full 94 miles, from Drymen to Pitlochry via Amulree, but things didn't go quite to plan (do they ever?) and we ended up walking the 77 mile route, adding on an extra 12 miles by starting from Milngavie on the West Highland Way. Personally I would of quite happily walked the extra miles to Amulree but my hiking buddy was on holiday in Scotland and felt there would be no time left to relax after a days walk. So be it.

DAY 1 - FRIDAY 6 JUNE 2014
We arrived in Glasgow on the Friday afternoon, it was a gorgeous day and we took the opportunity to enjoy a mini pub crawl and bar meal before catching our train to Milngavie. Once arriving in Milngavie it was another quick pint before the 1.5 mile hike to the campsite at Bankell Farm. (but not before a visit to Tesco for a disposable BBQ, Burgers and some Beers, the night was not going to waste!)

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Happy camping at Bankell Farm

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2 hours of slow cooking on a cheap disposable, finally rewarded for the effort.

DAY 2 - SATURDAY 7 JUNE 2014
Day Two was spent walking from Milngavie to Drymen on the West Highland Way, (12 miles) it stayed dry for the hike and we were the first to arrive at Drymen Camping site. We got pitched up just in time for the rain coming on then head into Drymen village for a well earned pint. (or two)

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Dave and Pete discussing tents at Drymen Camping

It was then a wet walk back to the campsite as it continued to rain heavy for the next few hours. More walkers continued to arrive and congregate in the barn where they could dry off and make use of the facilities.

I cooked up some noodles and enjoyed a few Beers in the barn with Pete and random guy, Dave before retiring to my tent.

DAY 3 - SUNDAY 8 JUNE 2014
Up bright and early we set off to Drymen village square where the Rob Roy Way begins, slightly disappointed that there was no official Rob Roy Way signage to represent the start of the walk. Infact not even a Rob Roy way marker until about 2 miles out of Drymen. We were heading for Aberfoyle then Callander, planning to wild camp a few miles from Callander. It had stayed dry through the night which was much needed for the tents to dry off after that long spell of heavy horrible rain the previous evening.

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Leaving Drymen via minor road - only 77 miles to go...

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Random Chair looking lost

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Country views leaving Drymen

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Water Aquaduct

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Well thingy

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Cows

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Graveyard at Aberfoyle

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Greedy pigs upon reaching Aberfoyle

Once reaching Aberfoyle (11 miles) the rain came on and we went for a quick drink at one of the local bars and then to the Co-Op for some supplies before heading off towards Callander.

We encountered more heavy rain througout the afternoon and into the early evening as we made our way through muddy forests and fields, passing Lochan Allt a Chip Dhuibh, before eventually arriving at Loch Venachar (3 miles from Callander) where we would settle for the evening.

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Lochan Allt a Chip Dhuibh

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Views across Loch Venachar as the sky begins to clear

I pitched up under the trees while Pete claimed his land next to the loch as we had a bite to eat before a few drinks and a small fire. There were some other guys along the loch who were also camping and spent the night fishing and drinking, they were quite loud into the early hours but didn't bother us. The midges were more of a threat, as they tried to eat us.

It was a peaceful night and it stayed dry for a change. :)

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Views from the head of Loch Venachar... stunning!

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bonny views

DAY 4 - MONDAY 9 JUNE 2014
We got an early start and made our way into Callander where the bag transfer service was waiting (my father). He had phoned up the night before and offered to give us a hand with the bags. I did feel it would be cheating but after hearing that Bear Grylls stays in hotels when filming his TV series in the wild, I thought it would be ok!

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Morning at Loch Venachar

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Arriving at Callander

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Callander

After leaving Callander it was then a 9 miler to Strathyer on the old railway line, now a cycle route, where the plan was to continue on for another few miles towards Killin but once arriving at Strathyre, the rain come on heavy AGAIN!!! There was no sign of it dying down either so we called it a day and my father transported us to Balquhidder Braes Caravan and Camping Park, after a visit to Rob Roy's grave, at Balquhidder.

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Leaving Callander towards Strathyre on the old railway line/cycle route.

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Stopped for a Coffee at the Forest Holidays Park Cafe.

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Loch Lubnaig, a few miles from Strathyre. Pretty views.

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This way to the man himself! >>

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Rob Roy's grave (in the rain) at Balquhidder

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Very wet night at Balquhidder Braes Caravan and Camping Park.

DAY 5 - TUESDAY 10 JUNE 2014
After a very wet night at the caravan Park my father transported us back to Strathyre where we would continue from where we left off. The rain had finally stopped (for now) as we walked through Strathyre, grabbed some supplies from the village shop and made our way uphill into the forest, passing the converted chapel. It was a 13 mile hike to Killin.

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Strathyre - looking back

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Old converted chapel

The first 4 miles was entirely on forestry track, which descended to Kingshouse Hotel (now Mhor 84 Motel) where we stopped for a delicious 'Illy' Coffee and Wi-fi leech before the long stretch to Killin.

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Views from high above in the forest, some logging had been going on but forestry workers have now deserted the area leaving logs behind... total waste!!

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Me in the forest

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Views from the forest

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Mhor 84 Motel previously known as The Kingshouse, changed the name because of confusion with the Kingshouse Hotel on the West Highland Way.

It stayed dry for most of the day with occasional showers as we followed the old railway line to Killin, passing Lochearnhead, through Glen Ogle and crossing the old Railway viaduct with some bonny hill views before a final descent through forests to the Falls of Dochart at Killin.

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Memorial bridge, completing the void and the Rob Roy Way.

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Old railway tunnel

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Bonny view over Lochearnhead.

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Crossing the railway viaduct at Glen Ogle

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Descending through the forest

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old railway sleepers, abandoned many moons ago

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Arriving at The falls of Dochart, Killin

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The falls of Dochart

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Wild Wolf in Killin... looks more like Scooby Doo's pal

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Clan MacNab Burial ground

The rest of the day was spent visiting Finlarig Castle, just outside of Killin before a couple of Pints in the Falls of Dochart Inn just as the rain came on heavy for a short while. My father met us in Killin and took us to a small wooded area we had spotted earlier, beside the main road by Lochan Lairig Cheile.

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Finlarig Castle just outside Killin

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Falls of Dochart Inn at Killin, with some nice features including a traditional cosy fireplace.

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Stayed dry as Pete got the fire going at Lochan Lairig Cheile.

We wild camped there, under the trees by the loch, had a few drinks with some tunes and a small fire to dry our socks. It stayed dry right through for a change!

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Camping in the woods

DAY 6 - WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE 2014
We got up early as usual and had a quick breakfast before 'the auld yin' transported us back into Killin to continue the walk to from Killin to Ardtalnaig, a 12 miler. We left Killin by following the minor road, behind the Falls of Lochart Inn, steeply uphill onto high moorland, passing an old quarry and the Dam of Loch Breaclaich. There were lots of ups and downs and turn arounds, and plenty of rain before eventually descending through farmland to reach the Loch Tay road at Ardeonaig. To our dismay the Ardeonaig Hotel was shut on Wednesdays so no refreshments yet. It was then a 4 mile country road walk to the small settlement at Ardtalnaig where we were picked up early afternoon.

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passing the Falls of Dochart Inn as we leave Killin

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Onwards and upwards towards Ardtalnaig

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lambs were happy to see us

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Passing the dam of Loch Breaclaich

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not forgetting the quarry

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on top of the world

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First views of Loch Tay in the distance

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not much changes about these parts

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The Ardonaig Hotel .... CLOSED !!

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Pretty views of Loch Tay as we approach Ardtalnaig.

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Entering Perth and Kinross

The remainder of the day was spent visiting the small village of Kenmore, a popular tourist destination. Here we had a drink at the Kenmore Hotel and took a walk out to Taymouth Castle. We had then planned to get supplies for the following day before driving back towards Ardtalnaig, but we arrived back from the Castle to find the village shop closed. So it was then decided we would go to Aberfeldy for supplies instead, unfortunately luck was not on our side at all today as the vans clutch pedal broke while entering Aberfeldy. Uh Oh!! How would we get back to Ardtalnaig to continue the walk!!! Solution: Ditch and hitch!

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Visit to Kenmore village

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Taymouth Castle

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Would make a nice bothy

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Loch Tay from Kenmore

Aberfeldy was destined to be our stopping point for two nights. We deserted the van on the street for a while and headed into the village to ask the locals if they knew of a mechanic or garage nearby. We got a couple of numbers but the van was not going to be fixed in any hurry. It was at this point we were true backpackers once again as we ditched my father the following morning and hitched a lift back to Kenmore. From Kenmore we walked back 4 of miles to Acharn, where we re-joined the Rob Roy Way, missing about 4.5 miles of the route.

That night we camped in Aberfeldy golf course, after a couple of Pints, getting pitched up quite late due to the hassles.

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Camping at Aberfeldy Golf Course ! Forrrrrrrrre real

DAY 7 - THURSDAY 12 JUNE 2014
After being rudely awaken by a golf ball to the forehead, we got up and made our way out of the Golf Course, crossing the river and passing the broken down van en-route for a quick Coffee before we hit the road.

We walked about 2-3 miles back towards Kenmore before a kind lady stopped and offered us a lift.
On arriving at Kenmore, to our joy, we were just in time for the bakery van arriving at the village shop. That was lunch sorted. We stopped for another Coffee before the 4 mile hike back the way to Acharn, where we re-joined the Rob Roy Way.

There were lots of hills to climb, as we passed Hermits Cave and the falls of Acharn, and even a stone circle that wasn't very circular. We crossed over some moorland and through some woods before descending back to Aberfeldy taking in some fine views shadowing the road and Taymouth Castle below.

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Hermit's cave

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The falls of Acharn

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Stone Circle

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Taymouth Castle in the distance

It turned out to be a nice evening as we chilled with a few pints outside at one of the local bars at Aberfeldy Square before spending our second night in Aberfeldy at a more suitable camping spot by the river Tay, where there is a big empty field, perfect for pitching.

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Pete Piecing together the route!

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Descending to Aberfeldy

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Chilling out for the rest of the evening in Aberfeldy.

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The narrow road bridge over River Tay in Aberfeldy.

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War memorial

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perfect pitch by the river

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lonely duck

DAY 8 - FRIDAY 13 JUNE 2014
It had been another dry night as we packed up and headed for the hills towards our final destination, Pitlochry, as we bid farewell to Aberfeldy for the last time (and my father who was still awaiting rescue nearby). We had 9.25 miles to go.

It wasn't long before the rain made its return as we plodded on through the woods past Aberfeldy, passing the Aberfeldy Distillery and the village of Strathtay, on another old railway path.

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Aberfeldy Distillery

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Choo Choo I'm a train!

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Chocolate Shop at Strathtay

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River Tay at Strathtay

It was then just 4 miles of wet forest trails, fine hill views and another Stone Circle until we finally arrived at Pitlochry.

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Somebody has a staring problem

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Crossing the Pedestrian Bridge into Pitlochry

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River Tay

We stopped for a snack at the Petrol station then made our way to Milton of Fonab Camping and Caravan Park, got pitched up and dryed up before heading up the town for a look around, a nice Bar Meal and a few well earned Pints!! Yes more Pints!! We also visited the Distillery and the Pitlochry Fish Ladder and Dam before heading back to the campsite later in the evening where we enjoyed a few more Cans before retiring, bringing an end to a partially enjoyable (wet) week.

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Highland Night

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Pitched up at Milton of Fonab

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Blair Atholl Distillery

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Pitlochry Dam

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Sun Set at Milton of Fonab

DAY 9 - SATURDAY 14 JUNE 2014
We caught the train early from Pitlochry Station to Perth before parting ways, then I bid farewell to Pete as he head back down to England. I had to wait over an hour for my train up to Aberdeen but was relieved when it finally arrived... back to civilization and a roof over my head, a normal life !! Thank God It's all over!! ...Now lets see just how long it takes until I get bored again! ... Bored already.... next trip please!! Guess where I'm going, back to Loch Ness and the Great Glen. Loch Ness 360 Here I come.

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See more of the photos in the slide video below:



or full gallery on Google Plus:
https://get.google.com/albumarchive/100408387173570597610/album/AF1QipOTGPf-oW072Jkj63PKqphasek4qmKsTGFDARxL
Last edited by andrewl7642 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:47 am, edited 7 times in total.
andrewl7642
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Re: The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:42 pm

Shame about the weather but it looks like you made the best of it.

Loved the photo of the random chair.

I climbed a couple of Grahams south of Loch Tay last winter and was on the tarmac road up to Lochan Breaclaich (it's a bit on the steep side :shock: ) - didn't realise it was part of the Rob Roy Way.

Hope you get better weather for Loch Ness.
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Re: The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days

Postby walk aboot » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:12 am

I enjoyed reading your report despite the rain 8) . I did the Rob Roy Way at Easter but you took a lot more photos than me (enjoyed looking back at the things I had forgotten 'cause I didn't snap them at the time myself).
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Re: The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days

Postby andrewl7642 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:57 pm

glad you liked :)
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Re: The Rainy Rob Roy Way in 6 days

Postby Knuttus » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:53 pm

Nice pictures nice to see some parts of me walk again i walked the National Trail Mai/Juni 27 day this year :clap:
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