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Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall


Postby walk aboot » Thu May 01, 2014 2:55 pm

Route description: Rob Roy Way

Date walked: 19/04/2014

Time taken: 8

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Day 1: Drymen to Aberfoyle 10 miles:

I took the bus from Buchanan Street Bus Station in Glasgow to the beginning of the walk in Drymen. I think you can also take the train to either Milngavie or Balloch, and then a taxi from there. There are a few places to grab a coffee or a bite to eat in Drymen, so I had a wee cuppa and a scone before I got started.

The beginning of the walk is easy to find (heading uphill along a minor road from the main square), and the route is way-marked a few miles in for the remainder of the Way. I used a Footprints map for this walk, and you don’t need anything beyond that (there are no wrong turns to watch out for).

The highlight of this section is a wander on your own through the magnificent Garadhban and Loch Ard Forests, with a wee cheeky climb up the ladders of the aquaduct, which is part of Glasgow’s water supply system on its way to Loch Katrine.

1 Aquaduct (640x480) (2).jpg
Aquaduct


1 Climbing up the Aquaduct (640x480).jpg
Climbing up the aquaduct


I stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of Aberfoyle but I did walk along the river path to get to it (recommended – one of my mates has seen an otter there before).

Day 2: Aberfoyle to Callander 9.8 miles:

This section begins with a walk along a forest track. There were a couple of forestry workers using heavy machinery when I passed (with no forestry restriction notices for walkers), but as long as you make sure they see you well in advance they will stop what they are doing and wave when it is safe for you to pass.

The forest path opens out into a large area of open moorland, and I had a great time here watching and photographing the first wheatears I have seen this year.

2 Wheatear 1 (640x480).jpg
Wheatear


There is a small lochan on this section which I think was one of my most favourite views of the week. I sat here for ages, and the wee boat in the photo (below) is called, ‘Dream Come True’.

3 Dream Come True Boat (640x480).jpg
Dream Come True Boat


Callander is a very busy place, jam-packed at any time of year with tourists and day trippers. There are loads of shops, pubs and places to eat, but I like the posh fish and chip shop; you can have all sorts of fresh seafood there and cheese and truffle smothered chips (I didn’t try them but they do sound interesting).

Day 3: Callander to Strathyre 9.6 miles (+ 6 miles to visit Balquhidder):

Much of the Rob Roy Way follows the National Cycle Route number 7, so I wasn't surprised to see that a wee bit of walking along the line of an old railway was involved in this section (lots of these cycle routes do include former railway lines). This section also passes the path to Ben Ledi, which is a popular hill for those who have the time to incorporate it in to their walk.

I stayed at a hotel in Strathyre so I walked an extra 6 miles (there and back) to visit Rob Roy MacGregor’s grave at Balquhidder Church. You can choose to incorporate Balquhidder into your walk or even stay there (I did notice it has a youth hostel).

3 Rob Roy Grave (480x640).jpg
Rob Roy MacGregor's Grave


Day 4: Strathyre to Killin 13.6 miles

Killin is another cracking wee village to spend a bit of time in, with the spectacular Falls of Dochart (no photos I’m afraid, my camera was in my pack because it was raining). I was really pleased to find a Chemist shop here, so I could buy some plasters for a couple of blisters.

4 Lambs (640x228).jpg
Spring Lambs


Day 5: Killin to Ardtalnaig 11.2 miles:

I changed my plans on day 5 and decided to stick to a low level path alongside Loch Tay (instead of the official route along the Way). I had developed blisters on my wee toes which were giving me too many ouch moments; it was hard work walking with sore feet and a large rucksack. The views of the loch however, were impressive.

Accommodation is sparse here. I stayed in a Lodge (well, B&B really) at Ardtalnaig.

3 Coos 1 (640x410).jpg
Coos


Day 6: Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy 14.2 miles:

My blisters were still giving me trouble on day 6 so again, I changed my plans. I walked as far as Kenmore and then took a bus from there to Aberfeldy. I didn’t mind doing that at all; in fact I quite enjoy listening to the banter of other passengers on local buses.

Highlights on this section (well, the bits I know of which I did myself on foot), include a wee visit to the Crannog Centre (the staff there will show you how to drill holes in stone with wood), and the Hermit’s Cave at the Falls of Acharn.

6 Crannog 2 (640x480).jpg
Crannog on Loch Tay


Day 7: Aberfeldy to Fortingall 8 miles (extra day):

For anyone doing the Rob Roy Way, it is really worth taking the time to stop by Fortingall beside Glen Lyon for a wee wander – trust me, you won’t be disappointed. There are standing stones, thatched houses, red-legged partridges and pheasants-a-plenty. And most importantly, the churchyard is home to a mighty 5000 year old Yew tree, which is said to be the oldest living thing in Europe.

I walked to Fortingall from Aberfeldy then booked a taxi (£15) for my return to Aberfeldy next morning. There is a local bus throughout the week (timetable available online and at local bus stops), but you need to book a taxi in advance during weekends, as there is only one taxi driver in that area.

7 Fortingall 10 (640x354).jpg
Fortingall


7 Touching the Yew Tree (640x480).jpg
Touching The Yew Tree


Day 8: Aberfeldy to Pitlochry 9.6 miles:

I usually do my long-distance path walks over 5 days, so by the end of this one (7 nights and 8 days, including the stop-by Fortingall) I was more than ready for home. I took the bus from Aberfeldy to Pitlochry so I would be in time to catch an earlier bus home to Glasgow. Again, I wasn’t fussed about not completing another part of the route, and I enjoyed listening to the banter of the local passengers. A wee red squirrel ran across the road ahead of the bus too 8) .

On a final note, the guid folk of Aberfeldy were very friendly, and more than once I was offered a lift by a local to Fortingall, Aberfeldy and Perth. I also think I may have missed the best night of my life, as I politely declined a wee fiddles and accordions night in the bar of the Fortingall Hotel in favour of an early night instead (what was I thinking?!).
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby mountainstar » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:32 am

A nice little pre-amble to your walk that was upcoming 8)
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mountainstar
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:14 pm

Thanks for posting.

Quite fancy the Rob Roy Way and your pics make it look really good.

Shame about the blisters, doesn't seem to matter how comfy the boots are once you start covering a decent number of miles on consecutive days.
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby andrewl7642 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:09 am

Starting the Rob Roy Way tomorrow, starting from Milngavie, camping all week, lets hope the weather improves :?
No fun in the rain :(
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby walk aboot » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:51 pm

mountainstar wrote:A nice little pre-amble to your walk that was upcoming 8)


Nothing could have prepared me for THAT walk, mountainstar, although l did love it really 8)
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby walk aboot » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:53 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Thanks for posting.

Quite fancy the Rob Roy Way and your pics make it look really good.

Shame about the blisters, doesn't seem to matter how comfy the boots are once you start covering a decent number of miles on consecutive days.


It is a good walk, Gordie 12 :) l got pesky blisters again last month, walking from Ullapool to Strathan with mountainstar & co. Ended up having to walk through bog in trainers lined with plastic bags :crazy: :D
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Re: Rob Roy Way over 7 days with a stop-by Fortingall

Postby walk aboot » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:54 pm

andrewl7642 wrote:Starting the Rob Roy Way tomorrow, starting from Milngavie, camping all week, lets hope the weather improves :?
No fun in the rain :(


Hope you enjoy your walk andrew7642. Look forward to seeing your trip report :)
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