Rambling is a hobby that can take you all over Great Britain, even as far as Scotland.
There’s some great rambling to be done up in Scotland, with the Highlands being one of the stand outs areas for experienced mountain climbers and hikers.
However, for those looking for a more sedate ramble, with less scrambling and easier to navigate routes, Scotland’s National Parks hold a treasure trove of paths and routes, offering long days of rambling without too many strenuous sections.
Although it might be tempting to simply stop at the stunning Galloway Forest Park, on your way up through Scotland, resist this and make the trip further up to the larger Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. This area may well lack the overtly dramatic nature of the Highlands, but there is still a rugged appeal to this place, whilst remaining relatively close to civilisation.
To guarantee yourself a good night’s sleep and the best chance at an early start in the morning, book a luxury holiday cabin (this site here is my personal favourite) close to your start point and make sure you’ve stocked up on supplies on the way up; there isn’t much in the way of shops this far North!
Trossachs, Loch Katrine and Callander
Although you can tackle this 12 mile ramble from either direction, it’s recommended that you organise a drop off at the point furthest into the Park. Jump out of a car at Trossachs Pier Car Park (FK17 8HZ) and head down along the public road.
Soon you’ll drop off this road and head deep into the forest. Say goodbye to civilisation, you won’t be meeting back up with a real road for another 8 miles or so. For now take a right turn off the road, after passing a Scottish Water sign for the Loch Katrine dam you can take a left, this should lead you to a foot bridge, taking you over the Achray Water.
After the bridge, turn left on the far side of the track. Follow winding paths through the trees, you should be treated to a few views along the way of Ben A’an and Tigh Mor. Stately homes sit next to glittering Loch’s and dense forests, you can see why this is such a popular walking destination.
This path should bring you into brief contact with the A821. After making a safe crossing, turn right to get across the road bridge, then take the forest track to Three Lochs Forest Drive. Stay on this well laid track until you run into Loch Achray, from here you can keep the Loch on one side and enjoy the view of the lake as you ramble by.
After walking straight through a Farm, you’ll begin to follow the Black Water, a charming river that runs from the Loch. You’ll cross a very old stone bridge, before passing the Byre Inn. This is a great place to stop for some lunch, if the time’s right. If you don’t fancy pub grub, ramble on until you reach Brig’o’Turk where you’ll soon be presented by other options.
Once you’re refreshed and ready to continue, carry on the way you were going and head up the hill towards Glen Finglas car park. Head straight across the road and across the signposted bridge, before passing through the gate and bearing left once more. Take a right branch in the path and climb through native woodland to discover a mountain bike path of gravel head.
This convenient path will take you through to your destination, Callander. Ensuring that you keep Loch Venachar on your right, you should be able follow this gravel path carefree for the rest of your ramble.
Once you’ve reached Callander, enjoy a spot of dinner or simply arrange a pick up back to your luxury holiday cottage, so you can kick back and relax for the night. Staying in the Highlands doesn’t always have to be a high octane, high risk adventure.
Don’t forget this is simply a guide to a route, there are a tonne of paths to explore, just don’t forget to take a map.