Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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The Trossachs Trail, self-guided walking holiday
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Highlights

  • Enjoying some of Scotland’s best views over lochs and mountains.
  • Discovering the history of “Rob Roy Country”.
  • Walking in remote Glen Buckie and Glen Finglas, the old hunting grounds of the Stewart kings.
  • Welcoming and friendly country inns and B&B’s handpicked by us.

Explore the lochs, glens and mountains of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park on foot. The Trossachs Trail explores the most picturesque area of the Trossachs, an enchanting area filled with rivers and forest, rich in both scenic beauty and historical interest. The Trossachs inspired Sir Walter Scott to write “Lady of the Lake” and “Rob Roy”, both of which popularised the Highlands of Scotland.

Your walking break starts in Callander, a charming town often called the 'Gateway to the Highlands'. You begin with a wander along Loch Venachar and then climb over the Menteith Hills to Aberfoyle, enjoying wonderful views to the south. Turning north you walk through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and over the Duke’s Pass to the hamlet of Brig o’ Turk. The route continues through Glen Finglas and to Balquhidder, a beautiful glen famous as the site of Rob Roy’s Grave. If you have chosen the shorter break this is where your journey ends, or for those continuing to Callander you have a magical final day’s walking down Strathyre to look forward to.

Arrive Starting Point: Callander

Callander is a bustling little highland town situated at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. It takes 1h30 or 2h00 to travel to Callander from Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively.


Callander to Aberfoyle - 9 Miles

Leaving Callander on the Invertrossachs Road you quickly reach tranquil Loch Venachar and then head to Aberfoyle via the Menteith Hills. A lovely day of walking through forests, along lochs and across open moorland to Aberfoyle passes all too quickly.


Aberfoyle is popular with day trippers from Glasgow and has several tourist shops, restaurants and an award-winning local butcher offering tasty packed lunches.


Aberfoyle to Brig o' Turk - 9 Miles

Today's walk starts off in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, part of Scotland’s first National Park. In autumn it is a riot of colour and you will enjoy expansive views to the south as you climb over the Duke’s Pass. Descending to Brig o’ Turk you pass a number of small tranquil lochs and the views of Bens Venue, Ben A’an and Ben Ledi are spectacular. If you are lucky you may spot red or roe deer, red squirrels and even capercaillie.


Brig o’ Turk is a small hamlet, nestled in the heart if the Trossachs. Due to a lack of preferred accommodation at this location you shall be provided with short return transfers to a nearby property for this night of the itinerary.



Brig o' Turk to Balquhidder - 11 Miles

Today’s walk is mainly out in open mountain country, walking through glens and skirting the base of heather clad hills. The first section leads you up to Glen Finglas, the old hunting grounds of the kings of Scotland, now an important reservoir. You soon reach Glen Meann, which leads you through some rugged, big sky country and down to Balquhidder.


Balquhidder is famous as the site of Rob Roy’s Grave and enjoys a picturesque location at the head of Loch Voil.


If your walk is ending in Balquhidder you can take a bus (30 minutes) or taxi (20 minutes) back to Callander and then onwards.


Balquhidder to Callander - 12 Miles

The walk from Balquhidder through Strathyre, along Loch Lubnaig and to Callander is a personal favourite. Beautiful scenery, good trails and great chat mean the miles fly past and you are back in Callander all too soon.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included. You can see a list of some of the accommodations that we use for the trip by scrolling down the page.They are all subject to availability.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


Solo Walkers

This walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs there is a solo walker supplement payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.



 

 




Abbotsford Lodge - Callander

Abbotsford Lodge is a stunning B&B on the outskirts of Callander. Tastefully decorated throughout it has beautiful en-suite rooms and a comfortable guest lounge where you can sit with a quiet drink, relax and unwind.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Forth Inn - Aberfoyle

 The Forth Inn is a family-run Inn which is the lively heart of the local community as well as a comfortable escape.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Mhor 84 Hotel - Balquihidder

Set against the backdrop of the wonderful scenery of highland Perthshire the Mhor 84 is a small friendly, hotel situated in the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This striking historic building Faces towards Balquhidder, Loch Voil, the western hills and the setting sun.


 

 

 

Availability

The Trossachs Trail is available to start on any day of the week from March to October.


Time of Year

A great time to walk the Trossachs Trail is between the end of March and beginning of October.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable. This walking trip is also available to solo walkers but as we incur additional baggage transfer costs there is a solo walker supplement payable.


Grade

The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, forestry and farm vehicle tracks, tarmac cycle path, across fields and on some minor roads. It does involve some steep ascent and descent, but in general the walking is fairly easy. We grade this tour easy to moderate.


Navigation

The Trossachs Trail is generally clearly defined on the ground but waymarking is sparse so you will need to be comfortable reading a map and know how to use a compass. You will have detailed route notes and maps to guide you.


Walking Direction

We recommend you walk clockwise from Callander as it provides you with the best vistas.


Baggage Transfers

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Callander

Callander is well served by public transport and has plenty of parking. It takes 1h30 and 2h00 to reach Callander from Glasgow or Edinburgh respectively. (Train & Bus)


From Glasgow there are frequent departures from either Queen Street Rail Station or Buchanan Bus Station. You can find further details for this section of the journey by going to City Link for busses or Scotrail for trains


Once in Stirling you simply take the number 59 Bus from the bus station which takes you to Callander. By either method, the whole journey takes around 1.5 hours.


Should you be driving to Callander there is only on street parking available and depending on where you stay we can try to organise you to leave your car with your accommodation provider.



Return from Balquhidder

Should you take the shorter WSSTT1 ending in Balquhidder, you can simply take the C60 bus from the hotel back to Callander or you can take a taxi, which can be ordered at reception.



Journeys by public transport can be planned online at Travelline Scotland . It is better to book train travel in advance as this is substantially cheaper and you can do so at the Train Line or on the relevant train operator website. Local bus tickets are normally purchased on board the bus.

Included

  • Hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms.
  • Door to door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed info pack and map for the group leader.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement.
  • Additional nights

We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Trossachs Trail and I hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How fit do I need to be?

If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardiovascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Trossachs are extremely popular. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

The Trossachs Trail is very enjoyable at any time between the end of March and beginning of October although my personal favourite time of year is the spring and Autumn.

What is the best way to get to/from the walk?

We recommend you travel by bus. If you are driving we recommend leaving your car in Stirling where on street and secure long-term parking is available. We can also try to arrange to park with your accommodation in Callander.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Scenic and relaxing hike

5

The Trossachs Trail is a nice hike and fit in well with our 2-week travel itinerary in the UK. The hike is a mix of bike trail, road and natural terrain. The middle section is pretty boggy, but very pretty. The step-by-step trail instructions were spot on and very useful. We really enjoyed the accommodations and it is so nice to have the bags ready for us when we arrive. This hike was a nice chance to unwind and enjoy Scotland's beautiful countryside.

Dave & Lori

Colorado

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Well organised walk

4

A well organised itinerary with good maps and accomodation. Instructions generally easy to follow, round varied countryside. Weather had an effect as there was rain and clouds.

Gordon

Australia

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Beware! Directions Need Updating.

3

Great scenery and accommodations but directions booklet is badly out of date and wrong in places. Because we couldn't trust the directions we only walked the trail the first day. A couple of young Scots hikers agreed with us about the directions so it wasn't just us. And the Trossachs Trundler has been out of business for a long time. The Trail needs to be walked by someone from Macs and the booklet updated. Logging in the area also makes the directions confusing but the main problem was when the directions contradicted the terrain. Once the booklet is updated I would recommend this to a friend, but not until then.

Avid nature walker

Canada

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Would do the hike again, but guidebook needs updating

4

We enjoyed the Trossachs very much, as it is beautiful and overall the weather was mostly great. It was our first walking tour, and we are of average age of 62 and not terribly fit, and this suited us well. We went third week in May and encountered some midges, but they weren't bad yet. The guidebook seems not to have been updated in years. I sent my feedback to Macs three times to different individuals without any acknowledgement, so here are some things you should know. In Callander the TI has moved across the street. The first direction is to turn right from the TI, but now you turn left. The second half of the day is extremely wet and there are three streams to ford. Going downstream a few meters we found someplace to jump across. Waterproof boots are essential. The path was popular with other walkers, so pretty difficult to get lost. Loch Venachar was a highlight. There is a nice bench hidden behind a shed at the small lochan to rest and eat lunch. From Aberfoyle to Brig o'Turk you are walking for some time on an unpaved scenic drive. On a weekend afternoon, we found there to be a lot of traffic, all coming from behind us, so care must be taken. In Brig o' Turk there is a tea room open Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Other nights only the pub, The Byre, is open. I recommend booking in advance, because if they cannot accommodate you, there are no other options or shops in town. Perhaps our host would have taken pity on us and fed us, but we were able to get a table at 5:30 at the pub. For the Brig o'Turk to Balquhidder link, we just did the first half along Glen Finglass, then returned to Brigo'Turk and took a taxi to Kingshouse. We wanted a lighter day and were intimidated by the instructions that the second half was indistinctly marked and really just a dark line on the ground. Perhaps it wouldn't have been as bad as it sounded, but we were happy to have the lighter day. Note that if you do walk to Balquihidder there are still two miles further to the Mhor 84 motel if that is where you are staying. The biggest difficulty we had was from Kingshouse to Strathyre. The Cycle network passes outside the hotel and is a two miles walk to Strathyre. The guidebook has the path written to go up through the forestry road. This added 3.5 miles and nearly two hours time. More concerning the paths off the forestry road don't seem to exist anymore. Check with locals and confirm this, but I think taking the Cycle Route to Strathyre is preferable. We didn't find the scenery in the forest particularly spectacular and don't understand why the guidebook directed us that way. The rest of the day from Strathyre to Callander along Loch Lubnaig and the Falls of Leny is gorgeous; I recommend it as it was our favourite part of the trip. There is a lovely tearoom, also serving pints, called the Forest Holiday Retreat center. They serve non-residents and it was a very much needed stop. They also have toilets there. It wasn't mentioned in the guidebook. In general, except for that one tearoom there are not facilities or pubs between the beginning and end of the day. You'll need to take a lunch. Of the six nights, five of the accomodations were very good. One we didn't care for, in Aberfoyle. Baggage transfer went smoothly every day. Expect to walk about two miles a day further than mentioned in the guidebook, because there is a little distance to and from the trail and dinner and going to the grocery. In general, I would recommend the Trossachs Trail. I do feel the guidebook is out of date, the OS map is five years old, and the landmarks aren't always still there. For the most part, common sense led us the right path, except the last day. I wrote Macs three times with the feedback and was discouraged by the lack of response.

Aspiring to the West Highland Way next

Texas

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Never Stop Exploring

5

Despite the rocky start - Australians have a different perception of mud to Brits (therefore wrong shoes and rushing off to buy British walking boots), it was a priceless experience. Would thoroughly recommend it for mother-daughter bonding experience. Fun, adventure, fitness, pushing through limitations, character building. A great experience with cute accommodation immersed in beautiful locations. It was the perfect experience for my daughter and I.

Wendy, Global Traveler

Melbourne

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Relaxing hike!

5

B&Bs comfortable Hiking trails as advertised except mileage estimates misleading (believe the hikes are longer than documented)

Once a year hikers

London

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Lovely Fall Trossachs Trail Walk

5

MacsAdventure Trossachs Trail walk was exactly as described in the rural Trossachs Park. We enjoyed the accommodations and the breakfasts. The B&B hosts were helpful and pleasant. Baggage transfers were timely. We easily followed the directions, but were careful to keep track of time and distance traveled. We reccommend this trip to anyone with walking experience, looking for a quiet adventure in the Scottish Highlands.

lone pine walkers

Maryland, USA

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Beautiful and easy walk

5

This is a great walk if you are looking for something more relaxed and not challenging. The walking instructions were excellent, especially in the locations where the trail is very faint! The scenery is just fantastic and this was a great introduction to the Trossachs area. We'll be back! The luggage transfer was excellent. And the accommodations are not luxury, but they were good and our hosts were always welcoming. I'll be using MacsAdventure for my next walking holiday!

American walker

Idaho

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Perfect for Novices

4

This was the perfect introduction to a walking holiday for someone who hadn't done any serious walking for nearly 40 years. The scenery was beautiful, the organisation faultless and the guides were excellent. From the first communication Macs Adventures were very well organised. Luggage was transferred without problems and taxi transfers arranged when accommodation could not be found in one of the villages. The standard of accommodation did vary, from a 4 star B&B to a 2 star B&B, but all were clean and the breakfasts were great. The trails vary considerably from quite busy cycle paths to more remote paths which are very wet and boggy - and we started our walk after a weekend of torrential rain, which didn't help. Overall, we thought the trails were perfect for novices like us, and we will be back.

Nifty fifty

Aberdeen

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Tranquil Trossochs

4

We've used Macs Adventures before and enjoyed ourselves so much we decided to do it again. With the four of us being very different ages and with a wide range of fitness levels, I was looking for something that we could all tackle and enjoy. The Trossochs Trail fulfilled all of our expectations, the walking was strenuous enough to challenge us without leaving us exhausted. The weather was perfect (nope, I don't know how that happened) and each day of walking had its differences and interests. The Trossochs may lack the grandeur of the highlands, but provides a perfect peaceful walking holiday that will live in the memory for a long time and hasn't so hard on the knees.

Grahame The Shed

Tewkesbury

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Trossachs Trail

4.4 15

93.3

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