Today was our last day of the Rob Roy Way 😔
It’s starting to feel a bit predictable writing this but today was the perfect day for the last and final section of the Rob Roy Way.
It felt like spring with green shoots coming through the ground and a bright sun that throughout the day kept getting brighter. It was beautiful.
We started walking about 9 am after a slow but steady start. Aberfeldy felt quiet as we walked through the ‘town’, only passing a few people and less motorists than I had expected. It’s not the prettiest of high streets but it was nice walking in the cool morning as the air gradually straddled to warm up.
As soon as we were out of Aberfeldy we could see (and hear) the River Tay.
The River Tay is wide and serene. There is something about large bodies of water and rivers that really speak to us and resonate deep inside. It’s feels emotional and somehow poetic (I think I have been researching Robert Burns to much). Being beside the river Tay this morning, we were both feeling at ease and content with life in those few moments. Also as most people know, keeping Eve out of rivers, lochs and the sea is a serious challenge of parental authority! But I managed it and she didn’t get wet!
Before getting to the river we thought we had gone wrong 🤦. As we walked down the road out of Aberfeldy we could see the River Tay down the embankment with a lovely trail running beside the river. Eve and I had a discussion and agreed we didn’t see any signs or a path that leads from the road onto the path. We had only walked 1/2 a mile and we were concerned that we had gone wrong. I still don’t know if we did but we carried on walking down the road until we found a small signposted trail that put us next to the river. By this time we were pleased to have found the path as walking next to a road is never nice.
The Rob Roy Way from Aberfeldy follows the River Tay all the way to Grandtully, where it heads off over the hills and into Pitlochry.
We stopped on an area of grass next to the river to record our video. I really need to do more videos and I will try to make the effort to record more.
The walk along the river was beautiful and at the risk of sounding stupid, we found several tree stumps that looked like they had been gnawed by a beaver!
The Rob Roy Way did for a while move away from the river slightly to follow what i think is an old railway line. It was very flat and straight and we walked along singing Christmas songs again.
At one point we had a family cycle passed us who recognised us, and I am sure they could hear Eve singing Rudolph the red noise reindeer!
Before long we were in Grandtully, a quaint wee hamlet with a lot of outdoor pursuits ‘stuff’, like canoes, everywhere. The River Tay also has a Kayak slalom on the river rapids.
The thing we were looking forward to the most was visiting the (very posh) chocolate shop at Grandtully.
The chocolate shop is called Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier and it’s a seriously posh and upmarket shop. We felt very out onto place walking in with backpacks on and holding walking poles.
The staff were all genuinely lovely, knowledgeable and patient!
The reason we were visiting was because a lovely lady who works part time in the shop, had left a donation there for us. So we obviously had to stay for a hot chocolate!
We sat in the lounge which was decorated beautifully and ordered a hot chocolate each which, as you would expect was divine. When we went to pay for the drinks however the staff refused payment and told us the drinks were on them! I was lost for words! Thank you. We picked up a bar of dark vegan chocolate on the way out so that Sarah could enjoy some as well.
While there we met a lovely family who gave us a donation towards our fundraising for Scottish Autism
The shop is well worth a visit if for nothing else than to see the amazing things and intricacy of the chocolate and sculptures that are everywhere!
We left the shop feeling refreshed, crossed the River Tay on a bridge that felt like it would collapse at any second.
The Rob Roy Way started to head up hill through a golf course. This section is stunning between Grandtully and Pitlochry.
The trail was grassy with lots of mud, but it looks worse than it actually was. We were able to skirt around most of it and what we couldn’t wasn’t any deeper than a few millimetres.
We did find a small area to stop for a short break. Being in shops and around people is exhausting and we just wanted to sit and have a wee cuddle. It felt good.
As we gained height, the weather turned colder and it started to rain slightly. We put our waterproofs on but within an hour or so we had to remove them as the sun broke through making it feel really quite warm!
The views were beautiful and we found ourselves regularly stopping to admire the panoramic views all around. On the top it plateaued out and we stopped again near a tree for a drink. The whole of the Rob Roy Way up to this point felt like we were walking through a garden. It really was so pretty.
A few minutes later and we were through the gates and into Fonab or Tay Forest Park. This is the last section of the Roy Roy Way. The trail is all downhill from here with only a few muddy sections to dodge.
The forest is, as you would expect, wonderful. It feels remote and wild but only about 2 miles from Pitlochry. We only met one other person so we had the whole forest to ourselves. We sang Christmas songs very loudly as we walked.
At the exit we had to cross the busy A9. Eve had slowed down by now as she had developed a blister between her toes again.
I held onto her as we walked across the road dodging the cars and vans that seemed committed to trying to knock us over! They obviously failed 😂
We walked into Pitlochry feeling the slightest rain, expecting to get soaked. We didn’t want to stop and put waterproofs on again as we knew Sarah was waiting for us.
We crossed a very thin foot bridge and entered the memorial gardens in Pitlochry. This is the unofficial end of the Rob Roy Way and where Sarah was waiting for us.
We had a huge kiss and cuddle, took loads of pictures before getting into the car to drive home for the night.
We are all overjoyed to have completed another one of Scotland’s Great Trails. The Rob Roy Way is an amazing trail that we would highly recommend. The best thing about the Rob Roy Way is it just keeps getting better!!!
Sleep well and we will see you all tomorrow with an update on our next trail!
Ian, Sarah and Eve