On our doorstep, or a stones throw from it, is a rather splendid route that lends itself to a great day out. The Rob Roy Way – the section which is close to Callander – is ideal for an easy cycle of varying distance, a weekend stroll or as a place to do a long distance run. Better still it is the perfect place to take kids in strollers and on bikes as it’s nearly all traffic free (one short section of access road), flat, easy and there is easy parking.
Incorporating the old railway line that once ran from Callander to Oban, this route is part of Sustrans National Route 7 and is a cycling route that links Sunderland and Inverness. It forms two-thirds of the famous Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle route before heading north to Glasgow via Glen Trool Forest and the Ayrshire coast, before passing through two National Parks – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and Cairngorms.
The section I ran was from Callander (parked Riverside The Meadows) to Strathyre and back, clocking 19 miles on my Garmin sports watch, but since it’s an out and back route, you can turn at any point. The first section, near Callander is the busiest with families, but there are quieter stretches and alternative parking options further along the route next to the Lade Inn at Kilmahog (there are highland cows at the visitor centre Kilmahog), and over the bridge at the turn off for Strathyre Log Cabins.
The route is pretty much all made up path or tarmac, but follows a beautiful route along the river Teith, and the far shore of Loch Lubnaig. Aside from the rumble from the A84 across the loch, the path is enjoyable and has Ben Ledi and Callander crags towering above. The Falls of Leny are worth a little detour and there are plenty of views to stop and enjoy.
The last couple of miles into Strathyre do contain one slightly steep gravel zig zag climb, but other than that the route is a cinch for any adult.
Kingshouse Travel operate a bus service between Callander and Strathyre, which mean it is possible to catch a bus to one end of the route, and walk back, which makes for a nice 3-4 hour walk (9.5 miles).
MHOR Fish Cafe in Callander has the most delicious fish and chips, and will do with a hearty mug of tea and sliced bread & butter for proper fuelling after an adventure.
There is a seasonal cafe along the route at the Strathyre Log Cabins (check for opening), and the Lade Inn is a great lunch spot. Strathyre has a fantastic and friendly village shop for supplies, and the Broch Cafe for proper coffee, homemade cakes and a warm welcome.
The cycle path continues towards Lochearnhead, Glen Ogle (via a spectacular viaduct) and on to Killin.
There is a lovely play park in Callander, as well as a rather nice little Mini golf course. Oh, and ducks, lots of ducks.
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