Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Rob Roy Way, from Drymen to Pitlochry, Scotland => Topic started by: Stuart Dodson on January 05, 2009, 02:32:51 pm

Title: Accommodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Stuart Dodson on January 05, 2009, 02:32:51 pm

I am one of a group of eight to walk the Way in early June,we do have a support minibus to transport gear, and us, and to have lunch and cups of tea where possible. We have done the other Scottish national trails in the last six years. We intend to do the walk in 5 walking days, about 16 miles a day.  At the moment we intend to stay in Drymen, Callander and Lochearnhead, but would like some advice about the 2 days between Lochearnhead and Aberfeldy. The obvious site is Ardeonaig Hotel but this is expensive and has some poor reviews. I know there is a hostel in that hamlet we might ask about that possiblity. Any advice would be welcome about our plans especially the accommodation, e.g can our vehicle get down towards Ardeonaig to enable us to get rooms at Kenmore or even back to Killin.  I see there is a road. We have two members who prefer single rooms, in the past we have used two B&Bs if they are reasonably close together.

Can, or should, our van get down to East Lodge beside Loch Venachar on the first day to avoid the full 20 miles from Drymen to Callander?  Luckily we have a non-walking driver at times.

An early reply would be appreciated as we meet on Friday to get things together and to start booking rooms next week.


Title: Re: Accomodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Jacquetta on January 05, 2009, 03:55:46 pm
Hi and welcome to the forum
Sounds like a great group, and having the minibus makes everything much easier!  The south side of Loch Tay has a perfectly good road running its entire length (unsuitable for towing caravans, but fine for a minibus) so you could consider spending two nights at either Lochearnhead or Aberfeldy, whichever gives you the best deal for accommodation to suit your group.  That also has the advantage that you avoid a round of packing and unpacking and finding out where B&Bs are.  Personally I'd go for Aberfeldy if you can find what you need there, it has more diversity and facilities.

The B&B at Acharn is too small for your group and the one in Ardtalnaig (01567 820771) is well past the halfway point, but worth a mention because unsupported walkers might use it (especially if they start from Killin rather than Lochearnhead).  I don't know about its size or facilities.  Has anybody tried it?

I'm not sure if the minibus should go beyond the car park at the eastern end of Loch Venachar (shown enlarged on our page 41 clip map) but can't see why you would want to as the East Lodge is only 5 minutes walk beyond where the Way comes off the hillside and forest road for which you need permission: or have I misunderstood?  But if you want to reduce the length, and arguably improve the quality, of day 1, why not consider starting your walk at Drymen Road Cottage and making it a glorious 16 miles of off-road walking?  This is where the Rob Roy Challenge starts, a major event that runs each June: ( This avoids a 3-4 mile slog along minor road north of Drymen and keeps time on your side.  (There should be up to 18 hours of daylight even in early June, but I'm factoring in travel time to Drymen.)

Whatever you decide, do let us know, and enjoy the Way!

Title: Re: Accommodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Stuart Dodson on January 05, 2009, 05:33:21 pm
Hi ,
Many thanks for the info. To start at Drymen Road Cottage is a great idea.  We have no need to get the van to East Lodge, the car park would be OK. The cottage idea means we can walk to Callander and will not have to retrace our steps the next morning.

My issue might be getting the idea past the odd purist in my group who might think we are not doing the whole trail! I might have other forum questions as we plan a bit more, but will certainly let you know how we get on.

Title: Re: Accommodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Jacquetta on January 06, 2009, 08:52:16 am
Yep, purists who want to walk every step may feel "cheated" or "let off" if you start at Drymen Road Cottage.  What you do about this depends on your group and their weight within it ... If only a minority, you might consider either politely suggesting that they get over themselves or offering to drop off one or two people early in Drymen to do the road bash while the rest of you have breakfast somewhere convenient (daylight hours unlikely to be a problem in June). Consider somewhere like the Drymen Pottery (01360 660 458). 

This still leaves you with having to start earlier than you otherwise need to, but at least it may flush out whether their purity is a sincerely-held belief or just a first reaction that they are willing to reconsider. :-\  And while they are slogging the road, the rest of you will start fresh with the benefit of full stomachs.  As long as they are willing to walk fast, or catch the group up later, it need not upset the schedule that much.  Being given a choice reduces the chance they will start off the walk resenting the organiser:)  The advantage is that for those who aren't keen on a 20-mile first day, they aren't forced into it. Since you all sound experienced, you will know that the first day is the worst one to get blisters. :o

Or you could make a semi-sincere offer to drop them in Drymen after the walk end to "fill in the gap" if they find it's still bothering them!

Title: Re: Accommodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Stuart Dodson on January 06, 2009, 09:30:03 pm
We are coming up from Lincolnshire so our first night is in Drymen before we start. We could even do the gap (if it exists) when we get up there on our travel up day.
I think that's three options we have, we will go with the majority as we are a democratic bunch.

Title: Re: Accommodation between Ardeonaig and Aberfeldy
Post by: Jacquetta on January 11, 2009, 06:06:36 pm
That sounds like a really good idea: the purists will know if they feel strongly, and could knock it off on arrival day while the non-purists (?) settle in or go to the pub?  Could be a better solution than giving them such a long first day!

Do let us know what is decided and, in due course, how you found your experience of the Way!