Mary Queen of Scots Way
"A guide that inspires confidence in the reader” - Undiscovered Scotland
The Mary Queen of Scots Way stretches across central Scotland from coast to coast, linking many places associated with Mary Queen of Scots. It runs for 107 miles (172 km) from Arrochar on Loch Long in the west to St Andrews on the Fife coast, and links with four of Scotland’s Great Trails: the Loch Lomond & Cowal Way, the West Highland Way, the Rob Roy Way and the Fife Coastal Path. This route, however, has no official status: there is no dedicated MQS waymarking, although the guidebook gives detailed directions and parts of it are easy to follow. Some sections are unsuitable for novice walkers unless accompanied by somebody with map and compass skills.
The Way goes through richly varied scenery, starting from a rugged sea loch, crossing Loch Lomond and traversing its National Park to the hills of central Scotland, ending on a sandy beach on the Fife coast. It passes mountains, lochs and waterfalls; castles, hill forts and aqueducts; and is broken into manageable sections which end at welcoming villages and small towns with friendly pubs and B&Bs.
The Mary Queen of Scots Way goes beside and through the Arrochar Alps and hills of Loch Lomond, past the Menteith hills, along the length of the Ochils to the Lomonds of Fife. The Way goes above 1000 ft (300 m) several times, reaching its highest point at Cadger’s Yett, north of Glendevon, some 1425 ft (435m) above sea level.
This guidebook contains everything you need to plan and enjoy the Mary Queen of Scots Way:
- detailed description of the route from west to east
- summary of each section with terrain, grade and refreshments
- map of the entire route in 6 drop-down panels (1:110,000)
- section about the tragic life of Mary Queen of Scots
- practical information about public transport and travel
- lavishly illustrated, with over 80 colour photographs
- rucksack-friendly and printed on rainproof paper.
Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Mary Queen of Scots Way" in standard PDF format.
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From a review by Sean Makin
Paul Prescott, the author who also devised the route, takes walkers on a very scenic tour of a part of the country that many walkers will never have seen. The route passes through many places with a connection to one of the best known members of historic Scottish royalty – Mary Queen of Scots. The author includes a well written overview of the life and death of Mary Queen of Scots which helps readers unaware of her tragic story to understand her connection to the walk. The guide book is designed for the walker and is printed onto water resistant paper which is spiral bound in a fashion that allows walkers to keep it open easily at the stage they are walking. There are plenty of full colour photographs from the route throughout ... A few of the sections route are also overlaid onto a photograph to allow the walker to orientate themselves with the landscape which is something I have only seen in a handful of guide books and is nice way in aiding navigation and should be used more. There are also little interesting snippets scattered throughout the guide which are enjoyable to read and again connect walkers with the route’s namesake. The Mary Queen of Scots Way is a excellent long distance walks across Scotland and the author has created a walking route that I am sure many will enjoy for years to come.
Read the full review, with photos, online at Walk Fife
From an online review by Richard Morgan
One thing I love about these books: if you get to a tricky spot, the author knows you might have a problem so on a picture taken from the path, they have superimposed the route so you can hold it up and visualise your route. Genius!
The full review appeared on Richard's blog
From a review by John McHale of Grough
The Mary Queen of Scots Way is a 172km (107-mile) route across Scotland produced by munro-bagger Paul Prescott. The walk, from Arrochar in the West to St Andrews on the Fife coast, passes through places with a link to Scotland’s last queen, who met a grisly end in 1587. Paul Prescott, who has summited more than 200 Munros, has been researching and compiling the route since 2006. The guide ... has a detailed route description with photographs and overlays, a map of the route at 1:110,000 scale in six drop-down panels, and is printed on water-resistant paper.
Read the full text on Grough.
From an online review by Walkhighlands
The route is intriguing and should appeal to walkers wanting a fairly low level, accessible, multi-day walk with the satisfaction of crossing the country as well as being able to stay in interesting places, many of which have castles or other historical sites to explore ... Printed on robust water-resistant paper and spiral bound, the guidebook has a good selection of photographs and enough background information on wildlife and history as well as good practical pointers on transport, accommodation, taking dogs etc, to whet your appetite for the route and enable you to plan a trip properly.
See Walkhighlands for the full review
From an online review on Undiscovered Scotland
Although this is a new walk, the instructions show every sign of having been carefully checked by actual users. When combined with excellent photography, in some cases with an overlay of the route to be followed, the result is a guide that inspires confidence in the reader. The book shares all the features we have come to know and appreciate from other Rucksack Readers: including waterproof paper, a robust spiral binding, and a fold out route map. Add in an introduction which covers planning issues such as accommodation and terrain and you really do end up with everything you need in order to begin to dream of crossing Scotland by a new route that we suspect will become very popular over time. The book also includes a biographical section about Mary Queen of Scots, and ... the route of the walk visits a number of places associated with her during her time in Scotland.
See Undiscovered Scotland for the full review
Check this page for route updates before setting out: there have been many changes since 2011 when the guidebook was finalised.