Introduction to the Scottish National Trail: Stage 2
At nearly 540 miles the Scottish National Trail is no small undertaking. From the foothills of the Cheviot in Kirk Yetholm to the wild Cape Wrath, the North-West tip of Scotland, this long-distance trail truly has it all. Over the next 3 summers (2022-2024) we will be walking the length of Scotland in 6 stages. We invite you to join us for all or part of this incredible journey.
Stage 2 begins where we finished Stage 1 in the spring, in Ratho. From here we will be following the Union Canal, the John Muir Trail, a short section of the West Highland Way, and part of the Rob Roy Way to arrive in Aberfeldy after 7 days of varied walking.
Highlights of the Scottish National Trail: Stage 2
- Easy, level walking through along the Union Canal – a “contour canal”
- Visit the Falkirk Wheel, engineered to replace 11 canal lock gates
- Cross the Antonine Wall and a bit of Roman history
- Following the first section of the West Highland Way into Drymen
- Join part of the Rob Roy way through the Trossachs
- Remote walking in the glens of Perthshire
- Descending into Aberfeldy via the scenic Birks of Aberfeldy made famous by Robert Burns
What's Included with this Holiday
- A qualified Mountain Leader on each day of the trek
- A Trek Manager to support the group
- A detailed Information Pack
- All accommodation in B&Bs
- Luggage transfer
- Maximum group size of 10
- Support Vehicle available
- Free transport from Aberfeldy back to Ratho if required
What to Expect from the Scottish National Trail: Stage 2
In the second stage of our Scottish National Trail we begin to put some quick miles behind us as we stomp through the central belt. Although the tracks and paths will make for generally easy underfoot conditions, we will be averaging 18 miles per day and a total of 126 miles or 204km. The first 2 days along the canals make for easy going allowing upwards of 20 miles a day of walking. Things get a little hillier thereafter, but the days only a little shorter, before we finish with a 12 mile day into Aberfeldy.
You will want to have a few miles in your legs before joining us on this one and happy with back-to-back long days. We hope that many of those who joined us for Stage 1 will be with us again for Stage 2. But, whether you set out with the intention of walking the length of Scotland with us, or you join us for the sections along the way, all are welcome.
If you think the daily mileage beyond you on this one, you may be interested to know there are plenty pick-up points on most days. So, if you’re keen to still be part of the adventure our Trek Manager can help you set your personal goals for each day of the trek.
As we do head north those who have joined us on the previous stages will be consulted on the dates for the following stages. We will also look to offer a self-guided “catch-up” option for anyone who misses the guided group trek.
Scottish National Trail: Stage 2 Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be guided along the Scottish National Trail to the next B&B, there is no need for you to worry about being lost, we will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you enter your B&B in the evening. You will only be expected to carry your daypack (what you will need to keep you warm, dry, fed and watered for the day). Everything else will be transported to your next B&B for you. Everything will be arranged for you so all you need to worry about is the walking itself!
Day 1: Arrival in Ratho
This is your chance to get to the start of the holiday by making your way to Ratho. We will have accommodation arranged for you so you just need to turn up and tell them your name. We will meet you in there!
Day 2: Ratho to Falkirk
We start Stage 2 with flat easy walking along the Union Canal. It is called a contour canal as the canal doesn't cross the contours on your map and therefore there are no lock gates and zero height gain! We pass over the Avon Aqueduct (longest and tallest in Scotland) and finish soon after the 650m long, damp and gloomy Falkirk Tunnel. (35.5km/22 miles)
Day 3: Falkirk to Cadder
We begin the day by passing the famous Falkirk Wheel. This was designed to replace 11 lock gates and allows canal traffic to negotiate the height change in style. From here we joing the Forth & Clyde Canal for more easy miles. The canal follows a section of the Antonine Wall. We pass under the M80 before entering a wooded section, and further on the canal passes through the Dullater Marsh SSSI. The final sections of towpath take us through Kirkintilloch and to the village of Cadder. Here we will leave the tow paths behind. (32km/20 miles)
Day 4: Cadder to Drymen
Having come a long way west we will make some northwards progress today. First we pass through pleasant countryside and along country lanes into Milngavie. Here we pick up the West Highland Way. We will make our way through Mugdock Woods before walking along the west side of Craigallan Loch. For much of the rest of the day we will gain views over the Campsie Fells before eventually reaching our destination for the evening. (26km/16 miles)
Day 5: Drymen to Callender
Today we will leave Drymen on the Rob Roy Way heading first for Aberfoyle. We will walk a combination of minor road and forestry track. Leaving Aberfoyle we climb through the woodland to gain excellent views over Loch Venacher and the Trossachs. We finish this long day in the bustling village of Callender - a regular stop-off on a trip to the Highlands. (33km/20.5 miles, 300m ascent)
Day 6: Callender to Comrie
Out of Callender we climb to a viewpoint from which you can view the boundary of Highlands and Lowlands. From here we head for Glen Artney and an ancient drove road. These glens are remote and we will encounter tougher conditions underfoot at times. If there is energy enough, then a short detour to the Earthquake House makes an interesting addition to the end of the day, before we cross the River Earn into the small town of Comrie. (27km/16.5 miles, 610m ascent)
Day 7: Comrie to Loch Freuchie
More remote countryside awaits today. We first head up Glen Lednock passed the Devil's Cauldron waterfall. Further up the glen we meet the hill path used to gain the munro Ben Chonzie. We leave this to make a high pass before descending into Glen Almond. Here we make a river crossing and pick up a rough grassy track. About a mile downstream the track improves and going is good. After passing the large house at Auchnafree we will head through Glen Lochan and down to our finish where we meet the road at Loch Freuchie. (30km/19 miles, 810m ascent)
Day 8: Loch Freuchie to Aberfeldy
We finish our second stage of the Scottish National Trail with a shorter day. We begin on minor roads and good tracks to climb onto the moorland. This affords excellent views in good weather of the mountains to the north. We leave the road over the moor at a small reservoir, again on good track, heading for Aberfeldy. As we approach the village we will descend the into the Birks of Aberfeldy. This is a section of mature woodland around the steep gorge including the Falls of Moness - an area which inspired Robert Burns. The centre of Aberfeldy marks the end of our Scottish National Trail for 2022. And, here we will begin Stage 3 in 2023! (20km/12.5 miles, 300m ascent)
Scottish National Trail: Stage 2 Accommodation Options
Bed & Breakfast
The Bed and Breakfast option provides you with good standard Bed and Breakfast accommodation, with breakfast included within the price of the holiday. The B&Bs we use are located within small towns or villages and so you will have access to local shops as well as a choice of pubs to make sure you have plenty of opportunity to have an evening meal. In areas where there are no B&Bs or there are no facilities such as shops or pubs we will instead drive you out to another nearby village where a better overall experience can be achieved.
Dates & Prices
The dates of our scheduled treks can be seen below. We also off the option of private bookings for groups. Please get in touch if you'd like to book privately.
Notice: Dates for this trek comming soon.
No Suitable Date?
If there are no dates on this calendar to suit you please let us know, sometimes we can add extra dates if there is enough demand for an extra trip to be added.
If a trek is full but you would like to be added to the waiting list, please do let us know. The waiting list is there so that if anyone drops out of the trek we will contact you and let you know, so you can take their place on the trek instead.
Our trekking calendar is released a year in advance each spring. Keep an eye on the 'Year Planner' in the menu above, or send us a request for an email alert when the latest calendar is published. If you are keen to book early and secure a trek on a date to suit you, do feel free to get in contact with us to suggest a date
Price for Bed & Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £1129 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £200 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £1129.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £35 per night single supplement (£280 in total).
How to Book
Booking is simple, you can either phone us, email us or use our online shopping cart below.
Book Scottish National Trail: Stage 2 Online
What Happens Once you Have Booked
Once we have received your booking (either through the online shopping cart, email or phone). We will then confirm with you that your accommodation option and room type, single, twin or double, is available. We will then send you a full booking form and information about paying your deposit for your trek. All deposits can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card. Once we have received back both your booking form and deposit we will let you know and your place on the trip will be secure.