Introduction to the Scottish National Trail: Stage 3
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 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 3 begins in Aberfeldy following the Tay on the Rob Roy way passed the rapids of Grandtully, over the moors to Pitlochry and then upstream by the River Garry to Blair Atholl. From here things become a little wilder and we will be spending 3 days and 2 nights backpacking through the Cairngorms to reach Kingussie and the end of the stage.
Highlights of the Scottish National Trail: Stage 3
- Continuing on this ambitious length of Scotland journey
- Attractive riverside walking on the Tay and the Garry rivers
- Walking and wild camping through the remote hills of the Cairngorms
- Visiting the beautiful pinewoods of Glen Feshie
- Passing the Insh Marshes wetland nature reserve before arriving in Kingussie
What's Included with this Holiday
- A qualified Mountain Leader guiding you on each day (and wild camping nights) of the trek
- A Trek Manager to support the group
- A detailed Information Pack
- B&B accommodation on nights 1, 2 & 5
- Breakfast on mornings 2, 3 & 6
- Luggage transfer
- Maximum group size of 6
- Support Vehicle available
- Free transport from Kingussie back to Aberfeldy if required
- Free pick up from and drop off at Dunkeld & Birnam train station
What to Expect from the Scottish National Trail: Stage 3
The third stage of the the Scottish National Trail is suitable for more experienced walkers of good fitness. Although not too hilly, there will be rough ground to cover, including river crossings and we will be spending 2 nights out in the Cairngorms wild camping. You will need to be happy carrying your own overnight kit (including tent, sleeping bag, mat, food and cooking equipment) in a large rucksack.
Expect a range of views from riverside, to moorland, to mature Scots Pine woodland.
Banner photo of Glen Feshie taken and owned by Stu Smith
Scottish National Trail: Stage 3 Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be guided along the Scottish National Trail so there is no need for you to worry about being lost. Your guide will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you enter your B&B in the evening. And, on the nights where we are wild camping they will be with you for the entirety, until your arrival in Kingussie.
Day 1: Arrive in Aberfeldy
This is your chance to get to the start of the holiday by making your way to Aberfeldy. We will have accommodation arranged for you so you just need to turn up and tell them your name. Aberfeldy is a little out of the way of the public transport network but a transfer from Dunkeld & Birnam train station will be available at 4pm.
Day 2: Walk to Blair Atholl
You will set off on stage 3 along the Rob Roy Way. It follows the Tay riverbank to Grandtully. Here there is a section of white water often used by slalom kayakers. From here we cross the bridge over the Tay and set-out for Pitlochry on tracks and paths. After some height gain the views open out as we continue to rise to the highest point of the day. This is marked by the remains of a stone circle. From here it is a descent in to Pitlochry and the end of the Rob Roy Way. This isn't our end point of our day however, but a good chance for a cafe lunch! Refreshed we will continue our day northwards by Loch Faskally on the Tummel and then the banks of the River Garry to Killicrankie. Here it is worth a short diversion to take in the Soldier's Leap. Some minor road walking follows before returning to a riverside path heading up-river. A few undulations are between you and the end point of the first day's walking in Blair Atholl. Today's distance is 29km (18 miles) and includes 475m of ascent.
Accommodation Blair Atholl/Pitlochry
Day 3: Walking to Bynack
Today we begin 3 days of backpacking across the southern Cairngorms. We begin by leaving Blair Atholl up Glen Tilt on good tracks. The Glen narrows past the attractive Marble Lodge. It is easy going which will help with our heavy overnight packs. We will continue through the narrow glen as the track turns to more of a path before we reach the Falls of Tarf. We cross the suspension bridge and after a couple of kilometres the narrow landscape opens up and Ben Macdui (Scotland's second highest mountain) eventually comes into view. Our end point and campsite is not far now, near the ruins of Bynack Lodge. Today's distance is 27km (16.5miles) and includes 430m of ascent.
Accommodation Wild camp - Bynack Lodge(ruins)
Day 4: Walking to Glen Feshie
We begin our third day's walking by negotiating the rivers of the Bynack Burn and the Geldie. These can be impossible crossings in spate so we will keep a careful eye on the weather and have alternative routes up our sleeves. All being well we will follow the Geldie up stream to the watershed between the Dee and the Feshie, and then down in to the upper parts of Glen Feshie. Rougher paths give way to large tracks as we approach the end of our day and the beautiful woodlands of Glen Feshie. We will find a suitable camp spot in these woodlands surrounding the Ruigh Aiteachain Bothy. Today's distance is 21km (13 miles) and includes 175m of ascent.
Accommodation Wild camp - Glen Feshie
Day 5: Walking to Kingussie
Today we will pack up camp and complete Stage 3 of our Scottish National trail in Kingussie. First we follow then cross the Feshie river. Our track turns to minor road before we leave this for a short climb to the Uath Lochans. A number of good viewpoints will give us chance to rest those now likely weary shoulders as we cross the Farleitter Crags and descend to Insh on the Badenoch Way. Over Tromnie Bridge we follow the Invertromnie Trail to the RSPB reserve of the Insh Marshes. Between here and our end point lies the prominent ruins of the Ruthven Barracks and just a couple of kilometres of walking. Today's distance is 23.5km (14.5 miles) and includes 100m of ascent.
Day 6: Depart Kingussie
Today we will either say our goodbyes, or if you are joining us on Stage 4 today will be a rest day. A return to Aberfeldy will be available for those who need to collect their cars. Otherwise Kingussie train station is the handy public transport option.
Scottish National Trail: Stage 3 Accommodation Options
This stage of the trail is offered with 3 nights B&B accommodation. For the remaining 2 nights of the trip you will be wild camping in the Cairngorms.
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.
For the nights you will be wild camping you will need to bring your tent, sleeping bag and all your overnight kit. We will provide you will a kit list to help you pack so that you are as comfortable as possible while not overloading your rucksack. Wild camping is a challenge, however, the effort will be rewarded by spending the night in one of the most remote and unspoiled locations in the UK.
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 £659 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 £659.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £35 per night single supplement (£105 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 3 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.