13 days
Duration
Destination
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Walking Scotland's trails map

Scotland Walking Tour | Walk the Formartine, Buchan Way & Rob Roy Way

Experience two of Scotland's Great Trails on this guided walking tour with Odyssey Traveller: the Formartine and Buchan Way and Rob Roy Way. Discover the country on these long-distance walks that will take you through scenic glens, rolling farmlands, and beautiful lochs, with plenty of interesting stops along the way. We will walk up to 15 kilometres per day with the help of a dedicated Odyssey Program Leader and local guides.

Scotland's great walks:

Formartine and Buchan Way:

The Formartine and Buchan Way, which follows a former railway line, opened in the 1990s. Gently graded and easy to follow, the walk passes through largely flat terrain. The trail begins in Aberdeen, a prosperous port city with ties to Scotland's offshore oil industry. Leaving Aberdeen, the trail passes through the pleasant farmlands to the charming towns of Auchnagatt and Maud, which rose to prominence as a 19th century railway town. The Aberdeen City Council, which operates the trail, recommends that visitors bring binoculars to better see the many native species of birds that are encountered along the way. Finally, the trail ends at the seaside town of Fraserburgh.

After finishing the Formartine and Buchan Way, we head to Stirling, enjoying a scenic drive through the stunning Cairngorms National Park, which protects the Scottish Highlands. We also enjoy a guided tour and tasting of Scottish whisky at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery and visit Stirling Castle, where Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland in 1543.

Rob Roy Way:

The Rob Roy Way is named after Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish outlaw and folk hero. A cattle trader from the Scottish highlands, Rob Roy lost all his money and defaulted on loans from the Duke of Montrose when his cattle herder was kidnapped. In response, the Duke of Montrose seized Rob Roy's lands, beginning a lengthy feud as Rob Roy blackmailed the Duke's tenants, stole his cattle, and committed other acts of banditry.

Rob Roy also joined his fellow highlanders in the 1715 Jacobite uprising in support of Stuart claimants to the English throne. After the rebellion was put down, Rob Roy was accused of treason - with the accusation added to the earlier accusations of banditry - and he was forced into exile, a fugitive on the run in the wilds of Scotland.

However, Rob Roy's banditry had made him a powerful ally in the Duke of Montrose's rival, the Duke of Argyll, who paved the way for Roy to be pardoned at the end of his life. Rob Roy became a celebrity, with his exploits popularised by Daniel Defoe in his novel Highland Rogue. In the 19th century, writers such as Sir Walter Scott would turn Roy into a Scottish Robin Hood.

Established in 2002, the Rob Roy Way passes through the highland territories in which Rob Roy roamed as a fugitive. Beginning in Drymen, it winds its way to Pitlochry, passing through some of Scotland's most exceptional natural scenery on the geographic fault where highland meets lowland. We will pass the beautiful Loch Lomond, the windswept Ben Ledi mountain, and cross the Glen Ogle military bridge.

Unlike the flat Formartine and Buchan way, the Rob Roy Way's terrain is more varied, and travellers should be aware that this walk involves a fair amount of ascent and descent.

Edinburgh:

Edinburgh, Scotland's capital and second most populous city, is one of Europe's most atmospheric cities. Set upon craggy cliffs and rugged outcrops, overlooking the sea, Edinburgh's dark-stoned buildings seem to have been there for an eternity. Edinburgh Castle, which we visit on the tour, tells the story of Scotland's turbulent - and sometimes gory - history, while the 'New Town' (built in the 18th century), is a testament to Edinburgh's place at the forefront of Enlightenment thought, home to luminaries such as David Hume and Adam Smith. Today the 'Athens of the North' remains a forward-thinking place: check out the edgy comedy at the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival for proof. Our tour spends one night in Edinburgh, but feel welcome to prolong your stay and uncover this truly unique city.

We also offer an Edinburgh City Tour and a tour devoted to the Fringe Festival, among our other Scotland tours.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.

This is a holiday program suited to a senior couple or solo traveller who enjoy a good walk. The total number of participants in this tour will be 12 or fewer with the addition of an Odyssey Program Leader.

Articles published by Odyssey Traveller for Walking and Hiking tours for seniors

To help you prepare for any walking program whether with Odyssey or another company this list of articles is intended to help you prepare for your holiday.

Articles about Scotland published by Odyssey Traveller

The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Scotland when visiting;

See all the articles published on Scotland by Odyssey Traveller.

External articles to assist your Scotland Walking Tour

The following external links should assist you in planning your trip to Scotland as a tourist and a walker.

 Walk with Odyssey Traveller

Walking in Scotland along the the Formartine, Buchan Way & Rob Roy Way is only one of many walking tours offered by Odyssey Traveller. These active tours are designed for the mature traveller to enjoy in a small group holiday and learning environment.

We also publish articles to give more information to our loyal and prospective clients. You can start by reading our our country spotlight on Scotland.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Walking in Scotland

Whiskey is the third biggest industry in Scotland, trailing only to the energy industry and the financial services. How did Scotch Whiskys come to dominate the world?

Scotland’s climate, water and the availability of peat for smoking make it the perfect place to make whiskey. In addition to the natural conditions, extremely high standards and proven methods have been handed down for generations. To be labelled as a Scotch Whisky, the spirit must mature in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years, though most are aged from eight to 20 years. This is what makes Scotland the dominant force in the whiskey market.

Our walking trips are specifically designed to accommodate a range of walking abilities and experience. That being said, a good pair of boots is critical to your enjoyment of the rugged Scottish countryside. Walking shoes should first of all be comfortable – a bad blister can ruin any holiday. They should also be durable and waterproof.

Here is our guide on what to look for in walking boots, and here for our tailored guide for women.

Out in the Scottish countryside, temperatures can get quite low, especially if there is a strong wind. It is therefore recommended to bring several layers: thermals, jumpers and jackets.

This approach works best because the Scottish weather has a tendency to change quickly. Often, in Spring and Summer you will get warm and sunny days, and so bringing several layers gives you the flexibility to adapt with the weather.

For more on clothing, read our general guide.

Articles

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Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeen - Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland A port city in northeast Scotland, Aberdeen is the country’s third most populous city. Often called the Granite City, in reference to the silvery granite from the nearby Rubislaw Quarry used in many…

City of Edinburgh at dusk

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland since the 15th century but it has been inhabited since the Stone Age. It has been a Roman settlement, who constructed the Antonine Wall as the Empire’s northernmost defence,…

Tour Notes
  • A high level of fitness is required for this tour.

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Overview: Upon arrival in Aberdeen, we will make our own way to the hotel. In the evening, we will enjoy a welcome dinner with the Odyssey Program Leader. The city of Aberdeen in northeastern Scotland will be our home base for the Formartine and Buchan leg of this tour.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aberdeen

Overview: Today we will transfer to Dyce, where the Formartine and Buchan Way starts. The Formartine and Buchan Railway was one of the hundreds of railways closed by the “Beeching axe”, named after Dr Richard Beeching who was hired by the British government to identify the lines that were losing money (and subsequently had to be closed) in the 1960s.

We will spend the full day walking the trail with a local guide, stopping along the way for pictures, views, and for lunch. The Aberdeenshire Council, which manages the trail, recommends binoculars to better see the native species of birds that can be found along the footpath.

We will arrive in Ellon and transfer to Aberdeen where we will stay overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aberdeen

Overview: We will be transferred to Ellon to the same point where we finished the previous day. Along the way we will see the charming town of Auchnagatt where traces of the railway station can still be seen. Upon arrival in Maud, we will transfer back to Aberdeen.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aberdeen

Overview: The small village of Maud rose to prosperity in the nineteenth century as a railway junction of the Formartine and Buchan Railway that ran through the town, splitting into routes heading towards Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

We will begin the day transferring to Maud at the same point where we finished the previous day, and walk the trail to Fraserburgh, a seaside town with a bustling fishing harbour. We will transfer back to Aberdeen for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aberdeen

Overview: Today we will leave Aberdeen and travel to Stirling. On the way, we will enjoy a scenic drive through Britain’s largest national park, Cairngorms National Park in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. We will stop at Ballater at the eastern gateway to the park and have a guided tour of Royal Lochnagar Distillery, which produces single malt Scotch whisky, to learn the history of Scotch whisky.

We will continue our journey to Stirling for a guided tour of Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s largest and most important strongholds. This was where Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland in 1543.

From here we will transfer to our hotel. For the Rob Roy Way, Stirling will be our home base until Day 9.

Accommodation: Hotel in Stirling

Overview: Today we will transfer to Drymen, where the Rob Roy Way starts. This trail is named after Rob Roy MacGregor, a Highland outlaw who had the reputation of being a “Scottish Robin Hood”. Rob Roy Way covers the lochs, glens, and forests where he lived his life until his death in 1734.

We will spend the day walking from Drymen to Aberfoyle, with plenty of stops along the way. Upon arrival in Aberfoyle, we will transfer to our hotel in Stirling.

Accommodation: Hotel in Stirling

Overview: We will transfer to the same point in Aberfoyle where we ended the previous day, and walk on a forest path and open grazing land to Callander. From Callander we will transfer to Loch Lomond, where we will have free time to explore the area and enjoy the beautiful view. We will then be transferred back to Stirling for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel in Stirling

Overview: We will transfer to Callander and walk with our local guide to Strathyre. We will pass by the impressive Falls of Leny and see the Ben Ledi mountain dominating the skyline.

Upon arrival in Strathyre, we will be transferred to Stirling.

Accommodation: Hotel in Stirling

Overview: From Strathyre, we will walk to Killin, where we will see the white waters of the Falls of Dochart and climb up Glen Ogle. We will transfer to Pitlochry where we will be staying until Day 12.

Accommodation: Hotel in Pitlochry

Overview: We will transfer to Killin and walk towards Ardtalnaig. Along the way the countryside will offer us peaceful views of the Highland’s glens. We will transfer to Pitlochry at the end of the day’s walk.

Accommodation: Hotel in Pitlochry

Overview: We will transfer to Ardtalnaig and walk towards Aberfeldy. This walk will take us through a scenic trail through the woodlands of the Birks of Aberfeldy which line a gorge. (Birks is the Scottish word for birch, referring to the forest’s birch trees.) Our descent towards the town will give us a breathtaking view of the whole of Aberfeldy and surrounding borders.

Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel in Pitlochry.

Accommodation: Hotel in Pitlochry

Overview: We will transfer to Aberfeldy and spend half the day walking the trail. We will return to Pitlochry where the trail finishes, and transfer to Scotland’s hilly capital, Edinburgh.

At Edinburgh we will enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour to view the main sights, including Edinburgh Castle.

Accommodation: Hotel in Edinburgh

Overview: The end of breakfast marks the end of the tour and our services.

1
Enjoy a scenic drive through Cairngorms National Park in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
2
Tour the Royal Lochnagar Distillery and learn the history of Scotch whisky.
3
Experience a tour of Stirling Castle, where Mary I of Scotland was crowned.
4
Relax and enjoy the views of the beautiful Loch Lomond.
5
Tour the city of Edinburgh and walk through the historic Edinburgh Castle.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 13 nights of accommodation.
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners.
  • All excursions, entrance fees, and local guides.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Transport in comfortable and modern coaches.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed preparatory material.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
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