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Three of Scotland’s Finest Walks image header

2nd September 2016 | Regional News

Three of Scotland’s Finest Walks

A country that has an abundance of lush glens, high mountains and beautiful lochs, Scotland has plenty to offer those who would like to relive the past and discover the country’s most historic landscapes. With plenty of historic trails to explore, we’ve teamed up with some of Scotland’s best ramblers to unearth the finest walks.

Threave Castle Walk

Starting from the Castle Douglas town clock, you will need to walk down the hill past the charity shop and take a right turn onto Blackpark Road. From here, follow the signed walk route at the end of the road which will lead you onto the old railway line over a bridge and on to Threave Estate. After emerging from the railway line at the bridge, take a right turn and follow the ‘to the castle’ signs. After you arrive at the car park, where there is a small information centre, follow the way-marked path for half a mile until you reach the ferry landing platform. Once you’re at the platform, catch the boat across the River Dee to the island fortress.


Video sourced from Sam Kelly

Now under the care of Historic Scotland, the castle was built in 1369 as a stronghold for the Black Douglas’. Even today, you can see the artillery fortification that kept James II’s forces at bay.

After you’ve finished exploring the castle, return to the mainland and continue back to the point where you left the old railway line and continue on the old line until you arrive at a gate. Walk through the gate and make a left turn onto a farm access road. From here, follow the road branching right and cross the bridge over the main A75 road. Shortly after, turn left and follow the path until you reach a public road.

Cross the road and follow the path until you emerge at another public road where you will need to make a left turn. Follow the road or separate path until you reach the back access road to Threave Garden on your right. The road will take you left through an open gate and up the hill to the main access road to the Garden, which is one of the top NTS Gardens in Scotland.

Once you’ve finished exploring the Garden, head back down the main access road and make a left turn, which will take you back into Castle Douglas beside Carlingwark Loch. Here, you will find several coffee shops and Sulwath brewery at the bottom end of the town.

For more information about this walk, click here.

Rob Roy

Rob Roy MacGregor, born in the late 17th Century, was a Scottish folk hero. A famous cattle drover, it’s fitting that a long-distance hiking trail, the Rob Roy Way, follows his tracks and trails through Scotland.

Mirror surface
Image sourced from hillwalktours.com

This full trail stretches for 127km from Drymen to Pitlochry, taking roughly six days to complete. However, you can make the walk as short as you wish. The route follows a variety of terrains, mountain trails, tracks, minor roads and quiet, single-track lanes. Passing through small villages and towns, rivers and lochs plus mountains and glens, there’s no shortage of old buildings and beautiful scenery along the trail. Scotland is a country steeped in history and this is clearly evident as you travel along the Rob Roy Way.

Rob Roy was a soldier, businessman, cattle-raider and an outlaw. Upon failing to pay back his debts to the Duke of Montrose (due to his head drover absconding with all the funds), he was subsequently outlawed and his land was seized. Looking to exact revenge on the Duke of Montrose, Rob Roy MacGregor embarked on a campaign of thievery and cattle rustling.

In 1723, a much fictionalised and exaggerated book about Rob Roy’s exploits was published while he was still alive. The release of the book led to a Royal Pardon in 1726, which allowed him to live the rest of his life in peace until his death in 1734.

Rob Roy’s grave is near the small Scottish village of Balquhidder, where he was buried alongside his wife and two sons. Since his death, Rob Roy’s story has grown further after he was the subject of two Hollywood films in the 1900s.

The Largo Walk

The walk starts on the Cupar Road leaving Lundin Links, where the main road bends to the right. The grid reference is 408038. Follow the path due east, along a field edge to enter the wooded Keir’s Den. You will then need to follow the perimeter path on the left which heads in a northerly direction. After one kilometre, the path meets a minor road. At this point, you can stay within the Den, crossing the stream and continuing in a southerly direction. Around this point, it is possible to see the ruins of Pitcruvie Castle through the trees across the road.

At grid reference 417040, follow the path that bends sharply to the left. This is Coffin Road, where people from outlying farms would take their dead to the cemetery or the church. Follow this path along the field edge and continue straight across the next minor road and past a caravan park. Along this path, to the right, you will be able to see the conical tower of Sir Andrew Wood’s castle. Sir Andrew was the admiral of the Scottish Navy which defeated the English Navy when James the Fourth was King of Scotland.

Across the next minor road is the cemetery. After passing the cemetery follow the recognised route up Largo Law, a conical hill that rises approximately 950 feet. Alternatively, you can follow the road down into Upper Largo, diverting to the right if you would like to visit the church.


Video sourced from Victor Robert Farrell

Going down this road and looking over the wall on the right, you will be able to make out the field, which indicates the route of Sir Andrew’s Canal. He had this dug, with the help of English prisoners of war (no doubt against The Geneva Convention) to allow him to sail in his admiral’s barge to church on Sundays. The present church is not the original one but it’s well worth a visit. Those who decide to climb Largo Law can pick this route up later on.

Once you’re back on the main road (the A 915), follow the road until you arrive at a corner (grid reference 424023), where you will need to follow the path that goes off to the left, alongside a field until it reaches the Fife Coastal Path. Here, take a right and walk down the pathway through the village, where the statue to Alexander Selkirk can be seen outside his house. Selkirk spent more than four years marooned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean. His story was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’. Just beyond the house is the harbour and the Crusoe Hotel.

To get back to the walk’s starting point, take the path off to the left at grid ref 424032 and continue on the A 915 until you reach the point where you started.

For more information about this trail, contact Michael at stleonardsramblers.co.uk. If you’re looking for more amazing walks in Scotland, please click here.

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