Mary, Queen of Scots Way + GPX

Distance: 172 km Grade: 2 (Slightly harder)

Path to Arrochar

© Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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A 10-stage walk with an overall difficulty grading of 1 (Easy) to 2 (Slightly harder). The path is sometimes indistinct and than navigation skills are essential.

The Mary, Queen of Scots Way is not a "new' long distance walk. This trail has been around since 2012 and was devised and developed by avid hillwalker Paul Prescott, over a period of some five years. This trail runs for 172 km and crosses Scotland from Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long to Inversnaid, Aberfoyle, Callander, Dunblane, Tillycoultry, Glenfarg, Falkland and Ceres to St Andrews.

With the exception of a short section this walk is completely off-road and is not (yet) waymarked!

Although the name Mary, Queen of Scots Way suggests a strong connection with the life and times of this Scottish queen there are a number of Mary-related-locations (Stirling and Lochleven come to mind) close to the trail’s track that are being skirted. Paul Prescott loved the challenge of creating an off-road route from west to east and that is probably the reason he did not include these locations. Nothing stops you though from taking a side trip!

Rucksack Readers published a wonderful guidebook in 2012......and left it at that!

After spending so much time developing this particular trail just to see it fizzle out must have been quite frustrating for the author. This first and last publication has sold out everywhere but.....lately I’ve noticed a renewed interest for this somewhat obscure yet very interesting long distance walk. There are even ‘rumours’ that a new edition of the guidebook might be on the horizon.

In the meantime the basic information on this page might be a good starting point. Here is a link to a detailed walking report.

Interesting option!!!! Check this out: The Mary Queen of Scots Way Retreat | Intuitive Soul (

You'll find a special blog here!

Stages (on the map).

  1. Arrochar - Inversnaid 8 km (Easy)
  2. Inversnaid - Aberfoyle 41 km * (Slightly harder)
  3. Aberfoyle - Callander 15 km (Easy)
  4. Callander - Dunblane 19 km (Easy)
  5. Dunblane - Tillicoultry 17 km (Easy)
  6. Tillicoultry - Glendevon 13 km (Easy)
  7. Glendevon - Glenfarg 22 km (Moderate)
  8. Glenfarg - Falkland 16 km (Slightly harder)
  9. Falkland - Ceres 20 km (Easy)
  10. Ceres - St. Andrews 15 km (Easy)


* A long slog! No accommodation on his stretch. Transport needed to Inversnaid or Aberfoyle.