Scottish National Trail

With Heritage Paths!

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Superb!!!!

Description:

A 39-stage 864 km (!!) walk with an overall difficulty grading of 4 (Hard) from down south to way up north. This trail definitely includes pathless sections calling for more careful navigation and there will most certainly be scree and some scrambling.

The Scottish National Trail is a VERY (!!!) long distance walking route from Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, to Cape Wrath, but there is absolutely no need to do it all in one go.

This trail is very much a Cameron McNeish project and follows long-established footpaths for much of the distance although it does become more difficult as it heads north. The trail finishes with a tough stretch of backpacking - with some pathless and demanding terrain - on the final stretch.

Kirk Yetholm

From Kirk Yetholm it follows part of St Cuthbert's Way to Melrose with its picturesque Abbey, and then traces the course of the Southern Upland Way to Traquair.

The route runs by the River Tweed up to Peebles before climbing over the Meldon Hills and then the Pentlands to reach Edinburgh. Alongside the Union Canal to Linlithgow and on to the amazing Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies.

The John Muir Way carries the route towards the northern fringes of Glasgow before it strikes north to join the West Highland Way at Milngavie. At Drymen the trail switches to follow the Rob Roy Way to Callander, passes through Comrie and over the hills and glens of Perthshire to Aberfeldy and Pitlochy.

From Blair Atholl the trail requires backpacking, passing through glorious Glen Tilt and Glen Feshie through the Cairngorms National Park. The Corrieyairack Pass then leads over the Monadhliath to Fort Augustus and the Great Glen. The Great Glen Way is followed briefly before the route leads through Glen Garry and on to the great mountains of Kintail.

Glen Feshie

The wilds of Monar

By this point the route has joined the Cape Wrath Trail at Mandally and the rewards increase with the glories of the dramatic West Highlands - the Falls of Glomach, the wilds of Monar and the Great Wilderness of Letterewe. The route crosses wild country to Oykel Bridge and then to Inchnadamph (Sutherland Trail) and into Sutherland. A final wild stretch leads through this lonely land, passing the iconic beach of Sandwood Bay en route to Cape Wrath - and journey's end.

Stages:

  1. Kirk Yetholm - Harestanes 28 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  2. Harestanes - Melrose 24 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  3. Melrose - Traquair 29 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  4. Traquair - Peebles 12 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  5. Peebles - West Linton 21 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  6. West Linton - Balerno 19,25 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  7. Balerno - Slateford 8,5 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  8. Slateford - Ratho 9,5 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  9. Ratho - Linlithgow 21 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  10. Linlithgow - Falkirk 14,5 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  11. Falkirk - Kilsyth 18 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  12. Kilsyth - Milngavie 21,25 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  13. Milngavie - Drymen 19 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  14. Drymen - Aberfoyle 17,5 km (Grade: 1-Easy)
  15. Aberfoyle - Callander 15,25 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  16. Callander - Comrie 26,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  17. Comrie - Loch Freuchie 30 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  18. Loch Freuchie - Aberfeldy 20 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  19. Aberfeldy - Pitlochry 15 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  20. Pitlochry - Blair Atholl 13,75 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  21. Blair Atholl - Bynack 27 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  22. Bynack - Glen Feshie 21,25 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  23. Glen Feshie - Kingussie 23,5 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  24. Kingussie - Laggan 23,25 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  25. Laggan - Fort Augustus 39,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  26. Fort Augustus - Mandally 18,75 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  27. Mandally - Poulary 19,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  28. Poulary - Cluanie 17,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  29. Cluanie - Morvich 26 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  30. Morvich - Maol Bhuidhe 22,5 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  31. Maol Bhuidhe - Craig 24,25 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  32. Craig - Kinlochewe 16,5 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  33. Kinlochewe - Shenavall 28,25 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  34. Shenavall - Inverlael 18,75 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  35. Inverlael - Oykel Bridge 34,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)
  36. Oykel Bridge - Inchnadamph 31,5 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  37. Inchnadamph - Kylestrome 27,5 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  38. Kylestrome - Rhiconich 29 km (Grade: 4-Hard)
  39. Rhiconich - Sandwood Bay 19 km (Grade: 2-Slightly harder)
  40. Sandwood Bay - Cape Wrath 12,5 km (Grade: 3-Moderate)

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Heritage Paths:

1- At NH073472 (GPS: 57.474455,-5.214553) you might take the Loch Monar Drove Road (30,5 km) and later the Strathfarrar to Strathglass Drove Road (20 km) to Cannich (Affric Kintail Way)

2- From Fort Augustus NH371095 (GPS: 57.147865,-4.693395) take the Drove Road (28 km) to Tomich to link up with the Affric Kintail Way.

3-Another very interesting option is a more or less direct link with the John o’Groats Trail which runs from Inverness north along the coast. A few km short/south of Oykel Bridge (Stage 36) you cross the Duag Bridge and see the Schoolhouse Bothy on your left hand side. A little ways further there is a distinct fork in the road at NH345973 (GPS: 57.934569,-4.795528). Stick to the right. You’re now perfectly aligned for the Ullapool to Strathcarron Track which you follow all the way to Croick (16 km). From NH465889 (GPS: 57.863450,-4.588854) you take the Glen Calvie Lodge to Braeantra Track (16 km) and the Dalnavie Drove Road (10 km) from NH567781 (GPS: 57.770066,-4.409964) to Dalnavie.