This walk is part of the trek The West Highland Way.
The fourth stage of the WHW takes us first up the Falloch river, then across a beautiful forested area and finally sneaks around the foot of high hills. There is much talk of bridges in this stage, two of them having been damaged during a recent flood, which leads to a detour and a ford that is... refreshing.
This very long stage can be shortened by taking public transport for the last section, from Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start at Beinglas Farm, in Inverarnan, on the left bank of the River Falloch.
NB If you have chosen the Drovers Inn for accommodation, on the opposite bank, return to Beinglas Farm by the A82 then the small road on the right which crosses the river... and expect to add 700m to the route.
WHW official signposting: signposts with thistle flower + signposts with yellow arrow for changes of direction + written signposts.
(D) Facing the entrance of the bar-restaurant, go to the right (east). Take a track soon after to the left. Follow this track to the north then north-north-east for about 1.5km. Ignore a track that comes from the right and reach a crossroads.
(1) Then turn right (east-north-east) on a stony path (ignore the two tracks that go to the left). Follow this path slightly uphill or almost flat and cross several streams using walkways. Go past a waterfall (Falls of Falloch).
(2) Cross a fence and a meadow, staying roughly parallel to a power line. Come to a bridge over the Allt a’Chuilinn river.
NB the WHW is supposed to cross this bridge and continue straight until point (5). However, in August 2019, this bridge was destroyed following a heavy flood. Pending its reconstruction, the route and description conform to the detour that has been put in place.
(3) Turn right at the entrance to the destroyed bridge and go up into the meadow along the river and a fence (well marked route). After about 250m of horizontal distance, come to a second bridge (passable).
(4) Cross the river over this bridge and follow a wide track downhill.
(5) At the crossroads, return to the WHW and turn right (east-north-east) on a track that goes up. At the split in the roads that follows, turn left and go downhill. Go past the sheepfolds, then an isolated house and reach a bridge over the Falloch river.
NB the WHW is supposed to use this bridge but, in August 2019, it was closed because it was considered unsafe, following the flood mentioned above. A ford was improvised downstream from the bridge.
(6) Pending the reopening of the bridge, therefore, ford the river, which is rather wide but not too deep. You have to accept you will be submerging your feet fully in the water (and then dry off when getting out); Take care! return to the bridge upstream, turn left onto tarmac and then immediately go right to take a path in the undergrowth. Go along the river on your right.
(7) After a left turn, go under the railroad tracks (keep your head down). The path then turns right and crosses a stream. Arrive at a small road and follow it to the right. Go under the A82 road, climb a staircase and then cross a stile. The path continues to the rise uphill.
(8) At the T-junction, at the foot of an electric pylon, follow a stony path to the right which is an old military road. Pleasant walk along the hillside.
(9) After about 1.5 km, the stones give way to gravel. Go along a stone wall and note a farmhouse below on the right. Cross a fence and end up at a crossing at the edge of the forest.
(10) Then turn left towards Tyndrum. Go past a picnic table and go up into the forest. Come to more open terrain then climb a small hill which offers a nice point of view.
(11) After the route levels out, start the descent into the forest.
(12) Take the bridge over the Herive Burn, go down a little more, cross another bridge and go up. Go back down, ignore a vague start to the left and turn right.
(13) At a T-junction, turn left along a stream. Turn right immediately to cross this stream. Further on, turn right and descend with a river below on the left.
(14) Go under a railway bridge and turn left with the path which remains parallel to the A82 road located on the right. Cross this road (Take care) and continue on the path along the road, located on the left side now. Cross a horse field.
(15) Then take the bridge which allows you to cross the Fillan river. At the crossing at the end of the bridge, go straight on a small road between meadows.
(16) Opposite the farm (house on the left, large hangar on the right), turn left onto a gravel track. Cross a fence, walk along a small cemetery on the right and turn left. Cross meadows. Cross a campsite further on, then cross a river.
(17) At the exit of the bridge, follow a small road on the left and ignore the departures on the sides
(18) Shortly before the junction with the A82, leave the tarmac and take the left on a path which passes under the busy road. Return to a path and follow it to the left. Go along a river on your left.
(19) At a bridge closed to traffic, cross a small road and continue on the path opposite. Go to the supposed location of the battle of Dalrigh in 1306 (information panel).
(20) Arrive at a track and follow it to the right for about fifty metres. Then leave this track for a path on the left. After a hundred metres, arrive at another track and follow it to the left.
(21) Take a bridge not accessible to vehicles over 2 tonnes. When another track joins from the left, continue with a slight right turn.
(22) About 400m after the bridge, take a path on the right. Leave the Lochan of the Lost Sword on the right (information panel) and walk in the middle of heather clumps.
(23) Cross a fence, then a space where a column of stone is enthroned, surrounded by pebbles of stones, ignore a bridge on the right and embark on a path under pine trees. Further along, follow the river on your right and note a campsite on the opposite bank. Ignore a bridge on the right and go straight.
(24) Arrive at a small road and follow it to the left. When approaching the train station (Tyndrum Lower Station), leave the road and take a path on the right. Walk along a stream on your right.
(25) Cross the A82 (take care) and continue opposite on the path along the stream. Return to the A82 further on, some distance on the left. Go past two reservoirs on the right side.
(26) Take the bridge over the railway. Walk north parallel to the railway, located on the left. Further on, pass under the railway track and continue north parallel to the track. Then go along the Allt Coire Chaile river on your left. At the end of the path, take the bridge over Allt Kinglass.
(27) At the end of the bridge, at the foot of the imposing Beinn Dorain, turn left. First go along the river on your left and then the railway on your right.
(28) Pass over the rail track again and then go along it on the left.
(29) Go past the Bridge of Orchy station and cross the railway (take care). Come out onto a small road and follow it downhill to the right until you cross the A82. Cross this road (take care) to reach the Bridge of Orchy Hotel on the other side (A).
D : mi 0 - alt. 49ft
1 : mi 1.03 - alt. 164ft - Crossroads
2 : mi 2.16 - alt. 351ft - Enter a meadow
3 : mi 2.6 - alt. 351ft - Destroyed bridge over the Allt a’Chuilinn river
4 : mi 2.77 - alt. 466ft - Passable bridge over the Allt a’Chuilinn river
5 : mi 2.95 - alt. 387ft - Crossing
6 : mi 3.39 - alt. 410ft - Ford on the Falloch River (impassable bridge)
7 : mi 4.19 - alt. 505ft - Train track
8 : mi 4.49 - alt. 676ft - T-junction - Old military road
9 : mi 5.45 - alt. 784ft - Road goes from pebbles to gravel
10 : mi 6.12 - alt. 827ft - Crossing at the edge of the forest
11 : mi 6.72 - alt. 1083ft - Small hill - Panorama
12 : mi 7.22 - alt. 840ft - Herive Burn Bridge
13 : mi 8.16 - alt. 696ft - T-junction
14 : mi 8.57 - alt. 591ft - Railway bridge
15 : mi 8.91 - alt. 551ft - Bridge over River Fillan
16 : mi 9.14 - alt. 548ft - Kirkton Farm
17 : mi 9.75 - alt. 604ft - Bridge over Allt Auchtertyre
18 : mi 10.02 - alt. 564ft - Underpass under the A82
19 : mi 10.32 - alt. 574ft - Bridge closed to traffic - Crossing
20 : mi 10.66 - alt. 587ft - Dalrigh - Path
21 : mi 10.77 - alt. 617ft - Crom Allt river bridge
22 : mi 10.99 - alt. 653ft - Start of the trail
23 : mi 11.61 - alt. 728ft - Entrance to Pine Trees Park
24 : mi 11.97 - alt. 748ft - Tyndrum - Lower Station Road
25 : mi 12.36 - alt. 784ft - Tyndrum - Road, A82
26 : mi 13.18 - alt. 988ft - Railway bridge
27 : mi 15.74 - alt. 659ft - Bridge over Allt Kinglass
28 : mi 17.06 - alt. 705ft - Railway bridge
29 : mi 18.66 - alt. 633ft - Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy
A : mi 18.9 - alt. 531ft
Waterproof hiking shoes. Rain protection: rain cape, backpack protection, etc. Protection against the cold, depending on one’s sensitivity. Midge repellent.
The route is relatively simple and the circuit is very well marked at intersections. A physical map is useful (at least the one that accompanies this description) or a route saved on smartphone (remember to save an offline map in advance).
Food and supplies:
Bring extra water reserves and a picnic when you start.
(25) In Tyndrum, a mini-market and several hotel-bar-restaurants.
Accommodation on arrival (F):
Bridge of Orchy Hotel, at the crossing of the A82 and the small road by which you have arrived. Tel.: + 44 (0)1301 400 220. Bar Restaurant.
This stage is very long. If you wish to shorten it, it is possible to travel the section between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy by public transport. Expect this section to be 20km long. The train and bus timetables allow you to make this journey, either at the end of the stage, or the next day at the start of the next stage.
- By train - Please note, there are two stations at Tyndrum and only Upper Tyndrum Station gives access to Bridge of Orchy. To reach this "upper" station, at point (24), follow Lower Station Road on the right; arrive at the A82 and follow it to the right for around sixty metres; then take a left on Upper Station Road which leads to the station after a few bends. Once at Bridge of Orchy station (29), walk the last 400m of the section to the hotel. Timetables and ticket prices: see the ScotRail website ScotRail.
- By bus - At point (24), follow Lower Station Road on the right; arrive at the A82 road and follow it on the left on the left pavement; the bus stop is right there, just before the public toilets. At Bridge of Orchy, the bus stop is located at the hotel. Timetables and ticket prices: see the CityLink website Citylink.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
- From (8) to (10): pleasant hillside walk along a comfortable old military road.
- From (10) to (14): beautiful forest route.
- From (15) to (17): crossing a farm (sheep and cattle farms), with several information panels from Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).
- Shortly after (16): ruins of an old abbey and a small old cemetery.
- Between (19) and (20): information panel on the Battle of Dalrigh (1306).
- Shortly after (22): Lochan of the Lost Sword where, according to legend, the sword of Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) was said to have been thrown following the defeat at Dalrigh and allegedly still lies today at the water bed (information panel).
- Between (26) and (29), a nice walk at the foot of the high hills.
The third stage of the WHW consists of going up Loch Lomond. We start by climbing steadily in a very beautiful forest, for superb views of the lake, while crossing waterfalls that descend from Ben Lomond. Once back at the edge of the lake, follow the shore for a long time, more or less closely, on paths that lead you on a rollercoaster ride winding between the rocks. A brief ascent between beautiful landscapes and a descent to Inverarnan rounding off this long stage.
This fifth stage of the WHW brings us to yet more superb landscapes! The ascent of the small hill of Màm Carraigh offers a very beautiful point of view on Loch Tulla. Then, for about ten kilometres, we follow a very comfortable old military road and we climb gently and very regularly towards a pass in the middle of the moor. Ahead during the descent you will see the classic pyramid silhouette of the Buachaille summit.
This second stage of the WHW is superb! It consists of three distinct parts. First of all, we cross a pretty forested area. Then, after a pleasant crossing of meadows, we climb Conic Hill, from where the panorama over the Highlands and Loch Lomond is very extensive. After a steep descent to the port of Balmaha, you alternate between the lakeside passages and climbs and descents in the forest.
An early introduction to two classic Long Distance Routes, starting from the picturesque village of Drymen. The West Highland Way is a long distance route that runs from Milngavie, near Glasgow, all the way to Fort William, and it passes close to Drymen. The Rob Roy Way starts in Drymen and ends in Pitlochry.
The highest peak in Cowal (741 metres) offers wonderful views of Loch Eck, the Clyde Estuary and north and west to the Highlands and islands.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.