The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

East to West Route: Part 4

The last section of the route, and you may notice that it involves the most indecision too. Whereas on other parts of the route the current plan has completely superseded the original plan, here I have left our options open. It was the approach to Edinburgh that seemed to present the greatest number of options and as it stands we intend to take the longest route – via North Berwick and the coastal route to the Forth Bridge.


North of Crieff the spur is a red-herring. I obviously started to plot something and then realised that it wasn’t sensible, but for some reason I’ve not deleted the route.

Rannoch Moor is the next place where I’ve plotted two alternatives. One goes via Kingshouse, along the West Highland Way, to Kinlochleven, the other takes a longer route, but one we’ve not taken before. Barring atrocious weather or ill-health, we’ll be avoiding the WHW as far as possible.

The final indecision is the final push to Ardnamurchan. I originally plotted a longer route to keep off the road as much as possible, but on further consideration conceded that it’s quite probable that by that point we’ll be so focussed on reaching our destination that we won’t mind a day on tarmac, so I plotted the road route too.

We’ll certainly walk some of that road in any case, as once we reach Ardnamurchan we’ll have to walk back east a little way to catch a bus to Fort William so that a train can be caught to Strathcarron.


  1. From my position on the bottom of the bunk beds, that looks like a very nice walk, Mrs. Can I come along?

    Bit of advice: step away from the planning now.

    Word = wimpes. That must be us then.

  2. But..., but..., it's only 150km to Strathcarron. Why a bus and train ?


  3. Wow, that's an interesting route through Scotland.

    I can recommend fitting in the Lammermuir Hills if you can - a little known gem (until the wind farm is built, that is). The only problem is that it can leave a long road walk to the coast at Edinburgh if you go direct.

    Are you taking the Famous Highland Drive walk from Crieff to the Bridge of Orchy?

    Have fun!

  4. Familiar territory for me. Difficult to say exactly from the map scale, but it looks like SUW from Jed to Lauder than one of the Herring Road variations (unfortunately, David the wind farm has already been built) and picking up the John Muir Way around West Linton. All good walking.Not clear if you are crossing the Ochils Tilly to Blackford or Dollar to Gleneagles, and then presumably to Crieff via Muthil.You will enjoy this much more than the usual "canal-bashing" across the Central Belt !

  5. I have just read what I posted and note that I have written West Linton, meaning East Linton. Apologies. Senior moment.

  6. Theo - because if we walked those 150km then we'd need to leave a week earlier, and then we'd miss our engagement to give a talk to the Stockport Walking Group (oh, and we wouldn't have enough food prepared and would have to start walking the day that we finish working...)

  7. David - is that 'interesting' in a good way or a bad way?!

    Looking at what I've plotted, we pass over the words 'Lammermuir Hills' as marked on the map - but looking at it we're not going over the notably hilly bits.

    Not familiar with the Famous Highland Drive walk, so if we're following it it wasn't the basis of the planning (we're going Crieff, Comrie, Killin, Kenknock, Pubil, Loch Ossian, Kinlochleven).

  8. Old Mortality - You're right - the Scottish bits will be far more enjoyable and interesting than the canals of the Midlands. Happily, canals aren't a notable feature on this trip.

    As for our route into Edinburgh, you deciphered the large scale map correctly - we are taking the SUW from Jedburgh to Lauder, then heading up to East Linton (definitely not West Linton - been there on our last two Biggies) to then pick up the John Muir Way.