Route out – Callander to Loch Lubnaig to Strathyre to Lochearnhead to Glen Ogle to Killin (via National Cycle Route no.7). For route map click here. Note: Google Maps suggests going onto the A84 for 2.1 miles after Strathyre but there is a new section of cycle route no.7 next to the main road that you can use instead – that’s what we did and it’s much safer.
Route back – same as the route out but in reverse.
- Weather – hot and sunny with almost no wind.
- Distance travelled – 44.41 miles
- Riding time – 4 hours 48 minutes
- Maximum speed – 27.1 mph
- Average speed – 9.2 mph
On sunday, Dad and I drove to Callander in Stirlingshire with our bikes to try out National Cycle Route no.7 for the first time. We parked in the car park next to the river and followed the sign saying Killin 22 miles which took us onto the route no.7 cycle path. I was thinking about only going as far as Strathyre which is 9 miles from Callander but amazingly, we managed to go all the way to Killin and back (over 44 miles) and this was a world record for us!
The route is almost completely off road and the cycle path is mostly a nice smooth surface and appears to be quite flat. It is actually slightly uphill most of the way out but you don’t notice this and we managed to go quite fast. There’s loads of really nice scenery to look at on the way including the mountain Ben Ledi and Loch Lubnaig where we stopped for a photo and an oatcake. Just before the village of Strathyre there is a very steep winding section where the path is very rough – I got stuck once on the way up. Just outside the village, we stopped for our lunch on a bench overlooking the loch. My cheese sandwich, celery sticks and rocket must have given me an energy boost so I decided to keep going rather than turn back.
From Strathyre there is a new section of cycle path which is a short cut and avoids either going on the main road or the much longer alternative route on the minor road via Balquidder. It was here that we discovered some wildlife – well actually Dad did, when a wasp flew inside his helmet and buzzed around for a minute or two. Thankfully for him, it managed to escape without stinging him on the head! Anyway, in no time, we had reached Lochearnhead but we didn’t bother going in to the village. Instead we started up the extremely steep and windy section which leads into Glen Ogle. I got stuck here once more so we stopped for a photo of Loch Earn and also filled up our water bottles at a waterfall. Eventually we reached the top and cycled the few miles to the impressive railway viaduct. I love steam trains so this was my favourite part of the route.
The last section to Killin is steeply downhill for 4 miles and that was where I reached my fastest speed of the day. In Killin we got a good view of the mountains near Loch Tay and ate a Magnum choc ice at the Falls of Dochart before heading back the way we had come.
On the way back from Killin to Glen Ogle, I got stuck once again. It really did seem quite a steep plod for those few miles. After that though, it was almost all downhill back to Callander. We stopped at Loch Lubnaig again and this time I went for a paddle in the shallow water at the edge. Then we sped that last few miles back to Callander where I had a fish cake supper for my tea.
2 thoughts on “Callander to Killin and Back Again”
Fantastic Rowan. You inspired me to give this route a go. I’m 62 and recently bought a bike. My nephew and his wife and a good friend came along. The weather was really bad and we got soaked. I made it to Killin but called it a day after that. You must be super fit young man to go both ways! I’m cycling as much as I can now to build up my fitness and hope to do the round trip next spring!
I loved reading your story though. I look forward to reading more!
Pedal power to you and your Dad!!
This is a really good resource with some fab pictures. We are thinking of walking this route in summer (or when Covid allows) so thank you very much, Rowan, for giving us some excellent information first. You really brought the route to life. 🙂 Mark and Angela – York, UK.