How long does it take to walk the Scottish National Trail.? You should aim for anywhere between 5-6 weeks. In that time you will experience the most magnificent scenery that Scotland has to offer.
Do NOT use a pack more than 12-14 kilos there is a direct correlation between pack weight and giving up.
A pack more than 14 kilos may cause you problems in fast flowing and deep rivers you need to cross.
High ground and slopes with a heavy pack in gale force wind and rain is not a nice experience.
According to the Post Office at Kinlochewe 50% of the people that post food parcels there give up at this stage.ie. on Stage 4.
Invest in good waterproofs as the North West Highlands of Scotland is one of the wettest areas of Europe with annual rainfall of up to 180 inches or more.
Buy a lightweight tent.
Consider purchasing trail shoes rather than walking boots. Leather walking boots on stage 4 will be constantly wet due to bogs.
There is no direct bus service to Kirk Yetholm from Berwick upon Tweed. Your options are to get to Berwick upon Tweed then take a Number 67 bus to Galashiels via Kelso. Alight at Kelso then catch the 81 81 (a) or 81 (b) bus to Kirk Yetholm from Kelso.
if arriving from Edinburgh from overseas. Catch the train to Galashiels and then catch the number 67 bus above from Kelso to get to Kirk Yetholm. if you miss the bus at Kelso you can always catch a cab\taxi, Kirk Yetholm is only 7 miles away from Kelso.
Stage 4 Fort Augustus-Cape Wrath will test all your abilities as gale force winds and rain combined with Grade 4 bogs and rivers in spate will test your physical ability to the limits. Be under no illusion this is one of the most toughest stages to walk in Britain especially in wind and rain.
Here are some Stage 4 videos on 'you tube' which describe the Stage 4 conditions very well notwithstanding that two of them are undertaking the Cape Wrath trail which is Stage 4 of the Scottish National Trail.
Please watch Dr Beth Pascall and Damian Hall in this video as it shows the prevailing conditions as you head towards Cape Wrath --they were running!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qagoP... (from 19.23)
Sadly Andrew died after making his last video of the Scottish National Trail. Stage 34(B) (Corriehallie to Ullapool). His intention was to complete the trail in 2019, he will be greatly missed.
Allow more than 14 days to cover stage 4 more if weather is bad. Use this service for forecasts:
Use Ullapool and Kinlochuew as food resupply points.
Take a whistle and a good torch with you on Stage 4 perhaps a satellite device if you are by yourself
The first sign that you see to announce The Scottish National Trail is at the entrance to the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm which is the start of the Scottish National Trail.
The next sign you will see about the Scottish National trail is at the Ozone Café next to the Cape Wrath Lighthouse i.e. at the end.
Good luck you about to enter one of the most magnificent walks in the world. Don't rush. Take your time, enjoy every step of this magnificent journey. Scotland welcomes you.
Haste ye back.