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Thread: Tay, Loch

  1. #1

    Default Tay, Loch

    Loch Tay (Scottish Gaelic, Loch Tatha) is a freshwater loch in the central highlands of Scotland, in the district of Perthshire.

    It is a long narrow loch of around 14 miles (23 km) long, and typically around 1 to 1 1/2 miles wide, following the line of the valley from the south west to north east. It is the sixth largest loch in Scotland by area and over 150 m deep at its deepest.

    Ben Lawers on its north shore is at 1214 m the 9th highest mountain in the British Isles, and is the highest peak in a group of seven munros.
    Killin at the head of the loch, and Kenmore at the outflow of the River Tay, are the main settlements on the lochside today. The smaller settlements of Ardeonaig and Ardtalnaig are located on the south side of the loch whilst Fearnan and Lawers are on the north side. The loch is fed by the rivers Dochart and Lochay at its head and numerous smaller streams.

    In ancient times (in the Iron Age) people lived on defensible, man-made islands on the loch, called Crannogs. More than 20 submerged crannogs have been identified in the loch. An example has now been reconstructed on the south side of the loch at the Scottish Crannog Centre.

    The loch is a popular spot for salmon fishing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    St Andrews
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    375

    Default Superb.

    This is one very special place indeed.

    The introductory notes do overstate the loch's width a wee bit. It's around 0.8 mile average width, with two places where it's just about on a full mile wide. (measured on Google Earth)

    The East end at Kenmore has a couple of features that make it a definite plus place to add to your list of must-go-tos.

    1. there's a beach with adjacent on-road parking, and a smallish car park at the beach's northern end. The beach doesn't have sudden dropaways that could endanger paddlers (walking in the water paddlers) and it is a fairly popular place on nice days. If the wind is from the west, there will be a fair old wave breaking on this beach as it faces directly westwards.

    2. The Crannog Centre is a short splash away along the Southern shore. A visit there is very worthwhile. They've recreated a full crannog there and give visitors a pretty good account of how crannog life was. Good informative experience-entertainment.

    3. One to be aware of and be very careful of - the River Tay drains this massive loch, and the draw from its mouth is strong - very strong at times. I would advise canoeists to avoid getting too close to the outfall area or else you might find yourself sucked into the river. Not that it's likely to kill you if this happened, but you would have to land on the river bank and carry your boat back out again. Might blight your day a little if you're not looking for thrills!

    The central section of Tay is where the wider points are. And also where the deepest point is - I've seen 510ft show on the sounder. (So that's where to dump the bodies then)

    A wee place I'm not too sure about including a spot-location for here is an old abandoned village from Highland Clearance times, a sort of Marie Celeste in primitive village terms.

    But I'm not going to pinpoint its location for general consumption - those who want to explore and find/explore are welcome to do so, anyone wanting to know where it is can PM me. (Sorry but I don't want to find fire rings and beer cans next visit)

    If you find it, please respect its unspoiled serenity.

    Westerlies can throw up a fair old wave on this part of Tay - access points are anywhere the road's close enough to the waterside to get onto the loch. Fearnan should be easy enough.

    But the easiest part of Loch Tay is the West end, at Killin.

    It's been Blogged several times already, so a search for Loch Tay or Killin will probably produce the goods.

    There's one of Scotland's few canoe rental businesses here in Killin. They hire out Charles Rivers, 15ft Campers and Allagashes.

    There's a fairly extensive beach and an estuary-inflow of the combined rivers Lochay and Dochart. And two islands, and at least one crannog.

    There's a couple of put ins, but the easiest is the one by the Killin Hotel, direct onto the river Lochay, from there it's a short paddle down a calm river to the loch.

    I'm very fond of Loch Tay. Of course it's surrounded by mountainous scenery, including Ben Lawers, which has an alpine microclimate with various plants that aren't commonly found elsewhere.

    Enjoy!
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    West Midlands
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    Default

    Looking at a couple of days trip to Loch Tay. What is the position with responsible wild camping? Are cars ok left at Killin? Any other pertinent information, such as Loch Lomond does it get busy at weekends?
    Regards Alan
    Went the day well?



  4. #4
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    Default

    last october, we left a car on a car park in Killin - next to the supermarket, I think it was. We accessed the loch from the river Lochay. We spent one night in a beautiful spot opposite side to the out door centre. When I say beautiful, it was after we'd filled about 3 black bags, aquired about 10M of blue poly rope, and done our best to remove the remains of what must have been a very drunken evening for a large number of people. The problem we had on the next day was that we couldn't find any litter bins to get rid of our collection. I still feel guilty about abandoning them next to someones bins at a garden in Kenmore!
    Sam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    St Andrews
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gough View Post
    Looking at a couple of days trip to Loch Tay. What is the position with responsible wild camping? Are cars ok left at Killin? Any other pertinent information, such as Loch Lomond does it get busy at weekends?
    Regards Alan
    Don't know about cars at Killin, but this being 2009 it might be a bit silly to infer just because I've had no issues that that's the norm. The village doesn't look like the sort of place that trouble can be expected, but...

    I certainly don't recognise Sam's account of horribleness such as detailed in his post. Let's hope that it's been a bunch of one-time visitors.

    What I have seen, unfortunately, is a couple of large and very mature trees with their trunks burnt out. This is along the beach N of the river mouth.

    But this is still on the fringe of Central Scotland and somesuch is probably to be expected.

    I think if you respect the privacy of lochside houses by keeping well away from them, you aren't likely to have problems camping there. The more unobtrusive the better, of course.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  6. #6

    Default

    Ahhh Loch Tay one of my favourite places.

    I grew up looking onto the beach at Kenmore from my bedroom window just across from the small car park.

    Moved away many years ago to Perth, but have just recently paid a visit to Killin at the other end of the Loch and hired a canoe for a few hours after a sudden urge for some canoeing.

    Lovely place for a gently canoe around on the river, plus some nice islands to stop off on for a spot of lunch.

    Ross

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    sw scotland
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    222

    Default

    A wee place I'm not too sure about including a spot-location for here is an old abandoned village from Highland Clearance times, a sort of Marie Celeste in primitive village terms.

    But I'm not going to pinpoint its location for general consumption - those who want to explore and find/explore are welcome to do so, anyone wanting to know where it is can PM me. (Sorry but I don't want to find fire rings and beer cans next visit)
    Sorry gonefishing, passed by on monday and removed a large pile of beer cans/bottles/bbq from the world's biggest firepit...

    Most of the debris is on the South shore, as it's more accessable by road. Every trip I remove something left over from someone elses party. Seems like there was a lot of human waste too, but I was lucky enough to be travelling on the N shore and avoided the worst.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Telford Shrops
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    Default Got me hooked

    Had always fancied to have a paddle in a canoe so in Aug 2008 whilst on holiday in Scotland,we hired a canoe on Loch Tay for 2 hours, after that i was hooked - the following March i bought a stearns Back country and have used it loads including Loch Ard ,Canals and the Severn.
    Hope to return to Tay this year with my newly aquired Bell Prospector, Can't wait.

  9. #9

    Default

    i'm going up to loch tay tomorrow to let my elder brother have a go in the canoe. the shallow part at the killin end will be ideal for him.

  10. #10

    Default

    The beach at Kenmore is totally perfect for beginners also!

    I used to run kids windsurf lessons there! Couldn't have a better beginners spot!

  11. Default

    thanks w that also sounds good and i will give it a try. i want him to get out around the crannochmound then onto the river and tea break on the islands etc. paddle up the town to the coachhouse for a shandy perhaps. might get him on loch lubnaig for an hour on the way back down.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Dunblane
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    1,130

    Default

    http://www.kingshousetravel.com/ring_of_breadalbane/

    If you are thinking of paddling Loch Tay or Earn in the near future, this could be really useful! Shuttle service for you - no canoes allowed, but lock it up and head back with the car. Overnight on Loch Tay (some ace campsites on North Shore....), with bus shuttle...

    More info:

    http://issuu.com/croftera/docs/ring_...olor=%23222222

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