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River Tay, Scotland

River Tay, Scotland: Our most recommended tours and activities

Aberfeldy: Rafting on the River Tay

1. Aberfeldy: Rafting on the River Tay

Feel the excitement of this adrenaline-fuelled white water rafting tour in the heart of one of the most picturesque countries in the world. This River Tay white water rafting tour is the most popular tour in Scotland, and is set on the largest river in the UK (by volume). Flowing through Aberfeldy to Grandtully where the tour ends. The river continues on its way to Perth and then Dundee. Suitable for everyone aged eight and upwards, each raft is fully and safely led by a trained trip leader, and safety is covered in a comprehensive brief prior to the tour. During the tour, you'll learn and practice safety drills well before the most intense spots, ensuring a fun, safe experience for everyone. From the end of the tour, you will be transported back to Aberfeldy by coach to see the photography included in the ticket price.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

2. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

3. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

Explore the Highlands of Scotland and the magical Isle of Skye on a 3-day sightseeing tour. Discover an area of outstanding natural beauty, full of Viking history and ancient myths and legends. Take a journey packed with Scotland's most iconic sights and scenery. Then ride on one of the great train journeys of the world on the charming Jacobite Steam Train. Day 1:Depart Edinburgh and drive past stunning views of the Forth Bridge to enter the Highlands through Perthshire. Admire a land of ancient forests, rivers, and mountains. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Continue north into the Highlands before you enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, explore the shores of Loch Ness. Cross to the famous Isle of Skye, passing Eilean Donan Castle en route. Marvel at Scotland’s most famous icons. Your home for the night is Portree, capital of the “Winged Isle.” Day 2:Today you will spend a full day exploring the dramatic Isle of Skye, with its amazing scenery and fantastic myths and legends. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape against the backdrop of the jagged Cuillin Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular cliffs of Quiraing, the mysterious rock formation of Old Man of Storr, the cascading waterfalls of Kilt Rock, and imposing Dunvegan Castle. Spend overnight on the Isle of Skye. Day 3:Explore the south of the island, known as the “Garden of Skye,” before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Here you will have the option to board the Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct and see a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign. Head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, before riding through the heart of Rob Roy country to arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening.

Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

4. Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a fabulous day trip from Edinburgh to experience Scotland’s beautiful countryside just minutes from the capital. Drive to the stunning Highlands, and stop to sample a drop of the national drink to get a complete taste of Scotland. Leaving Edinburgh, the tour makes its way to the ancient capital of Stirling, where the skyline is dominated by its castle on the rock and the iconic Wallace Monument. Stop to hear of Scotland’s most famous patriot and his part in the medieval Wars of Independence.  Say hello to “Hamish the hairy coo”, before driving through the scenic Trossachs National Park. Heading further into the Highlands, pass the shimmering waters of Loch Earn, before stopping for lunch at The Famous Grouse Experience, one of Scotland’s best-known whisky distilleries. Once revived, enjoy a “wee dram” of Scotch whisky and drink the “Water of Life.” Continue to the Hermitage in the heart of Perthshire for a short woodland walk to see the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. On the return journey, visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, an area associated with Macbeth, where the stunning cathedral sits on the banks of the River Tay. Pass the iconic Forth Bridge on the way back into Edinburgh, admiring the fantastic 19th-century feat of engineering.

Full-Day Edinburgh Military Tattoo & Scottish Highlands Tour

5. Full-Day Edinburgh Military Tattoo & Scottish Highlands Tour

Storytelling is one of the best and most important parts of Scottish and Irish culture. Here in Scotland, it brings the scenery, sites, and their characters alive for a tour that you won’t soon forget. You will experience the moving and incredible Edinburgh Military Tattoo, sample local whiskey, and see breathtaking scenery along the way. Scotland’s Highlands are beautiful and green, the land of forests, mountains, rivers, and glens. From Edinburgh, the tour goes through Stirling. Take in the views of the castle and learn the history behind the Wallace Monument. Continue to the Trossachs National Park, former home to the infamous cattle thief Rob Roy MacGregor. Characters and scenes come alive in your imagination as you take in the park and surrounding area. The tour follows the shoreline of Loch Earn on the way to a local whisky distillery. Here, you'll take a guided tour that will give you an insight into how ‘uisce beatha’ (the ‘water of life') is made, as well as going on a journey to discover the history behind one of Scotland’s most iconic exports. Explore the peaceful Hermitage, stretch your legs and take a woodland walk to Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. See Dunkeld and the spectacular cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Return south past the Forth Bridge, to Edinburgh. There will be time to return to your hotel or explore the city a while before the evening event: the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

This 3-day tour takes you on a discovery of the beautiful mountain scenery and fascinating sights of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Visit numerous glens, lochs and castles in some the most dramatic landscapes in the country, including Eilean Donan Castle, the Fairy Glen, Loch Ness and Glen Coe. You will be transported from Edinburgh through the highlands and the Isle of Skye in a comfortable minibus. Learn about the long and violent history of the Scottish Highlands with your tour guide, from the bloody massacre of the Macdonalds at Glen Coe to Scotland’s great patriot William Wallace, whose name has resounded through British history for 700 years. Detailed itinerary Day 1 The tour first stops off at the delightful village of Dunkeld where you can explore the ancient cathedral grounds and walk through the mature woodland alongside the mighty River Tay. Continue north to the wild mountain scenery and misty locks of the Pass of Killiecrankie, Cairngorm National Park and Laggan. Admire Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis along the Great Glen to Invergarry before travelling onwards through the stunning Glen Shiel (Five Sisters of Kintail) to Eilean Donan Castle. Enjoy the great views from the Skye Bridge as you drive onto the island under the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Please let the tour provider know your preferred accommodation choices when booking. The accommodation is reserved for you and should be paid for on arrival. Day 2 Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye, a flexible itinerary at the discretion of your driver/guide * (see below). Enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass. Another popular stop is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'! The second half of the day explores the stunning southern part of the island which includes well-known sights and some hidden gems discovered over the years. Nestled under the Cuillin mountains is beautiful Glen Brittle. Rugged scenery surrounds you and there are several fantastic options for this section of the tour, including a short walk in the iconic mountain landscape. Another popular excursion is the drive to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles. The 13th century home of the famous Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle offers guided tours, a useful wet-weather option because of Skye's famously changeable weather. It's not called the 'Misty Isle' for nothing! Day 3 After returning to the mainland you drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail before stopping at the world-famous Loch Ness. Enjoy lunch in Fort Augustus at the southerly tip of Loch Ness before continuing on through Fort William to Glencoe. Learn about the bloody history of the famous glen and admire the wild scenery before heading on to Tyndrum for a break. Return through the Lowlands and Stirling to Edinburgh in the evening.

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye, Highlands & Jacobite Steam Train

7. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye, Highlands & Jacobite Steam Train

Our Skye High tour is the perfect way for travelers short on time to see most of Scotland. In just three days, go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster, see ruined castles and stunning lochs, and listen to Celtic myths in a proper Highland pub. Leaving Edinburgh at 8:00 AM, take in views of the spectacular Forth Bridges and journey north to Macbeth County. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld with its historic cathedral sitting on the banks of the River Tay. Drive further into the Highlands and enter the Great Glen. Stop at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness and search for a glimpse of the legendary beast. Our journey to the Isle of Skye passes one of the most photographed castles in Scotland – Eilean Donan. Our home for the night is the small village of Portree on the Isle of Skye. (Overnight: Portree) Today we explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the ‘Misty Isle’: a bucket-list destinations thanks to its heart-stopping scenery. This wee island is packed with ruined castles, breathtaking views, and faerie stories. Home to the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, hear Celtic myths and Viking legends from the past millennia. Explore the windswept landscape, coastline, and mountain ranges. In the afternoon, explore Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod before returning to Portree. Summer itinerary, April to mid-October. Our first stop of the day is the beautiful Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum of the Isles before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Have the option to be a wizard for the day and board the Jacobite Steam Train aka “Hogwarts Express” to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and a must for all Harry Potter fans. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. We head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe, wild Rannoch Moor then the heart of Rob Roy country before arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye Tour

8. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye Tour

Discover the Highlands and the magical Isle of Skye with its outstanding natural beauty, Viking history, and ancient myths and legends. This is a journey packed with many of Scotland’s most iconic sights and scenery, all conducted by an expert local guide. Day 1: Edinburgh to Portree You will leave Edinburgh at 8:00 AM, enjoying stunning views of the Forth Bridge. Enter the Highlands through Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. You will visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Then continue further north into the Highlands and enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, there is time to explore the shores of Loch Ness and a chance to spot Nessie. After you take in the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle, the journey continues to the famous Isle of Skye. You will spend the night in Portree on the Isle of Skye, known as the winged isle. Day 2: Isle of Skye You will spend the day exploring the dramatic Isle of Skye with its amazing scenery. You will discover the many myths and legends that surround the beautiful island. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape from the mainland against the backdrop of the jagged Cuillin Mountains. Highlights include the mysterious rock formation of the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock with its cascading waterfall, and Dunvegan's impressive castle. Stay overnight in Portree. Day 3: Portree to Edinburgh On the final day you will head south via the Skye Bridge and through the stunning glens. Pass the Commando Memorial with views of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. You will see eerie Glencoe and the wilds of Rannoch Moor, before arriving in Rob Roy country where you will hear about the rogue turned hero. Crossing back into the lowlands, you will arrive in Edinburgh in the early evening.

Scotland Whisky Explorer: Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

9. Scotland Whisky Explorer: Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

Depart from Edinburgh in the morning, heading for the Scottish Highlands via Stirling, the country’s ancient capital. Stirling’s skyline is dominated by its castle and the iconic Wallace Monument. After paying a visit to “Hamish, the Hairy Coo”, continue your drive into the Highlands, taking in the scenic beauty of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Along the way, pass by the shimmering waters of Loch Earn before stopping for lunch at The Famous Grouse Experience, one of Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries. There is an optional guided tour available that provides an insight into how “uisge beatha” (the water of life) is made and takes you on an interactive journey of the history behind one of the best-known brands of Scotch whisky. Having revived yourself with a wee dram, head to the heart of Perthshire to visit the Hermitage and enjoy a woodland walk to the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. The return journey takes us to the quaint village of Dunkeld, made famous in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Dunkeld is also known for its stunning cathedral, situated on the banks of the River Tay. Finally, drive past the Forth Bridges and return to Edinburgh.

Scotland's Splash White Water Rafting On Two Rivers Tour

10. Scotland's Splash White Water Rafting On Two Rivers Tour

Experience rafting two amazing rivers on the same day: the River Tay at Aberfeldy and the River Tummel at Pitlochry! First, ride the River Tay in an adrenaline-fueled white water rafting tour at the heart of Scotland. Flowing through Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Perth, the tour ends on the coast in Dundee. Then, paddle on to the second lef of your adventure, the River Tummel, and get ready for your drop! At the end of the tour, your raft drops down an 18-food (6 meter) waterfall into Loch Faskally! Each raft is led by a trained trip leader. Safety is ensured and covered in a comprehensive brief prior to the tour. During the tour, you'll learn and practice safety drills well before the most intense spots, ensuring not just a fun but also safe experience for everyone.

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What people are saying about River Tay, Scotland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 499 reviews

Considering we chose to see Scotland in the peak of winter, we were worried that we'd miss out on a lot. But Brian Smith (our amazing Tour Guide/DJ) made it memorable! His sheer passion for storytelling and friendly easygoing nature is a credit to the Hairy Coo and I hope they appreciate how lucky they are to have him. The trip was very well planned and even with the weather being unpredictable and causing disruptions, it was well worth it and we now have a new found love for the Scottish Highlands and it's beauty!

Excellent tour planned meticulously to so much details that the tour guides's commentary and Playlist matched the places being visited / passed by. Steve, our tour guide/driver had the whackiest and wittiest quotes to entertain us all along. Short November end days did made us loose a bit of the itenairy but whatever we saw was worth it. Sadly, we had to miss out the main day of Isle of Skye visit as our son fell sick. We'll surely plan another trip in summers sometime to make it up.

We are very happy that we did this tour. Previously I had doubts about whether we were going to understand the guide, but he was exceptional, he spoke slowly, he was aware at all times that we were comfortable and we laughed a lot with him so that we learned a lot. I totally recommend it

John (aka the king of the north) was amazing. He made us all laugh, kept us entertained, engaged, and happy throughout the whole trip. Even though some places were shut due to weather he managed to take us to other points of interest to make up for it

A great experience with Stephen as we ventured around the Highlands. Amazing recommendations and insights personalised to our questions. Would highly recommend to people interested in an intimate and lively tour.