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Tour Scotland, River Tay

The source of this, the longest river in Scotland, is on Ben Lui, near Tyndrum in Perthshire. It runs for more than 119 miles, through Perth, as shown above, and into the North Sea beyond Dundee and is one of the most important Scottish salmon rivers, especially noted for its early runs of spring fish.

The village of Tyndrum stands at the head of Strath Fillan, surrounded by the great hills of Perthshire. To the north rear the peaks of the Forest of Mamlorn, Beinn Odhar (2,948 feet) and Beinn Chaorach (2,655 feet). Even nearer to Tyndrum lies Beinn Bheag (2,149 feet),
while to the south-west is mighty Ben Lui (3,708 feet). It is from the slopes of these hills that the rivers Fillan and Coninish take their water and flow down the Strath into Loch Dochart and thence down Glen Dochart where their flow is supplemented by streams which come down from the hills that line the glen.

Now called the river Dochart, this swollen stream moves swiftly on and thunders through the village of Killin and into Loch Tay, being joined by the equally forceful river Lochay just beyond the village itself. Dominated by Ben
Lawers (3,984 feet) Killin is the home of the Clan MacNab and on the southern bank of the river can be seen Kinnell
House, formerly their family seat. Finlarig Castle on the opposite bank was the seat of the Campbells of Glen Orchy and Breadalbane.

Loch Tay stretches from Killin to Kenmore, a distance of nearly 15 miles. It has a small island at its eastern tip
known as Eilean nam Bannaomh (Island of the Blessed Women Saints) after an earlier nunnery which was later
converted to a castle. Loch Tay is the finest salmon fishing loch in Scotland. The Tay leaves the loch at Kenmore, a lovely village visited and praised by Robert Burns. It then loops around old Taymouth Castle under Drummond Hill, to be joined by the river Lyon just above

Taymouth Castle has replaced the much earlier Balloch Castle which belonged to the Breadalbane Campbells and contains the Black Book of Taymouth, a centuries old history of the clan.

At Aberfeldy, a popular and pleasant tourist centre, is the monument to the enrolment of the Black Watch, in May, 1740, into the Army as the 42nd Regiment of the line. The graceful bridge was built in 1733 by General Wade’s engineers while below the town to the south are the celebrated Falls of Moness on the Urlar Burn.
The Tay joins with the broad river Tummel below Logierait before flawing south to Dunkeld. Here the river is spanned by a pleasing bridge designed by the famous Thomas Telford.

Dunkeld has a thousand years of history and the
medieval cathedral, the considerable remains of which can still be seen, was first commenced in 1318 and completed in 1501, only to be burned during tbe
Reformation. The town itself was badly damaged during the battle fought here in 1689 but much of it has since been carefully restored.

Beyond Dunkeld the Tay crosses the head of broad Strath More and follows twisting and leisurely course southwards from Meikleour to Perth and its tidal reaches. “The Fair City” was once the premier city of Scotland and to nearby Scone the kings of Scotland came to be
crowned, seated upon the famous Stone of Destiny which Edward I later removed to Westminster Abbey. The former name of the city was St. Johnstoun and the
ancient church named after this saint was founded at the time of the Picts.

From Kinnoull Hill, which overlooks the city, there is a marvellous view down the Carse of Gowrje towards Dundee and the Firth of Tay, with the river winding
gently on its leisurely way to the sea. Dundee, now connected with Fife by both rail and road bridges, stands on the north bank of the Firth. Now the fourth city of Scotland, its history dates back to Roman times. Sheltered by the Sidlaw Hills, to the north and west, it is
an important industrial centre which still retains a dignified and pleasing appearance with some fine open spaces, including the park on Law Hill, from which splendid views can be enjoyed. Beyond the coastal resort of Broughty Ferry the Firth reaches the sea between the twin arms of Tents Muir Point and Buddon Ness.

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