Boats on the Tay

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Sunday marked the opening of a new boating season on the River Tay, and the city centre was packed with people enjoying the fantastic summer atmosphere! With beach activities set up in the city centre, including a surf machine and inflatable volleyball, as well as amazingly successful taster sessions offered by the Willowgate Activity Centre for their open fun day – it was a great day out thoroughly enjoyed by all!

Boat on the Tay launch - WillowgateThis is just the beginning of the boating season which will run from July to October and there are a number of great trips available to book. Two seasonal pontoons have been installed; one on Tay Street near the Fergusson Art Gallery, and one at the Willowgate Activity Centre just down the river. It’s part of a project run by Perth and Kinross Council, in conjunction with the Tay and Earn Trust, designed to regenerate the city’s waterway.

Following £700k of funding from the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities Fund, the boating season scheme is now underway and it’s something that excites Perth and Kinross Provost, Dennis Melloy.

“The programme of boat trips between July and October offers a great opportunity for tourists and residents to view the city from a different perspective. It also provides an opportunity for the council and the Tay and Earn Trust to show the potential of the river to commercial operators.”

There were a limited number of tickets available for the free boat trip between the two pontoons, and those who were lucky enough to snap them up were able to see first-hand the city of Perth from the water. The programme of boat trips between July and October offers a great opportunity for tourists and residents to view the city from a different perspective. Those who couldn’t get on the river on Sunday were able to enjoy the fantastic entertainment throughout the day. Families flocked to Tay Street to enjoy the ‘beach in the city’ and build sandcastles and sculptures, while others got active and took part in the inflatable volleyball and the table tennis.

The Willowgate Activity Centre held free taster sessions on Sunday too, which were very well attended. Having originally expected around 500 people to come along, Adam Burns of Willowgate confirmed that over 1200 people were making the most of the taster sessions and getting out onto the water, something he was delighted to see.

Boat on the Tay - City beachIt’s very easy to book a trip on the river, and there are three types of sight-seeing routes available to book. You can try an early morning nature trip between the two pontoons, or a nice summer evening leisure trip. There is also a sight-seeing trip running from the Willowgate Activity Centre to Elcho Castle, although there is no pontoon at the castle to moor the boat. The times of the trips may vary as they are subject to predicted tide times.

It looks like it’s going to be an exciting summer on the River Tay and we can’t wait to get out on the water! So, if you’re keen to see a different view of our great city then find your sea-legs and climb aboard!


It's easy to book your trips on the River Tay - simply visit the Perth City website and select the trip you would like to book!

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