Complete Tay 100, Loch and River Tay Descent

Paddle the longest river, and one of the largest lochs, in Scotland! Do it as one big adventure, or tick the shorter sections.

The River Tay is such a wonderful place to paddle. The Tay Descent is around 120 miles (188km) of water from its sources near Crianlarich to the Dundee area, where it enters the North Sea. It has been navigated by Picts, Romans, and Vikings. And you should try to paddle it all, or in sections, as it’s a truly magnificent place to explore. The Tay 100, is a challenge, you can set yourself to complete, or you can look at how we, at Outdoor Explore can assist with this epic Loch and River Tay descent.

Tay Descent, finishing in Dundee
Sunrise from the kayak in Dundee, where the Tay enters the North Sea.

Some people wish to start the Tay Descent as close to the source as possible, yet often area near Crianlarich, River Dochart, suffers from low water levels, especially in the summer. This would be a good option in the Autumn, or Spring.

The most popular parts paddled on the Tay are between Killin and Perth. From there down, for the final 38-44km (depending on where are you finishing) the River Tay is tidal. We strongly recommend getting good research done before venturing on these close to the sea waters, as you are facing not only the fast river but also strong winds and very strong tides. This is a unique mix, so get in touch if you need some help planning your trip.

Complete the Tay Descent in the coming weeks, we have scheduled on our calendar amazing four days, novice-friendly, guided full-day trips, which you can join.

The trip will be broken down into several stages, although exact distances and camp spots will be subject to the group paddling speed and weather conditions during the trip. Any major rapids, for example, Grantully section and Stanley will be portaged. 

Stage 1: Killin to Kenmore  – a Full Day’s paddle down the length of Loch Tay. a Camp spots will be found either at the end of Loch Tay or at the start of the River. 

Stage 2: Kenmore to Grandtully – Camping will be at the SCA campsite at Grandtully. 

Stage 3: Portaging the rapids, we will enter the river and paddle down the river from Grandtully to Dunkeld. Some low-grade rapids and river navigation can be expected to add a bit of fun to the journey. Camping will be on the river bank south of Dunkeld. 

Stage 4: The final stretch, paddling from our camp spot down the river to finish in Perth. Stanley rapids will be portaged. 

Unless requested, we will bring our double kayaks which are much easier to use, fast, comfortable, and stable.

We will be in touch before the trip with more detailed information, including the meeting points, Kit to bring, food, and other logistics. The cost would be £400pp. If you bring you are planning on bringing your own paddling equipment please discuss this with the guide to ensure its suitability for the river descent. If you have any specific dates or locations in mind that you don’t see on our website, please contact us directly.

If you are looking for more interesting places to paddle in Scotland, get in touch with us at Outdoor Explore. We can help you plan your own trip, expedition, or adventure. There is a good book published by Pesda Press, ‘Paddle Scotland’ which you might consider getting when researching your next trip as well. Follow the link by clicking the button below. Happy paddling!