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 This evening, our extremely cold spell continues with temperature tonight down to minus 7 C tonight then snow then a further drop in temperature. This is very unusual at this time of year and is causing the whole country to slow down a notch, mainly due to transport disruptions as a function of  the snow and ice. For a change  I have decided to depart from my series of  winter images and provide a little variety via a focus on the mighty River Tay.

The Tay comprises  Scotland’s longest river system extending to 120m (193km) and in its course from source to sea passes through lochs Dochart and Tay. Catchment area is some 2400 sq miles. The name Tay is very ancient and may have an Indo-European root (which links the name to the rivers Thames and Tyne in England) and may mean to dissolve, to melt, to flow.

The Tay Valley has been associated with human development for thousands of years. There are stone circles and rock art dating back to prehistoric times, iron-age crannogs ( lake dwelling on stilts and islands) and more recently some enduring bridges, e.g.the >200 year old Telford Bride at Dunkeld. Historically, the river was used for trade and transport of goods but nowadays the focus is on leisure activities such as white water rafting, water sports and fishing.

Here is a link to a tour of Perthshire which connects with the Tay.

A note of caution: the river floods and has caused much damage to the city of Perth and other affected communities in the recent past.

This is the River Tay at Perth in central Scotland.

River Tay

View of River Tay at Perth

  Read more on River Tay, Scotland…



This evening,  theme is Oban on the west coast of Scotland.

This grew to prominence in Victorian times when the railway came and brought holiday makers as well providing transport for freight and fish from the busy port.

Oban remains popular today, particularly with visitors on coach tours. There is a good selection of seafront hotels plus a well regarded seafood restaurant.

From my (touring) perspective, I tend to use Oban solely as a stop for for ferry transfers to Mull and other islands . The town can be very busy and I think I can giver my guests better experiences of Scotland elsewhere. Some of the key sites worthy of  a visit include McCaig’s Tower, a whisky distillery and two castles, Dunstaffnage and Dunollie. Relatively close to Oban is the historic Kilmartin Glen, packed full of prehistoric standing stones, burial cairns and rock art.

Here is a view of the town at top of which sits McCaig’s Folly, a 19th century make work project for local stonemasons.

Oban

View of Oban

Read more on Visit Oban, Scotland…



This evening, my theme is Scottish Glens. ‘Glen’ is a Scots word for valley. Because of the mountainous terrain Scotland is very well populated with Glens and valleys. I am going to focus on seven glens with which I am familiar and feature on my tours and travels.

Read more on Visit Scottish Glens…