Preparations begin for new boating season on the River Tay

New visitor attractions on the River Tay are expected to entice more tourists and locals into the City of Perth this summer to enjoy a programme of organised boat trips to view the Fair City from a different perspective.

The Boating on the Tay scheme kicks off with a fun-packed launch day on Sunday 25 June 2017 which will see a beach and associated activities set up in the city centre, and a full day of exciting free taster activities on offer at Willowgate Activity Centre. And, for the lucky ones who are able to bag one of the limited free boat trip tickets they can journey between the two sites by boat.

Tickets for launch day boat trips can be booked on www.perthcity.co.uk, but be fast as they’re expected to go quickly.

The scheme is the latest stage of a project between Perth & Kinross Council and the Tay & Earn Trust designed to promote the regeneration and usage of the city’s key waterway. It has been brought forward as a result of £700,000 of funding from the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities Fund, and has included the installation of two seasonal pontoons, one near the Fergusson Gallery in Perth, and the other at Willowgate Activity Centre some 20 minutes down the river.

Perth and Kinross Provost Dennis Melloy said: “The River Tay is a fantastic asset for the city, but it is a massively under used resource. Both the Inner Tay Masterplan and the Perth City Plan highlight the importance of developing opportunities on the river. The pontoon scheme is the first important step in delivering the infrastructure to support this.

“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. Importantly it also provides an opportunity for the Council and the Tay & Earn Trust to show the potential of the river to commercial operators.”

David Clarke Chairman of the Tay and Earn Trust commented that:

“The River Tay is an important and unique asset for Perth City and developing the infrastructure along the inner Tay to improve access and attract visitors to the area is vital. I am delighted that the pontoons at Willowgate and Fergusson Gallery have now been installed. Overnight and day moorings are available at the Willowgate pontoon.”

Boating on the Tay launch day activities – 12 noon to 7.00 pm, Sunday 25 June

There will be a range of free activities in the city centre open to everyone, whether or not they’ve managed to book a boat trip, including:
• beach in the city with buckets, spades and deckchairs (fingers crossed for sunbathing)
• surf machine
• inflatable volleyball
• table tennis
• seaside fairground attractions, including rides and a Punch & Judy show
• there will also be live music, and refreshments available at the seaside bar
For more details, and to keep up-to-date visit www.perthcity.co.uk

Willowgate Activity Centre open fun day – 10.00 am – 7.00 pm, Sunday 25 June

Try out the wide range of activities available at Perth’s riverside activity centre for free, with taster sessions of:

– sit-on kayaking and canoeing
– raft building
– stand up paddle boarding
– aqua zorbing
– archery
– bush craft
For more details contact info@willowgateactivitycentre.co.uk, call 01738 637245, or search for ‘Willowgate Activity Centre’ on Facebook.

Booking boat trips

All boat trips are booked online via www.perthcity.co.uk Tickets for the launch day trips on Sunday 25 June are free, prices for trips on the main boating programme start from £8 for adults, and £6 for under-16s for a return trip.

During the July to October boating season there will be three types of sight-seeing trips available to book:

– Perth City Centre to Willowgate early morning nature trips
– Perth City Centre to Willowgate evening leisure trips
– Willowgate to Elcho Castle sight-seeing trips (please note there is no pontoon at Elcho Castle to moor the boat)

Due to the tidal nature of the River Tay at Perth the boat trips will operate during restricted hours between July and October, and times vary depending on the predicted tide times. As with any outdoor activity the hours of operation will be dependent on the weather, and trips may be cancelled at late notice if conditions are unfavourable.

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