- Arbroath Cliff Tours – take to the water and see the coast by kayak
- Kingarrock Hickory Golf Course – test your golfing skills, playing with equipment from 100 year ago
- Open/Close Street Art Trails – explore Dundee’s public art on this self-guided tour – watch out for Dundee’s famous faces such as Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx and Oor Wullie
- Dundee Cycle Hire – see the city from two-wheels, electric or old-style bikes for hire
- Lindores Abbey Distillery – book the Apothecary Experience, a flavour journey and create your own unique spirit to take home
- Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier – guided chocolate tasting, design your own chocolate box and savour a truffle or two in the Chocolate Lounge
- Caledonian Railway Brechin – take a trip back in time on this authentic steam railway
- Gleneagles Spa – spend a day refreshing body and soul at the newly refurbished Gleneagles Spa
TAKE THE COAST ROAD
Tay Country offers miles of stunning coastline to explore. The Fife Coastal Path is Scotland’s longest continuous coastal path and one of Scotland’s Great Trails. Tour the 117 miles between Kincardine and Newburgh, stopping for photo ops among lobster creels and pastel-coloured fishing villages. There’s sea life in abundance visible from the shore or take a pleasure cruise from Anstruther to the Isle of May and feast your eyes on flocks of puffins and diving gannets.
The East Neuk of Fife is also known for its fabulous seafood — visit the seafood shacks in Crail and let the fishermen recommend their catch of the day. Stop in at Anstruther’s famous fish bars for haddock and chips best enjoyed al fresco, sitting on the harbour wall as the sun sets.
The Angus Coastal Route takes in a string of seaside resorts starting from Dundee – plenty of opportunities to breathe in that salty sea air! Don’t miss the rolling surf and golden dunes of Lunan Bay just three miles south of Montrose. You’ll often get the place entirely to yourself, leaving you free to wander alone on swathes of empty sand.
GET YOUR ADRENALINE FIX
Back in 1689, a Redcoat fleeing the Battle of Killiekrankie escaped his pursuers by leaping across the River Garry (later the beauty spot was to become known as “The Soldier’s Leap”). Now, why not throw yourself in headfirst with a bungee jump off Garry Bridge. For fearties, tandem jumps can be arranged and kids can try a 15m freefall.
Bring your bike or simply hire one here and enjoy the Kingdom of Fife Cycle Ways, a network of over 300 miles of cycle routes on old railway paths and forest tracks. At Pitmedden Forest near Auchtermuchty, you’ll find miles of track, plenty of choice for beginners and experts alike.
Pistonheads are well catered for with stunning drives (explore the never-ending back roads around the Glens of Angus starting from Kirriemuir), but for those who enjoy an even faster experience, Dunfermline hosts Scotland’s only internationally graded racing circuit. Hire a Formula Race Car and feel the tarmac just centimetres from your rear end! YOLO, as they say!
SPLASH AROUND IN THE RIVER TAY
Scotland’s longest river begins as a tiny spring on Ben Lui in the southern Highlands, gathering momentum from Loch Tay as it flows east through majestic Perthshire, finally spilling into the Firth of Tay, just south of Dundee. By the time those spring droplets make it to the North Sea they have travelled 190km from their source.
The Tay Estuary at Dundee are home to bottlenose dolphins from May until September, so why not take a boat trip to spot dolphins and seals, or admire local lighthouses and the impressive new V&A Dundee from the water? Or imagine starting your sea kayaking journey with the 15th Century Broughty Ferry castle in your sights (the name Broughty comes from the Gaelic Bruach Tatha, which means the bank of the Tay) or sticking closer to civilisation and wake-boarding at the docks.
Tay Country is carved by water; for kayakers, white water rafters, canyoners or fans of river bugging, there’s nowhere like it. Especially afterwards, when you’re dry, with a well-deserved dram in your hand.
EXPERIENCE THE GOLF OF LEGENDS
Scotland is the home of golf, it was invented right here in Tay Country at St Andrews. Join in the 600-year-old tradition and be part of golfing history as you enter the ballot to play a round at the Old Course.
This July the Open returns to Scotland for the eighth time. The historic Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus are one of the venues in the Open rotation and also one of the toughest courses in Britain, thanks to its challenging bunkers and strong winds. Book your spot as a spectator, sit in the stand at the 18th Green or watch an outdoors in the Spectator Village.
There are a phenomenal 112 courses in Tay Country, giving you the chance to shout “Fore!” in a variety of stunning settings. The Montrose Medal Course is the 5th oldest in the world, Strathtay Golf Club, near Aberfeldy is a scenic inland course with an old-time honesty box for green fees. Blairgowrie Wee Course, Piperdam Wee Piper and Forbes of Kingennie offer nine holes, and no one has the excuse to go home without having played at St Andrew’s when the Ladies’ Putting Club offers a wee shot on their hallowed “Himalayas” for £2!
BAG A MUNRO
Mountaineer and politician, Sir Hugh Munro (1856–1919) never quite managed to climb all the mountains he catalogued as over 3000 feet high. Today, many keen climbers make it their mission to bag all 282 of them, a bucket-list hobby that can be dipped in and out of over a lifetime.
Tay Country offers 38 Munros to explore, from splendid Schiehallion to Driesh above Glen Doll, but for a gentler introduction to hillwalking the Angus Glens contain a group of peaceful valleys, ideal for cycles and country rambles. Or consider devoting some time to the historic Cateran Trail, straddling the border between Perthshire and Angus that takes its name from cattle thieves who preyed on good hearted locals and their stock until the 17th century.
We won’t judge you though if you decide to stay indoors at one of our well-stocked whisky bars. Sometimes mountains are best viewed from the ground level, by the light of a roaring fire!
SAFARIS AND SAILING – SCOTTISH STYLE!
One thing that Scotland isn’t short of is wind, so why not turn that to our advantage with a sail across the sand? It’s go-karting for grown-ups and an opportunity to tear about West Sands Beach in St Andrews, Fife, where ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed, like a big kid. Indeed, if you happen to be around when the community stages their annual race in homage, you will hear them play Vangelis’ cinematic score along the route. If not, you’ll have to hum it as you wheel around the beach.
Head inland and the splendour of the Tay Country wildlife is available to the keen nature spotter in the wilderness of Highland Perthshire, where on a good day you may just spot red deer, mountain hares or a soaring golden eagle. Local guides can share hard-won knowledge, supply binoculars and even remember to pack hot drinks and shortbread for a pit stop surrounded by panoramic mountain views. For rambling, fell running, mountain biking or camping, Tay Country has miles of unspoiled landscape and friendly people who are only too happy to advise.
The contemporary food and drink scene in Tay Country is thriving, from cultured cafes that double up as art galleries to adapted workshop spaces and Michelin-recommended fine dining restaurants. Blessed with a fabulous natural larder our talented chefs have no shortage of locally grown produce to choose from, sourcing entire menus from the region’s coastline and countryside. Be sure to book ahead for a table at our legendary ‘foodie’ restaurants, many in stunning locations with views to die for.
Our bars and cocktail bars also champion the field to fork revolution, stocking locally produced vodkas, gins and craft lagers, each with their own story. Ask at the bar for their local recommendations and how best to serve.
And while our city centres offer every international cuisine, from Japanese to tapas and dim sum, don’t miss out on the charms of the village inns and family owned restaurants dotted around the area. You’ll be rewarded with comforting classics such as the delicious Smokie Pancake made with Arbroath Smokies, home baking and high-end fish and chips.
DIP INTO TAY COUNTRY’S NATURAL LARDER
Meet the committed families and food producers who bring their wares from farm, field and sea to your tables at the sensational Crail Food Festival, Dundee Flower and Food Festival and Taste of Angus and Great Perthshire Picnic. Find out just what makes an Arbroath Smokie quite so special and taste everything from rare breed pork to the delicately flavoured wild salmon and brown trout caught from Tay Country’s cool, clear rivers. You might even be lucky enough to get your hands on the Tayberry, an intensely sweet fusion of the raspberry and blackberry unique to the region. Or try your hand at picking your own raspberries and strawberries at our soft fruit farms.
If you’re not fortunate enough to land in Tay Country when these fantastic festivals are on, many producers maintain their own farm shops as well as attending monthly Farmers’ Markets throughout the year. There you will find not only specialist produce, but “basics” like freshly-laid eggs that will never see the inside of a supermarket. Food fit for a king, especially the double-yolkers!
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
Like Champagne and Gorgonzola, a Smokie can only call itself a Smokie if it comes from Arbroath. Named one of the Top 50 UK Foods, this divine delicacy is a haddock that’s been salted then hung over a whisky barrel filled with burning beech and oak wood. The results are delicious and can be sampled either in one of Arbroath’s pubs and smokehouses dotted around the harbour, or by picking up a pack of Smokies at one of the many farmer’s markets.
About half an hour along the road, you’ll find a Forfar Bridie. For those not yet in the know, it’s a special Scottish meat and onion pasty that’s been produced in the area since 1833. Go straight to the source and pick one up in a bakery on Forfar’s High Street.
Get to know another tasty local delicacy from Tay Country, with a pot of tea and a slice of the world-famous Dundee Cake. Besides being famous for its “jute, jam and journalism”, Dundee is also proud of creating this classic fruitcake recipe made with sultanas, orange peel and almonds. You’re in for a treat – and a slice of something a bit lighter and crumblier than a Christmas cake.
FOLLOW YOUR NOSE!
Gin is hot on the heels of whisky as Scotland’s other national drink and Tay Country is fortunate to have an abundance of both types of distilleries, with distinct charms and welcoming tasting rooms. Everyone (except the designated driver) will love touring coast and country to sip gins and whiskies and hear about the expertise that goes into making them. None more so than at an ancient site in Fife where whisky has been distilled since the 15th century. Herbs and fruits grown in Angus give our gins their unique taste, so take home some of our tasty rhubarb, raspberries and blueberries in liquid form, or for the truly committed try one of the region’s blending masterclasses and make your own.
Of course, no one comes to Tay Country without stopping off for a dram, and where better than at a distillery whisky tasting paired with chocolates or one of our well-stocked, welcoming hostelries, some of which keep as many as 1031 types of whisky behind the bar. “Slàinte mhath!”, as we say… pronounce it slanjevah and wish everyone good health!
RELAX AT A RURAL RETREAT
Do you dream of escaping to the countryside and switching off your gadgets? Run into the open arms of Tay Country’s rural retreats, where country manners and home cooking will be a balm for the soul. You’ll find everything from quirky eco-pods to family run working farms, treehouses to more refined rural destinations. It’s up to you what you do when you get there. Put your feet up and read that book you’ve been trying to finish, offer to help out with the animals, take a cookery masterclass and learn to make the most of our outstanding Scottish ingredients. Or get some fishing in, there are guides aplenty and everyone’s got an opinion about the best fly to tie or bait to use.
And after a hard day’s work, message precisely no one to tell them about it. That can wait until you switch the wi-fi back on!