Aaaaaah, the sun! How I have missed you! Those golden rays shone down on me as I paddled up Loch Tay this febuary afternoon. I took the opportunity to blow off my winter cobwebs. Arriving at the stunning conservation village of Kenmore, at Loch Tays eastern edge, I got my gear on and walked my board down to the waters edge. I was greeted by a view of majestic snow capped peaks on the Ben Lawers massif, and best of all, not an iota of wind!. The sun shone down and, reflected by the Loch's waters, the heat given off definately did not feel like a typical febuary day. I set off from the beach and sauntered past the boathouse and through the many buoys sat out on the water, all of them longing for those summer days when the pleasure boats use them for mooring and fill up the bay. The next location for me and my SUP was to paddle over to explore the Isle of Loch Tay. The Isle of Loch Tay , in Gaelic - Eilean nam Ban-naomh ('Isle of holy women') is about 500 metres away from Kenmore, making a great destination to paddle over to, leave your board at the waters edge, and experience a bit of 'Robinson Crusoe' adventure. The island has a ruin to clamber over, formerly a 12th century nunnery and is the burial place of Queen Sybilla, the wife of Alexander I of Scotland. My little boys own adventure over, its back on the water, as I carried on paddling along Loch Tays northern shore, passing the huge hulk of an old boat, sitting forlornly on the shore, as I headed up to Fearnan. The sun still beating, the mountain views expanded, enabling my to see the snowy mountains which look down on Killin, some 17 miles away. With the prevailing winds behind you, a downwinder from Killin to Kenmore is one the countries best downwind paddles. It was time to turn around and head towards Kenmore again, and feel the suns warm rays on my back. I headed diagonally across the loch to its southern edge and the tiny village of Acharn. I scooted around the working salmon farm, past a heron, sat on a buoy, acting like a sentry for the salmon farm. I then carried along the banks of the Loch to the Scottish Crannog centre. This is an incredible reconstruction of an Iron age dwelling, a Crannog, which sits on stilts above the water. The smoke rising from next to it, was luckily not it going up in flames, but a demonstration of iron age cooking and crafts. The final leg is upon me as the waters become shallower and I make my way back to Kenmores beach. I find it hard to leave this beautiful place to put my gear away, savouring the views and the sun. But I am thankful I got to have such a stunning paddle, only a SUP lets me experience this place like this.
This extract is taken from the Scottish SUP Guide, written by Perthshire Adventure member Matt Gambles from Paddle Surf Scotland.
Loch Tay Stand Up Paddleboarding trips are available from our Perthshire Adventure members:
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