The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland. Like the Forth and Clyde, it becomes a firth before flowing into the sea. I don’t know it as well as the other two but I like being by it. The last time was in September, during a couple of days in Dundee. The Tay begins on the slopes of Ben Lui and flows through Perth as a river then Dundee as a firth. It’s the subject of some of the worst poetry ever committed to paper, which I never fail to remember when in the vicinity of Magdalen Green or the current Tay Bridge, as well as being in some frankly far superior paintings by the likes of James McIntosh Patrick.
Perth is split by the Tay. I particularly like that the Tay has islands in Perth, one housing a golf course. Being a person who contends without fail that golf ruins a good walk, I will also say that the golf course can be crossed while walking to Branklyn Garden, which is at the eastern bank of the Tay. I’ve always liked Perth because it feels like a gateway to mountains and adventure, with hills to be seen to the north as well as roads to cities, mountains and fine restaurants like Cardo with its fine macarons.
The train from Glasgow to Dundee requires crossing the Tay in Perth. From Perth station, the train is at height amidst houses then it curves across the river before hugging its banks on the way to Dundee where the recently redeveloped station sits a few steps from the Tay, the RRS Discovery and the V and A. That part of Dundee is excellent now. I like walking by the Tay there, the sweep of the Firth visible from Broughty Ferry and Tentsmuir up river towards hills. I’ve been there on sunny, warm days and cold, wintry twilights and it’s good to look across and around, thinking of William McGonagall and all that history or perhaps what good food might be found soon. I think that’s the point I’m getting at: there’s lots of good food by the Tay, not least macarons and of course pehs in Dundee.