‘A Long Time Coming’ – Beaver Safari on the River Tay
‘A Long Time Coming’ – Beaver Safari on the River Tay

‘A Long Time Coming’ – Beaver Safari on the River Tay

Episode 55: ‘A Long Time Coming’ – Beaver Safari on the River Tay

Let’s go on a Beaver Safari on the River Tay to learn about their reintroduction on Scottish river systems and a wildlife encounter at dusk.

‘A Long Time Coming’ takes you on a journey along the River Tay, from its source to the sea. We hop inside a canoe to follow the footsteps (or paw strokes?) of beavers who live on this river system – and learn about their troubled past.

We talk about beaver reintroduction programmes in Britain, learn interesting facts about beavers and head out to hopefully meet them on the river banks.

This experience is hosted by Perthshire Wildlife and Beyond Adventure, and throughout the episode, you’ll hear from our beaver expert guide, Pete.

At the end of the episode, I share with you my top tips for a trip to the River Tay and Aberfeldy.


Read the book Bringing Back the Beaver by Derek Gow – find it in my recommended Nature Writing list on bookshop.org

Want to see beavers yourself? Read my guide to where to find beavers in Scotland.

Read more from the Scottish Wildlife Trust on beavers

Find out about Scotland’s official government policy on Scottish beavers

Check out The Beaver Trust – a UK-wide conservation and advocacy group for beavers

Report: The benefits beavers may bring to Scottish rivers, streams and water resources

Article: Why beavers are good for the environment

Watch this video about beavers by Save Our Wild Isles, a documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough

You might also enjoy this Wild for Scotland episode about outdoor swimming in Loch Tay (Season 3 Episode 7)

Disclaimer: All information provided in this podcast is based on personal travel experiences. Companies mentioned in the story or tips were active at the time of release. If you listen to episodes at a later point, note that this information may have changed in the meantime.

5 Travel Tips for a Trip to the River Tay and Aberfeldy

1) Book a Beaver Canoe Safari

While it is possible to see beavers on the Tay on your own – especially if you know where to look – there’s really nothing that beats a guided experience with a wildlife expert. It means you don’t just see the beavers, but you also learn more about them.

The Beaver Canoe Safari with Perthshire Wildlife and Beyond Adventure is a great opportunity to do this and spend an enjoyable evening on the Tay.

2) Stop by the Watermill Cafe and Bookshop

There is no shortage of cafes in Aberfeldy, but my favourite is the Watermill. There is a fantastic independent bookshop on the top floor and a cafe down below. It’s a great place to stop for a hot drink before heading out in the canoes and I can highly recommend getting a cake for takeaway to enjoy after the experience.

3) Go for a walk at the Birks of Aberfeldy

It’s well worth arriving in Aberfeldy a few hours early and go for a walk at the Birks of Aberfeldy. There is a fine walk up the gorge where the Moness burn forms many waterfalls. Robert Burns wrote about this beautiful place in his song The Birks of Aberfeldy. Following the loop trail takes about 2 hours with plenty of time for to stop and contemplate the beauty of nature at one of the benches.

4) Go in Autumn

Now, this is a bit of a tricky one, because while beaver sightings are also possible throughout the year, chances are definitely slimmer as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop. But, few areas in Scotland are as beautiful in autumn as Perthshire, so it’s worth, pushing your beaver trip back a little bit to also catch the season’s colours in the woods. Or simply plan two trips – one in summer to see the beavers and one in autumn for the trees.

5)  Drive a detour down Glen Lyon

If you’re in Aberfeldy for a few days – and why wouldn’t you want to do that – take your car and drive down Glen Lyon, a long and beautiful glen that stretches west from Fortingall and is enclosed by the Lawers range in the south and the Glen Lyon munros in the north. Visit the Fortingall Yew Tree which is over 5,000 years old, enjoy the scenery down the glen and stop at the Glen Lyon Tearoom near the historic Bridge of Balgie.

My Beaver Canoe Safari in pictures

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  1. Pingback: Where to see Beavers in Scotland - Watch Me See

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