You could be mistaken for thinking White Water Rafting is something you do when you are abroad, in fact the UK, and in particular Scotland, have many rivers offering all grades of whitewater and loads of Rafting! We met up with Splash White Water Rafting on the river Tummel to find out more!
We met on the river bank just north of Pitlochry on a lovely sunny September afternoon, and after signing in and getting kitted up in the standard safety kit, we got on to the Rafting bus to our start point. This short trip gave us time to meet our guides, all of which were friendly and informative.
After a short introduction to the basics of paddling and the importance of listening to directions we were being given whilst on the river, we jumped in the raft and into the positions we had been given.
We headed off down the Tummel, practicing our paddling strokes and just getting use to taking instructions from our guide, and reacting to them as quick as we could. Luckily for us this came fairly quickly. This also gave us time to look at the amazing setting of the Tummel, with its rocky, mossy and green banks, brown stained water, almost like tea, and stunning woodlands. Basically the ideal setting for such an epic trip!
As we travelled down stream not only did our paddling improve, but our camaraderie was growing, and the anticipation of the finale, which our guide kept dropping in to the conversation, was growing and nerves were starting to jangle.
We passed various tricky little sections with names like “the sharks tooth” and “zig zag” , each getting more involved, and confidence in our ability started to grow. One thing that was coming apparent was how wild and rugged the Tummel is!
It has been a little while since I have had butterflies in my stomach, but as we arrived at the final obstacle, a two-tier, 18 foot drop (Grade IV), there was a sudden change in the whole atmosphere. Other rafts had collected near the top and this gave us a chance to get out and check out where we would be heading. I wish I hadn’t, as the first raft I watched go over was really close to getting it wrong and flipping the raft over the drop, not one of Splash’s rafts I have to add!
The drop was huge and as we got back in to our raft, the our guide quickly got our heads straight again and gave us direct instructions on what was about to happen. There was plenty of nervous laughing in the raft, but our guide’s confidence and direction soon found us heading over the rapids in to the falls.
A few little paddle strokes to straighten up and we headed over the first tier of the falls, hitting the water, and sending a huge bow wave over the raft. Our guide was hanging out of the raft with his paddle, expertly steering us in to the second, and much bigger drop, away from the very obvious rocky sides. We headed over the falls and held on and ducked down. Another huge wave washed over the raft, but we had made it, and laughter, cheering and the shaking of hands broke out across our raft, more relief as much as anything, and a real sense of achievement! Quite simply it was amazing!
Splash White water Rafting had shown us just what the Tummel has to offer, and alongside the expertise of the guides, and the stunning backdrop, they had supplied us with one if the most exciting days we have had in the UK. Are we fans of White water Rafting here on the UK Active Outdoors, you better believe it, and we will be back out as soon as we get a chance!
To find out more about Splash White Water Rafting check out their website: