The 12 Taps of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Use of Scottish Water Top Up Taps for free!

This festive season, we’ve been sharing winter walks you can do around your local Top Up Tap. While some have been temporarily switched off for winter, we wanted to remind you that most are still in use and ready to supply you with water that’s fresh, clear and only available right here.

Our much-loved taps have been popping up from Kirkcudbright to Kirkwall, and with now over 100 to choose from, there’s no better way to stay refreshed on the go. These are our top 12 walks to do this winter, so tag us in yours under #12TUTs for a chance to win some Scottish Water goodies…

1. Strathclyde Park

Park up at Strathclyde Country Park and embark on a 4k loop around Strathclyde Loch, a tranquil escape from the buzz of Lanarkshire used by dogwalkers and coffee wanderers alike. As you begin your jaunt from the car park, take a right and top up from the tap to set you up for your winter walk in the woodlands. On your way, stop off at M&Ds Theme Park for some ice skating and fresh doughnuts – what better way to kick off your festive season!

2. Stonehaven

This spot is a great meeting point to start your walk . There are bike racks and parking available, as well as ample buses connecting Stonehaven to the surrounding areas. Top up from the tap and prepare yourself for an easy 8k round trip walk to Dunnottar Castle, returning to Stonehaven harbour to relax, having enjoyed visiting one of Scotland’s most iconic castles.

3. Fort William

Situated in the Scottish Highlands our Gordon Street Top up Tap is a great meeting point for your next excursion. Whether you’re looking to hike, walk or cycle, Fort William has nearly 70 picturesque trails. From Ben Nevis to Steall Falls, Scotland’s beauty bears no comparison! If you want to keep your wander low-key, top up from the tap and stroll through the town centre, visiting cosy pubs and restaurants, and finish off by walking the short distance to the town pier.

4. Mabie Forest

With an abundance of walking trails, topping up from the tap in Mabie Forest couldn’t be easier. Embark on a 4.4-mile circular walk round a forest where Romans made charcoal and smelted iron, taking in the rich history of Scotland’s scenery. As one of the world class 7 stanes mountain biking locations, routes are available for amateurs and daredevils alike. Only bike when it’s safe to do so, but why not try the 8k biking loop for beginners? Offering gentle slopes and stunning scenery, this route has something for everyone.

5. Peebles

To get to the High Street, top up from the tap then head west along Tweed Green and enjoy riverside views of the River Tweed, a 90 mile waterway that is one of Scotland’s most renowned and celebrated fishing rivers. For those with an adventurous side, Peebles is a hub for outdoor pursuits including fishing, walking, mountain biking, road cycling and much more. Check out the John Buchan Way,  a 22km route between Peebles and Broughton, quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most popular short walks

6. Linlithgow

From the TUT at The Cross, you can take a 4km circular, following a footpath which circles Linlithgow Loch with spectacular views on the north side to magnificent Linlithgow Palace. You can explore the Palace and Peel and walk in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots who was born there on the 8th of December, 1542. For a more strenuous outing from the TUT, you can make your way to the Union Canal basin visitor centre at the back of the railway station and make your way west or east along the tow paths in the direction of Edinburgh or Falkirk, where the 11km route brings you to the Falkirk Wheel. From here you can walk another 5km down to the Kelpies, the site of our 100th TUT.

7. Drumnadrochit

Looking for some adventure this winter? Top up from the tap at the community run Loch Ness Hub and get your binoculars at the ready to explore the shores of Loch Ness. Once you arrive at the Hub, friendly staff will map out the Heritage Trail around Drumnadrochit for you, a 3.5-mile route round the Highland village. From castles, forestry and bonnie banks, you might be the one to spot Nessie…

8. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

For a relaxed winter stroll, head to Glasgow’s Botanics. Located on Great Western Road, the Gardens are open from 7am-8pm, boasting vibrant plants and wildlife which plays a vital role in conserving our greenspaces. Stroll along the leafy three-mile circular route from the Top Up Tap down to the Garden’s Victorian bridge crossing the River Kelvin and along Kelvin Walkway to another Victorian Glasgow landmark, Kelvingrove Park.

9. The Helix

Helix Park is home to one of Scotland’s most popular paths around the famous Kelpies. You can take in the 300-ton sculptures as you top up from the tap, and walk, run or cycle on a 4.3km round trip. There’s a car park and fantastic public transport to and from Helix Park, and if you’re feeling adventurous, why not begin from the tap and make your way to the Falkirk Wheel on a 6km trip boasting two of Scotland’s marvels!

10. Oban

Oban is a small but mighty town in Scotland. Explore this town further by taking a leisurely stroll along the Corran Esplanade, a short 30 minute route taking you from St. Columba’s Cathedral to Dunollie’s woodland trail. Before you head off on your walk, top up your reusable bottle on Station Road.

11. St Andrews

With an abundance of cosy restaurants and coffee spots surrounding our tap in Church Square, topping up your bottle is a great starting point for your day in St. Andrews. You can walk from the tap to St. Andrews University at College Gate in just five minutes, a campus steeped in history and fame. From here, walk the short distance to St. Andrews castle and enjoy its mighty sea views.

12. Anstruther

This charming fishing village in Fife’s East Neuk is home to some great scenic walks. This winter, plan a walk on the Fife Coastal Path. Make your starting point our Top up Tap, situated outside the famous Anstruther Fish Bar on Shore Street. This is a short distance from Anstruther Harbour where you can begin the coastal path, this walk will take you to the neighbouring fishing village of Crail.

*Remember to only complete these walks when weather permits and stay vigilant in cold conditions. Learn more about water safety in winter here.