Perthshire

Sitting in the heart of Scotland, Perthshire is a great base to explore this beautiful country. It’s an amazing awe inspiring part of Scotland with forests, moors, glens, rivers and waterfalls as well as the City of Perth with its art, culture, bars, shopping, restaurants and parks. 

Perthshire’s main towns are Aberfeldy, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Dunkeld & Birnam and Kinlock Rannoch. Browse through the various sections below to find out more about Attractions, Restaurants, Accommodation etc and start planning that trip today.

Explore Perthshire

Why Visit Perthshire?

Perthshire is an historic county in central Scotland. Although it is only the fourth largest in the country, it is colloquially known as ‘the big county’. Most of Perthshire lies just above the Highland Boundary Fault. This is a straight line from Helensburgh to Stonehaven that marks the border line between the Highlands and Lowlands. However, some parts of the county do stretch down into Lowland regions. It has been home to some famous residents, including J. K. Rowling and Ewan McGregor, and some of the most important events in Scottish history have occurred here.

The river Tay is the longest and has the largest drainage area of any river in Scotland, and is also one of the best to fish for salmon in the U.K. It flows through many important settlements in the county, such as Aberfeldy, Scone and Perth. It also passes through Loch Tay, which is the county’s largest loch. Thousands of years ago, people built and lived on artificial islands on the loch called crannogs, and in the 12th century Queen Sibylla was buried on the largest of them.

The village of Kenmore sits beside it and is home to the ‘Scottish Crannog Centre’, where you can learn about the fascinating story of the islands. There is also a small beach nearby that is a great spot for sunbathing if it happens to be a good day.

The main city in the county is Perth. Its name is Pictish for ‘wood’, suggesting that there was a settlement here during the Pictish era. Later on, it came to be known as ‘the fair city’ and was capital of Scotland prior to 1452, mostly due to the fact that it was a royal residence. It also used to be known as ‘St John’s Toun’, named after a parish in the city that is dedicated to John the Baptist. This is a very historically important site, because it was where John Knox gave the sermon against ‘idolatry’ that kicked off the Scottish Reformation. The church is still standing today and is popular with tourists.

There are many other interesting historical sites in the city, including ‘Huntingtower Castle’, constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. There’s also lots of great places to stroll around, including the tranquil ‘Branklyn Garden’. Dating to the 1920s, it covers two acres and is full of rare and interesting plants and flowers.

For those who are more active, check out ‘Perth Leisure Pool’ or stop in at the ‘Willowgate Activity Centre’. There are many activities on offer, including paddle boarding, archery and much more. You’ll never be stuck for a place to eat, as the city is home to many award-winning restaurants. These include the internationally renowned ‘Wildflower’ on Cathedral Lane, the refined ‘Clarke’s of North Beach’, and the unique Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant ‘Nobu’.

The town of Scone, located north of Perth was where Scottish monarchs were traditionally coronated for centuries. In ancient times it had been the centre of a Pictish kingdom. King Kenneth MacAlpin, who governed the newly united Scots and Picts, brought a special stone here called the Stone of Destiny in the 9th century. From the 9th to the 15th century, all Scottish kings were coronated in Scone. To begin with they were coronated on the stone, but it was taken to England in the Middle Ages. In 1996, after hundreds of years in England it was returned to Scotland and is now stored in Edinburgh Castle.

Scone Palace now sits on the site and is one of the best places to learn about Scottish history. It has a long and eventful history, touched by such figures such as Robert the Bruce, Macbeth, Charles II, Mary Queen of Scots, and even Queen Victoria. There are wonderful gardens and woodland walks on the grounds and also a gift shop and café. There is also an adventure playground and maze that is popular with kids.

Aberfeldy is one of the county’s most pleasant towns. It has a population of around two thousand, and is often associated with Robert Burns due to it being the setting of his poem ‘The Birks of Aberfeldy’. The birch trees referenced in the title can still be seen today on a circular woodland walk named after the poem. Many tourists come here to retrace the steps of Scotland’s national poet. If you make it to the Falls of Moness, you’ll find some amazing views. The town has even more to offer than this, including ‘Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery’, where you can learn more about Scotland’s national drink.

Outside of the main settlements mentioned above, there are lots more of quirky towns and villages, including the aptly named town of Dull, paired with Boring in Oregon, U.S.A. That said, there’s so much to do that you’ll never have a dull moment in Perthshire.

Perthshire is an historic county in central Scotland. Although it is only the fourth largest in the country, it is colloquially known as ‘the big county’. Most of Perthshire lies just above the Highland Boundary Fault. This is a straight line from Helensburgh to Stonehaven that marks the border line between the Highlands and Lowlands. However, some parts of the county do stretch down into Lowland regions. It has been home to some famous residents, including J. K. Rowling and Ewan McGregor, and some of the most important events in Scottish history have occurred here.

The river Tay is the longest and has the largest drainage area of any river in Scotland, and is also one of the best to fish for salmon in the U.K. It flows through many important settlements in the county, such as Aberfeldy, Scone and Perth. It also passes through Loch Tay, which is the county’s largest loch. Thousands of years ago, people built and lived on artificial islands on the loch called crannogs, and in the 12th century Queen Sibylla was buried on the largest of them.

The village of Kenmore sits beside it and is home to the ‘Scottish Crannog Centre’, where you can learn about the fascinating story of the islands. There is also a small beach nearby that is a great spot for sunbathing if it happens to be a good day.

The main city in the county is Perth. Its name is Pictish for ‘wood’, suggesting that there was a settlement here during the Pictish era. Later on, it came to be known as ‘the fair city’ and was capital of Scotland prior to 1452, mostly due to the fact that it was a royal residence. It also used to be known as ‘St John’s Toun’, named after a parish in the city that is dedicated to John the Baptist. This is a very historically important site, because it was where John Knox gave the sermon against ‘idolatry’ that kicked off the Scottish Reformation. The church is still standing today and is popular with tourists.

There are many other interesting historical sites in the city, including ‘Huntingtower Castle’, constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. There’s also lots of great places to stroll around, including the tranquil ‘Branklyn Garden’. Dating to the 1920s, it covers two acres and is full of rare and interesting plants and flowers.

For those who are more active, check out ‘Perth Leisure Pool’ or stop in at the ‘Willowgate Activity Centre’. There are many activities on offer, including paddle boarding, archery and much more. You’ll never be stuck for a place to eat, as the city is home to many award-winning restaurants. These include the internationally renowned ‘Wildflower’ on Cathedral Lane, the refined ‘Clarke’s of North Beach’, and the unique Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant ‘Nobu’.

The town of Scone, located north of Perth was where Scottish monarchs were traditionally coronated for centuries. In ancient times it had been the centre of a Pictish kingdom. King Kenneth MacAlpin, who governed the newly united Scots and Picts, brought a special stone here called the Stone of Destiny in the 9th century. From the 9th to the 15th century, all Scottish kings were coronated in Scone. To begin with they were coronated on the stone, but it was taken to England in the Middle Ages. In 1996, after hundreds of years in England it was returned to Scotland and is now stored in Edinburgh Castle.

Scone Palace now sits on the site and is one of the best places to learn about Scottish history. It has a long and eventful history, touched by such figures such as Robert the Bruce, Macbeth, Charles II, Mary Queen of Scots, and even Queen Victoria. There are wonderful gardens and woodland walks on the grounds and also a gift shop and café. There is also an adventure playground and maze that is popular with kids.

Aberfeldy is one of the county’s most pleasant towns. It has a population of around two thousand, and is often associated with Robert Burns due to it being the setting of his poem ‘The Birks of Aberfeldy’. The birch trees referenced in the title can still be seen today on a circular woodland walk named after the poem. Many tourists come here to retrace the steps of Scotland’s national poet. If you make it to the Falls of Moness, you’ll find some amazing views. The town has even more to offer than this, including ‘Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery’, where you can learn more about Scotland’s national drink.

Outside of the main settlements mentioned above, there are lots more of quirky towns and villages, including the aptly named town of Dull, paired with Boring in Oregon, U.S.A. That said, there’s so much to do that you’ll never have a dull moment in Perthshire.

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Perthshire
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