8 Ways to Celebrate Burns Night in Perthshire

8 Ways to Celebrate Burns Night in Perthshire

 

Burns night is nearly upon us! 

Celebrated annually on Robert Burns’ birthday, 25 January, Burns Night gathers Scots and Scots-at-heart around the world to pay tribute to the great poet’s life and works. There will be haggis eating, ceilidh dancing, songs, poetry and more, but most importantly – good company and loads of fun.

Whatever way you want to celebrate Burns Night, Perth can cater for all! With several organised Burns nights happening in Perth and also some great local butchers where you can pick up a fantastic Haggis to cook yourself.  We are sure you can find your own way to pay tribute to the great Scottish poet!

To get the ball rolling we have been on the hunt to find the best ways to celebrate Burns night in the Fair City.

Without further ado, here are the 6 top ways to celebrate Burns Night in Perth this year.

 

1) Explore The Riverside Night Lights ‘Burns Theme’

When: Jan 26 – Jan 27 from 17:00 

Where: Norie-Miller Walk, Perth, PH2 7TR

On Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January, Perth will celebrate the contribution Robert Burns has made to Scottish culture, with live entertainment and fun with a Scottish twist as part of the Riverside Light Nights. On Saturday 26 there will also be a themed parade starting in Perth city centre, and heading over the bridge to bring participants to Norie Miller Park. There will be a parade on Saturday 26th Jan starting in the City Centre at 17:00. There is no parade on Sunday 27th Jan. Please note that there may be pyrotechnics at these events.

 

 

2) Indulge in a Wine Dinner at the Dunkled House Hotel 

When: Friday 25th January

Where: Dunkeld House Hotel,  Blairgowrie Rd, Dunkeld PH8 0HX

Enjoy an exclusive evening of fine food and wine to celebrate Scotland’s bard. Join us on Friday 25th January 2019 from 7.30pm.
Join Dunkeld House Hotel for an evening with Matthew Clark, who will talk you through some of their fine wines. Book your place now and enjoy a 5 course menu created by our chef to compliment the wines.

 

2) Stay over at the Salutation Hotel

HotelWhen: Sunday 27th January 

Where: Salutation hotel 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH

Planning on visiting the Riverside Light Nights? It’s set to be a big event this year with the ‘Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ playing as part of the special Burns Night celebrations on Sunday 27th January at Norie Miller Park. Enjoy the night from start to finish by booking our Sunday Night Saver from only £27.50 per person including full Scottish breakfast. Then after the live show head back to the Salutation and enjoy a delicious bar meal as our food is served from 12 till 9pm. Call now to book our fantastic Sunday Saver. 01738 630066

 

 

3) Celebrate With The Perth Burns Club

When: Saturday, January 27, 2017, 18:30 for 19:00

Where: Salutation Hotel, 30-34 South St, Perth PH2 8PH

The club’s Annual Dinner, widely recognised as being one of the country’s leading Burns Nights and also one of Perth’s foremost social occasions, will be held in the Salutation Hotel, for the 40th consecutive year on Saturday, on the 27th January from 6.30pm for 7pm. The Immortal Memory is to be proposed by Donald Paton, Donald is current President of The Burns Club of Vancouver and also Honorary Life President of The Perth Burns Club. The Toast to The Lasses will be proposed by Councillor Willie Wilson, the Depute Provost of Perth & Kinross.  The Reply from the Lasses will be given by former Councillor Joan McEwen. 

The entertainment will be of the accustomed high standard. Further details are provided on the club’s website.

Dress for the function is optional but the wearing of formal or Highland dress is encouraged. The ticket price is £27 for Club members and their spouses and £32 for non-members.

There is no limit to the number of guest tickets allowed but, as recent dinners have seen high attendances and numbers are limited to 175, early booking is advised.  Although dress for the function is optional, the wearing of evening or Highland dress is strongly encouraged.  Any special seating or dietary requests should be mentioned on the reply form.  Please note that we cannot offer refunds for bookings cancelled less than 48 hours prior to the Dinner unless the places can be filled from a waiting list.

 

4) Enjoy a tipple or two at Brewdog Perth!

Burns nightWhen: Friday, January 25, 2019 at 12 PM – 11:59 PM

Where: BrewDog Perth 62/64 George Street, PH1 5JL Perth, Perth and Kinross

Join us for Burns Night and celebrate like the Scots!

We’ll have Scottish beer, music and whisky! Plus our ever popular veggie haggis pizza returns! And we’ll be giving anyone who sports a kilt a pint on us!

 

 

5) Dance the Night Away at the Strathardle Inn

Burns NightWhen: Friday, January 25, 2019, at 7 PM – 11 PM

Where: The Strathardle Inn, Kirkmichael, nr Blairgowrie, PH10 7NS Perth And Kinross, United Kingdom

Join us on Friday 25th January for a traditional Burns Supper with customary addresses, toasts and poetry followed by evening entertainment of Disco and Ceilidh from Bruce Entertainments. Burns Supper:Cullen Skink, Chicken Liver Pate or Potato & Leek Soup (v) Haggis, Needs or Tatties with whisky Sauce or Vegetarian on request Clootie Pudding or Cranachan £15 per person, booking required for meal only. Evening entertainment is open to all. We look forward to seeing you all there.

 

 

6) Tuck into a Burns Supper at the Crieff Hydro

HaggisWhen: Friday, January 25, 2019 at 7 PM – 11 PM

Where: Crieff Hydro Ferntower Road Crieff, PH7 3LQ Crieff

Celebrate Burns Night the traditional way – with lots of friends and plenty to eat and drink! This year, our Burns Supper cost £45 a head and includes all of this:- Piped entrance – Scottish Gin cocktail on arrival – Address to the Haggis – 4-course meal with 3 whisky pairings To book call 01764 655 555 or send us a message on Facebook.

 

 

7)  Show your support at the Perthshire Rugby Burns Night

Burns nightWhen: January 26, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Where: Loft Nightclub Pert h145-151 South Street, PH2 8N Perth, Perth and Kinross

Perthshire Rugby Burns’ Night returns to the Loft on Saturday 26th January. This is a whole club social event and everyone, (members, players, supporters age 18+ from all sections) is welcome. Itinerary: Arrive in That Bar from 6pm Piped in at 7pm. Traditional 3 course meal. Speeches and recitals from members & players across the rugby club membership. Price is £25 each payable on the night. To secure your places or offer a contribution to the night, please email our club captain, Ewan. clubcaptain@perthshire-rfc.co.uk See you there!

 

8) Enjoy a Delicious Traditional Meal from Locally Sourced Suppliers

Simon Howie Butchers 

Simon Howie haggis and puddings are made from their own traditional recipe by their team of award-winning chefs and butchers. They pride themselves on only using the finest ingredients when producing their delicious range of haggis and puddings.

As well as being Scotland’s national dish commonly eaten to celebrate Burns night in January, haggis is a hugely versatile ingredient which can be enjoyed year round.

Who would have thought you could get such a selection of haggis. Howies supply: The Original Haggis, The Wee Haggis, Sliced Haggis, Cheiftan Haggis.

Find out more on their website

DG Linday Butchers 15 North  Methven Street, Perth PH1 5PN 

An award-winning family run butcher business based in Perth, Scotland, established for over 100 years.
We pride ourselves on a personal and friendly service whilst maintaining the traditional standards of customer care.

Provender Brown Delicatessen  23 George St, Perth PH1 5JY

A delight not to be missed, Provender Brown has won a number of prestigious national awards reflecting the range of produce, excellent customer service and general “deli attitude”.

PS: Don’t forget to bring your Perth Gift Card with you, as these businesses (plus many other brilliant independent businesses) accept the gift card!

 

However you chose to celebrate the night, you are guaranteed to find the perfect celebration in Perth!

Have a great Burns Night!

Four Go Wild in Wellies is back on the road!

Four Go Wild in Wellies is back on the road!

Indepen-dance 4 is delighted to be back out on tour in February and March with Four Go Wild in Wellies, its award-winning show for 3-5 year olds. Featuring bobble hats, scarves, tents that have a life of their own and, of course, lots of fun in wellies, the show has been described by The Herald in its 4-star review as ‘a very clever dance piece’.
 
Four Go Wild in Wellies is a playful look at the joy of inventiveness and curiosity; the negotiation of social structures; how friendships are built, broken and mended; the spectrum between collaboration and competition; play that emerges from interaction with each other and with the world around including, particularly, the natural world.
 
The show has been created with the company by director Anna Newell (2017 Tonic Theatre Award winner for ‘women who are changing the face of UK Theatre’), award-winning composer David Goodall and choreographer Stevie Prickett, a team who have worked together for more than 20 years creating work for younger audiences.
 
Indepen-dance 4 are gaining a reputation for innovative and high quality touring productions. Its four dancers – Hayley EarlamEmma SmithNeil Price and Adam Sloan – have worked with some of the UK’s leading choreographers and musicians over a number of years. For this tour, Julie Spence will replace Emma Smith for the performances at the Waterside on Sunday 24 February and at Gosforth Civic Theatre on Monday 25 February. Blair Flucker will replace Neil Price at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Saturday 9 March and Macrobert Arts Centre on Sunday 10 March. He will also replace Adam Sloan at The Atkinson on Saturday 16 March and at  Z-arts on Sunday 17 March. 
LISTINGS
Joan Knight studio, Perth Theatre |  Sat 2 Feb 10am + 11.30am £7.50/£5 | 01738 621031 | horsecross.co.uk
 
Lochgelly Centre (Fife) Sun 3 Feb 11am + 2pm £6.50  01592 583303 | onfife.com
 
Music Hall (Aberdeen) Sat 9 & Sun 10 Feb 10.30am +  1pm £5  01224 641122 aberdeenperformingarts.com
 
Luton Library Theatre Wed 20 Feb 11.30am + 2.30pm £5 01582 878100 | lutonculture.com
 
The Grand (Clitheroe) Fri 22 Feb | 11am + 2pm | £6/£5 (adv) 01200 421599 thegrandvenue.co.uk
 
Waterside (Sale) Sun 24 Feb 11am + 2.30pm £7/£5  0161 912 5616 | watersidearts.org
 
Gosforth Civic Theatre (Newcastle Upon Tyne) Mon 25 Feb 11am + 4pm £5/£3 0191 284 3700 | gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk
 
Pitlochry Festival Theatre Sat 9 Mar 12noon £7/£5 (under 18s) | £20 (family ticket) 01796 484626 | pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com
 
Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling) Sun 10 Mar 2pm £9.50 £34 (Wee Group Saver) 01786 466666 | macrobertartscentre.org
 
Aberystwyth Arts Centre Fri 15 Mar 1pm + 5pm £8/£6 01970 623232 | aberystwythartscentre.co.uk
 
The Atkinson (Southport) Sat 16 Mar | 1pm + 3pm £8/£6 £24 (family ticket) 01704 533333 | theatkinson.co.uk
 
Z-arts (Manchester) Sun 17 Mar 11am (relaxed perf) + 2.30pm £9/£6 0161 232 6089 | z-arts.org
Perth Riverside Light Nights

Perth Riverside Light Nights

Brighten up those winter nights with one of the high points of the Perth City Centre calendar – the return of the Perth Riverside Light Nights. Following a variety of themes visit the winter wonderland at Norie Miller Park on the banks of the River Tay to enjoy spectacular lighting and entertainment to chase away those January/February blues.

Winter break in Perthshire?

Winter break in Perthshire?

Feeling the post-Christmas blues?

Why not cheer yourself up by taking a break to Perthshire .

There are many great deals on accommodation at over this winter so come to enjoy all that Perth has to offer.

Perth is also only about an hour away from Glenshee ski resort. So if we get some snow this winter (fingers crossed) then Perth is the perfect place to come back to after a long day on the slopes.

If you fancy a unique experience than the Perth Riverside Light Nights are running from Jan 26 – Feb 10. 

Perth also has a wide range of local shops, cafes and restaurants to explore as well so you will never be bored. This would also be the perfect time to use a Perth card if you got one as a Christmas present. 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Mercure – 1 night package offer

Book before the 17th February for stays between 8th to 18th February 2019.

Inspiring breaks in Perth this winter from only £135 per couple

Book up until 27th February 2019

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

Available November, December, January & February (excludes some festive break dates, Scottish Shindig Breaks 18th & 25th and Valentines 17th February.

Scottish shindig break

Saturday 19th January or 26th January

Valentines Break

Available 16th February 2019.

Winter sparkles

Available till the 31st of January, the 1st till the 13th and 18th and 28th of February   

February break

Available from the 3rd till the 11th and 18th till the 28th of February.

Romantic night away

Available from the 14th till the 16th of February 

January break

Available till the 31st of January. (Tuesday to Friday only)

2 nights with dinner and breakfast.  

Available from the 1st of February till the 31st of March.   

2 Night Winter break 

Available before the 8th of February 

Bubbles and love (3-night stay)

1st to the 28th of February 

Wee winter adventures (3 Night midweek)

Available all of March.

Other hotels in Perth 

Royal George Hotel

The Royal George Hotel, Tay Street Perth PH1 5LD
Scotland

Leonardo Boutique Hotel Huntingtower Perth

Crieff Road, Perth, PH1 3JT

 

 

The Station Hotel

The Station Hotel, 1 Leonard Street, Perth PH2 8HE, UK

 

New County Hotel

22-30 County Pl, Perth PH2 8EE

Best Western Queens Hotel

Leonard St, Perth PH2 8HB

Complete list of accommodation in Perth 

Header image by @ekelly68541 (IG) — at Kinnoull Hill.

GoPro with Get on the Go! Competition Photos

GoPro with Get on the Go! Competition Photos

Get on the Go Tayside has spent the last 4 weeks searching for a snap or video of favourite walking, cycling or bus routes in Tayside. The photo with the most likes wins a brand new GoPro Hero 7

Get on the Go had dozens of entries to the GoPro with Get on the Go Competition, see our favourite Perthshire entries below

Get on the Go Tayside helps local residents and visitors to Perth & Kinross, Dundee & Angus to save money, time and hassle while they travel. 

Get on the Go aims to enhance the region’s environment, by reducing congestion and therefore traffic pollution, in addition to helping the people of Tayside be a bit more active. Cars have an important role to play in our transport system and are essential for many people’s journeys. Yet too many cars on the roads are affecting the city’s environment and increasing risks to people’s health.

Follow Get on the Go Tayside

Perth Theatre is already on board with 2019 panto Sinbad!

Perth Theatre is already on board with 2019 panto Sinbad!

Perth’s 2019 family panto is already on sale!

Panto lubbers can climb aboard the good ship Perth Theatre for high seas jinks with Sinbad and his crew from Saturday 30 November until Saturday 4 January 2020.

For tickets and info contact Horsecross Arts Box Office on 01738 621031 visit www.horsecross.co.uk.

Perth panto is sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors

The Maiden Castle and Well

The Maiden Castle and Well

Scotland is full of fantastic tails of the supernatural, with stories of mythical beasts and ghostly occurrences.  If you are interested in tales from the other world, then you will have come across lots of accounts of people interacting with the Fairies.  These little creatures were not the cute Tinkerbell from Peter Pan but often sinister and malevolent, at worst evil and at best merely mischievous, but defiantly something to be feared.  The modern practice of fairy doors (a small wooden door) in your house for decoration or to entice the “little folk’ into your home would have filled our ancestors with dread. 

It was thought that at one time the fairy folk or the Sidhe or Shee as they were known lived side by side with man.  Then the fairy’s and mankind went to war.  We were victorious and the Shee were all banished underground to the dark recesses of this land.  The fairy and mankind are enemies and one day the Shee will rise and take what is rightfully their’s again, our world above ground. 

The Shee only move around above ground at night and their armies can be heard in the darkness by the sound of their horses bridles jingling.  They dress in green a colour thought by us to be unlucky as to wear green might offend the Shee.  My granny who only died twelve years ago would never wear green and when asked why would reply “it is the fairies colour”.

Perthshire has many areas connected with the Shee.  Glenshee, as its name suggests, means the glen of the fairies and Schiehallion is the fairy hill of the Caledonians.  But the story I want to tell you about took place near Glendevon, an area rich in fairy lore with a nearby hill being named Ben Shee. 

A piper was walking along the old drove road through Glenquey between Glendevon and Dollar.  At the top of the glen stands a fairy mound known as the Maiden Castle.  This piper was walking towards the mound when to his astonishment he heard the sound of music and laughter he looked up and saw where the fairy mound sits, a magnificent castle, with lights shining from the windows and flags flying from the turreted towers. A precision of fairies came from the main gate. 

The terrified piper turned to run, but the Little Folk some mounted on small horses caught up with the man, he was made a prisoner and taken back to the castle. 

In the great hall, the fairies were having a banquet, they made the piper stand in the corner of the room and play his pipes while the little people danced and danced,  this went on all night and the next day.  The piper was exhausted and pleaded to be set free, he wanted to return to his family and he knew that they would be worried about him.  The king of the Shee said that they would release the captive piper if he played one last tune, the fairy leaders favourite.  The piper put his pipes to his lips and played this tune for all his worth.  Again the fairies danced in a big circle.  When the piper finished, he was taken to the main gate of the castle and set free

The grateful man made his way home as quickly as he could, when he arrived at his house and walked in the front door, there was no one there he recognised, not his wife or children only one bent old man sitting by the fire.  When the piper asked the man at the fire the whereabouts of his family, the old man knew nothing.  But he did say that many years ago when he was a boy, his grandfather had told him a story of a piper going missing in Glenquey, he just vanished into thin air. Everyone thought he must have had an accident or got lost, but a body was never found.  For while the piper thought had been playing his pipes in the fairy mound for a day or two, in our time, he had been missing for more than a hundred years.

There are a few similar stories from all over Scotland about people going disappearing and their disappearance being blamed on the fairies.  Some people now recognise the similarities between these stories and current cases of alien abduction, so perhaps it was not the Shee who abducted these people after all.

Just beyond the mound of Maiden Castle is the Maiden Well, this well is reputed to be haunted.  The story goes, a beautiful maiden who was imprisoned in Castle Campbell was allowed to walk the hills behind the castle.  She often walked to the well and drank its water. Now her spirit can sometimes be seen around the well at night and if any unsuspecting traveller captivated by her beauty tries to steal a kiss from this young enchantress when their lips touch and the ghostly figure kisses you it will cause you to suffer a fatal heart attack.     

I sat and had a flask of coffee on top of the Maiden Castle enjoying the stunning view down the glen.  When I finished and was walking away, I thought just for a second that I could hear the faint sound of music, it may have been my imagination, or maybe.

The area is managed by the Woodland Trust and offers many excellent walks, it is well worth a visit.

Female Co-Founder of Social Bite Recognised

Female Co-Founder of Social Bite Recognised

The Livingstone Medal is named in Honour of David Livingstone, the famed missionary who worked to address inequality in parts of Africa during the 19th Century. And since the award was bequeathed in 1901, it has developed an incredible heritage of its own, becoming one of the Society’s most prestigious honours.

As such, Alice’s name will be added to an illustrious list of previous Livingstone Medallists including Ernest Shackleton, Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong and, more recently, Annie Lennox and Mary Robinson.

Commenting on the award Alice said:

“I want to thank the RSGS from the bottom of my heart for this incredible recognition. It’s particularly special to be recognised as the lesser-known, younger and female co-founder of Social Bite. Though we, of course, don’t do the work we do for awards, it truly leaves a profound feeling of unity and support to receive such a prestigious Medal.”

Founded in 2012, Social Bite began life as a small sandwich chain in Edinburgh. But it was no ordinary sandwich chain – as customers bought their food they could “pay forward” a meal for a homeless person to collect later. It was good food for a good cause.

From these humble but thoughtful beginnings, Social Bite has gone from strength to strength, focussing the national spotlight on this important social issue, one meal at a time.

Today, the charitable enterprise comprises a high-end restaurant in Edinburgh with the same “pay it forward” ethos as the sandwich shops. And a large proportion of their staff are now made up of people who have, in the past, directly experienced homelessness. Social Bite has also developed a supported village in Edinburgh to allow 20 homeless people each year to find their feet and begin a journey back into society. And, of course, it also runs regular “Sleep Outs” in cities across Scotland to fund their charitable aims.

Reflecting on her exciting journey with Social Bite, Alice commented:

“From a life-changing trip to Bangladesh, to painting our first shop, to employing our first ever person suffering from homelessness, and the incredible array of projects Social Bite is now responsible for – our journey has been a whirlwind of false starts, long days and ignoring the word ‘no’ repeatedly, which has been both challenging and great fun!”

But she also made a point of celebrating her long-time business partner, Josh Littlejohn:

“My co-founder Josh is something of a crazy genius. He has brought me great inspiration and support over the years – and I hope I have for him too.”

Commenting on the award, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the RSGS said:

“Through the offer of food, training, jobs and accommodation, Social Bite has helped break the cycle of exclusion faced by many homeless people, and done it in a way which provides respect and protects their dignity. But, perhaps more importantly, Social Bite has forced the issue of homelessness up the political agenda and made us all reconsider our response to this age-old problem.

“We’re delighted to be able to celebrate Alice’s contribution to this wonderful enterprise, and I hope this recognition will encourage her in her next adventures. We look forward to working with her as she continues to promote and enact positive changes across Scotland.”

A Rural Adventure with Highland Safaris

A Rural Adventure with Highland Safaris

A few weeks ago, we were kindly invited to Highland Safaris HQ, just outside of Aberfeldy, to find out about the amazing projects they have been up to recently.

If you haven’t heard about Highland Safaris, please allow me to give you a quick introduction. Highland safaris is a 5-star visitor attraction based in Highland Perthshire that shows you rural Perthshire like you have never seen it before. They offer a variety of tours of the local area through their fleet of Land Rovers and also have some great attractions including the red deer centre, gold panning and a delicious little cafe.

Having been born and bred in rural Perthshire, I naively thought there I wasn’t going to see much that would surprise me. How wrong I was. The whole trip was an unforgettable experience from start to finish, packed with new and interesting activities.

Here’s a little insight into our Highland adventure!

Mountian Safari

The first order of the day was to take one of their legendary safari trips to explore rural Perthshire. There are a variety of safari packages available at Highland Safaris including:
– Mountain Safari
– Forest Safari
– Mountain Safari Trek
– Biking Safaris
– Walking Safaris
– 4x4 Off Road Driving
– Special Interest Safaris
– Seasonal Safaris
We opted for the Mountian Safari, as we were hoping to see some Autumnal views of Perthshire.

The trip started with meeting Colin, our amazing safari guide. He gathered us around a map of 3D map to show us the route for the adventure we were about to embark on, as well as pointing out a few key features on the map including Schehallion and the idyllic Loch Tummel.

Once Colin had finished briefing us on the adventure we were about to undertake, he showed us to his Land Rover. We all climbed in and set off on our Safari trip. As we made our way along the road, Colin shared his vast knowledge of the local eco-system and history with the group. He explained the dark colour of the Falls of Keltney was due to the peat-lands the water passes through upstream, he also told us of the ‘woodland corridor’ initiatives that were being taken to help support and encourage indigenous wildlife to settle and freely move around Scotland’s National Parks.

It wasn’t long until the country roads disappeared and we were climbing a dirt track. As we made our way up the dirt road surrounded by towering pine trees, Colin took the opportunity to tell us about the woodland and how many of the trees we see today in Perthshire are not indigenous to our region but were rather man made to help keep up with demand following the Second World War.

When we reached the top of Farragon Hill we were rewarded with some of the most stunning views of Perthshire I have ever seen. With the bitter wind blowing straight through us, we took shelter in the nearby shelter Highland Safaris hand built for its visitors and passing hillwalkers. It wasn’t long before the fire was on and Colin revealed some Kenmore shortbread biscuits (which were delicious!) and of course a wee dram of Dewars Whisky.

Before we knew it, our time was up on the mountain and we were back in the Land Rover heading back to Highland Safaris HQ.

Red Deer Centre

Once we arrived back at Highland Safaris HQ, we were ushered into the Red Deer Centre. The Red Deer Centre is home to Highland Safaris’ very own heard of red deer, where visitors can get up close and admire Britain’s largest native land mammal.

George, the deer expert in charge of the centre that day, started the experience with a short introduction to red deer, how the seasons affect their behavior and their reproductive cycle.
Once he had shared his knowledge with us, we were ready to meet the animals. Armed with a cup of pellets, we were lead to the back of the centre to what looked like a raised decking. Geroge let out a roar, at which point a small heard of deer appeared from around the corner and trotted towards where we were waiting. The deer knew exactly what was about to unfold and as they lined up along the fence waiting to be fed.

Soon enough the food was eaten and we were all lead back into the centre. There was one more surprise install for us. George disappeared into another room for a moment or two and quickly emerged with a beautiful Barn Owl! We were introduced to, Ossian, the very sweet bird that was sitting on George’s gloved arm. George and Ossian were like a well-rehearsed double act, with George explaining some of the unique features of these amazing birds of prey and Ossian demonstrating on queue.

 

Whilst you’re here…

After a long day exploring rural Perthshire, the Highland Safaris cafe is the perfect place to put your feet up and a bite to eat. Or if a safaris trip isn’t your thing, why not try your hand at gold panning or even a Loch Tay safari?

Gold Panning

Armed with your own pan & bucket of dirt, scoop & swirl in Scotland’s Only Gold and Gem Panning Centre.

> Find out More <

Highland Safaris Cafe

The Highland Safaris Cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cuppa and reflect on an unforgettable day.

> Find out More <

Loch Tay Safaris

Experience this unique boat trip, bringing the heritage and history of Loch Tay to life!

> Find out More <

One fact (amongst many) that has stayed with me since our highland adventure is a passing comment Colin made on our way back from the mountain safari. He told me that the word safari originated from the Arabic word ‘safar‘ which means ‘to make a journey’. Highland Safari certainly take the true meaning of the word to heart, as all their activities are created to not only take its visitors on a physical journey but also an emotional and educational journey too.

The day was an unforgettable adventure and should definitely be experienced by both visitors and locals alike. Find out more about Highland Safaris or book your adventure at highlandsafaris.com

Stagecoach Introduce Contactless Payments

Stagecoach Introduce Contactless Payments

Stagecoach East Scotland has launched contactless payments on over 460 vehicles across Fife, Perthshire, Dundee and Angus. Contactless payment machines have been fitted to all Stagecoach vehicles, speeding up boarding and offering a more convenient payment method for customers to buy bus tickets from the driver. This will also provide an additional payment option for bus users alongside existing cash payments, mobile tickets and smart ticketing.
The launch of contactless payments is part of a £12m UK wide investment by Stagecoach into delivering contactless technology and Stagecoach East Scotland is the final operating company to launch this form of payment on board their services. Millions of Stagecoach passengers now have access to contactless bus travel after the company completed the roll-out of the technology which now covers 7,400 vehicles operating within Stagecoach’s regional bus businesses in Scotland, England and Wales.
More than 100 depots were completed during the last 100 weeks with the final depots in East Scotland being fitted at the end of November. The Stagecoach scheme is the single largest contactless merchant in Europe, after Transport for London. Stagecoach East Scotland also invested in handheld contactless machines for conductors on our Tayway 73 route which operates from Dundee to Arbroath via Ninewells Hospital, Monifieth and Carnoustie.
The Tayway 73 remains the only route outside London that still has conductors on board collecting fares. The company hope that by offering conductors the ability to accept contactless payments with their new handheld machines, that this continues to assist with speeding up boarding times and providing improved customer service to passengers. Today (Friday 6 December) marked the completion of the scheme as contactless was launched across Stagecoach East Scotland by Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson.
Welcoming the technology, he said: “Additional smart contactless payment means that more people can choose bus as their sustainable form of transport, knowing that this modern and easy option for buying tickets is now available. “Contactless payment has quickly become a standard method of payment for many people and this investment by Stagecoach provides a simple and more convenient payment method for customers.
By completing this national roll out to transition to contactless payment, I’m pleased to see Stagecoach making it even easier for people to travel across Scotland and beyond, whether purchasing on the bus, through an app or via tickets on their smartcard.” The Stagecoach programme allows all passengers to pay for their travel with a contactless credit or debit card, as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay devices. Figures show that almost two-thirds (63%) of people in the UK now use contactless payments.
Jon Oakey, Acting Managing Director for Stagecoach East Scotland, said: “We have the largest contactless payment scheme outside of London, with hundreds of thousands of payments being made using contactless technology on our buses across the country, so I’m delighted to offer this payment opportunity for our passengers in East Scotland.
“Along with traditional cash payments, our StagecoachSmart card and mobile ticketing through our Stagecoach Bus smartphone app, we are giving customers choice about how they want to buy their travel and making it even easier and more convenient to travel by bus.” To promote the launch of contactless payments in East Scotland, the company will be out and about in the following locations with giveaways and information throughout December:
  • Saturday 8 December – 12-5pm: Kingdom Shopping Centre, Glenrothes
  • Sunday 9 December – 11-3pm: Fife Central Retail Park, Kirkcaldy
  • Saturday 15 December – 12-5pm: Kingsgate Shopping Centre, Dunfermline
  • Sunday 16 December – 10-5pm: St John’s Shopping Centre, Perth
Stagecoach would like to remind customers that there are some alterations to bus timetables over the Christmas and New Year period across the region. These changes can be found within the festive timetable which is available to collect from Stagecoach travel shops or viewed online at stagecoachbus.com.