Far from crawling into hibernation, the visitor attractions and activity providers of Perth and its surrounding towns have come alive this winter with history, wildlife, whisky and adventure!
We know things are tough for all of you, which is why we’re encouraging you to become a Home Town Tourist by enjoying a day out on your doorstep.
Grab the kids, the dog or your entire bubble and travel just a few miles across Perthshire and Kinross and you will find some of the area’s most popular tourist spots and day out activities. Everything you need in fact, to keep the winter blues at bay.
Of course, things look a little different but our ever-vigilant teams are working hard to keep you safe. Please do check with individual providers for the most up to date times and what’s on offer.
Experience the Iron Age at the Scottish Crannog Centre an interactive living history museum at Kenmore, Loch Tay.
Featuring an exhibition housing 2,500-year-old artefacts, guided tour of the reconstructed crannog roundhouse, live demonstrations of Iron Age technologies, textiles and cooking, plus a gift shop and coffee cabin. Dogs welcome!
10:00-16:00 7 days a week (last tour entry at 2pm). Closed Jan/Feb 2021.
Visit the website for more information and to book.
The Black Watch Castle and Museum is an award winning Five Star Visitor attraction in Perth.
The distinguished Museum, located in the historic Balhousie Castle, brings the history of the iconic Black Watch, Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment, to life through artefacts, personal stories and interactive displays.
The multi award-winning Castle Cafe offers a delicious selection of meals, light refreshments and desserts using fresh, local and seasonal produce.
The popular Gift Shop has a variety of quality gifts, regimental memorabilia and branded products with an emphasis on providing a unique shopping experience within a Scottish Caste.
UPDATE: November 16th 2020
With Perth and Kinross moving into Tier 3 Black Watch Castle and Museum can only welcome visitors from within the region. Therefore, from Monday 16th November the Museum will offer private bespoke tours only and the galleries will be closed. They will use this time to undertake essential maintenance and focus on caring for their unique collection. To arrange your bespoke experience, contact the team on 01738 638152.
From 1st December the Castle Cafe and Gift Shop opening hours will increase from the current 6 days a week to 7 days a week, 10.00am-4.00pm. The new Food to Order menu will also be available to pre-order during opening hours.
Last orders for hot food is 3pm and for cake and coffee it is 3.30pm
The Cateran Ecomuseum is a museum without walls, all our sites are outside. Designed to reveal the hidden history of Cateran Country by the community who live here, it tells the story of its people, places and landscapes from pre-history to the present day.
Situated on the 500-million-year-old Highland Boundary Fault – the great geological feature that divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands – the Cateran Ecomuseum’s human history stretches back through millennia with sites identified from Neolithic times.
There are Pictish Stones to excite your curiosity, unknown stories from the legends of King Arthur and the Irish Giant Finn mac Cumhaill, contemporary histories of the Scottish Traveller Community, important events linked to the great Jacobite rebellions and fables of the Caterans themselves, the Highland clan warriors who came to be associated with cattle raiding.
You can discover the history of Scotland’s Berry Capital, Blairgowrie, and visit the site of its Victorian Textile Mills, walk a part of the Highland Boundary Fault in Alyth and enjoy its well preserved old town centre. A hike along the Cateran Trail, one of Scotland’s great long distance footpaths will take you across magical Glenshee to the small villages of Kirkmichael and Glenisla, offering you spectacular views through huge landscapes sculpted by glaciation and traversed by old drove roads and ancient rights of way.
You can visit and enjoy Ecomuseum sites through a series of itineraries that have been locally designed for walkers, cyclists and those visiting by car.
RSBP Loch Leven Nature reserve offers a great day out for everyone. Overwintering pink-footed geese, whooper swans and red squirrels can be seen at this time of the year, and visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy walks on the trails around the reserve and loch.
Visit the café for freshly baked scones and cakes, great coffee and hearty, warming soup (vegan options available). Pop into the shop for some Christmas gifts, cards and crackers, to stock up on bird food or buy binoculars.
Or simply head for a walk amongst the autumn colours and get away from it all!
Visitor centre, café and shop open daily 10 - 3. Carpark, trails and hides open daily at all times.
Please note. The café is providing takeaway only during covid restrictions, with some seating provided indoors. Café customers are required to provide contact details to support NHS Scotland's Test and Protect contact tracing programme.
The hides currently have restrictions on the number of users at any one time. A one way system is in place for the café and shop, hand sanitising points are provided around the site and visitors are required to wear face coverings in all parts of the visitor centre building and the hides.
Join experienced Rangers to discover the amazing world of the European Beaver on their new Winter Beaver Safari! Set on a local estate, you will head out on the trail of the European beaver, visiting amazing beaver dams, beaver ponds, chewed trees and beaver tracks and trails. This is a great trip for families as everyone can collect their own beaver chips and beaver-chewed sticks!
Here you will spend half an hour sitting by the beaver ponds at the end of the tour to spot the beavers themselves, so wrap up warmly. You'll also hear about the history of beavers in Scotland, their life story, how they re-appeared in Perthshire and why they are so important to the ecology of our rivers.
Monday - Sunday 9am - 10pm
Perthshire Wildlife can't guarantee the beavers will appear but they are usually quite obliging! See the TripAdvisor reviews for more info.
Photograph (c) Brian Sloan
CLOSED DURING TIER 3.
Head to Auchingarrich Wildlife Park for a fun day out for all the family. Auchingarrich is nestled in the picturesque Perthshire hills located just outside of Comrie, seven miles west of Crieff or about half an hour drive from Perth.
They have 40 different species of animal, each with its own particular charm.
Visitors must pre-book to visit. Please see the website to find Covid information to find out how the Auchingarroch team is keeping visitors safe at the park.
Open Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 10am - 4pm
December and January opening times to be confirmed.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve covers 130 hectares near Dunkeld. Famed for their spring summer star attraction - from early April to late August, a pair of breeding ospreys nest just 150 metres from the observation hide – what you may not know is that they are open through winter when you can spot other local wildlife.
Red squirrels and woodland birds such as great spotted woodpeckers and nuthatch, can be seen all year round from the woodland window and three hides on the loch side allow stunning views of the wildfowl and the loch itself.
The Fungarth path leads up from Dunkeld and connects to the reserves woodland trail. Use of the children's hide and activity packs are available. Pre-booking online and time slots of limited duration are in operation. Increased hygiene and social distancing measures are in place throughout.
1st November - 28th February, Friday-Sunday 10:30-16:00
1st March - 31st October, operating days TBC, 10:30-17:00
Cluny is a stunning Himalayan garden open all year round and winter visitors will find a more natural way of gardening in a peaceful setting. There is a numbered one-way route guiding visitors through the woodland passing a number of fascinating trees including spectacular Giant Redwoods and other exotic conifers. There is plenty of wildlife to see including a large number of well-fed red squirrels!
By late winter longed for signs of Spring begin with flowering snowdrops, snowflakes and hellebores.
Every day. Daylight hours over the winter and then from mid February 9am to 6pm.
Do it Outdoors offers outdoor woodland activities such as axe throwing ,archery ,foraging, stick whittling and bushcraft. They cater for all levels and for family groups and are open all week long, usually from 9.30 -5, and some evenings.
Join the team at Willowgate for a on water or land experience including Guided River Tay Kayak Tours and full-day Stand Up Paddleboarding courses!
There are also seasonal events including Archery, Bushcraft and more.
Experienced staff also regularly offer bespoke training and guided tours at local rivers and lochs!
Open 7 days a week
8am to 5pm
Enjoy a fun-filled off-road driving adventure with Land Rover Experience Scotland. Drive a latest model Land Rover with expert tuition through some of Highland Perthshire's most spectacular and rugged off-road terrain.
Book a half day adventure, or extend your Experience to a full day (which includes a delicious lunch by the loch) and the afternoon will be spent putting newly-found skills to the text on one of the nearby highland estates. Each Experience is for up to three drivers. Gift vouchers also available for the perfect Christmas gift.
Let the kids take the driving seat! Off-road driving experiences are also available for 11 to 17 year olds; take a look at www.youngoffroaderscotland.co.uk
Thursday - Monday 8.45am-5pm
Comrie Croft is an award-winning green destination including a farmstead hostel, camping, Nordic Kata’s, walking trails, cafe and some of the best compact mountain biking in the country.
The site is open 365 days a year,
Summer office hours:
Monday - Sunday, 8am - 5pm
Winter office hours:
Monday - Thurs, 9am - 1pm
Fri, Sat & Sun 9am - 4pm
Experience exceptional outdoor adventures in Highland Perthshire with Biscuit from Wee Adventures. Reconnect with the natural environment and revitalise your spirit through adventure sports such as climbing, abseiling and canoeing or with a slower adventure meandering in the woods or learning bush craft skills. Bespoke adventures available for adults, families and children.
One thing is for sure, you will leave inspired by Biscuit’s unique and contagious enthusiasm for life.
Open all year round
The Glenturret Distillery is Scotland's Oldest Working Distillery, established in 1763. Using time honoured traditional method, The Glenturret produces small batch whisky by hand and heart.
Offering production tours and a wonderful selection of whiksy and gifts in their distillery shop, The Glenturret is a wonderful destination to visit in Perthshire.
Winter Hours: 7 Days a week. 10am - 5pm
(apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New years Day)
Summer Hours: 7 Days a Week. 10am - 6pm
Tour this Perthshire whisky distillery and discover how they double age for extra smoothness while exploring their interactive heritage exhibition. Relax in their welcoming café and whisky lounge and enjoy a whisky tasting from the John Dewar & Sons Fine Scotch Whisky Emporium.
Fill your own bottle from their hand-selected casks, try an exceptional range of whiskies and cocktails from their whisky bar and take the experience home by browsing their distillery whisky shop. Immerse yourself in the ultimate whisky experience.
Monday to Saturday - 10am - 4pm