Picture Perfect Perthshire

Picture Perfect Perthshire

Picture Perfect Perthshire

It’s no secret Perthshire has some of the best viewpoints in Scotland. In fact, a quick search of Instagram returns over 140,000 photos tagged with #Perthshire.

From rolling hills and hidden lochs to idyllic towns and ancient castles and palaces – there’s enough natural beauty to keep any avid photographer content for weeks. And with so much to see and do on offer, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choice and miss out on some best views this country has to offer.
So this week, we have been working with amature photographers and Perthshire locals to help find the best viewpoints around the region.

Without any further ado, here’s a quick look at our favourite picture-perfect spots from around Perthshire!

1) Queens View, Pitlochry

Description: Queen’s view is one of the most popular in the region – and it’s not hard to see why. Overlooking the stunning Loch Tummel and Schiehallion, this viewpoint you don’t want to miss!

Distance from Perth City Centre:34 miles

Whilst your here, why not visit…

Highland Fling

The Pass of Killiecrankie is one of the most striking views in the whole country, so why not take it in from a different angle – by plunging down 40 metres below with a bungee cord attached to your feet!

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Atholl Palace

A historic four-star luxury hotel set in Highland Perthshire, Pitlochry, with spa, museum, award-winning gardens and break taking mountain and river views. Best of all, it’s just a 45-minute drive from Perth City Centre!

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Pitlochry Golf Course

With the 6-hole Lettoch Links course, a driving range and a fully-stocked pro-shop, it has everything you need for a fantastic day of golf in Highland Perthshire!

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2) Loch Turret

Description: Loch Turret Reservoir is one of the lesser-known lochs in Perthshire, however, it is certainly not to be overlooked as a great picture opportunity! This hidden gem is the perfect spot for a hill walk (or sledging!)

Distance from Perth City Centre: 23 miles

Whilst your here, why not visit…

The Famous Grouse Experience

Discover how the distillery’s single malt is blended to create one of the UK’s most popular blended whiskies.

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The Crieff Hydro

Scotland’s leading Spa Hotel Resort has so much to do, with 60 in/outdoor activities and 5 quality eateries.

Find out more.

Innerpeffray Library

Discover Scotland’s oldest free, public
lending library: a museum where you can iterally touch the past.

Find out more.

3) Kinnoull Hill, Perth

Description: A list of Instagram-worthy spots around Perthshire would not be complete without mentioning Kinnoull Hill.  This viewpoint is only a short walk from Perth City Centre and offers magnificent views of the Tay Valley!

Distance from Perth City Centre: 2 miles

Whilst your here, why not visit…

Willowgate Activity Centre

A leading activites provider based just outside of Perth City Centre. Whether it’s in the water or on dry land, Willowgate has something for everyone!

Find out more.

A City Centre Eatery

Did you know that Perth was voted Scotland’s Food Town on the Year last year? Our city is bursting with independent coffeehouses and award-winning restaurants. Why not pop in and test a few of our eateries out?

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Scone Palace

Scone Palace is the true home of the Stone of Destiny and has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce.

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4) The Hermitage, Dunkeld

Description: The Hermitage is perhaps one of the most visited nature spots in Perthshire and for a good reason! There’s plenty of picture opportunities in this natural woodland.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 20 miles

Whilst your here, why not visit…

The Atholl Arms Hotel

There are few more imposing sights in the Scottish Highlands than the grandeur of the Atholl Arms Hotel in Dunkeld, at the northern end of this delightful highland village.

Find out more.

Birnam Arts

A delightful multi-purpose arts, conferencing and entertainment venue encompassing the fantastic Foyer CafePotter’s Junction Gift Shop and the Beatrix Potter Exhibition.

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Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre

From early April to late August, the star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys, which nest just 150 metres from our observation hide.

Find out more.

5) Loch Earn, St Fillans

Description: A beautiful a freshwater loch with an amazing backdrop of Ben Vorlich and the surrounding mountain range. Definitely worth a look!
The loch is home to a Watersports Centre that offer multiple watersports activities.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 32 miles

Whilst your here, why not visit…

Auchingarrich Wildlife Park

Whatever the weather you’ll find plenty to see and do, with activities for all ages indoors and out. The centre has over 50 different species of animal, each with its own particular charm.

Find out more.

Cultybraggan POW Camp

Cultybraggan Camp, near Comrie, Perthshire is the last remaining WWII Prisoner of War (POW) Camp in Scotland.

Find out more.

Comrie’s Earthquake House

Did you know Comrie’s is the earthquake capital of the UK? As a result, the ‘earthquake house’ was built in 1874 to monitor tremors in the ground. Pop along and take a look at this unique piece of history!

Find out more.

Over to you!

Now you know where the best viewpoints are, it’s now over to get snapping. In case you aren’t familiar with Perthshire, here’s a map to help you find all the viewpoints mentioned above.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to find more amazing photo spots from around Perthshire!

Days Out from Perth – Crieff and Comrie

Days Out from Perth – Crieff and Comrie

For our second Day Out from Perth, we’ve chosen Crieff and Comrie, a bustling town and pretty village in the heart of the Strathearn area. Spring is in the air as we set off from Perth along the A85 to Crieff, about 18 miles away. 2017 is Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, so we’ll be sure to include some links to the past.

9.45am – MacRosty Park, Crieff

 

Our first stop is MacRosty Park, a beautiful tree-filled space just a short walk from the town centre. Named after its benefactor, James MacRosty, the park has been enjoyed by locals and tourists for over 100 years.

Among its features are a Victorian bandstand, the Turret Burn, woodland walks, a playpark, a café, a magic mirror and so much green space to scamper about in. This morning there are dogs aplenty enjoying a sniff of morning air (and a dook in the water!).

We climb the steps to the playpark (there’s also an accessible path) and have a zoom down the Flying Fox slide, a shimmy up the climbing-wall rock and a bounce on the trampolines. Later this morning, the park will be alive with kids running, jumping and sliding, and in the warmer months they’ll be running through the special play-sprinklers to the café for ice creams.

Feeling wide awake after our jaunt in the park, we drive a few minutes along the road to Glenturret Distillery, the oldest in Scotland. It’s home to the world-renowned and best-selling Famous Grouse blend and the Glenturret single malts.

We’re welcomed warmly by a member of staff on the front desk, and immediately offered a delicious hot toddy or apple and cinnamon juice. In the name of research (and as I’m not driving), I have to try both, of course!

We join a group of enthusiastic German tourists, and our happy tour group makes our way through the distillery, starting with the Barley Room and finishing with an insight into the blending process.  Charlie, our guide, is an entertaining host, full of stories and happy to answer any questions. Our young daughter is the only kid on the tour, and she’s delighted when he asks her to demonstrate separating the grist by shaking the official wooden box.

It’s heartening to see how many old-fashioned methods are still used. Glenturret is the only distillery in Scotland still to use a hand-operated Mash Tun, for example. The tradition of the Glenturret cats is still very much alive, too, and we meet Glen, the gorgeous ginger tom, curled up asleep in a chair near the copper still. Given half a chance, that’s where I’d spend my mornings too.

After the tour we make our way to the distillery shop where Charlie offers us drams of the Famous Grouse blend and the peated Glenturret malt. It’s a tough life but I taste them both. The peated malt is surprisingly creamy and smooth, and, tasting the Famous Grouse it’s not hard to see why it’s Scotland’s best-selling blend. Responsibility for these tastes lies chiefly with Kirsteen Campbell, Glenturret’s master blender, whose nose is insured for £2 million! Thank you, Kirsteen, Charlie, and everyone at Glenturret – we had a fantastic visit.

Crieff has a lovely selection of independent shops and cafés, and some pretty galleries. We park up and immediately spot Wee Beasties, a lovely vintage shop in King Street. Vintage is my weakness, so we pop in and buy some bits and pieces. There’s also the charming Planet Soap across the road, selling handmade soaps, candles and bath bombs. We’ve booked lunch at Café Rhubarb but can’t resist popping in to Delivino, a wine café and delicatessen, for some delicious caramel shortbread on the way.

We stroll down the road to the Strathearn Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Crieff established in 1994. We’ve always loved this gallery, with its mix of stunning glass pieces, paintings, jewellery and sculpture. The gallery is busy and buzzing, as there’s a new exhibition of wildlife paintings by Georgina McMaster. We have a quick chat to the artist and browse the rest of the pieces to work up an appetite for lunch.

12.15pm – Lunch at Café Rhubarb then chocolates from Gordon & Durward

A friend has recommended Café Rhubarb in the centre of Crieff so we’d phoned earlier to make a booking with the friendly proprietor. Good thing, too, because it’s packed out by the time we get there. The sensible grown-ups order delicious lentil soup and crusty bread, and the wee one gets to take advantage of her age and have a toasted bagel topped with Nutella and banana, which comes with a side order of sweets and a cocktail umbrella. She’s pretty impressed. So are we – the service is friendly and welcoming, the ambience is relaxing and the food is comforting.

As if there hadn’t been enough chocolate already, we can’t resist popping into Gordon & Durward, an old-fashioned confectioner with a window full of multi-coloured sweeties in jars, Easter treats and tablet. The impeccably arranged hand-made chocolates in the glass cases are bought fresh from the Isle of Arran, and the tablet is made in-house. We all choose some treats and head for our last stop in Crieff.

1.30pm – Crieff Visitor Centre

 

Those of you who grew up in Perth may remember the Caithness Glass Factory at the edge of the city, where you could go to watch the glass-blowers making the famous paperweights from what looked like bright orange melted toffee. You can now see them at work at the Crieff Visitor Centre, and shop for classic pieces in their outlet store.

There’s also an antiques shop, a large busy café and a store selling local and Scottish products. Finally we pop into a compact but interesting exhibition about the 18th Century Highland Drovers, who walked long distances with their cattle through the Highlands to market towns.

 

It’s time for some fresh air, so we drive the seven miles to Comrie and park in the pretty village. Comrie regularly wins prizes for its floral displays, and although spring has only just arrived there are some pretty arrangements on show, including heather-filled window boxes on many of the houses.

The Deil’s Cauldron is a waterfall rushing from a rocky gorge. We opt to see the Wee Cauldron only, rather than the longer walk to the main Cauldron, and it’s a pleasant 20-minute amble to get there through an avenue of beech trees, many covered in soft green moss. We hear the Cauldron before we see it, due to the force at which it spills out over the rocks below. There’s a fenced path down to a viewing platform where we stand and breathe in the lovely fresh air. Time now to head back to the village for some refreshments!

3.00pm – House of Tartan, Comrie

 

Before we go for a cup of tea, we spot the House of Tartan in Comrie’s main street. The sign above the door says they’re home to the world’s first tartan database, so we have to find out more.

We’re greeted inside by Morag, who explains that, 20 years ago, the House of Tartan logged all existing tartans in a huge database and, since then, many more have been added. Customers can create and name their own tartan, and add it to the official list. If you’re a fan of a certain wildly popular TV series filmed in Scotland, you can now buy Outlander tartan too. There’s also a display of MacBeanies, sportswear made in Scotland that can be worn as a scarf, bandana, scrunchie, balaclava or beanie. We can’t resist picking out one in our family name.

3.15pm – Royal Hotel, Comrie

 

After all those tartan antics, it’s time for a visit to the Royal Hotel. We haven’t been to this family-owned hotel for a few years, and are delighted to find out it’s still comfortable, tastefully decorated and welcoming. In the lounge bar we have a pot of tea and some chocolate brownies, and relax while Django, a friendly dog who’s in with his owner, wanders over to say hello.

After our tea, there’s time for one more stop, and it’s a visitor attraction like no other.

Cultybraggan Camp is the last remaining World War II high-security POW camp in the UK. Consisting of 80 Nissen huts, the camp has been recognised by Historic Scotland as having international significance. The community of Comrie acquired Cultybraggan Camp in 2007, from the army, to ensure that it survived intact. Comrie Development Trust now manages the camp.

Cultybraggan’s most famous prisoner was Heinrich Steinmeyer. Heinrich was moved by the unexpectedly kind way he was treated both at the camp and by people from the Comrie area. He also felt welcomed by other communities in Scotland, when he stayed to work after the war. He visited Comrie over the years and, on his death, left a gift of £384,000 to be used to benefit older people in Comrie.

It’s a strange place to walk around. On the one hand, the camp is surrounded by fields, trees and hills, beautifully lit in the spring sunshine. There’s an area of allotments and a welcoming information centre. Businesses, such as the Strathearn Cheese Company, even rent a few of the huts.

On the other hand, it’s eerie and atmospheric, as we wander around the long-since abandoned huts, many of which are almost cartoonish and quaint with their little pink curtains. There’s an old rifle range and assault course (now a community orchard). There are also photos and stories of soldiers marched through the streets of Comrie to be imprisoned a long way from home.

There are tours on the first Sunday of each month from May to October, starting at 11am then every half-hour until 3pm. We did a self-guided walk-around after picking up a tour leaflet from the visitor centre.

4.45pm – Head home

It’s time to head home to Perth. We’ve had a fantastic day out, finding new places and revisiting old favourites. We’ve enjoyed friendly service, delicious treats and fascinating visitor attractions. Crieff and Comrie are a great double act.

 While you’re in the area…

There are lots more attractions to check out while you’re exploring the beautiful Strathearn area:

 Places to stay in Perth

 If you’d like to do a great Day Out from Perth, here’s a list of fantastic accommodation in the heart of the city where you can stay, before and/or afterwards:

Stay in touch

Follow Perth City Centre on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, events, days out and activities in Perth and the surrounding area.

 

 

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