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!

Find out more

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!

Find out more

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!

Find out more

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.

Find out more.

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?

Find out more

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.

Find out more.

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.

Find out more

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!

Explore Perth City & Perthshire this National Walking Month

Explore Perth City & Perthshire this National Walking Month

May is National Walking month. We’ve compiled some of our favourite walks within Perth & Perthshire. From the long distance route of the Cateran Trail to exploring Perth City Centre and The River Tay. There’s nowhere quite like Perthshire to pull on your walking shoes. Whether you’re a seasoned walker looking for a challenge or just want to get out of the house for a leisurely stroll, you will find a walk to suit your needs in every area of the region.

Perth City Walk

The Perth City Walk is a short distance route that takes you on a journey through the beautiful architecture, old streets and vennels of Perth.

Crossing Smeaton’s Bridge and passing through the Art Trail at Rodney Gardens and the Norie-Miller Walk by the banks of the River Tay, this boasts as many green spaces as it does urban highlights.

Corbenic Poetry Path

This truly unique walk through a variety of terrains including open hillside, moorland, woodlands and riverbanks, offers so much more than just exercise and fresh air. Small poems, written word carvings and sculptures on the route make this one of Perthshire’s most peaceful and tranquil locations.

Find out more at corbenicpoetrypath.com

The Hermitage 

The Hermitage – just a 15 minute drive from Perth lies The Hermitage, a National Trust for Scotland owned area with parking just off the A9. The walk starts with a gentle 10 minute stroll beside the River Braan to Ossian’s Hall overlooking the spectacular Black Linn waterfall. You can enter the viewing room through the hidden door (kids love it!) and stand above the waterfall. The noise from the waterfall fills the chamber behind you helping you to appreciate the power of the water. If you are lucky to be there shortly after rainfall – this can be an exhilarating experience!

Continue up the path beside the river for a further 10 minutes and you will reach a suspicious looking pile of rocks. As you reach the far side of the rocks the opening to the cave can be easily found. This is Ossian’s Cave – if there are people here, wait a while until you have the place to yourself, sit in the cave and perhaps all of the world’s secrets will reveal themselves to you.
Now you have a choice – return to the car or continue for a longer walk which via connecting roads can provide a circular route back to the car. There are steeper stages on the longer route but the views over Dunkeld and surrounding mountains are ample reward.

Kinnoull Hill

Kinnoull Hill was gifted to the city of Perth in 1924, and along with Corsiehill and Deuchny Wood, was officially recognised as Scotland’s first woodland park in 1991.  The hill provides spectacular views over Perth and the Carse of Gowrie and is only a five minute drive from Perth City Centre.

There are lots of different routes up to the summit of the hill but the easiest way up is to park from the Jubilee Car Park – cross the road and take a left to follow the fence taking time to look out over the Carse and watch the River Tay on its final leg towards the sea at Dundee.

The woods here are open and an ideal spot for dog walking or for kids to play and climb. The path inclines gently at first and then steeper as it heads towards Kinnoull Tower – a folly built in 1829 by Lord Grey of Kinfauns.  This is a spectacular site sitting atop sheer cliff faces and for those brave enough to step closer to the edge they may be rewarded with a glimpse of a peregrine falcon who are known to live here.

Continue on past the tower to the true summit of the hill, as you take the final steps the view out over Perth opens in front of your providing a view over the city and then North to mountains beyond.

Getting Married in Perth

Getting Married in Perth

Getting Married in Perthshire

When it comes to getting married, Perth and Perthshire are hard to beat. Pretty churches, fabulous hotels, stunning scenery and great activities – our big county has it all. Plus we’re located within a 90-minute drive of 90% of Scotland’s population, so everyone can get here easily!

That means there’s a lot of info and advice packed into this article, so grab a cuppa, relax and let us help you plan the most special day of your life!

The Proposal

Well, every wedding has to start somewhere, right? When you’re ready to pop the question to your gal or guy, you’ll want it to be just right. That doesn’t mean it has to be fancy, just whatever is meaningful to you both. So here are our top recommendations for everything from the ring to the celebratory bubbly!

Where to buy the ring

You can find beautiful engagement and wedding rings from these top independent Perth jewellers: 

Byers & Co

Some will help you to design your own, too!

Where to propose

You might want to propose over dinner at 63 Tay Street, Tabla, Deans, Santé, North Port, The Post Box or Grand’ Italia, to name just a few. Or why not pop the question with style at an event such as the Enchanted Forest, Rewind, the Solas Festival, or Perth Highland Games? You could even get back to nature as you get down on one knee at a Perthshire beauty spot or a riverside walk along the North Inch.

Time to celebrate

Congratulations – they said yes! If you’re now both thinking about tucking into some champers, you don’t have to go far. Exel Wines, Provender Brown, Grayson’s Wine Café, The Venue and The Bothy can all provide you with some delicious bubbly to toast your new status.

Venues and Catering

When it comes to wedding venues in Perthshire, the phrase “spoilt for choice” has rarely been more apt. There are so many that it’s impossible to list them all, but here’s a wide and varied selection of hotels, halls and hot spots to suit every taste and budget.

The Byre at Inchyra

Where – Inchyra Estate, Glencarse, PH2 7LU

What – The Byre at Inchyra is a stunningly beautiful wedding venue set in verdant Perthshire countryside. In February 2017 the Byre’s team was delighted to win UK & Ireland Wedding Venue of the Year in the DWHA Awards run by Destination Weddings & Holidays Abroad Magazine, the UK’s largest bridal magazine. The Byre is a tastefully restored, fully equipped, rustic barn comprising several stylish spaces, set in 150 acres of private parkland. Or you can pledge your troth in the beautiful gardens. You can also use the Bridal Day Room at Inchyra House for getting ready in the morning.

Website http://www.thebyreatinchyra.co.uk/weddings-barn-scotland/

Atholl Palace

Where – Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5LX

WhatAtholl Palace Hotel sits in beautifully manicured gardens, high on a hill in the popular town of Pitlochry. From the magnificent tree-lined avenue to decadent suites and a luxury spa, Atholl Palace is a favourite choice for those seeking a Highland fairytale wedding.

Website http://www.athollpalace.com/pitlochry-weddings

Bachilton Barn

Where – Bachilton House, Methven, PH1 3QX

What – Bachilton Barn is uniquely rural, yet a delightfully modern wedding venue located on 700 acres of stunning Perthshire countryside. The converted barn provides private surroundings and provides a perfect blank canvas for wedding couples to draw up the wedding of their dreams.

Website – http://www.bachiltonbarn.co.uk  

Ballathie House Hotel

Where Kinclaven, Stanley, PH1 4QN

What – Ballathie was voted Best Country House Wedding Venue at the 2012 Scottish Hotel Awards and benefits from a glorious position on the banks of the River Tay. For large parties, a marquee can be set up in the stunning grounds. Exclusive use can be arranged of the main house at certain times of the year.

Website http://www.perthshire-weddings.com

 

Comrie Croft

WhereBraincroft, by Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland PH7 4JZ

What Comrie Croft is, in its own words, “a wee bit different from a typical wedding venue”. A 200-year-old farmstead, house and barn set around a courtyard, together with 231 acres of fields and woods, most of the time it’s an award-winning green destination for people camping, hostelling or mountain biking. It’d be an informal, DIY wedding (the team doesn’t plan your wedding for you) but it’s sure to be lots of fun.

Websitehttp://www.comriecroft.com/groups/weddings.html

Crieff Hydro

Where – Crieff

What – Set in 9000 acres of rolling Perthshire countryside, the popular Crieff Hydro has the right space – cosy or grand – for 12 guests or 120. The hotel has a highly experienced wedding co-ordinator and wedding menus are created by three-time Scottish Chef of the Year, Bruce Price.

Websitehttps://www.crieffhydro.com/love/weddings/

Duchally Country Estate

Weddings P

Where – Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire, PH3 1PN

What – Duchally offers bespoke intimate weddings in a beautiful elegant country estate for up 40 guests, with an outstanding setting for photographs. The wedding party and guests can stay in luxurious lodges on the estate.

Websitehttp://www.duchally.co.uk/bespoke-weddings/

Dunkeld House Hotel

Where – Dunkeld, Perthshire, PH8 0HX

What – Dunkeld House Hotel, a luxury country house hotel that’s just had a £2m facelift, sits on the banks of the River Tay, in 280 acres of woodland. You can have your ceremony indoors or outdoors (weather permitting), and you can arrive down the mile-long drive in a vintage car or even arrive by boat along the Tay.

Websitehttp://www.dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk/occasions/weddings/

Fingask Castle

Where – Rait, Perthshire, PH2 7SA

What – Fingask Castle is a rural and romantic wedding venue set in the heart of Scotland. There’s a wide choice of locations for an exclusive wedding and reception, be it large or small, civil or religious, Asian or humanist – inside the castle, inside the pavilion or in the stunning gardens. Accommodation is expanding, and up to 70 guests can now stay in the self-catering cottages and new one-night stay ‘potting sheds’.

Websitehttp://www.fingaskcastle.co.uk/index.php/weddings/wedding_home

Fisher’s Hotel

Where – Pitlochry, PH16 5BN

What – Fisher’s Hotel was founded in 1830, a mixture of Georgian and Victorian architecture tastefully refurbished for the 21st century. Features include a magnificent ballroom, beautiful Victorian bay windows overlooking the award-winning gardens and Art Deco fireplaces.

Website – http://www.fishershotelpitlochry.com/pitlochry-weddings

Fonab Castle Hotel

Where – Foss Rd, Pitlochry, PH16 5ND

What – This beautiful castle has a magical Highland setting coupled with contemporary interiors and unrivalled loch-side views, making it a favourite choice for fairytale weddings.

Websitehttp://www.fonabcastlehotel.com/weddings/

Gleneagles Hotel

Where – Gleneagles, near Auchterarder

What – Gleneagles Hotel is known the world over for its five-star luxury. As well as the legendary hotel there are three championship golf courses, an award-winning spa, and a two-Michelin-star restaurant. The wedding team can organise your marriage to take place within the hotel, or nearby in a cathedral or a small local village church.

Websitehttp://www.gleneagles.com/meeting-events/special-occasions/weddings/

Grampian Hotel

Where – York Place, Perth

Weddings Perth

What – The Grampian Hotel specialises in traditional Scottish weddings. Its Tartan Function room is perfect for a wedding breakfast and a good size for evening guests to dance the night away. The hotel offers a bespoke service or an inclusive price with guaranteed affordability, all with the best traditions of service.

Websitehttp://www.grampianhotel.co.uk/Weddings

Murrayshall House Hotel

Where – Just outside Scone, PH2 7PH

What – I’m slightly biased as my husband and I got married here 12 years ago, but this is a lovely comfortable hotel set in picturesque rolling countryside. Take your vows in the local church, or marry in the tastefully decorated lounge with its open fire and large windows. The hotel’s under new ownership and is being given a 21st-century makeover, but remains open for business and bookings. And, if you like golf, you can always arrive the day before and have a round or two!

Websitehttp://www.murrayshall.co.uk/weddings

Perth Racecourse

Where – Scone Palace Park, Perth PH2 6BB

Weddings Perth

What – This romantic setting within the lovely parklands of Scone Palace boasts manicured lawns and stunning scenery. The venue is fully licensed and has a wide range of suites. And there’s a wedding co-ordinator on hand, to make sure the going is good!

Website https://www.perth-races.co.uk/Perthshire-Weddings-Celebrations

Royal George Hotel

Where – Tay Street, Perth

What – The Royal George is ideally situated in the centre of Perth. Wedding parties can welcome guests with reception drinks in the Garden Room, overlooking the river and the award-winning gardens, which may be used for your photographs. You can all relax and enjoy freshly prepared Scottish cuisine in The Morning Room, The Restaurant or The Ballroom.

Website http://theroyalgeorgehotel.co.uk/weddings.html

Church and Village halls

Where – Throughout Perthshire

What – If you’d like to get married without splashing huge amounts of cash, or you’d like to do something more low-key and quirky, why not book a local village hall, string it with fairy lights and bunting, get some students to work the bar and hire a caterer and ceilidh band? Your guests will be treated to an informal, fun-packed wedding that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

Websites (a selection) –

Celebrants

As you have seen Perth has a variety of locations for both religious and civil ceremonies including the registry office http://www.pkc.gov.uk/gettingmarried . Here are some key links:

Perth Presbytery:       http://www.perthpresbytery.org.uk/

Gateway Community Church:      http://www.gatewayperth.co.uk/

St Mathews Church:   http://www.stmatts.org.uk/

Our Lady of Lourdes  http://www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk/our-lady-of-lourdes-perth/

 

More Churches in Perth: http://weekdaymasses.org.uk/en/area/perth-kinross/churches

Perth Action of Churches Together (PACT) which is an ecumenical body with representatives from over 20 churches and Christian communities from Perth and the surrounding area.  http://www.pact-perth.org.uk/

The Wedding Gifts

So just what should your friends and family buy you as a gift? If you’d rather avoid the big national retailers, and keep shopping local, you have some great options:

  • Perth Gift Card – Why not ask for Perth Gift Cards, which you can now spend at over 75 – yes, 75! – shops, galleries, restaurants and venues. Imagine being able to see a year’s worth of gigs at Perth Concert Hall or having loads of fun days and evenings visiting Perth’s indie shops and award-winning restaurants. So much better than getting two of the same type of toaster, right?
  • Travel vouchers – see the “Honeymoon” section, below, for a list of local travel agents, and you could be jetting off to the sun as soon as you’ve packed away the dress and cake!
  • Experiences – White water rafting, bungee jumping and canyoning are popular wedding gifts for thrill-seeking couples – see “Hen and Stag Dos”, below, for all the possibilities.

Wedding Flowers and Cake

You’ve chosen your venue, your theme, your colours – now all you need to do is to find flowers and a cake that complement your special look. Well, look no further – we have florists and cake-ists aplenty in Perth and Perthshire. Here are a couple of useful lists to get you started:

Flowers
Cakes

Photographers / Film-makers

Choosing the right photographer is so important. She or he will spend the whole day with you and your wedding party, capturing all those special moments – the fun of getting ready, the romantic kisses, the all-important vows and the raucous party. Here are some special photographers, recommended by the wedding venues and/or our Perth City readers:

Toastmaster

Professional Scottish Toastmaster Brian Baxter from Scone.

Brian, as well as a current 35 year military career, is an expert Master of Ceremonies, management specialist, event co-ordinator, consultant in procedure, etiquette and protocol, compere, diplomat, presenter, announcer, substitute host, group organiser and an excellent mentor.

For most people, a wedding is a highlight in their lives, a time when families come together to celebrate. It is also a time when people are understandably anxious. Brian is here to:

  • Ensure that the wedding reception is conducted with due attention to protocol.
  • Free the Banqueting Manager and staff to concentrate on the catering arrangements.
  • Add a colourful and traditional Highland touch to the wedding.
  • Provide “peace of mind” for Bride, Bridegroom, Parents and Guests.

As a professional Toastmaster, Brian has given and continues to offer a heightened sense of occasion, efficiency, diligence and passion to any occasion, while providing structure for hosts and guests of any formal or informal function.

Bridal Party Clothes

Whether you’ve been dreaming about “the dress” since you watched Father Of The Bride as a teenager, or you don’t have a clue what you’re after, these fantastic wedding shops will help you to find the perfect outfit – dress, kilt, sporran, accessories, veils, bags, shoes, you name it – to wow them in the aisles:

Strathearn Kilt Hire, Perth

MOTB Clothes

After the bride and bridesmaid dresses are sorted, whose outfits are the next biggest priorities? That’s right – Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom! You can’t go wrong at these fabulous boutiques, where the mums will get individual attention and a one-off outfit, hat, handbag or shoes for the big day:

Hair and Make-up

In the frenetic buzz of the wedding day, there’s something special about sitting down with your bridesmaids and closest family to have your hair coiffed and your make-up perfectly applied. Here are some stylists and make-up artists who’ll help you to feel like a million dollars:

Gifts for your Helpers

They’ve made it to every dress fitting, helped you choose your sporran and shared a few gins and beers with you at the hen and stag parties. Now it’s time to choose a gift to thank all your loyal helpers – the bridesmaids, best man, ushers, flower girls, page boys, parents, in-laws and anyone else who’s been there for you.

We think the perfect way to thank them is a Perth Gift Card! It’s a pre-loaded Visa card that you can spend at over 75 local businesses.

Or if you’d rather pick something personal, check out all of these fabulous Perth shops where you can buy them the perfect gift to tell them how much they mean to you.

Hen and Stag Dos

Ah, the hen and stag dos. A chance for you to get together with your wildest – sorry, closest – friends and family, and let your hair down before you settle down to married bliss. And what fantastic options we have here in Perthshire for you! Here’s a selection of ideas:

  • Crieff Hydro – for adventure and / or a pampering package
  • Fonab Castle – for a luxury spa experience
  • Highland Safaris near Aberfeldy – travel by Land Rover through unrivalled Perthshire scenery for an unforgettable experience
  • Nae Limits at Ballinluig – thrills, spills or taking part in your own Highland Games…
  • Outdoor Explore – guided kayak tours for a chilled-out but fun-filled experience
  • Perthshire Paintball – for adrenaline-fuelled fun with your mates

Wedding Transport

Do you prefer vintage or modern? Luxury or quirky? These Perthshire wedding transport providers will ensure you arrive at your destination safely and – most importantly – on time!

  • Carriages of Scone – for the largest selection of luxury cars in the Perth area
  • Love Vintage Campers – because who wouldn’t want to hire a vintage Volkswagen Campervan (aka the coolest van ever made) for their wedding?
  • Balfour Hynd – for modern and vintage classic cars, including a Daimler and a 1930s Regent Landaulette.
  • A&BTaxis – offering Jaguar Sovereign cars as wedding vehicles, and a fleet of taxis and mini-coaches to help all your guests zoom from service to reception, or to get home safely.
  • Docherty’s Midland Coaches – a family-run coach business since 1947, with 20 luxury coaches at your disposal.

Honeymoon

To book your honeymoon, it couldn’t be simpler – pop down to the centre of Perth to visit one of our helpful travel agents:

  • First Choice, 61/63 High Street, Perth PH1 5TJ
  • Ramsay World Travel
  • Thomas Cook, 65 High Street, Perth PH1 5TJ
  • Thomson, 61/63 High Street, Perth PH1 5TJ
  • Visit Scotland iCentre, 45 High Street, Perth PH1 5TJ

..or stay in one of Perthshire’s most romantic hotels:

Get in touch

So, there you have it! We hope we’ve given you some fantastic ideas, and that we’ve helped you on the journey to the happiest day of your lives, right here in our beautiful county. If you’ve been inspired by what you’ve read, let us know – and do send us photos of your happy day. Cheers!

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Motorbiking in Perthshire

Motorbiking in Perthshire

Motorbiking in Perthshire

Annelie Carmichael, a regular writer for Perth City, decided to find out why Perthshire’s great for motorbikers……..

I had an inkling about why they might like this amazing county. But since I’ve only ridden pillion on a total of two mopeds in my whole life, I’m not what you’d call an expert.

Time, I thought, to bring in the bikers. So I put out the call, and the bikers answered. You told me what you like about getting on your bike, what it means to you, and what you love about biking in beautiful Perthshire.

And what a great bunch you turned out to be. Forget the well-worn stereotype – motorbiking today seems to be more about freedom, taking in the scenery, having a bit of escapism after a hard week at work, hanging out with your mates – and even raising money for charity.

So read on to find out what bikers really want – and how to find it all in Perthshire.

1) Interesting Roads

Bikers love interesting roads. Who wants to sit in traffic all day on a major road when you could be testing your skills and enjoying the twists, turns and challenges of Perthshire’s rural roads?

Alan Yeoman, a Glasgow biker, says he enjoys Perthshire because it has “more challenging (but not over-challenging) roads. You want country roads, not a straight dual carriageway.”

Bill Suttie, a local biker, likes that Perthshire is “central, with all major roads easily accessible. There are lots of good twisty side roads too. Bikers like twisty roads.”

 

 

Steve Coulson, a biker from Crieff, adds, “Perthshire offers up some nice roads – they’re undulating, with lots of curves, and are by and large in good condition. You can pick any road in Perthshire, and you will find something good about it. You’d struggle to find a road in Perthshire without some great features.”

 

 

Scott Wilson from Longforgan, who’s been biking since he was 16, has this helpful recommendation, based on some of his favourite roads:

“For a 2- to 3-hour ride, I’d do Longforgan to Crieff, then Killearn, Killin (just outside Perthshire), back into Perthshire and down Loch Tay, along to Kenmore, Aberfeldy, down through Dunkeld, Birnam, Perth and back home.

“For a 1- to 2-hour ride you could take the A93 from Perth to Blairgowrie, then west to Dunkeld then the Sma’ Glen, before heading south to Gilmerton or Crieff and back to Perth.”

Darren Slater, a biker from Bridge of Earn, adds, “There are lots of good back roads around Bridge of Earn. The Path of Condie is a beautiful run, as is the Auchterarder-Crieff-Blairgowrie-Perth road.”

 

Recommended roads

Our bikers loved talking about their favourite routes and roads – here’s a selection (see our handy map for routes):

A823 from Glendevon through Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Muthill and Crieff

A85 from Perth through Crieff to Loch Earn, through Comrie and St Fillans (carries on outside Perthshire to Crianlarich and Tyndrum)

A822 from Crieff, through Amulree and the Sma’ Glen, to Birnam and Dunkeld

A826 from Milton to Aberfeldy

A827, from Ballinluig, through Grandtully, Aberfeldy and Kenmore, all the way along Loch Tay

A93, from Perth through Blairgowrie and Bridge of Cally all the way to Glenshee (or you can use A94 through Coupar Angus to Blairgowrie)

A924 & A926, from Pitlochry / Moulin through Bridge of Cally to Rattray and then New Alyth

2) Great scenery

Perthshire is world-famous for its great scenery, and there are few better ways to appreciate it than on two wheels.

Imagine spending a day biking through heather-filled moors, past vast lochs and rushing rivers, over stunning mountains and into glens filled with dappled sunlight. That may sound rather poetic for a bunch of leather-clad lads and lasses, but scenery is one of the things that bikers love best about Perthshire.

Scott Wilson says, “The countryside in Perthshire is the best. There’s a mix of forest, lochs, mountains, and lots of open roads with no interruptions.” Scott particularly recommends the Perthshire glens (such as the Sma’ Glen) for their stunning scenery.

Piotr Gudan, a biker who runs an outdoor adventure centre, says that if you want to see great scenery, “the Scenic Snow Route – A93, from Blairgowrie to Braemar and further north – would be a great start.”

Recommended scenic spots

There are so many to choose from, but here’s a fine selection of scenic spots, to drive past or to stop at and enjoy the spectacular views.

The Lochs

  1. Loch Tummel
  2. Loch Earn
  3. Loch Tay
  4. Loch Rannoch
  5. Loch Garry
  6. Loch Ericht
  7. Loch Errochty
  8. Loch Freuchie
  9. Loch Lyon
  10. Dunalastair Reservoir

The Glens

  1. Glen Lyon
  2. The Sma’ Glen
  3. Glen Shee
  4. Glen Artney
  5. Glen Garry and the Pass of Drumochter

3) Good food and a warm welcome

If you’re out all day or all weekend on your bike, you’re going to want to stop for coffee, tea, some excellent cake or a good old bag of chips.

Timandra Harkness, a biker from London, says that after good roads, “friendly locals are most important. Ease of parking and bike-friendly accommodation also count for a lot.”

 

 

 

 

Steve Coulson adds, “I don’t ride around thinking of biker-friendly cafés, because I’ve felt welcome everywhere in Perthshire.”

It helps, too, if the place you stop at has outdoor seating and a decent-sized area where you can leave your bike and keep an eye on it.

Recommended places to stop

Where do our bikers like to stop for a break in Perthshire? They had lots to say on this subject – suggestions include:

3) Hanging out with other bikers

You bikers are a friendly lot. Although you sometimes like getting away for a journey on your own, you also like meeting up to ride in a group, or to have a blether about bikes, biking and anything else under the sun.

You also raise a lot of money for charity with your mates. Here are some good ways to meet up, join in and raise cash in Perthshire.

SCAA Biker Bash

This annual event sees up to 300 bikers meeting up and riding through picturesque Perthshire locations such as Coupar Angus, Blairgowrie, Bridge of Cally, Pitlochry, Queen’s View and Kenmore. Bikers pay to enter, and proceeds to go Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), based at Perth Airport. The organisers say: “As bikers we all know the dangers we face each time we take our bikes out, especially on some of the remote roads throughout Scotland. So together we can help make sure the service is there if we should need it.” This year’s event will take place on Sunday 21st May.

Find out more about the SCAA Biker Bash

Perth Bike Night

 

Perth Bike Night, say the organisers, is a “gathering of bikers, trikers and like-minded folk. Regardless of what you ride – 1, 2, 3 or 4 wheels – everyone will be made welcome!” Perth Bike Night is held at Noah’s, Perth, on the last Saturday of every month from April to September. Camping is available on site and there are local biker-friendly B&Bs.

There are various stalls on site selling hot and cold food and drinks, Army Surplus and everything in between.

Perth Bike Night is non-profit-making and proceeds from entry (£2 per person) and any raffle will be donated to the chosen charity of the evening.

Darren Slater adds, “Perth Bike Night has raised a lot of money for charity – we’ve even auctioned off a Harley Davidson bike to support people with disabilities.”

Find out more about Perth Bike Night

Maggie’s Run

The Blairgowrie and District Motorcycling Club (BADMCC) has supported the Maggie’s Centre in Dundee since 2006, by organising the Maggie’s Run. This event takes in some of Perthshire’s most beautiful scenery before heading into neighbouring Aberdeenshire. The annual event has raised over £22,000 for the Maggie’s Centre charity in the last 11 years.

This year’s run for 2017 will be on Sunday 14th May, starting at around 10.00am from the Red House Hotel, Coupar Angus up to Stonehaven and along Deeside.

Find out more about Maggie’s Run

 Thunder In The Glens

Every August, locals in Perthshire and the Highlands are treated to the spectacular sight and ear-splitting sound of 3000-plus Harley Davidsons roaring along our roads.

Thunder In The Glens is a weekend event that attracts participants and their Harleys from all over the globe, including Ireland, Europe, the USA and Australia. Although the riders congregate in Aviemore for the weekend, to get here they enjoy a fantastic journey through the hills and glens of Perthshire. Riders can take any route through the county, either direct or more meandering.

Organiser George McGuire, from the Dunedin Chapter of Harley owners and riders, told me what he loves about Perthshire: “When you come north in Perthshire, to the hill after Kinross, you seem to look right through the valley and it’s like a wide open gate, saying ‘Come in, enjoy yourself.’”

George also mentions that the Dunedin Chapter meets from time to time in the Lovat Hotel, Perth, so if you fancy joining them, just get in touch through their website.

If you’re taking part in this year’s event, and you’d like to stay in Perth on your way, check out our handy list, below, of “Places to stay in Perth”.

 

 

 

The last word

Finally, I asked my biker interviewees what they love about biking in a county like Perthshire. Here’s a selection of their comments:

Timandra: “It’s a completely absorbing activity so it’s very relaxing. It gives a closer contact to the place I’m visiting than any other form of transport – I can not only see but feel the contours of the roads, smell the forests or the food in the towns.”

Steve: “I love the freedom that it gives. You’re out of the metal box and you’re more connected to what’s going around you. I think there’s a big connection between motorcycling and mindfulness. To ride safely you really need to be in the moment. Also there’s a friendliness and fraternity. We look after each other. We appreciate each other’s stances, each other’s different bikes, we all appreciate the connection.”

Darren: “I love the freedom. You get out on the road, get the cobwebs out of your hair. No matter how many people you’re out with, it’s you and the road.”

Freedom, mindfulness, friendliness and relaxation – that sounds like a fantastic way to spend your time. Bikers, you’re very welcome in Perthshire.

 

Remember to stay safe!

Every activity, especially motorsports come with inherent risks, and motorbiking is no exception. Take a look at this brilliant infographic courtesy of Watermans to help you keep safe on the road.

Places to stay in Perth

If you’d like to explore beautiful Perthshire on your bike, here’s a list of comfortable and welcoming accommodation in the heart of Perth 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.

Days Out from Perth – Birnam and Dunkeld

Days Out from Perth – Birnam and Dunkeld

Birnam and Dunkeld. Dunkeld and Birnam. Two towns so close together that they share road signs, a website and a local newsletter. They’re both known as hubs for the creative arts and crafts, as well as for their Highland beauty and community spirit.

So, for our first Day Out from Perth, we couldn’t visit one without the other! They’re only a 20-minute drive from Perth, which is ideal for a day out from the city.

We set out on a mild February day to see what was on offer. And, as 2017 is Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, we’ll make sure that we include some historical sights.

9.40am – Leave Perth City Centre

The weather is a little drizzly as we head along the A9 and it later turns out to be rainy, cloudy and finally sunny with bright blue skies. So I’m glad we have a mix of indoor and outdoor activities planned!

10.00am – Chattan Tea Room & Post Office, Birnam

We start our day out in Birnam, a pretty town established in the Victorian era on the bank of the River Tay. If you studied Shakespeare’s Macbeth at school, you’ll remember Birnam Wood striking fear into the heart of our tragic hero – more on that later.

Our first stop is Chattan Tea Room, a quirky “trading post”-style building which also serves as the village post office. Owner Kelly Annets and her staff welcome us warmly when we arrive, and we order coffees, scones and pancakes.

We ask for jam and, to our delight, we’re brought a selection of three classic home-made conserves – delicately flavoured apple-and-clove jelly, zingy lemon curd and smooth, tangy rhubarb jam. I feel like I’m back at my great-auntie’s house in Deeside 30 years ago.

The scones are satisfyingly large (nobody wants a small scone!) yet light and delicious. The pancake gets a resounding thumbs-up from our daughter.

As well as being a café and post office, Chattan also sells gifts, crafts and jewellery, local eggs, greeting cards and old-fashioned sweeties in jars.

Find out more about Chattan Tea Room and Post Office

Energised by our lovely snacks, we move on to our next stop. Birnam Arts contains an exhibition space, a theatre/concert/cinema venue, meeting rooms, a popular café, a shop and a library.

Meeting Peter Rabbit

It’s home to the permanent Beatrix Potter exhibition and garden, so we start there. Beatrix spent summers at Eastwood House in nearby Dunkeld as a child, and grew to love the surrounding area, sketching the fungi, flowers and wildlife. On one holiday there in 1893, Beatrix brought to life the characters of Peter Rabbit and Jeremy Fisher, beloved by millions of children ever since.

The exhibition is an entrancing glimpse into the fictional worlds that Potter created. We dress up as Peter, Jeremy and Mrs Tiggywinkle (sorry, we must have deleted those photos!), put on a puppet show, read books, do jigsaws, and play in the pretend shop, washroom and Victorian classroom. We then wander round the little garden and spot the bronze sculptures of Peter and his animal pals.

Moving Minds: the lives of Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland today

Next in Birnam Arts we go upstairs to Moving Minds, an engaging exhibition about the lives of Gypsy/Traveller people in Scotland. Described by broadcaster Lesley Riddoch as “an antidote to My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”, it’s a mix of personal stories, artefacts and photographs of loved objects. It offers genuine and moving insights into the lives, loves, work and everyday challenges of modern-day Travellers.

The exhibition runs until Tuesday 28th February and is free of charge.

Find out about upcoming exhibitions and events at Birnam Arts

11.45am – The Birnam Oak

We have time before lunch for a walk with the dog, so we go in search of the Birnam Oak and its neighbour the Birnam Sycamore.

It’s an easy five-minute stroll from the main road – just follow “Oak Road” behind the Birnam Inn to the riverside (wear your wellies if it’s rainy).

When we approached these two trees, we were so taken aback by their size that we just stopped and stared. The Birnam Oak is so large that at least five of its mighty boughs are held up by wooden crutches like telegraph poles. The Birnam Sycamore is over 300 years old and the Oak is much older, although its exact age is unknown.

These trees are thought to be the sole survivors of the great forest that once straddled the banks and hillsides of the River Tay. The forest is celebrated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, when the three witches prophesise, “Macbeth shall never vanquished be / Until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane Hill / Shall come against him”. Macbeth laughs this off, but he is defeated when the advancing army camouflages itself with the branches of trees from the wood.

Find out more about the Birnam Oak and Sycamore

 

12.30pm – The Taybank, Dunkeld

After all that exploring it’s time to head to Dunkeld, Birnam’s next-door neighbour, for lunch. We cross the famous Dunkeld Bridge, designed by Scottish engineer Thomas Telford, and go round the corner to The Taybank, a bar and kitchen well-known for its live music.

There’s outdoor seating near the river, but as it’s February we stay inside by the wood-burning stove and order warming soup with a delicious selection of cheese and biscuits. The Taybank is dog-friendly and the barman kindly brings ours a bowl of water.

The waitress tells us that the Taybank is undergoing some renovation to add a new restaurant and music room upstairs, so we’ll be back soon to see how it’s all turned out, and hear some great live music.

Find out more about the Taybank

1.45pm – Going Pottie, Dunkeld

 

The little person in our party (and, let’s admit it, the big people too) loves any kinds of arty-crafty activities, so we stroll to nearby Cathedral Street where we find our next destination.

Going Pottie is a charming workshop where you can paint a ready-made pottery piece in acrylic or glaze paints. There’s a wide selection including ornaments, mugs and goblets, clocks, hanging decorations and money-boxes.

There’s another group of four in the workshop – it can comfortably hold 12 – so we settle down next to them and choose our pieces to paint. Owner Julie brings us a tray of over 30 coloured acrylic paints, a jar of paintbrushes, some painting pinnies and a hairdryer (Yes, really! It helps the acrylics to dry quickly).

It’s a lovely relaxing experience, and soon we’re all absorbed in our designs. We end up with a sea turtle, a brown cat and a slightly sinister-looking duck (see photo).

When we finish, Julie asks if we’d like to add glitter to our ornaments. Of course we say yes, and she covers them with a sparkly lustre at no extra cost.

Prices start at £6 per piece – for an activity that can keep everyone amused for up to an hour, I’d say that’s great value for money. We’ll definitely be back, as I spotted a star decoration that’d be great for the Christmas tree…

Find out more about Going Pottie

2.30pm – Dunkeld Cathedral and riverside stroll

 

The sun has come out for us, so we walk along the street to the grand and beautiful Dunkeld Cathedral.

Built in stages between 1260 and 1501, the cathedral was partly destroyed during the Reformation in 1560 but the chancel is roofed and is now the parish church for Sunday worship. There’s a little museum, with some interesting artefacts including a Pictish stone dating from the 800s. The rest of the cathedral is ruinous and is in the care of Historic Scotland.

We take a look inside the cathedral at the beautiful stained glass East Window, the intricately card wooden fretwork and the magnificent tomb of Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, known as the Wolf of Badenoch.

After our visit we stroll along the river enjoying the afternoon sun shining through the evergreen trees.

Find out more about Dunkeld Cathedral

3.15pm – The Scottish Deli, Dunkeld

 

Days out from PerthWe need to pick up a gift for a friend, so we go back to Atholl Street in Dunkeld to the Scottish Deli, a café and treasure trove of foodie delights. We pick up some locally made oatcakes, strawberry jam and chocolate – yum!

Find out more about the Scottish Deli

3.45pm – The Birnam Reader

 

Days out from Perth

It’s nearly time to head home, but earlier in the day we’d spotted a sign for an independent bookshop near Birnam Arts. As we’re all keen bookworms we decide to pop in.

The Birnam Reader opened just before Christmas 2016 and sells a wide selection of second-hand books and CDs at very reasonable prices. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also buy a coffee and cake while you’re browsing and reading.

We all choose our books (owner Beth Ross-Gillies even allows our daughter to read the kids’ books with no pressure to buy) and flick through them as we tuck into our delicious coffees and cakes (vegan and gluten-free options often available!).

Find out more about the Birnam Reader

It’s the perfect way to finish off our Day Out from Perth.

4.30pm – back to Perth

We’ve had a fantastic day in Birnam and Dunkeld – a rich mix of history, fun, culture, the outdoors and, of course, food and drink. The short drive back to Perth means we’re home before 5pm.

And there’s still a lot more to do and see in the area – see “Other things to do”, below, for a selection.

We’ll be back soon with a brand-new Day Out from Perth – so watch this space!

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