Perth Visitor Centre Re-opening

Perth Visitor Centre Re-opening

Perth Visitor Centre To Re-Open

In early April, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) will re-open the Fair Maid’s House Visitor Centre for the season.

The geographic inspiration begins on Friday 5th April between 13:00 and 15:00 when there will be a special exhibition on show, Firsts and Nearly Firsts.

On display will be some of the Society’s most prized assets – items such as a telegram from Robert Peary, the first man to reach the North Pole; a special map from the First World War signed by Commander-in-Chief, Earl Haig; and a priceless signed cover of The Times special supplement for September 1953, showing photos of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first summiteers of Mount Everest.

But that’s not all, from Saturday 6th April there will be the opportunity to view a special anniversary exhibition created by the RSGS telling the best stories from the last decade of the Society’s history.

Such anecdotes include the discovery of a skeleton in the Fair Maid’s House, the inadvertent use of a priceless whiskey in a family Christmas cake, and insights from some of the most intriguing and accomplished voyagers, visionaries, missionaries and mavericks to have ever walked Planet Earth.

Whilst at the Fair Maid’s House, visitors will also have the chance to unwind in the Society’s historic Explorers’ Library and view ephemera from the likes of David Livingstone, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Robert Falcon Scott, Neil Armstrong and Karen Darke; in the multi-media Earth Room, there will be hands-on opportunities to learn about geo-politics and the Earth’s tectonic forces; and in the map room, there will be time to get lost in a captivating collection of cartographic treats! 

Commenting on the upcoming season, Mike Robinson said:

“The RSGS is a repository of some the best stories from the past 135 years. I hope that those who visit our headquarters in Perth – whether young or old – will be amazed by the greats and game-changers who have been associated with our small charity, and inspired to discover, learn and care more about the world around them.

“Everyone is welcome, so please come along!”


Frankenstein Tour Will Premiere In Perth Theatre

Perth Theatre is delighted to be partnering with Selladoor Productions, Matthew Townshend Productions and Belgrade Theatre Coventry for a new UK tour of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The production premieres in Perth Theatre on Thursday 5 September before touring to Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Brighton Theatre Royal, Brighton, New Theatre, Cardiff, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Liverpool Playhouse, Liverpool and Theatre Royal Glasgow, Glasgow with further dates to be announced.                                

Tickets will be on sale with the new season brochure from mid-April.

A Scottish national press night will take place at Perth Theatre on 7 September.

Only in Whispers

Only in Whispers

Only in Whispers: Perth’s Supernatural Exhibition

This month I thought that I would go and check out the “Only in Whispers” exhibition at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery.  This display focuses on the Myths and Legends of Perthshire which I am sure you know by now I am very interested in.

This display in the museum is very different from your typical museum experience, where you look at an exhibit enclosed in a glass cabinet.  For as you enter the display, you transported back in time into a life-size mock-up of an impression of the interior of Ballechin House. This building once stood between Logierait and Grandtully.  Ballechin House was the scene of a famous haunting in the late 1800s. There is plenty to do in this mock house, from answering phones and listening to whispered conversations on the line or looking through keyholes into other rooms, trying doors to see what lies at the other side and opening a cabinet and reading letters about the hauntings. There is also a collection of weird and macabre objects and information and models relating to the best-known myths and legends of Perthshire.  The pupils of Fairview School helped by animator Jim Stirk put together a short film to go with the exhibition which is well worth a look.


This is a fantastic display and one that the kids would love, with lots to see and explore.  At £5.00 adults and £3.00 with a group of four costing £15, it is reasonably priced for this day and age, there is plenty of other exciting things to see in the museum for free. On the 11th and 12th of April, there are torchlight tours in the museum to coincide with the exhibition where yours truly will be doing some storytelling in the museum vaults.  This is a unique chance to see some of the artefacts in the basement that are not usually on display. All the information on tickets for the exhibition and torchlight tours can be found here.

The Haunting of Ballechin House


The display is focused on the haunting of Ballechin House and here is the story of the strange events that captivated late Victorian Britain.  The origins of the activity reported to originate from Ballechin House was centred on a man called Robert Steuart who had made his fortune while working for the East India Company. Robert moved to the house in 1850, he was a bit strange and seemed to shun the company of his peers preferring his many dogs, some fourteen in all.  He was involved in a scandalous affair with one of his maids, who was later to die in one of the rooms in the house after a short illness. Robert was very interested in the afterlife and particularly on reincarnation, he always stated that when he died, he would return in the spirit of a dog. Robert did die in 1876 and the house passed to his nephew John Steuart, hearing about his uncles’ desire to return from the grave in the form of a dog John had the animals shot.


Strange things started to happen in the house with reports of bangs, raps and sightings of a spectral dog were reported.  In 1897 an investigation into the ghostly goings-on was carried out by John Crichton Stuart the Marquess of Bute he was helped by Ada Goodrich Freer from the Society for Psychical Research.  Freer kept a diary during her investigation, she recorded sounds off “knockings, crashes, bangs, groans and thuds. She stated that were heard at all hours of the day and night. Freer declared that others in the house heard voices and footsteps.  One lady was said to have been woken during the night by the feeling that her bed was shaking, and a maid had her clothing pulled by unseen hands.


Mrs Freer stated that she saw the ghostly figure of an old woman, this ghost was also seen by a maid, but in the second instance, the old woman had no legs.  Phantom dogs were also observed in and around the house and a ghostly nun called Ishbel was also spotted along with a woman dressed in grey. The Scotsman Newspaper on the 5th of July 1899 reporting on the incidents a few years later stated that during the hauntings the house was blessed by a Bishop and Priest in an attempt to stop this paranormal activity.  


When the findings of the alleged hauntings were published, the results were widely ridiculed. The Scotsman Newspaper mentioned above was extremely sceptical as to the authenticity of the ghostly goings-on. Ada Goodrich Freer and her research into Ballechin House was discredited and her peers in the Society for Psychical Research turned on her.

The house was demolished after being uninhabited for many years and after being severely damaged in a fire.


So was there ever any ghostly activity at Ballechin House, well it seems that the house did have a reputation of being haunted before the investigation in 1897.  Perhaps Freer did greatly exaggerate the amount of activity in the house. But it seems the house did have a history of ghostly activity long before the alleged hauntings was documented, it remains an intriguing story.

Written by Gary Knight

Can’t Get Enough of Gary’s Stories?


If you enjoyed this article, why not take a look at Garys book ‘No Fair City’?

Battles, regicides, executions, conspiracies, murders, floods, fires, crimes, punishments, and mayhem No Fair City by Gary Knight has them all. Delve into the darker side of historical Perth, where witches, smugglers, grave robbers, murderers, and thieves conduct their ghastly business. Learn how the guilty (and innocent) were tried, punished, and executed. Read how, in a world before health and safety, plague, fire, the merciless River Tay, and the Perth s lade, railways and roads, took their daily toll of townsfolk and visitors.

You can find it here.

Or if you want to read similar stories from across Scotland, take a look in his new Scottish History Fanzine ‘For the Lion’ available at



Solheim Cup Transport FAQs

Solheim Cup Transport FAQs

Solheim Cup Transport FAQs

From 13 to 15 September 2019, the Solheim Cup, the biggest event in women’s golf, will be taking place at Gleneagles Hotel. The PING Junior Solheim Cup and practice days will take place beforehand, from 9-12 September.


How many people will attend?

Up to 30,000 attendees, including 3,500 staff are expected to  attend each of the competition days.


How will people travel?

Travel will be by a mixture of rail, park and ride and driving pre-booked to on-site parking. People can travel to and from the event by taxi


What road closures and restrictions will there be?

The A823 will be closed where it runs through the golf course: from Station Road to Orchil Road. Diversions will be in place, including for local and school buses. Residents of Caledonian Crescent, which is within the closure boundary, have been contacted separately with more detailed information relevant to their circumstances.

No other road closures are planned, though traffic on the A9 will be slowed to 30mph adjacent to the course. This is to allow the increased volume of traffic moving on and off the A9 at that point to do so safely.


Will local residents be able to access to the station?

The bus stops at Gleneagles Station and alongside the A9 at Auchterarder will not be in operation for 9-17 September and therefore the station will not be served by local bus services during that week. Rail passengers travelling to the station by car will be able to use the car park on the left hand side/west of the station


Will setting up the facilities cause any additional traffic before and after the event?

We expect the site set-up to take no more than a couple of weeks before and after the event, with no large volumes of traffic expected. The build is significantly less than for the Ryder Cup.


How much parking will be on site?

There will be on-site parking for 4,200 spectator vehicles, estimated to carry around 10,600 people, each day. There will be parking for a further 1,200 staff vehicles. Spectators are required to buy a discounted parking ticket in advance for onsite car parks, to help traffic planning. 


What hours will the car parks be open / when will traffic to be busiest?  

Date Car parks open Play begins Car parks close
Monday 9 September 6.45am   7pm
Tuesday 10 September 6.45am 8am 8pm
Wednesday 11 September 6.45am 8am 7pm
Thursday 12 September 6.45am 9am 9pm
Friday 13 September 5.45am 8.10am 9pm
Saturday 14 September 5.45am 8.10am 9pm
Sunday 15 September 7.45am 11.10am 9pm

We expect the busiest time will be between 7 and 8am and 5 and 6pm depending on results.


What are the plans for train travel?

ScotRail may run additional services to Gleneagles and existing services running through the station may add Gleneagles as a stop.  More details are available on There is no need to pre-book train tickets.


What are the plans for park and rides?

There will be two park and rides car parks for the event: one at Castleview in Stirling and one at McDiarmid Park in Perth. There is no need to pre-book tickets for the park and ride sites. Tickets to the event can be also be brought from the Park and Ride sites. You can arrive at the sites on foot or taxi as well as driving there. Please note bus travel is free.

A free Park & Ride shuttle bus service to Gleneagles will be in operation from McDiarmid Park, Crieff Road, Perth for the duration of the event with the aim of limiting the impact on local communities and local road networks.  Please follow local signs to McDiarmid Park and do not follow sat nav guidance due to temporary road changes for the event.

Parking at McDiarmid park is free for shuttle bus service users. 

From Monday 9 September to Wednesday 11 September attendees including accompanied under 16’s can board a shuttle bus without any event ticket requirements as there are no ticket entry conditions for the event on any of these days.

Attendees wishing to use the free shuttle bus service on any of the ticketed event days on Thursday 12, Friday 13, Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 September will be required to present a valid event ticket for that day to access this bus service. 

Event tickets will be available for purchase at the Park and Ride facility, for those people not already in possession of a valid ticket prior to boarding the shuttle service, from Thursday 12 (Opening Ceremony) to Sunday 15 September.

Under 16’s can gain access to the free shuttle bus on ticketed event days if they are accompanied by an adult who is in possession of a ticket for the event.

Attendees can also arrive at McDiarmid Park on foot, by taxi or by bike and access the free shuttle bus service to the Solheim Cup.

There are bus stops located on Crieff Road near the entrance to McDiamid Park and attendees wishing to travel to the free shuttle bus service from the city centre by public transport can travel on either Stagecoach Service 2 or Stagecoach Service 15/15A from the City Centre, alight on the Crieff Road and walk into McDiarmid Park car park.

There will be cycle racks provided at Perth and Stirling Park and Ride sites.

The start and finish times for the buses over the week of the Solheim Cup will be as follows:


    First bus from McDiarmid Park, Perth  Last bus from Gleneagles to McDiarmid Park, Perth 
Mon 9th Practice Day 06:30 18:00
Tues 10th PING Jnr 1 06:30 19:00
Wed 11th PING Jnr 2 06:30 18:00
Thur 12th Opening ceremony 06:30 20:00
Fri 13th Solheim Day 1 05:30 20:00
Sat 14th Solheim Day 2 05:30 20:00
Sun 15th Solheim Day 3 07:30 20:00


The time of the last bus coincides with the gates closing at Gleneagles so all spectators should be out by that time at the latest. The first bus is scheduled to leave 30 minutes before the gates open so that passengers arrive at Gleneagles as the gate/site opens up to avoid people arriving early and waiting for the gates to open.

What about people arriving by taxi, on foot or by bicycle?

Pick up/ drop off areas are available within the North and South Bus terminals at Gleneagles for those attendees travelling by taxi.

There will be access for people arriving on foot or cycling, with dedicated cycle parking.


Who is responsible for transport planning?

A group including representatives from Transport Scotland, PKC, Stirling Council, AMEY, BEAR, British Transport Police, Police Scotland, IMG (the staging partners), and ScotRail.


How can I find out more?

Email or call 01738 475000 with enquiries about traffic and transport related to the Solheim Cup.

Perth Festival of Yarn 2019

Perth Festival of Yarn 2019

The Yarn Returns: Perth Festival of Yarn is back.

7 and 8 September 2019, Dewars Centre, Perth

Perth Festival of Yarn is Scotland’s Contemporary Fibre Festival; bringing boutique independent businesses, sheep-farmers and those that practice the fibre arts together to celebrate the best in textile artistry through a large marketplace, with classes and lectures to inspire.  Perth was shortlisted by the public in the Best Knitting Show/Event category in the 2018 British Knitting and Crochet Awards and welcomed festival-goers from 19 different countries in the same year.

Festival Director, Eva Christie, and her team are excited to deliver a Vendors’ Gallery of 80 independent UK, EU and (for the first time US) businesses including Di Gilpin, The Border Mill, Truly Hooked, Lady Dye Yarns and El Robledal de la Santa Mohair.  Classes over the weekend will be delivered by internationally respected tutors/designers including Françoise Danoy, André de Castro and Steve Malcolm (Mr Hugzzz); while the keynote lecture will be delivered by Jeanette Sloan.

Now in it’s fourth year, Perth Festival of Yarn is known within the international textile crafting communities for it’s friendliness and accessibility.  Festival-goers will have the opportunity to meet their favourite UK podcasters and bloggers in The Knitter Podcast Lounge. The Lounge area leads onto a spacious cafe and bar area which is the perfect place to chat, craft and flash newly acquired materials.

Fringe events at Perth Festival of Yarn this year include a Perthshire Gin Flight Friday and a Saturday Night Gala Dinner with Fashion Show (sponsored by Di Gilpin).

The Perth Festival of Yarn 2019 social media thunderclap begins at 10am GMT on 30 March and all vendors, tutors, lecturers, and social events will be announced at this time on their website.  Advance ticket sales from 7pm BST on 27 April.

Café Play

Café Play

Café Play

Cafe Play opened in December 2018 and from the outset they discovered an outpouring of support via Facebook. It’s clearly a venue that is offering something valuable to parents in and around Perth. We popped over for a visit to find out more about this new child-friendly resource in the heart of Perth.

What is a ‘Play Cafe’?

A play cafe is a space where parents can bring their children to provide a break from home whilst enjoying a safe child-friendly environment (and which also has good coffee on hand for parents).

Owner Louisa is a mum herself and she noticed the need for something like Cafe Play in the city. Recognising the role that imaginative play has in social and emotional development, Louisa took this as her lead on what cafe play would offer.

She decided to create a space in which children can enjoy imaginative play and spend quality time with other children. All without screens and other distractions. It’s a place for kids to just be kids. As an added bonus their parents get the opportunity to enjoy a few moments of their own, and perhaps even catch up with friends over a coffee.

Cafe Play has emerged from extensive research into what works best in other play cafes. Key ingredients seem to take the form of areas for role play and adventure that nonetheless allow parents to stay in line-of-sight contact with younger children.

Soft play environments, while fun, can leave parents of young, or vulnerable, children anxious when they disappear from view. Cafe Play isn’t a soft play facility; their space is big and robust with wide opportunities for imaginations to grow.

Learning through Play

Imaginative play is known to produce a host of beneficial effects on your child’s development. Add a bit of social development on top and you have a surprisingly solid argument for letting your child play-pretend that they’re a medieval knight, a chef, or a firefighter for an hour or two.

It’s important to Luisa that Cafe Play’s facilities offer stimulation and fun for wee ones. You just have to look at the play area to see that it’s an absolute wonderland of pretend play. There are so many types of play available; domestic play in the house, magic and adventure in the castle and in the gingerbread house, a puppet theatre for the dramatically inclined, and a whole blackboard wall for budding artists to make their mark.

It’s getting easier nowadays for kids to find their way to using a screen as entertainment. A place like Cafe Play is a refreshing step away from this trend; plunging them into a world of pretend play and of real-world interaction with other children.

A bit of peace and quiet

From Louisa’s research they found another key ingredient for play cafes is the availability of a quiet space; a place of calm for children in need of a quiet moment. Other successful Play Cafes often have a place in which very young children, and children who may need a break from noise, can enjoy a few moments of quiet.

Cafe Play’s quiet space is a cosy nook tucked away at the far end of the cafe. It has various uses. Primarily it is utilised by mums who want a bit of quiet while feeding their baby (Cafe Play is 100% breastfeeding friendly, and they also offer bottle warming as well).

Cafe Play’s quiet space is also useful for parents of children who may occasionally feel overwhelmed in public spaces. It’s a cosy corner with a multitude of uses.

It isn’t closed off from the rest of the cafe either so parents with more than one child are still easy to find if their other kids need them.

…Sometimes a bit of noise is good too

What’s more, cafe play also have their own function area. This space has been used more and more often since they opened, as they grow their calendar of events. On top of this, the space is alo available for event bookings like birthday parties (get in touch with Cafe Play for more details).

Cafe Play is quickly developing a calendar of activities, making full use of their function room. Among their upcoming events you’ll find a variety of workshops including (but not limited to) messy play, craft workshops, and storytime events. The room is also used to host pre-loved clothes sales (more details of times etc. on Cafe Play’s events page), and Louisa is also looking into offering early years mindfulness classes.

Free WiFi and a little window of time for parents working from home

Cafe Play is a place for children and parents to unwind. However, there’s nothing stopping parents from making use of the free wifi and play facilities in order to catch up with a bit of work. Working from home sounds idyllic but it can be a little daunting with a wee one.

At Cafe Play you can relax, catch up with an hour or two of work, and enjoy a couple of coffees (and a sneaky wee bite). All this, safe in the knowledge that your child is playing and enjoying some time with other wee ones.

A growing community of support

As we noted already Cafe Play have a loyal and increasing Facebook fanbase. Primarily these are made up of a growing group of parents who are telling their friends about the facilities at Cafe Play. When asked about the highlights of 2018, this fantastic level of support was the clear winner for Louisa.

Cafe Play has gone to great lengths to offer all the features that a parent of young children could want. It’s a venue with a lot more going on than you might think; from their fantastic(and HUGE) pretend play zone, to their ‘baby den’/quiet space, to their free WiFi, and their smooth and invigorating coffee (don’t worry we sampled for your benefit). On top of this their great little function room hosts a wide selection of different events, and can also be hired out for birthday parties at a starting price of £100.

Time to go

Cafe Play are open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 till 3:30 (perfectly timed for school drop-off and pick-up). If you have wee ones and you’re feeling the need to get out of the house for a few hours, you’re in for a treat if you pop down to Cafe Play.

Find out more by clicking this link to Cafe Play‘s Facebook page.

Easter Holiday family fun in Perthshire

Easter Holiday family fun in Perthshire

Easter in Perthshire

1) Live Active Easter Holiday Programme

Description:  Award-winning school holiday camps and sports sessions will keep your super heroes fighting fit, super-charged and extra happy through the Easter holidays! Camps available in Perth, Kinross, Strathearn, Highland and Blairgowrie.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 1 mile

2) Willowgate Activity Centre

Description: School holidays? No, problem why not sign your children up for a day of fun and adventure at Willowgate? Drop them off at 9am where they will spend the whole day doing a mixture of land and water based activities. 

Distance from Perth City Centre: 3 miles

3) Wee Adventures – Easter Activity Days

Description: Fill the Easter Holidays with outdoor adventures! From climbing crags and trees to developing abseiling skills, learning to cook or canoeing out to islands under a Jolly Roger. No two days are ever the same at Wee Adventures.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 31 miles

4) Nae Limits – Wee Limits Easter Holidays

Description:  Wee Limits is back for the Easter Holidays with fun filled days of outdoor adventure running from 09:30 – 15:30. Adventures include Rafting,Hiking, Shelter Building, Fire Lighting, Tree Climbing, Zip Lines and much more!

Distance from Perth City Centre: 22 miles

5) RSPB Loch Leven – Easter Curlew Trail

Description: The Curlews need your help! Follow the Easter themed trail around the beautiful woodlands to find some wildlife, solve the puzzle and win a tasty treat.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 22 miles

6) For Arts Sake Easter Kids Club

Description: Drop the children off for 2 hours of painting fun at 10.30-12.30. Choose which date and venue suits you. Paint either the Unicorn Plate or Llama Plate – your choice

Distance from Perth City Centre: 2 miles

7) Ollie Paisley Tennis – Easter Camp 

Description: Easter is fast approaching and spots for Ollie Paisley Tennis are going quick! Oliva, a local LTA accredited coach, will be hosting tennis camps in Kinnoull, Luncarty and Darnhall throughout April.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 1 mile

8) Perth Collage UHI Easter Activity Camp

Description: Their coaches deliver a range of fun multi-sport activities – including: basketball, football, dodgeball, rounders and indoor climbing.

Distance from Perth City Centre: 1 mile

Over to you!

Now you know about some of our favourite Easter camps, it’s now over to you to book your perfect camp! In case you aren’t familiar with Perthshire, here’s a map to help you find all the camps mentioned above.

St John’s Shopping Centre Win Top Environmental Award

St John’s Shopping Centre Win Top Environmental Award

St John’s Shopping Centre Win Top Environmental Award

St John’s Shopping Centre has won a Scottish Green Apple Environment Award in the international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities.

The shopping centre have won the award for their Greenspace project that was completed in partnership with children from Goodlyburn Primary School in 2018, where the children planned, designed and created an urban garden in the heart of Perth City Centre with the aim of creating space for biodiversity to thrive.

They competed against more than 500 other nominations in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice, and they will be presented with their trophy and certificate at a glittering presentation ceremony on March 18, 2019.

Derek Martin, Marketing Manager at St John’s Shopping Centre said: “The whole team at St John’s Shopping Centre and the children of P1-3G at Goodlyburn Primary School were thrilled to learn that the project has been recognised by the industry leaders who judged our application.

“We are delighted to have won a Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice. Having also been finalists at the Scottish Environmental Business Awards earlier this year It’s great to see that our conscious effort to reduce our impact on the environment has been recognised yet again.”

As a result of this Green Apple Award success, they have been invited to have their winning paper published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow their example and learn from their achievement.

They could also progress to represent their country in the Green World Awards 2020 and have 100 trees planted in their name as part of the United Nations Billion Trees initiative.

The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries.

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation – an international, independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world. The Green Apple Awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.

St William of Perth

St William of Perth

St William of Perth

There can not be many cities in the country that has had one of its former inhabitants canonised and created a Saint.  The City of Perth has its own saint and here is his story.

There was a man called William who lived in Perth around the later years of the 1100s. He was a baker and was deeply religious, going to church every Sunday without fail. William was a kindly and considerate man who was liked and respected by the population of the Fair City.  When he had finished baking the days bread, he carefully took out one loaf from every ten and put it aside to give to the poor of the town.

Early one morning he was walking to his bakery as he passed St John’s Church he saw a wicker basket lying in the doorway.  Upon inspection, he saw that the basket contained a sleeping baby. William gently picked up this basket and took it to the warmth of his bakery.

 As he worked, he thought about this baby, it was clearly abandoned, he then decided as he had no children and was financially secure he could bring this child up as if it were his own.  The child was a wee boy and William named it David, he gave it a stable, good life with much love and kindness, the child was called by the locals David the Foundling and as the years rolled by grew up into a healthy young man helping his father in the bakery.

In 1201,  William realised he wanted to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as he prepared he asked his son to accompany him on this journey. Grudgingly, David agreed, he had friends and a good life in Perth and was not at all keen on leaving the city.

The two men set off travelling through Scotland and into England visiting the religious sites as they went.  William and David were just a little bit north of the town of Rochester when they fell out and had a terrible argument at the roadside.  David in a fit of rage, struck his father a violent blow on the head, the older man fell to the ground, David then drew a dagger and cut his father’s throat.  He then robbed his benefactor and fled the murder scene.

A short time later a local woman who had a reputation of being mad stumbled upon the body.  The woman was wearing a garland of Honeysuckle upon her head. She stood staring quietly at the corpse for some time and then she took the Honeysuckle from her head and placed it on the head of the dead man.  After leaving the flowers on the cadaver for a while, she took it and set it back upon her head. In an instant, her madness was cured. She walked down into the town of Rochester, locals who knew this woman realised that her illness had left her and summoned the priests from Rochester Cathedral.  She told her story and took the holy men to the murder scene. William was taken back to the Cathedral and laid out on public display.

News of this murder and the mad woman being miraculously cured spread far and wide, folk with ailments flocked to the cathedral and touched the corpse.  Many were healed upon touching the body of William. William was buried within Rochester Cathedral, a chapel was built on the site of the murder. The sick and infirm flocked from all over the land to touch the grave and hopefully be healed.  The shrine of William became the second most popular holy shrine in England, second only to that of Thomas Becket at Canterbury.

William was canonised by Pope Alexander IV in 1256 and became St William of Perth, he is the patron saint of adopted children.  In 1883 a wall painting was found in Frindsbury Church near Rochester depicting William it was found to have been painted between 1256 and 1266.  He is still remembered in the town of Rochester, with a street in Rochester called St William’s Way, there was a Hospital in the town called St William’s Hospital and St William of Perth Primary School all pay homage to this man from Perth.

It is a shame that this child of Perth and his story seems to be better known in the South of England than it is in his home city.  Perhaps on his feast day the 23rd of May you might spare a thought for St William of Perth.

Written by Gary Knight

Can’t Get Enough of Gary’s Stories?


If you enjoyed this article, why not take a look at Garys book ‘No Fair City’?

Battles, regicides, executions, conspiracies, murders, floods, fires, crimes, punishments, and mayhem No Fair City by Gary Knight has them all. Delve into the darker side of historical Perth, where witches, smugglers, grave robbers, murderers, and thieves conduct their ghastly business. Learn how the guilty (and innocent) were tried, punished, and executed. Read how, in a world before health and safety, plague, fire, the merciless River Tay, and the Perth s lade, railways and roads, took their daily toll of townsfolk and visitors.

You can find it here.







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!

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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.

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Innerpeffray Library

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cultybraggan POW Camp

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

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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!

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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!

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