STAGECOACH INTRODUCE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS  FOR CUSTOMERS IN EAST SCOTLAND

STAGECOACH INTRODUCE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS FOR CUSTOMERS IN EAST SCOTLAND

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

Free weekend parking in Perth

Free parking in Perth during the festive season

To help with your Christmas shopping, Perth & Kinross Council is bringing back FREE parking every weekend in December! 

This means that you can enjoy our amazing winter festival events, explore Perth’s indie businesses and enjoy the tasty treats that Perth has to offer without worrying about topping up the meter. The scheme also operates in Council car parks around Perth City Centre, well as in Blairgowrie, Crieff and Dunkeld. If a car parks payment machine is covered up then this means that it is part of the scheme.

Take a look at this handy little video to find out exactly where you can and can’t park! 👇

Want to make the most out of free parking in Perth?

Do ✔️

Park in council-run car parks

Park on weekends

Don’t ❌

Park in on-street car parking bays

Park on weekdays

The following car parks are covered by the free festive parking offer for 2018:

 

Perth

  • Library East Car Park
  • Library West Car Park
  • Milne Street North Car Park
  • Milne Street South Car Park
  • West Mill Street Car Park
  • Mill Wynd Car Park
  • Mill Street East Car Park
  • Speygate Car Park
  • Canal Street Car Park
  • Charles Street Car Park
  • Leonard Street Car Park
  • Scott Street Car Park
  • Victoria Street Car Park
  • Back Wynd Car Park
  • Norie Miller Car Park
  • Riverside Car Park
  • Thimblerow Car Park
  • South Inch Car Park
  • Canal Street Multi Storey Car Park

Crieff

  • James Square car park

Blairgowrie

  • Leslie Street car park
  • Croft Lane / South Side Car Park
  • The Croft / Ericht Lane car park

Dunkeld

  • Tay Terrace car park
  • Atholl Street car park

Pitlochry

  • Atholl Road car park
  • Ferry Road car park
  • Rie-Achan Road car park

 

Buy your whole Christmas Dinner in Perth!

Buy your whole Christmas Dinner in Perth!

As any fans of Perthshire will know, we produce a wealth of wonderful food, from meats, poultry and cheeses to chocolates, fruits, fungi and vegetables. But did you know that you can buy your entire Christmas dinner right here in Perth from our amazing foodie shops, restaurants and producers?

We’ve put together an essential guide for every part of your festive feast, including the drinks. We even have suggestions for the perfect table décor – and for washing up afterwards! Hope you have fun compiling your Christmas list.

The starter

As the main course is usually hearty and filling, it’s good to keep the starter light.

A seafood starter can be a lovely way to start Christmas lunch. George Campbell & Sons, a Perth favourite now managed by its fourth generation, offers a large selection of fresh seafood in its retail shop, including smoked salmon, smoked trout and smoked gravadlax.

Or you could make up some canapés – Provender Brown offers croustades for canapés, and all sorts of lovely things to put in them. Serve with fresh veg from Martin’s Fruit Bazaar or Touch of Poland.

The Main

If you like a traditional Christmas roast, you don’t have to order from afar when we have brilliant suppliers of high-quality meats right here in Perth. Order from DG Lindsay or Simon Howie and you’ll get locally sourced produce from farms that they know and trust.

They’ll also supply your sausages, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and goose fat for roast potatoes. (You can even order your steak pie for New Year!)

Perth Farmers’ Market

Is a wonderful opportunity to buy your Christmas mains, with suppliers offering venison, pork, beef and much more. There are also many stalls supplying cheese, jams and chutneys, drinks, veg, breads (which you could freeze) and confectionery. There are two Saturday markets in December – on the 1st and 15th .

You can also get a dazzling array of fruit and veg, including wonderful local tatties, sprouts, beetroot and carrots, from Martin’s Fruit Bazaar. Touch of Poland sells fresh and frozen fruit and veg, pickles and fruits in syrup, too.

 

Have Yourself a Very Vegan Christmas…

If you’re looking for something inspirational for a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner, head along to Highland Health Foods for great nut roasts, pies, spreads, cheeses, herbs, pulses, flours, mayonnaise and much more.

Or pop along to Perth Farmers’ Market on 1st or 15th December, Martin’s Fruit Bazaar or Touch of Poland to pick up veg, cheese, eggs, oils and more, and make your own! These easy and delicious recipes, from the Perth Farmers’ Market Archives, will delight any guest!

Top it off with a vegan wine selection from Exel Wines.

Don’t Forget the Bubbly!

Exel Wines and Provender Brown have excellent selections of fine wines, spirits and soft drinks. When your guests arrive, treat them to a light and bubbly Prosecco. Accompany your starter with a chilled crisp white and you’re off and running! Pair your main course with a spicy and full-bodied red wine, or try a fruity local favourite from Cairn O’ Mohr – also available from Provender Brown and Perth Farmers’ Market. You can also get lovely soft drinks from these places, too!

Gin

You’ll delight your guests if you serve the ultra-popular Pickerings Gin baubles, available to order from Graysons Wine Café, or a locally produced gin from one of our many Perthshire distilleries such as Persie or Strathearn, available to buy from Provender Brown or Exel Wines.

Beer

For the beer drinkers, you can buy directly from Inveralmond Brewery, one of Perthshire’s longest-established breweries, from the Craft Beer Bottle Shop or from the shops mentioned above.

Whisky

Later on, when guests are mellowing (and before they fall asleep in front of the Bond film), why not pass round a single malt from one of our Perthshire distilleries? You can buy these directly from the distilleries or from Exel Wines and Provender Brown.

Exel Wines and Provender Brown have excellent selections of fine wines, spirits and soft drinks. When your guests arrive, treat them to a light and bubbly Prosecco. Accompany your starter with a chilled crisp white and you’re off and running! Pair your main course with a spicy and full-bodied red wine, or try a fruity local favourite from Cairn O’ Mohr – also available from Provender Brown and Perth Farmers’ Market. You can also get lovely soft drinks from these places, too!

Gin

You’ll delight your guests if you serve the ultra-popular Pickerings Gin baubles, available to order from Graysons Wine Café, or a locally produced gin from one of our many Perthshire distilleries such as Persie or Strathearn, available to buy from Provender Brown or Exel Wines.

The Pudding

The alternative pud

Fancy an alternative to the usual Christmas pud? Why not try a delicious, handmade panettone from Casella and Polegato, available throughout December, or Provender Brown? Or fantastically flavoured macarons from Chardon?

The classic pud

If you do fancy a classic fruit pudding, though, pop along to Provender Brown who’ll be able to supply delicious Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or Clootie Dumpling.

The vegan pud

If you or someone in your family is vegan, or eats a dairy-free diet, you can get delicious mince pies, ice cream, pouring cream and many types of chocolate from Highland Health Store. Perth’s 269 Vegan Café also sells vegan panettone and will be making their own mince pies soon to eat in or take away!

The Décor and Crackers

Now that the food’s sorted, how about some ideas to make the house look and smell amazing? Festoon your Christmas table with beautiful greenery and wreaths from these Perth florists:

 

Add some beautifully scented candles and gorgeous table decorations from Whispers of the Past. Precious Sparkle also has many ideal accessories for Christmas time, including standing ornaments, glitter tea lights, candle holders and Christmas-scented candles and reed diffusers.

If you’re feeling creative, you’ll get beautiful stationery to make your place cards or thank you cards from Dunns Art Store. And pop along to The Peacock and The Tortoise for fab ideas for Christmas tablecloths, runners and even fabric crackers you can make yourself!

The Great Clean-up

It has to be done at some point (Boxing Day, perhaps?!) so why not keep the earth happy by being eco-friendly for your cleaning and washing up?

Pop into the Perth Community Farm Shop in Hospital Street or Highland Health Store in St John’s Street now to pick up your laundry liquid, fabric softener and washing-up liquid, and you can refill them to your heart’s content when they run out! Both of these friendly, family-run stores offer refills on these essential items – and more!

Don’t be a Stranger!

We hope we’ve given you lots of ideas and inspiration for your Christmas dinner, and shown you that, when it comes to shopping, there’s no place like local! Follow Perth City Centre on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all the latest local news and events.

 

Suppliers

 

Earn Bonus Mi Rewards Points by using Broxden Park and Ride

Earn Bonus Mi Rewards Points by using Broxden Park and Ride

Mi Rewards is the brand-new programme that rewards you through a clever, secure process where you link your debit/credit cards to your Mi Rewards online account. Every time you spend £1 on one of these cards in a participating business, you get one ‘Mi Point’. Once you have enough Mi Points, you’ll be sent a free Perth Gift Card! That’s more money going back into Perth’s businesses, keeping spend local and benefiting the whole city.

Already more than 40 Perth businesses have registered with Mi Rewards, including gift shops such as Boo Vake and Silver Linings Design Studio, eating places such as Tabla and Grayson’s Wine Café, salons such as Charlie Taylor and The Cutting Room and health providers such as The Althos Clinic. You can earn them while having fun at Willowgate Activity Centre, Alba Airsportsor Perth Leisure Pool. And you can earn them paying for a show at Perth Theatre / Perth Concert Hall or a film at Perth Playhouse!

And the great news is that you can now earn 100 bonus Mi Rewards points if you use the Perth Park & Ride service from Broxden to the city centre each weekend from Saturday 17 November to Sunday 30 December 2018!

To claim your bonus Mi Rewards points simply register for Mi Rewards and email a photo of your Return Ticket to bonus@mi-rewards.com

 

Terms and Conditions

  • Bonus Mi Rewards are available every weekend, until the end of the year.
  • Valid on Return tickets from Broxden P & R to Perth City Centre
  • Email bonus@mi-rewards.com from the mi rewards registered.
  • Must email photo of bus receipt by the 4th January 2019

Perth Park&Ride (Broxden)

The Perth Park&Ride site is located on the Glasgow Road approach to Perth adjacent to the Broxden roundabout, giving easy access from:

  • A90 Dundee
  • M90 Edinburgh & Fife
  • A9 Glasgow & Stirling
  • A85 Crieff
  • A9 Inverness

For full Park & Ride information including bus times and prices please click here

20 Great Dog Walks in Perthshire

20 Great Dog Walks in Perthshire

What makes a great dog walk? Quite simply, it has to be loads of fun for your four-legged friend. They love water to splash in, trees to run amongst, open plains to stretch their legs, and plenty of things to sniff. Beautiful scenery, good parking and a nice café nearby are bonuses for you, too!

With those criteria, Perthshire has so much to offer. So who better to team up with for this guide than those fantastic folks at Dog Friendly Perthshire? Baxter and co asked their loyal fans for their favourite Perthshire dog walks and they came up with some fantastic ideas. Read on to discover 20 of Perthshire’s best!

 

1) Aberfeldy to Kenmore

Rebecca Vass recommends the fields on the river path from Aberfeldy to Kenmore, saying they’re “a lovely easy walk”. If you want to do the whole walk, you’ll pass Taymouth Castle and end up at the beautiful Loch Tay. Here’s Rebecca’s handsome boy, Hugo, enjoying his adventure.

2) The Hermitage and Pine Cone Point

Fiona Reid suggests the hugely popular and family-friendly Hermitage near Dunkeld. She says, “There are several different paths and the walk up to Pine Cone Point is very worthwhile.”

Gill Morton adds that she loves “the Braan walk at the Hermitage – beautiful scenery all around.” Here are Gill’s cute canine companions enjoying the view!

3) Dunkeld Riverside

Fiona Reid has another great suggestion for us that she enjoys with her cute dogs: “If you’re looking for a lovely, easy riverside walk, you can’t beat Dunkeld. You start near the cathedral and take the path by the side and along to a fork where two paths are signed. One is riverside, one goes through the trees.” As Dunkeld Cathedral is two minutes’ walk from the main street, you’ll have plenty of café options at the start or the end!

4) Five Mile Wood, Stanley

Lee Henderson says she loves “Five Mile Wood at Stanley; amazing place for your dogs and a great walk.” The Woodland Trust describes it as “Ideal for dog walking or running. Fairly flat, open, wide path.”

5) Moncreiffe Hill

Mike Sime says that “Moncreiffe Hill is a great walk with fantastic views.” His photo certainly confirms that! Trisha Riddick agrees, adding her wonderful photo of her dog: “Love Moncreiffe Hill. Lots of great sniffs for Breagha. This was taken at one of the hill forts overlooking Perth one evening.” With plenty of different walks, and good car parking, it was also the ideal place for a recent get-together of 21 Golden Retrievers from all parts of Scotland.

6) Forgandenny to Bridge of Earn

Katie Francesca Vallot has a less-travelled but equally scenic walk for us to try: “My favourite big walk is from my home village, Forgandenny, to Bridge of Earn through Dunbarney Estate and back around through Glenearn Estate.” At around an hour long, and with plenty of varied countryside, this is a great leg-stretcher for you and your pooch.

7) Loch Faskally & Linn of Tummel

Graham Jones recommends the circular walk “around Loch Faskally via Linn of Tummel and Coronation Bridge. Mack loves it too.” Here’s a cute photo of Mack peeping out from behind a tree on his walk near the stunning loch.

8) Birnam Hill

Stevie Hughes’s recommendation, along with a photo of his beautiful dog Penny, is for Birnam Hill: “It’s a great circular walk on a good waymarked path. Great views in all directions from the top. This is Penny on the summit Cairn.” You can start the walk from Birnam itself or at the old Birnam Quarry on the B867.

Craig Lockhart agrees that Birnam Hill is a great Perthshire walk, with a photo of his beautiful dog: “Birnam Hill all the way!”

 

9) Kinclaven Bluebell Wood

Vicky Reid is fond of Kinclaven Bluebell Wood, describing this photo of her happy dog: “This part of the walk always feels like you’re in an enchanted forest.” Kinclaven, near Ballathie, is well known for the beautiful carpet of bluebells that adorns the forest floor in late spring, so you’ll love it too. (Please keep dogs and humans off the bluebells, though, as they are easily crushed and grow slowly – thanks!)

Caroline Storey loves it too – here’s a photo of her lovely companion in the same wood on a sunny day.

10) Ben Vrackie

Stevie Hughes has another favourite adventure: “For a more strenuous walk, I love taking Penny up on Ben Vrackie from Moulin. Great path from the car park to the summit. It is not a Munro but still a substantial climb. The views from the top on a good day are sensational.” Penny looks like she loves this walk, too!

11) Killiecrankie

Joyce Kepinska Stuart’s recommendation is: “Definitely Killiecrankie Walk.” This walk covers the famous and scenic Pass of Killiecrankie and the picturesque Linn of Tummel. It offers so much to the canine and human walkers, including monuments, bridges, viaducts, woodland rich in wildlife and the wonderful Loch Faskally.

12) Grandtully along the Tay

Suzzanah Kidd has a picture of her super dog Freddie “on our fave walk along the Tay through Grandtully. It’s an easy stroll with plenty of fields to play in and spots for paddling.” Sounds ideal! While you’re in Grandtully, you can also visit award-winning Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier for sustenance afterwards…

13) Quarrymill

Danielle Gow and her lovely dog Skye “vote for Quarrymill. There’s a nice big field to run around mad, there’s water that’s not too deep to have a dip in, there are different paths, so you can choose to walk up the hill where it’s quieter and have a run around the woods, or a path through the woods which is more relaxing or the main path next to the water. Nice café too for the humans, where dogs can sit outside and there’s a bowl of water. There are also car parks at either end which is a bonus!” Quarrymill is easy to get to, as it’s on the main road from Perth to Scone Palace. The Macmillan Coffee Shop is open from March to October and staffed by a fantastic band of volunteers; proceeds go to Macmillan House (Perth).

14) The Knock of Crieff

Jenna Windross says, “The Knock of Crieff is a great walk.” From the top of this wooded hill you’ll see amazing views of Strathearn. Here’s a photo of Jenna’s beautiful dog enjoying the view!

15) Corbenic Poetry Path

Elaine Macfarlane says, “Corbenic Poetry Path is our latest new discovery and it’s a beautiful walk with loads of fascinating installations and some stunning natural features too.” This unique walk through a variety of terrains including open hillside, moorland, woodlands and riverbanks, offers much more than 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. Looks like Elaine’s adorable dog loves it too!

16) Glen Tilt circuit

Rhonda Philip recommends the Glen Tilt circuit; here’s her photo of her sweet dog Bella “enjoying a welcome break.” This walk, which starts near Blair Atholl, takes you along one side of the beautiful glen and back along the other. It’s a 4- to 5-hour circuit so if your doggy chum is on the elderly side, you can still do part of it and have a great walk.

17) Pitmedden Forest

Maria Whitter’s favourite Perthshire walks include “Pitmedden Forest near Abernethy; there are loads of trails and free parking.” Maria’s lovely dog clearly thinks this woodland walk, which straddles the Perthshire-Fife border, is fantastic, too!

Lana Elise also loves Pitmedden Forest, saying that she and her dog “venture everywhere” and that they love Perthshire’s mountains, too. That’s the great thing about our county – we have so many options!

18) The Ochils

Sandy Robb also loves Perthshire’s hills, saying, “You can’t beat the Ochils; so many summits and you don’t need to be really fit to climb them.” His beautiful dog looks happy on the hills, too!

19) Faskally Woods

Wee Les Smeidy answered our call for recommendations with these photos including her fantastic dog Harris: “We have had a lovely afternoon walk around Faskally Woods and Pitlochry. Though it was a bit rainy and misty, the colours in the hills were just stunning. We then walked through the town and had a lovely late lunch in Café Calluna.”

 

20) Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Wood

We couldn’t do this article without mentioning a classic Perth walk – the ever-popular-with-pooches Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Wood. On any day of the week you’ll meet lots of friendly dogs, discover dozens of trails and enjoy some spectacular views, all within a five-minute drive of Perth city centre. Here’s a photo of Kinnoull Hill in autumn, and a lovely one by Deborah Wallace Photography of Monty enjoying the sunlight in Deuchny Wood.

Christmas Nights Out in Perth

Christmas Nights Out in Perth

As the nights draw in and the year comes to a close, our thoughts turn to the Christmas celebrations. Whether it’s a party with your office colleagues, a date with someone special or a fun night out with friends and family, we all deserve to put on our glad rags and enjoy the festive spirit. So, just for you, we’ve gathered a sparkling selection of some fantastic Christmas nights out in Perth!

1) Party Nights

Mercure Hotel

Book your Christmas party at Mercure Perth Hotel for a fun-filled evening of festive dining, indulgent cocktails and dancing to the sounds of the DJ at A Glistening White Christmas Party. Whether you’re celebrating with friends, family or colleagues, the Mercure has the festive celebration to suit your party, your pocket and your date. From intimate party lunches, mid-week festive celebrations, full-on glitz and glamour party nights, or even an after-party in January, Mercure has it all.

How to book: Book by calling 01738 481607 or emailing christmas@mercureperth.co.uk.

Parklands

Parklands is offering special Festive Party nights, where you can bring your friends or colleagues to enjoy a luxury-three course dinner served in the 63@Parklands restaurant, followed by some great sounds provided by the resident DJ.

The hotel also offers accommodation up until the morning of the 25th December, and a selection of festive menus over the Christmas period. Menus can be personalised to your own requirements.

How to book: Book at Parklands online or by contacting the hotel on 01738 622451.

The Grampian Hotel

The Grampian Hotel is hosting fun-filled Festive Party Nights on 1st, 8th and 15th December, as well as pre-Christmas lunches and dinners from 1st to 22nd December and Festive High Teas from 1st to 24th December. They’re also taking bookings for their Hogmanay Party too!

How to book: Contact The Grampian Hotel online to check availability and book your festive party night, lunch, afternoon tea, high tea, dinner or Hogmanay party.

The Royal George Hotel

Whether you are looking for a traditional Christmas party night or a festive dinner with friends, The Royal George Hotel in Perth city centre will help your party go with a swing!

The Party Nights, including disco, are on 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd December from 7.30pm at £30 per person. There are also discounted Early Turkey Party Nights on 1st and 7th December, available with disco for £24 per person.

How to book: For further information or bookings please contact the hotel reception on 01738 624455.

Huntingtower Hotel

Huntingtower Hotel is offering Party Nights on Friday 7th, 14th, 21st, Thursday 13th, Saturday 8th, 15th, 22nd, and Sunday 16th December. Your special night will include a pre-dinner glass of bubbly, a three-course meal and coffee, party hats and novelties, then a disco and photo booth. They also offer a Hogmanay Party Night if you’re really planning ahead!

1) Delicious Christmas Evening Meals

63 Tay Street

63 Tay Street’s Christmas Day menu will be a luxury set-5-course affair. The menu will become available nearer the time, but the main feature will be specially selected free-range turkey with all the festive trimmings. The afternoon will be finished off with locally roasted bean coffee and homemade Petit Fours.

View 63 Tay Street’s Christmas brochure

The Post Box

The Post Box, which is featured in the Michelin Restaurant Guide, invites you to enjoy a Festive evening dinner in their city centre restaurant. Courses include Smoked Salmon, Roast Turkey, Pan-Fried Hake and Drambuie & Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse. Vegetarian and vegan options are available on request.

Tabla

Award-winning Tabla Indian Restaurant offers you a sumptuous Christmas feast with a difference, including Dakshin Fried Fish, Haggis Bonda and Green Lentil Patties for starter; and South Indian fish, chicken, lamb or vegetable dishes for mains, accompanied by delicious drinks and welcoming service.

View Tabla Restaurant’s Christmas Dinner Menu brochure

Tabla

Award-winning Tabla Indian Restaurant offers you a sumptuous Christmas feast with a difference, including Dakshin Fried Fish, Haggis Bonda and Green Lentil Patties for starter; and South Indian fish, chicken, lamb or vegetable dishes for mains, accompanied by delicious drinks and welcoming service.

View Tabla Restaurant’s Christmas Dinner Menu brochure

Deans

At this busy and hectic time of year, Deans is at hand to help make part of the “Festive Rush” easier, more relaxing and more enjoyable. Come with your family or friends to enjoy the open fire and fine food, accompanied by great drinks and a festive atmosphere. On offer for your night out is a Party Dinner or À La Carte Dinner (and there are also Party Lunches and À La Carte Lunches). Courses include Shetland Salmon, Cheese & Apricot Soufflé, Ochil Venison and Pithivier of Mushrooms. Desserts feature Valrhona Chocolate Cheesecake, Clementine & Raspberry Pavlova and many others.

View Deans’ Festive menus

3) Shows and Events

Of course, Christmas nights out aren’t just for workmates or big groups – here are some you can do with your friends and family!

Perth’s Winter Festival

Perth’s Winter Festival is an exciting calendar of events running from Hallowe’en in October to Chinese New Year in February. It brings a seasonal extravaganza of markets, shows, family fun and cultural events to Perth. With the Riverside Night Lights, the Christmas Lights Switch-On and everything in between, you’ll have a host of nights out to choose from over the festive season!

Find out more about Perth’s Winter Festival

Snow White and the Seven Dames

Whistle up your best booing, hissing and singing voices and help Snow White and friends live happily ever after in Perth Theatre’s dame-tastic family panto!

From Fri 30th November to Sat 5th Jan

Find out more about Snow White and the Seven Dames

Childline Christmas Concert

The annual Perth ChildLine Christmas Concert is organised by the NSPCC and Perth & Kinross Council Education & Children’s Services. Now in its 17th year, the evening promises to entertain and get you into the festive spirit. The Perth & Kinross Instrumental Music Service will present a variety of ensembles including Perth Youth Orchestra, bands and choirs in a joyous evening of Christmas music, carols and popular classics.

 Find out more about Childline Christmas Concert

Kilgraston School Christmas Concert

Through music and drama, the students of Kilgraston School will re-create some of the original “Portraits of Christmas” on stage: of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the Shepherds and the Wise Men. Come along for a wonderful and uplifting evening celebrating the Christmas Story! 

Find out more about Kilgraston School Christmas Concert

The Polar Bears Go Up

The Polar Bears are moving up in the world. They’ve lost their balloon and they need to get it back. It’s time to get up, step up, climb up, jump up. One thing’s for sure, the only way is up! The Polar Bears Go Up is non-verbal and deaf-friendly. For ages 2-5. 

Find out more about The Polar Bears Go Up

Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook

Now a Perth festive tradition, Phil Cunningham is once again calling his musical pals together and re-opening his Christmas songbook.

Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker and Phil will lead you through a great fun night of modern and traditional Christmas music. Featuring Kris Drever, Ian Carr and Kevin McGuire along with a special guest Brass Band. Book early to avoid disappointment!

 Find out more about Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook

The Green Room

There are also gigs and Pups In The Pub nights in The Green Room throughout December. Check out the Gig Calendar for more details!

RSNO Christmas Concert Featuring the Snowman

We’re walking in the air… It isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey through the winter sky. Enjoy this special showing of the festive classic on the large screen, accompanied live by the RSNO and narrated by guest presenter Jamie MacDougall. Perfect for the whole family, this is a Christmas party filled with seasonal favourites, carols old and new – and, of course, a chance for everyone to sing along! 

Find out more about RSNO Christmas Concert Featuring the Snowman

Scenic Drives in Perthshire

Scenic Drives in Perthshire

Perthshire’s scenic roads are among the best-loved in the country, famed for their beautiful and dramatic scenery, with so much to see and do along the way. And this is a wonderful time of year to drive or cycle our scenic routes (let’s face it, any season in Perthshire is wonderful!), so we’ve got five fantastically beautiful scenic roads for you to enjoy amid the dramatic colours and sunsets. We hope you enjoy Perthshire at its most scenic!

Scenic Road #1: Perth to Pitlochry (the non-A9 way)

Route: The A93 then A924 from Perth – Old Scone – Guildtown – Blairgowrie – Bridge of Cally – Kirkmichael – Moulin – Pitlochry Approx. time and distance: 75 minutes/41 miles See and do along the way:  Willowgate Activity Centre, Scone Palace, Bluebell Woods (Blairgowrie), Cargill’s Leap, Moulin Hotel and Distillery, Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre, Explorers Garden, Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Why it’s special:  This route takes you from Scotland’s newest city along beautiful tree-lined country roads, past rolling farmland and into the heart of Perthshire’s soft-fruits country around Blairgowrie, before turning north-east and exploring the gentle hills just before the ski areas start. Then you’ll traverse the wild moors to the pretty village of Moulin and drop into the popular Highland town of Pitlochry for the finish.

 

Scenic Road 2: Pitlochry to Rannoch Station

Route: The A924, B8019 and B846 from Pitlochry – Tummel Bridge – Kinloch Rannoch – north side of Loch Rannoch – Rannoch Station (on the way back, an alternative route takes you up to Blair Atholl on the B847 and B8079). Approx. time and distance: 1 hour 20 minutes/ 37 miles See and do along the way: Tay Forest Park, Queen’s View Visitor Centre at Loch Tummel, Highland Exploration loch cruises and Land Rover tours, Schiehallion (a stunning munro), Loch Rannoch, Loch Eigheach Gaur Reservoir, Rannoch Station (the most remote and beautiful station in the UK), Rannoch Station Tearoom.

Why it’s special: On this route you’ll experience some of Perthshire’s most remote scenery and some truly stunning lochs. You’ll drive past ancient forests and alongside one of our most iconic loch areas that’s well-known for the wildlife and forests – and the warring clans that once lived here.

 

Scenic Road 3: The Snow Roads Scenic Route

Route: The A93 and A939 from Blairgowrie – Bridge of Cally – Persie House – Glenshee – Spittal of Glenshee – Braemar – Crathie – Cockbridge – Tomintoul – Grantown-on-Spey. Approx. time and distance: 32 minutes/ 19 miles to Spittal of Glenshee (Northernmost Perthshire) – 2 hours 10 minutes/ 79 miles for the whole route to Grantown-on-Spey See and do along the way: Guided tours and expeditions with Outdoor Explore, Persie Distillery, Glenshee Ski Centre, The Lecht Ski Centre via the infamous A939 Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road, the Photo Posts, the viewing installations at Glenshee, Corgarff and Tomintoul.

Why it’s special: Mark Tate, Chief Executive of Cairngorms Business Partnership, says, “This is a beautiful route: the classic car driver, families on a Highland adventure or somebody who wants to take their time and cycle the route will be able to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and local culture.”

Check out our article on the Snow Roads Scenic Route for more details – and let us know if you take any fantastic photos there!

 

Scenic Road 4: Meikleour through the glens to Dull

Route: A984 and A822 from Meikleour – Spittalfield – Caputh – Dunkeld – Amulree – Auchnacloich – Glen Quaich – Kenmore – Dull

Approx. time and distance: 1 hour 20 minutes / 36 miles

See and do along the way: Meikleour Beech Hedge, get a photo at the famous Dull sign, Castle Menzies, Loch Tay Safaris for a boat trip or Land Rover Safari, Red Deer Centre, the Hot Box sauna and loch slide, the Crannog Centre.

Why it’s special: This richly varied route starts in the farmlands of Strathtay, near the world’s highest beech hedges at Meikleour, and enters Highland Perthshire near Dunkeld before crossing to the beautiful and picturesque Amulree. Single-track roads (with passing places) take you through Glen Quaich, a popular spot with motorbikers, car drivers and cyclists. You’ll then cut up to the magnificent Loch Tay on your way to Kenmore, a popular tourist destination, ending up at Dull (famously twinned with Boring, Oregon!).

 

Scenic Road 5: Perthshire Tourist Route

Route: A822, A85, A826 and A827 from Greenloaning – Muthill – Crieff – Amulree – Aberfeldy – Grandtully – Ballinluig Approx. time and distance: 1 hour 22 minutes / 45 miles See and do along the way: Innerpeffray Library, Comrie Croft for hiking and mountain biking, Drummond Castle Gardens, Famous Grouse Experience, The Birks Cinema, The Birks of Aberfeldy, Iain Burnett the Highland Chocolatier, Nae Limits outdoor centre

Why it’s special: Perthshire Tourist Route offers not only a beautiful drive through richly varied woodland, pretty villages and rolling hills, but also many opportunities to stop and visit places of interest, including award-winning distilleries and a multi-award-winning chocolate-maker!

Books, bookshops, authors and festivals: A literary tour around Perthshire

Books, bookshops, authors and festivals: A literary tour around Perthshire

Perthshire is a creative place. We have a huge number of festivals and an enviable line-up of concerts, exhibitions, galleries, museums, not to mention highly creative people! Books and writers play an important part in our creative scene, so we’d like to take you on a tour of Literary Perthshire, and bring you all the events, festivals, bookshops and bookish places in one place. We hope you enjoy it!

1) Author Events

CPK Libraries, which runs Perthshire’s public libraries, regularly hosts an exciting variety of author events. Here’s what’s coming up this season:

Ann Cleeves with Wildfire

Wed 19th September,
AK Bell Library

Author of the hugely popular Shetland books, now a major TV series, reads from her latest in the series.

Find out more

Bill Jones with Black Camp 21

Fri 5th October,
Cultybraggan Camp.

Award-winning author Bill Jones will talk about his latest book, the World War II thriller ‘Black Camp 21’, based on true events, at the atmospheric setting of Cultybraggan Camp.

Find out more

David McPhail with Top Secret Grandad & Me

Tue 20th November,
Loch Leven Community Library

A fun, interactive event with children’s author David MacPhail. He will talk about mind maps and how you can use them to plot stories, then discuss his latest book, about Jay Patel and his ghost grandad! Age 8-plus.

Find out more

Quintin Jardine with A Brush With Death

Tue 20th November,
Loch Leven Community Library

As part of the Kinross-shire Winter Festival and Bookweek Scotland, best-selling Scottish crime author Quintin Jardine will discuss his final book, in which the now “retired” Bob Skinner investigates the mystery behind a millionaire’s unexplained poisoning.

Find out more

Murder Mysteries and Bun Breaks with Robin Stevens

Fri 30th November,
Loch Leven Community Library

Robin Stevens, author of the ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ series and winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the younger fiction category, talks about detective duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong and their latest mystery, “Death in the Spotlight”. Find out why Robin is so fascinated with murder mysteries, what makes a great detective and solve a unique mystery… Ages 9+.

Find out more

Crime Writers Gillian Galbraith and Shirley McKay in conversation

Wed 21st November,
Loch Leven Community Library

Shirley McKay, author of the Hew Cullen Mysteries which are set in St Andrews, will be in conversation with Gillian Galbraith, author of the Alice Rice Mysteries.

Find out more

In conversation with Jim Crumley and Robin A. Crawford

Tue 23rd October,
Waterstones, Perth

Jim’s latest book, “The Nature of Autumn”, charts the colourful progression from September to November, telling the story of how unfolding autumn affects the wildlife and landscapes of his beloved Scottish countryside.

Find out more

Events at Innerpeffray Library

Various dates,
Innerpeffray Library

Enjoy a delightful selection of events in a unique setting, including Alex Nye – “The Art of the Ghost Story”, and “The Course of History: Ten Meals that Changed the World” by Struan Stevenson MEP.

Find out more

Literary Analysis course

Thurs 11th October,
Birnam Arts

This is a course for any literary aficionado interested in delving into the fascinating world of analysis. Examine the form and content of poems, classic novels and plays in a relaxed, easy-going class. Gain a greater appreciation of the methodology authors use to convey their goals – the setting, plot, characters and imagery. Bring pen, paper and a love of literature!

Book this course online

2) Bookshops and Exchanges in Perth

Big Dog Books, Perth

Opened in 2016, Big Dog Books is an independent comic book, games, and pop culture shop. Big Dog Books aims to create a social space for kids, young adults – and those old enough to know better – to get away from screens and computers and into a genuine social network.

The Birnam Reader

This compact but well-stocked bookshop is just around the corner from Birnam Arts. The friendly independent bookshop offers a wide range of second-hand books and CDs, all whilst serving delicious coffee and homemade cakes!

Fun Junction, Crieff and Perth

As well as one of the best toy and game selections in the whole county, Fun Junction, an independent, family-run business with branches in Perth and Crieff, also stocks a lovely selection of kids’ books.

Book Exchanges at Blend and The Library

There are free International Book Exchanges at popular coffee shop Blend and at AK Bell Library. Bring a book along, swap it for another that you fancy, and have a coffee while you’re there!

Waterstones, Perth

It’s the national bookshop that feels like an indie – Waterstones has been a feature of Perth’s city centre for over 20 years and continues to attract a loyal reading public. As well as the great selection of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books and toys, Waterstones also plays host to a Scottish Fiction Reading Group on the first Tuesday of every month.

Mustard Seed Book Shop, Perth

The Mustard Seed Book & Gift Shop offers a wide range of Christian books, Bibles and many gifts and souvenirs from around Perthshire.

Oxfam Books & Music, Perth

This is a treasure trove of great-quality, low-priced second-hand books. The stock is wide-ranging, from modern fiction to collectable antiquarian but their main specialism is Scottish material, including books on Scotland and by Scottish authors, from Ian Rankin to Robert Burns.

Pitlochry Station Bookshop

Tucked away in a railway arch at Pitlochry Station is this lovely bookshop full of second-hand treats, including novels, non-fiction, coffee-table tomes, a kids’ corner and much more.
Most books are about £1 and there is a wide selection. On top of all that, the bookshop raises thousands of pounds for six diverse charities.
Find out more about this bookshop in our Day Out to Pitlochry article!

The Watermill & Homer, Aberfeldy

The Watermill & Homer is a hugely popular bookshop, gallery, café and design-led homeware store, on three floors of a converted oatmeal mill. Opened in 2005 by Michael Palin, it was awarded UK Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009. There are regular events – Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith is a regular visitor – and a lovely mix of books, gifts, music and a kids’ section.

3) Book Festivals

Bookmark Festival

5th – 7th October 2018

Bookmark returns to Blairgowrie, Rattray and The Glens for its sixth year, with more authors and events to delight the audiences. The founding principle of this festival is to foster and encourage a love of literature in all its forms by sharing a passion for reading and writing in a friendly, inclusive environment. This year, authors featured include Denise Mina, Allan Johnson, Isla Dewar and a special event celebrating 100 years of Muriel Spark.

Kinross-shire’s Winter Festival

Oct/Nov/Dec 2018

Kinross-shire’s Winter Festival is a celebration of exciting community events from the end of October to December. There are always great author events – this year’s selection includes Ann Cleeves, writer of Shetland and ITV’s Vera and “Murder mysteries and bun breaks” with Robin Stevens (see Author Events, above).

Winter Words Festival

14th – 17th February 2019

Winter Words is the perfect way to enjoy the last days of winter (and celebrate the first signs of spring) amidst the spectacular landscape of Highland Perthshire. Taking place each February at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, the festival brings in well-known and distinguished artists from around the world for over two weeks of stories, songs, and workshops.

Those bookish good folks at Birnam Arts and The Birnam Reader have put their heads together and come up with a festival of sheer brilliance! Join us in Birnam, along with a stellar lineup of writers, speakers and musicians, to celebrate a wealth of words, certain to warm your heart and brighten up your November.
Follow Perth City Centre and The Birnam Book Festival on Facebook to be the first to hear about the line-up!

3) Bookish Places to Visit

AK Bell Library, Perth

This fantastic library is a lively creative hub for Perth and Perthshire, offering all the lending services you’d expect but also a rich archive, a packed calendar of events (see Book and Poetry Events, above) and a café and gift shop. It’s one of the venues you can visit as part of Perth Doors Open Day, taking in a Behind the Scenes and Treasures tour and visiting some areas not normally open to the public, including a rare chance to see behind the scenes in the Council Archive. There are two guided tours; booking is essential.

Beatrix Potter Exhibition

Beatrix Potter had a long and fruitful relationship with Birnam and Dunkeld. While in Scotland, Beatrix wrote a “picture letter” which provided the basis for her first book The Tale of Peter Rabbit. This charming Beatrix Potter exhibition invites you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the world of a Victorian classroom, put on your own puppet show featuring Peter Rabbit and friends or experience a wash day in the style of Miss Tiggywinkle!

Innerpeffray Library

Innerpeffray Library is Scotland’s oldest free, public lending library: a museum where you can literally touch the past. At a site steeped in history from Roman times to living memory, the Library offers visitors a hands-on, unforgettable experience of Scottish heritage.

In its tranquil rural setting by the River Earn, you can travel back in time and explore the books, the people and the story of Innerpeffray. See Author Events for what’s on in this beautiful place.

John Buchan’s house, Perth

Did you know that Perth is the birthplace of John Buchan, legendary author of The 39 Steps and many other thrilling adventure novels? A plaque at 18/20 York Place (currently the home of Mindspace), commemorates his service as Governor General of Canada, but on Sunday 30th September you can visit as part of Perthshire’s Doors Open Days.

Quarto Press, Coupar Angus

The Quarto Press is a “private press”, run for fun, not profit. Housed in a converted 19th-century cottage and wagon-shed, there is a working traditional letterpress facility that uses hand-set metal and wood type in the way that printing was done from the 1450s to 1900. Also contains a collection of small presses and specialist items used by printers. You can visit on most days (phone ahead) or as part of Doors Open Day 2018.

Royal Scottish Geographical Society Visitor Centre

Visit the Fair Maid’s House, home to the Royal Geographical Society’s Visitor Centre, where you can “navigate” to the stylish explorers’ library, or the Cuthbert Map Room if you’re an atlas fan. There’s also a very exciting opportunity to bring a fantastic new book to life, by pledging to order a copy of The Great Horizon, a collection of 50 fascinating adventure stories from the last 150 years, retrieved from the RSGS archive.

Soutar House

Born in 1898 in Perth, William Soutar is known as one of the greatest poets Scotland has produced. On Perthshire’s Doors Open Days, Soutar House in Perth’s Craigie area is open for viewing – this year it’s on the 29th September.

There are also two William Soutar Perth Walks that start at the Fergusson Gallery and take you through Perth City Centre or through and around Craigie where Soutar lived. Walking guides are available from the A K Bell Library, the Tourist Information Centre and the Fergusson Gallery. Find out more about this fascinating poet and his work on the William Soutar website.

Don’t be a stranger

We hope you’ve enjoyed our literary tour of Perthshire! For all the latest news, events and information about Perth and Perthshire, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up to our email newsletter.

Perthshire for thrill-seekers

Perthshire for thrill-seekers

Perthshire has much to offer visitors – from culture geeks to country walkers – who are seeking peace and quiet, but there’s also a whole world of thrills to be found if you want to try something wilder. Our county has a reputation as the go-to region in Scotland for thrill-seekers, outdoor adventurers and everyone eager to take a walk on the wild side, with some of the most highly rated and qualified instructors in the field at your disposal. And the Perthshire countryside is the perfect backdrop for your adventuring – you can soak up the scenic sights right before you bungee-jump off a bridge or whitewater-raft down the river!

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most thrilling activities to try. Everything’s within driving distance of Perth city too, making it an ideal base for your break.

1) Bungee Jumping

The Pass of Killiecrankie is a beautiful wooded gorge with the River Garry flowing by its base. It’s 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! The Highland Fling Bungee jump is the UK’s first static bungee jump, giving intrepid thrillseekers a once in a lifetime experience of a 50mph free fall that bounces you back.

The Highland Fling is a favourite with adrenaline junkies but is also popular for the more intrepid group weekend activity, including stag and hen parties, and many a charity fundraiser. So whether it’s your birthday, anniversary, family gathering or you’re just looking for a challenge, Highland Fling are there for you. You can bring along your supporters to cheer you on as well.

You can also make sure the moment is recorded for history – and bragging purposes – through photos or video.

Find out more at Highland Fling’s website for more details.

2) Highland Fling Bridge Swing

While you’re at the Pass of Killiecrankie, why not make it a double thrill by trying Scotland’s most exciting swing? The latest development from Highland Fling Bungee is the Bridge Swing, the first purpose-built, permanent swing platform from a bridge in Britain.

From a specially designed swing platform 40 metres above the River Garry, in a full body harness, you’ll be quick-released from above, dropping into a free fall of around 15 metres before the rope takes the slack and you accelerate through a thrilling arc under the bungee platform where the main anchors are attached. Once the swing is over you’ll be winched back to where you started. This is a safe and unforgettable adrenaline-packed experience using the latest technology and safety equipment, led by experienced, qualified Bridge Swing Masters.

Find out more at Highland Fling’s website for more details.

3) White Water Rafting

 

There are ten rivers in Perthshire, perfect for a gentle paddle, but for those looking for something with more force, the River Tay can’t be beaten, and has been a favourite destination for white water rafters for many years. Highland Fling offers a six mile run from Aberfeldy to Grandtully that’s ideal for families (children over 8) and groups, no experience necessary.

Splash White Water Rafting is one of the UK’s most experienced expert outdoor adventure activity providers, offering exhilarating rafting trips starting from its base in Aberfeldy. The river trips showcase the beautiful Highland landscapes as you learn your new skills, before the river drops into the challenging rapids to Grandtully, including one called “The Washing Machine”!

White Water Rafting Scotland also offers routes on the Rivers Tay and Tummel. Choose your level, from a less hectic mild river run to the fast and furious white-knuckle rapids and drops. Their highly qualified instructors will ensure you have the safest experience possible. Book online and combine with a variety of other outdoor activities for a top weekend away or jam-packed holiday, or to pick up gift vouchers, valid for up to a year.

Nae Limits, the 4-star activity experience as featured on television adverts for Visit Scotland, also offers exceptional white water rafting expeditions on the Tay and Tummel, with the River Orchy offering one of the most extreme rating experiences in the country – class 5 rapids guaranteed!

Find out about whitewater rafting at Highland Fling Bungee, Splash White Water Rafting, White Water Rafting Scotland, The Rafting Company and Nae Limits.

4) Cliff Jumping

Cliff-jumping is a great activity for those with a little more bravado who want to try something more unusual. Jumping from a cliff into a plunge pool is an exhilarating, challenging and fun-packed experience. With heights starting from 3 feet and ascending to 45 feet, it’s an activity you can build up as you feel more confident. How far you go is up to you! Set near Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire, Pitlochry Outdoor Activities offers cliff-jumping in a beautiful setting, and it’s a great family and corporate group activity.

5) Canyoning & Gorge Walking

Whether you choose the horizontal or vertical path, there’s an exhilarating route waiting for you. Gorge walking is the more straightforward route; a walk up or down a river, including all the leaps and slides necessary. Canyoning is the more challenging task, where the only way is down. Splash is an experienced operator that started offering this exciting adventure sport – a mix of jumping, walking, swimming and abseiling – in Scotland back in 2003.

There are plenty of paths on offer across Perthshire, with Nae Limits and Vertical Descents, and both organisations provide appropriate training. Nae Limits offers half- and full-day packages to push you to your very limits. Check out both websites to find the best experience for you.

6) Quad Biking, Segways and 4x4 off-roading

Perthshire’s rugged landscape and rolling hills offer the ideal terrain for a thrilling off-road experience. There is a variety of places across the region where you can try these exciting activities, each with its own attractions and recommendations. Nae Limits’ quad biking estate covers an incredible 1000 acres of farmland, complete with tricky ditches and hills to navigate, while Perthshire Offroad’s miles-long trails near Glenfarg combine the beauty of the landscape with the challenge of the route by quad bike or Land Rover Defender. Meanwhile Crieff Hydro offers Quad Biking, Segway Tours and 4x4 driving, meaning you have a choice of fun-filled transport!

Each place offers an experience suited to your abilities, desires and group size, making it ideal for everyone from families to hen- and stag dos and corporate parties. These activities are available all year round, regardless of the weather. So even if it pours down on your visit, you won’t go away disappointed.

7) Paintball

Ever wanted to see if your Call Of Duty skills transfer to the real world? Nothing brings a group together quite like a fierce contest, and paintballing allows for all the thrill of combat with none of the mortal wounds (although we can’t promise you won’t be a tad bruised by the end of it all). Test out your strategy skills and see if you can make the winning shot. Nae Limits and Paintball Perth both provide the activity in the region and will equip you with full body protection, a gun and enough paintballs to ensure your enemies truly fear you. Splash has a Paintball site and offers packages that combine this activity with one of their other fun-packed activities such as whitewater rafting or canyoning.

8) River Bugging 

If you can’t decide this weekend between sitting in your armchair or hurtling down a fast-flowing river, now you can do both! River Bugging is a great way to play on the river if you want that little bit more excitement. A Bug looks like a hi-tech blow up armchair; you sit in it and use a fin and webbed gloves to propel you safely down the river. It’s ideal for summer river levels and promises to be a thrill-packed adventure! Splash, based near Aberfeldy, brought River Bugging to Scotland from New Zealand in 2003 and is the most experienced provider in Scotland, offering this great sport on the Tummel and Tay rivers.

9) Rock Climbing

Climbing is one of the fastest growing sport in the UK at the moment, with Scotland being home to some of the best locations in the UK. No matter what your experience level, there is something for everyone to climb Perthshire. For beginner climbers and families, there are plenty of experienced guides that will take you to some great locations, including Gulabin Lodge Outdoor Centre and Beyond Adventure.

If you are looking for something a bit more serious, UK Climbing has an online map that outlines all the crags in your local area. Remember to always stay safe and climb within your ability!

 

10) Mountain Biking

Whether you’re bringing your own bike up or looking to give it a go for the first time, there are many great places across Perthshire for mountain biking. Comrie Croft is fast becoming one of the go to destinations for bikers, with over 87km of routes to take (all of which can also be hiked if you’d prefer something a little less strenuous). At Comrie Croft you can try out your talents on the mountain bike skills park and pump track, which is completely free to try. Bike hire is available nearby as are amenities for washing your bike and yourselves, plus tea, coffee and delicious cakes are available in the nearby tearoom, making for the perfect end of the day treat. Check out their website for more information.

 

There are no fewer than 16 mountain biking routes across Highland Perthshire, and riders can take comfort in knowing that their subsequent landowners have approved the routes. You can pick the route to your level of difficulty, with easier treks for the novices and real challenges for the experts. If you’re interested in the full map of routes, Develop Mountain Biking in Scotland have helpfully provided a series of downloadable cards on their website.

 

Get the Kids out there!

Kids love adventure, and it’s healthy for them to learn about risks while having the time of their lives. These companies specialise in thrill-seeking for kids, so they can have as much fun as you do in the wilds of Perthshire:

Willowgate Activity CentreWillowgate is the go-to place in Perth for mini (and grown-up) fun-seekers, with aqua-zorbing, paddle-boarding and kayaking all on offer. Find out about activities at Willowgate Activity Centre

Follow us on social media / get our news email

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a more relaxing activity, for all the latest news, events and information about what’s happening in Perth and Perthshire you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up to our email newsletter.

And if you’re staying overnight in Perth or Perthshire before you do your adventures, check out our accommodation section for some great hotels, guest houses and B&Bs!

A Day at the Black Watch Museum

A Day at the Black Watch Museum

The Black Watch Museum in Balhousie Castle in Perth is a must for anyone interested in military history. The museum has been situated in the castle since the early 1960’s, and it is packed with historical artifacts from this proud old regiment.

The museum is currently running an exhibition entitled “There But Not There”. This is a fascinating presentation on some of the men lost to us during the First World War, in which nearly 9,000 Black Watch soldiers perished, and thousands more would have suffered both terrible physical and psychological wounds. The “There But Not There” exhibition has positioned around the museum life-size perspex images of a handful of these casualties with information about who they were and tales on their life and how they met their
death. There is an exhibition of artifacts that belonged soldiers fighting in the war that have been donated by their families. A very moving booklet accompanies the presentation, but perhaps the most poignant display is the outline of a life-size soldier, this can be seen as you enter the museum grounds from the car park. I have to admit I am biased as my great grandad fought in the Battle of the Somme while serving in the Black Watch. The There but Not There display can be seen at the museum until the 11th of November – Armistice Day.

There is much more to see at the Black Watch Museum. As you enter the first section takes the visitor back to the origins of the regiment which was formed when the government were struggling to control the Highlands. It was a time of civil war as the Jacobites sought to restore the exiled Stuart King’s to their lost throne. To help police the highlands and keep an eye on the Jacobite clans the government raised six companies in 1725. In 1739 another four companies were recruited, and they became the 43rd Regiment of Foot. It was first mustered at Aberfeldy in 1740, and by the river, in Aberfeldy, a distinct monument stands to commemorate this event.

The museum tells of the part played by the Black Watch at the Battle of Fontenoy in May 1745, despite the battle being a defeat for the British. The Black Watch fought so gallantly that a French officer described them as “Highland Furies”.  The regiment was sent to fight in the American War of Independence by this time it had been renumbered to the 42nd and titled the 42nd Highland Regiment of Foot, and in America, they fought with distinction.  The museum has an excellent section on the wars against Napoleons French with many weapons and uniforms on display.

As you can imagine World War One plays a significant part in the exhibition.  With many notable attractions on display.  A kilt belonging to Captain William Debnam McLaren Stewart from the Comrie area in Perthshire who was killed at the Battle of the Somme on the 25th of September 1916 is on display.  On this kilt traces of mud from the battlefield can still be seen. Captain Stewart features in the “There But Not There” commemoration.

The exhibition then goes onto the Second World War, I was fascinated by a “Tommy Helmet”.   It had been discarded by a Scottish soldier serving in the 51st Highland Division in France in 1940.  The 51st were ordered to surrender after acting as a rear guard thus allowing thousands of British and French soldiers to escape the advancing Germans and depart from the beaches of Dunkirk back to Britain to fight again.  This helmet was found in the sea at St Valery-en-Caux in 1990. For me it made an impressive display piece, I could not help wondering just who ditched this helmet and what happened to this man?

There are opportunities for the kids to dress up in uniforms and a chance to colour in with tables pens and paper provided.  So the Black Watch Museum is a thoughtful and humbling day out for all the family, I would recommend you try to take in the “There But Not There” exhibition before it ends on the 11th of November 2018.

Article by Gary Knight