Stagecoach boosts Perthshire independent businesses by getting on board with Mi Rewards

Stagecoach boosts Perthshire independent businesses by getting on board with Mi Rewards

Bus operator Stagecoach is backing independent businesses in Perth by signing up to the local Mi Rewards loyalty scheme, giving passengers the chance to benefit from shopping local and travelling by bus.

Mi Rewards, the UK’s first card-linked loyalty programme launched in Perth in September 2018 by Miconex – a company founded and based in Perth. It takes an innovative approach to rewards schemes by eliminating the need for a special loyalty card. Registered users link their existing debit or credit cards to the service and receive one ‘Mi Point’ each time they spend £1.

In addition to this, Mi Rewards customers also receive perks, event tickets and random acts of kindness just for being part of the scheme.

The scheme promotes the use of local businesses in Perth and there are now more than 70 shops, cafes, restaurants, salons and venues participating in the scheme in and around the city.

Connecting the community with so many of these local businesses, bus company Stagecoach have now joined the scheme, allowing existing bus users to collect Mi Rewards points for travelling by bus. The development will see the people of Perth and Kinross rewarded for travelling and shopping locally at the huge number of retailers across the city.

Stagecoach have also confirmed a double points reward for the launch, which will last from the official launch date of 13 February until Sunday 24 February 2019. This means that Stagecoach customers buying bus tickets using their credit/debit card linked to the Mi Rewards scheme can receive 2 points per £1 spent, helping to build up their rewards to be spent in Perth.

Mary Queen of Scots and Loch Leven Castle

Mary Queen of Scots and Loch Leven Castle

January saw the opening of a new film about Mary Queen of Scots, and although I have yet still to go to the Playhouse in Perth to watch the film,  I thought I would write about a famous event involving Mary that took place in Perth and Kinross – the imprisonment of the queen at Loch Leven Castle.

Mary Queen of Scots is perhaps one of Scotland’s most tragic monarchs,  she was born in Linlithgow Palace on the 8th of December 1542.  Her father James V was not exactly over the moon when he was told of the birth of his daughter.  He was lying in his sick bed in Falkland Palace and upon receiving the news exclaimed rather sadly “it came wi a lass and it will gang wi a lass” he was referring to the Stewart or Stuart dynasty.   Mary’s father James died six days later on the 14th of December. 

The infant was crowned queen on the 9th of September 1543 she was less than a year old.  The King of England Henry VIII tried to persuade the Scottish nobility that the young queen should marry his son and when this was rejected he sent his armies into Scotland to force the issue.  This is referred to as the Rough Wooing, with Scotland being subjected to these English raids the queen was sent to France where she married the heir to the French throne in 1558.  The following year Mary’s husband was crowned Francois II of France.  The time in France was to be the happiest of her life, but it was not to last, for in 1560 the young French king died,  Mary was sent back to Scotland arriving in Leith in 1561.

Things were extremely difficult for her, she was a Catholic while most of her subjects including her nobility were Protestant.  Mary married her cousin Henry Stewart Lord Darnley in 1565, despite having a child together it was not a happy union.  Darnley was spoilt, immature and a womaniser.  He was manipulated into being involved in murdering Mary’s secretary David Rizzio, this crime was carried out in the queen’s chambers in Holyrood Palace.  Mary who was pregnant at the time never forgave her husband for his part in the murder.  Lord Darnley himself was to die in suspicious circumstances, while sick he was convalescing in a building called Kirk o Field in Edinburgh. 

One night while Mary was out celebrating a wedding Kirk o Field was blown up.  Darnley’s body was found outside in the grounds, he had been murdered.  The chief suspect in this assassination was Lord Bothwell, many people at the time also thought Mary herself had a hand in the killing of her husband.  Mary Queen of Scots then committed political suicide by marrying Lord Bothwell, this prompted a rebellion by her lords.  Mary was overthrown, she was taken into custody and them imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle.

Loch Leven castle sits on the biggest island on Loch Leven, it is owned by Historic Scotland and open to the public.  It is well worth a visit, especially on a nice day.  The castle was to be Mary’s prison for just over ten months arriving on the 17th of June 1567 and leaving on the morning of the 3rd of May 1568.  Imprisonment here was to be the low point of Mary’s time in Scotland, while held Mary miscarried twins that had been conceived with Lord Bothwell. Her jailers were The Douglases, a powerful family who had played a prominent role in Scotland’s history since the days of Robert the Bruce. 

Lady Douglas had been the mistress of the queen’s father King James V , she was the mother of James Stewart the Earl of Moray, Mary’s half brother, Moray was to become regent while Mary was locked up, running the country on behalf of the queen’s young son James VI.  The queen was confined to two rooms on the third floor of the tower.  Lady Douglas was to share a bedroom with the queen, so Mary had very little privacy.  She spent her long days walking in the garden or doing needlework. 

Her supporters on the outside were desperate to secure her freedom, they knew Mary’s life was in danger, her jailers had been told to kill Mary if an escape attempt was made by her followers.  Mary did make an effort to escape on one occasion a laundress had been brought to the castle and Mary who was up early swapped clothing with this woman. Covering her face, Mary made it down to the boat,  she was being rowed across the loch when one of the boatmen foiled the plan, he noticed how white, soft and smooth the ladies hands looked. 

A second attempt was to be successful, Mary was helped by one of her jailers he was Willie Douglas an eighteen-year-old youth who was captivated by the charismatic queen.  On the night of the 2nd of May, he managed to obtain the master key to the tower.  When the rest of the household were celebrating May Day with a masked ball, Willie made his way to the queen’s room.  Releasing the queen, they made their way to a boat and rowed across the loch to freedom.

Once free Mary gathered her support and raised an army, it was defeated at the Battle of Langside near Glasgow.  Mary Queen of Scots then fled to England where she sought the protection of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England.  Mary was implicated in a plot to kill the English queen and executed in 1587.

Article by Gary Knight

Perth Riverside Light Nights

Perth Riverside Light Nights

Brighten up those winter nights with one of the high points of the Perth City Centre calendar – the return of the Perth Riverside Light Nights. Following a variety of themes visit the winter wonderland at Norie Miller Park on the banks of the River Tay to enjoy spectacular lighting and entertainment to chase away those January/February blues.

Winter break in Perthshire?

Winter break in Perthshire?

Feeling the post-Christmas blues?

Why not cheer yourself up by taking a break to Perthshire .

There are many great deals on accommodation at over this winter so come to enjoy all that Perth has to offer.

Perth is also only about an hour away from Glenshee ski resort. So if we get some snow this winter (fingers crossed) then Perth is the perfect place to come back to after a long day on the slopes.

If you fancy a unique experience than the Perth Riverside Light Nights are running from Jan 26 – Feb 10. 

Perth also has a wide range of local shops, cafes and restaurants to explore as well so you will never be bored. This would also be the perfect time to use a Perth card if you got one as a Christmas present. 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Mercure – 1 night package offer

Book before the 17th February for stays between 8th to 18th February 2019.

Inspiring breaks in Perth this winter from only £135 per couple

Book up until 27th February 2019

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

Available November, December, January & February (excludes some festive break dates, Scottish Shindig Breaks 18th & 25th and Valentines 17th February.

Scottish shindig break

Saturday 19th January or 26th January

Valentines Break

Available 16th February 2019.

Winter sparkles

Available till the 31st of January, the 1st till the 13th and 18th and 28th of February   

February break

Available from the 3rd till the 11th and 18th till the 28th of February.

Romantic night away

Available from the 14th till the 16th of February 

January break

Available till the 31st of January. (Tuesday to Friday only)

2 nights with dinner and breakfast.  

Available from the 1st of February till the 31st of March.   

2 Night Winter break 

Available before the 8th of February 

Bubbles and love (3-night stay)

1st to the 28th of February 

Wee winter adventures (3 Night midweek)

Available all of March.

Other hotels in Perth 

Royal George Hotel

The Royal George Hotel, Tay Street Perth PH1 5LD
Scotland

Leonardo Boutique Hotel Huntingtower Perth

Crieff Road, Perth, PH1 3JT

 

 

The Station Hotel

The Station Hotel, 1 Leonard Street, Perth PH2 8HE, UK

 

New County Hotel

22-30 County Pl, Perth PH2 8EE

Best Western Queens Hotel

Leonard St, Perth PH2 8HB

Complete list of accommodation in Perth 

Header image by @ekelly68541 (IG) — at Kinnoull Hill.

GoPro with Get on the Go! Competition Photos

GoPro with Get on the Go! Competition Photos

Get on the Go Tayside has spent the last 4 weeks searching for a snap or video of favourite walking, cycling or bus routes in Tayside. The photo with the most likes wins a brand new GoPro Hero 7

Get on the Go had dozens of entries to the GoPro with Get on the Go Competition, see our favourite Perthshire entries below

Get on the Go Tayside helps local residents and visitors to Perth & Kinross, Dundee & Angus to save money, time and hassle while they travel. 

Get on the Go aims to enhance the region’s environment, by reducing congestion and therefore traffic pollution, in addition to helping the people of Tayside be a bit more active. Cars have an important role to play in our transport system and are essential for many people’s journeys. Yet too many cars on the roads are affecting the city’s environment and increasing risks to people’s health.

Follow Get on the Go Tayside

The Maiden Castle and Well

The Maiden Castle and Well

Scotland is full of fantastic tails of the supernatural, with stories of mythical beasts and ghostly occurrences.  If you are interested in tales from the other world, then you will have come across lots of accounts of people interacting with the Fairies.  These little creatures were not the cute Tinkerbell from Peter Pan but often sinister and malevolent, at worst evil and at best merely mischievous, but defiantly something to be feared.  The modern practice of fairy doors (a small wooden door) in your house for decoration or to entice the “little folk’ into your home would have filled our ancestors with dread. 

It was thought that at one time the fairy folk or the Sidhe or Shee as they were known lived side by side with man.  Then the fairy’s and mankind went to war.  We were victorious and the Shee were all banished underground to the dark recesses of this land.  The fairy and mankind are enemies and one day the Shee will rise and take what is rightfully their’s again, our world above ground. 

The Shee only move around above ground at night and their armies can be heard in the darkness by the sound of their horses bridles jingling.  They dress in green a colour thought by us to be unlucky as to wear green might offend the Shee.  My granny who only died twelve years ago would never wear green and when asked why would reply “it is the fairies colour”.

Perthshire has many areas connected with the Shee.  Glenshee, as its name suggests, means the glen of the fairies and Schiehallion is the fairy hill of the Caledonians.  But the story I want to tell you about took place near Glendevon, an area rich in fairy lore with a nearby hill being named Ben Shee. 

A piper was walking along the old drove road through Glenquey between Glendevon and Dollar.  At the top of the glen stands a fairy mound known as the Maiden Castle.  This piper was walking towards the mound when to his astonishment he heard the sound of music and laughter he looked up and saw where the fairy mound sits, a magnificent castle, with lights shining from the windows and flags flying from the turreted towers. A precision of fairies came from the main gate. 

The terrified piper turned to run, but the Little Folk some mounted on small horses caught up with the man, he was made a prisoner and taken back to the castle. 

In the great hall, the fairies were having a banquet, they made the piper stand in the corner of the room and play his pipes while the little people danced and danced,  this went on all night and the next day.  The piper was exhausted and pleaded to be set free, he wanted to return to his family and he knew that they would be worried about him.  The king of the Shee said that they would release the captive piper if he played one last tune, the fairy leaders favourite.  The piper put his pipes to his lips and played this tune for all his worth.  Again the fairies danced in a big circle.  When the piper finished, he was taken to the main gate of the castle and set free

The grateful man made his way home as quickly as he could, when he arrived at his house and walked in the front door, there was no one there he recognised, not his wife or children only one bent old man sitting by the fire.  When the piper asked the man at the fire the whereabouts of his family, the old man knew nothing.  But he did say that many years ago when he was a boy, his grandfather had told him a story of a piper going missing in Glenquey, he just vanished into thin air. Everyone thought he must have had an accident or got lost, but a body was never found.  For while the piper thought had been playing his pipes in the fairy mound for a day or two, in our time, he had been missing for more than a hundred years.

There are a few similar stories from all over Scotland about people going disappearing and their disappearance being blamed on the fairies.  Some people now recognise the similarities between these stories and current cases of alien abduction, so perhaps it was not the Shee who abducted these people after all.

Just beyond the mound of Maiden Castle is the Maiden Well, this well is reputed to be haunted.  The story goes, a beautiful maiden who was imprisoned in Castle Campbell was allowed to walk the hills behind the castle.  She often walked to the well and drank its water. Now her spirit can sometimes be seen around the well at night and if any unsuspecting traveller captivated by her beauty tries to steal a kiss from this young enchantress when their lips touch and the ghostly figure kisses you it will cause you to suffer a fatal heart attack.     

I sat and had a flask of coffee on top of the Maiden Castle enjoying the stunning view down the glen.  When I finished and was walking away, I thought just for a second that I could hear the faint sound of music, it may have been my imagination, or maybe.

The area is managed by the Woodland Trust and offers many excellent walks, it is well worth a visit.

A Rural Adventure with Highland Safaris

A Rural Adventure with Highland Safaris

A few weeks ago, we were kindly invited to Highland Safaris HQ, just outside of Aberfeldy, to find out about the amazing projects they have been up to recently.

If you haven’t heard about Highland Safaris, please allow me to give you a quick introduction. Highland safaris is a 5-star visitor attraction based in Highland Perthshire that shows you rural Perthshire like you have never seen it before. They offer a variety of tours of the local area through their fleet of Land Rovers and also have some great attractions including the red deer centre, gold panning and a delicious little cafe.

Having been born and bred in rural Perthshire, I naively thought there I wasn’t going to see much that would surprise me. How wrong I was. The whole trip was an unforgettable experience from start to finish, packed with new and interesting activities.

Here’s a little insight into our Highland adventure!

Mountian Safari

The first order of the day was to take one of their legendary safari trips to explore rural Perthshire. There are a variety of safari packages available at Highland Safaris including:
– Mountain Safari
– Forest Safari
– Mountain Safari Trek
– Biking Safaris
– Walking Safaris
– 4x4 Off Road Driving
– Special Interest Safaris
– Seasonal Safaris
We opted for the Mountian Safari, as we were hoping to see some Autumnal views of Perthshire.

The trip started with meeting Colin, our amazing safari guide. He gathered us around a map of 3D map to show us the route for the adventure we were about to embark on, as well as pointing out a few key features on the map including Schehallion and the idyllic Loch Tummel.

Once Colin had finished briefing us on the adventure we were about to undertake, he showed us to his Land Rover. We all climbed in and set off on our Safari trip. As we made our way along the road, Colin shared his vast knowledge of the local eco-system and history with the group. He explained the dark colour of the Falls of Keltney was due to the peat-lands the water passes through upstream, he also told us of the ‘woodland corridor’ initiatives that were being taken to help support and encourage indigenous wildlife to settle and freely move around Scotland’s National Parks.

It wasn’t long until the country roads disappeared and we were climbing a dirt track. As we made our way up the dirt road surrounded by towering pine trees, Colin took the opportunity to tell us about the woodland and how many of the trees we see today in Perthshire are not indigenous to our region but were rather man made to help keep up with demand following the Second World War.

When we reached the top of Farragon Hill we were rewarded with some of the most stunning views of Perthshire I have ever seen. With the bitter wind blowing straight through us, we took shelter in the nearby shelter Highland Safaris hand built for its visitors and passing hillwalkers. It wasn’t long before the fire was on and Colin revealed some Kenmore shortbread biscuits (which were delicious!) and of course a wee dram of Dewars Whisky.

Before we knew it, our time was up on the mountain and we were back in the Land Rover heading back to Highland Safaris HQ.

Red Deer Centre

Once we arrived back at Highland Safaris HQ, we were ushered into the Red Deer Centre. The Red Deer Centre is home to Highland Safaris’ very own heard of red deer, where visitors can get up close and admire Britain’s largest native land mammal.

George, the deer expert in charge of the centre that day, started the experience with a short introduction to red deer, how the seasons affect their behavior and their reproductive cycle.
Once he had shared his knowledge with us, we were ready to meet the animals. Armed with a cup of pellets, we were lead to the back of the centre to what looked like a raised decking. Geroge let out a roar, at which point a small heard of deer appeared from around the corner and trotted towards where we were waiting. The deer knew exactly what was about to unfold and as they lined up along the fence waiting to be fed.

Soon enough the food was eaten and we were all lead back into the centre. There was one more surprise install for us. George disappeared into another room for a moment or two and quickly emerged with a beautiful Barn Owl! We were introduced to, Ossian, the very sweet bird that was sitting on George’s gloved arm. George and Ossian were like a well-rehearsed double act, with George explaining some of the unique features of these amazing birds of prey and Ossian demonstrating on queue.

 

Whilst you’re here…

After a long day exploring rural Perthshire, the Highland Safaris cafe is the perfect place to put your feet up and a bite to eat. Or if a safaris trip isn’t your thing, why not try your hand at gold panning or even a Loch Tay safari?

Gold Panning

Armed with your own pan & bucket of dirt, scoop & swirl in Scotland’s Only Gold and Gem Panning Centre.

> Find out More <

Highland Safaris Cafe

The Highland Safaris Cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cuppa and reflect on an unforgettable day.

> Find out More <

Loch Tay Safaris

Experience this unique boat trip, bringing the heritage and history of Loch Tay to life!

> Find out More <

One fact (amongst many) that has stayed with me since our highland adventure is a passing comment Colin made on our way back from the mountain safari. He told me that the word safari originated from the Arabic word ‘safar‘ which means ‘to make a journey’. Highland Safari certainly take the true meaning of the word to heart, as all their activities are created to not only take its visitors on a physical journey but also an emotional and educational journey too.

The day was an unforgettable adventure and should definitely be experienced by both visitors and locals alike. Find out more about Highland Safaris or book your adventure at highlandsafaris.com

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