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

Spartan Race 2018

Spartan Race 2018

Do you fancy taking on a physical challenge with a bit of a difference this year? How does an endurance event requiring you to wade through muddy bogs, scale slippery 8-foot ramps, clamber up 25-foot-high cargo nets, leap over fire and more, sound to you?

Well if that has peaked your interest then you’ll be delighted to hear that one of Britain’s biggest sporting series, Spartan Race, is coming to Perth in 2018. Combining running with fun and challenging obstacles, this physical and mental test was completed by over a million people across 30 countries last year, making it the world’s leading obstacle course racing series.

The Perth event will be the only one in Scotland this year, and will take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September. Designed to cater for all fitness levels, there are three main types of Spartan Race; Sprint (5km+), a Super (12km+), and a Beast (22km+). There is also a race for the little ones, and the Spartans Kids Race is for children aged between 4 and 13 over a 1.5km course.

For beginners, the Sprint race is recommended and with over 20 obstacles to overcome on the course it’s a firm favourite with both new and experienced Spartan racers. It takes an average runner around an hour and a half to complete a Spartan Sprint and each one has its own unique challenges and character. For those who have more experience in endurance events, the Super or Beast races may be more appealing.

The Perth race will kick off in the city centre with runners making their way through crowd-lined streets before they head out onto the hilly trails of Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Woods. It’s a picturesque route with stunning views over the city and the River Tay, although you may be more focused on the obstacles ahead of you than the views behind you! Spartan Sprint is an accessible challenge; even if you’re overweight, or if you have never run before, it’s something that anyone can do.

General Manager of Spartan Race UK, Sam Lansdale, is looking forward to bringing the series to Perth and hopes as many of the local community get involved as possible.

“It’s always a pleasure to host events in Scotland,” Sam said, “in areas both of such natural and man-made beauty. Racers will find themselves drawn in by the atmosphere of the landscape. We have an event that will test mental strength, endurance, grit and perseverance. The scenery will boost enjoyment and inspire everyone to get to that finish line even faster.

“A big part of our race is about community and pushing yourself to achieve something more than you think you can. It’s about resetting your frame of reference, from wanting to sit on the couch all day long, eating junk food to going outdoors for a ten minute jog. That’s your initial step on the ladder to completing your first Spartan Sprint.

“We have mums, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and many others taking part who are maybe just looking for a new kind of fitness challenge. The Spartan Sprint is an accessible challenge; even if you’re overweight, or if you have never run before, it’s something that anyone can do.”

The sport of obstacle racing is booming as a worldwide craze and attracts millions of runners and keep-fit enthusiasts who are perhaps tired of the more traditional endurance events. Contrary to the misconception that the sport is dominated by men, 40 percent of the Spartan Race participants are women. Obstacles are kept top secret until race day in order to surprise the runners, so you can do as much research as you like but you won’t know what to expect until you see an obstacle mid-race!

The Great Perthshire Food and Drink Tour

The Great Perthshire Food and Drink Tour

Perth & Kinross is known and loved for the quality of its food and drink, from luscious soft fruits and fresh farm vegetables to salmon, Highland beef and venison. We have many producers of fine cheese, chocolate, oatcakes and breads, not to mention our gin, whisky, wine, beer and soft-drink makers.

Munro Bagging in Perthshire

Munro Bagging in Perthshire

Perthshire is known as the gateway to the highlands – and with a title like that, you know that you are in the right place for a hill walk or two.

In case you don’t know, Munros are Scottish mountains over 3000 feet (915 metres). Perthshire is home to 28 of the 282 Munros across Scotland and is the perfect place to dip your toe into the world of Munro bagging.
Weather you are a seasoned walker or just looking for something to keep the family busy – the perfect Munro is waiting for you!

Every Munro and hill walk in Perthshire delivers a stunning view, each with its own unique qualities and characteristics.

Here is a couple of our favourites to get you started Munro bagging in Perthshire.

 

1) Schiehallion

Schiehallion is probably one of the best know Munros in Scotland. Schiehallion, which translates from Gaelic as the ‘fairy hill of the Caledonians’ stands at 3,553 feet. If you are a Scottish lager fanatic, science geek or an outdoor explorer – changes are you have already heard of this one.

If you haven’t heard of it, let me give you a little history lesson. Schiehallion has always been a popular area of the region, with evidence of the land being inhabited for as long as 3000 years. The mountain is commonly mistaken for an inactive volcano, however, it was actually formed by ice erosion during the Ice Ages.
If you are a since boffin, you might be interested to know that this mountain was involved in an important experiment to estimate the mass of the Earth in the last 18th century. The mountain was perfect for the experiment due to its symmetrical shape. Want to find out more about this experiment? Take a look at this great BBC video here.

Schiehallion sits 10 miles north-west of the idyllic town of Aberfeldy and overlooks Loch Tay, Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch. While public transport can be taken to Aberfeldy or Pitlochry, private transport will be needed to reach the Braes of Foss car park, where you can start the assent of the mighty Schiehallion.

In hillwalking terms, Schiehallion is one of the easier Munros to bag. With a well-maintained footpath and a relatively easy to access makes it a perfect starting point for your Munro-bagging adventure (it also offers some stunning views too!)

Want to find out more about this Munro? Take a look here!

 

2)  Ben Chonzie

If you’re looking for a great hill walk that comes with the bragging rights of being a Munro, Ben Chonzie is a good place to start.

In the books of avid hill walkers this one is classed as one of the easiest Munros in Perthshire (and Scotland) to sink your teeth into. Nevertheless, this is a great walk to enjoy with the whole family which deliverers some stunning views of the Perthshire (and a great spot to see some local wildlife!)

Ben Chonzie sits between the Perthshire towns of Crieff and Comrie. This is a popular hillwalk for locals and tourists alike, as it offers a great introduction into the world of Munro bagging. The Munro itself can be And enjoys some amazing views of west Perthshire.

Want to find out more about this Munro? Take a look here!

3)  Carn Liath on Beinn a’Ghlo

Unless you have access to a car or some form of private transport, accessing Munros can be very challenging.
Carn Liath on Beinn a’Ghlo is arguably one of the easier Munros in Perthshire to access without a car. Please note, there is a walk to get to the start of the Munro – you have been warned!
Beinn a’Ghlo towers over Blair Atholl and with plenty of public transport links to the village, makes for a great hillwalking destination for those who don’t have access to a car. Take a look here if you would like to find out more about sustainable travel around Perthshire.

Beinn a’Ghlo  is a huge, complex hill with many ridges, summits and corries, covering approximately 40 square kilometres. The mountain resembles a miniature mountain range than a single peak, with three Munros across the mountain. These are Carn Liath (976m), Bràigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain (1070m) and Càrn nan Gabhar (1122m).

The start of the walk is 4km from the town centre, so be prepared for a long day. However, the Munro itself is a very relaxing walk with a prominent path right to the top.
Once at the top of this mountain, you are rewarded with some stunning views of Highland Perthshire, Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar.

Want to find out more about this Munro? Take a look here!

3)  The Cairnwell Munros

If you’re looking to do some serious Munro bagging in Perthshire, this is a great place to get some serious walks under your belt.

The Cairnwell Munros can be found behind the Glenshee Ski Centre (west side of the Cairnwell pass). While there are actually nine Munros around Glenshee, us mere mortals will struggle to tackle bag them all in a single day.
So, if you’re looking to tick a couple Munro’s of your list in a single trip, the Cairnwell Munros is a great place to start.

While these Munros might not impress seasoned Munro baggers because of ski centre infrastructure and ‘lack of wilderness’ its nevertheless a remote a beautiful part of Scotland (or at least in my humble option anyway!) On the flip side of the coin, accessing the Cairnwell Munros is made easy dude to the Gleshee Ski Centre Car Park.

Unlike a lot of Murnos, there is a ski lift that can take visitors right to the top of Cairnwell (this doesn’t count as Munro Bagging!) However if you can resist the temptation to take the lift, you (probably) won’t regret it.

Find out more about this Munro here.

As you can see, there is a huge range of Munros in Perthshire to enjoy. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned walker, you are guaranteed to find an unforgettable trail here in Perthshire.

If you’re going to try one of these amazing Munros out please remember to come prepared with all the hillwalking essentials. Alternatively, there are various guided tours around Perthshire that would be happy to show you around our beautiful countryside. There are also some stunning walks and trails around Perthshire if you fancy a more relaxed walked.

Maggie’s Penguin Parade has made it to Perth City Centre!

Maggie’s Penguin Parade has made it to Perth City Centre!

For three months in summer 2018 the streets of Dundee and surrounding region (including Perth!) will be home to a trail of individually designed and beautifully decorated giant penguin sculptures. Each will showcase the wealth of artistic talent in the area, creating economic and cultural benefits for Dundee. This project is brought to you by Maggie’s Centre Dundee, in partnership with Wild in Art, and will raise significant funds to support Maggie’s vital work caring for local people affected by cancer.

Dundee has long had an association with penguins and replicas of these lovely creatures can be found throughout the city. RRS Discovery was the last wooded three-masted ship to be built in Britain and its first mission was the British National Antarctica, the home of the penguin. The penguin has become a symbol of the great explorers who set out from Dundee. Our 100-strong waddle (yes- really that’s the collective noun for penguins) will supplement their more indigenous friends. Wild in Art is the global leader in the organisation of mass participation public art events which bring together artists, communities and schools with private and public organisations to create memorable and significant events for all to enjoy.

Can you find them all??

Cycling in Perthshire

Cycling in Perthshire

Ever since global cycling ambassador Mark Beaumont burst onto the international scene, his home county of Perthshire has seen a big upsurge in cycling. More people than ever are getting on their bike, whether for health and fitness, fun with friends and family, taking part in competitions or to help the environment

Mark’s made a video (see above) that shows how brilliant Perthshire is for cycling – we see him climbing the hills of Glenshee and the Sma’ Glen, coasting round the North Inch in Perth, zooming through the forest in Dunkeld and enjoying the views from the Meikleour and Garry bridges.

So we’ve had a chat with some more Perthshire bike enthusiasts to find out where they go and why it’s the best county for cycling!

The Photographer

Ian Potter is a photographer, designer and mountain-biking enthusiast.

Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

My local mountain bike trails are all in Perth. We often start in Scone and cycle up through Murrayshall Golf Course (there are sanctioned paths) then over the hills into Deuchny Woods where there are a lot of man-made trails. Then over to Kinnoull Hill where there are more trails to ride. A lot of the trails are created on the back of the Fair City Enduro so they are all well thought-out and have different degrees of difficulty.

(Ian’s tip: If you are heading up Deuchny I’d advise grabbing someone who knows it well. The trails aren’t marked and you could be fooled into thinking there’s not much to do up there!)

You’ve got Dunkeld just up the road, too, which is more challenging if you need something a bit tougher to get your teeth into. And we also have the award-winning Comrie Croft just along the road which offers incredible trails, scenery, bike rental, bike repairs and fantastic grub – an absolute must-visit!

What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

I love the fact that you can go up to Kinnoull and Deuchny, and the conditions can drastically change how the trails are riding. Every time I go up it seems to throw different challenges at me and trails I think I’ve nailed can hit me with a curveball. There are also so many trails that no ride needs to be identical.

Watch Ian’s YouTube videos of great bike rides around Loch Ordie and Glen Tilt. His routes are posted under the videos so you can try them too!

The Cycling Couple

Fiona and Stuart Cairns (and their two sons) share a love of cycling, and one of their favourite things is getting on their bikes and hitting the trails, whether it’s for a family day out or a competitive event.

Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

We love Loch Rannoch, as it’s quiet and the scenery is spectacular. The roads are undulating, allowing for a bit of speed. There’s a good circular route taking in Tummel Bridge, Loch Rannoch, Schiehallion, back to Tummel Bridge (or add on the scenic south side of the loch, back to Pitlochry).

The Hermitage is a stunning woodland location, too. There are plenty of trails for novices, plus a downhill route for more advanced biking. It’s great for family cycling as there is no traffic. There is plenty to see along the way, such as Ossian’s Hall and the falls, Ossian’s Cave, the lookout, and Pine Cone Point. And it’s only ten minutes’ cycle from Dunkeld and its various attractions.

(Fiona’s tip: Remember to stock up on your supplies and repair kit before setting out, as it’s often not long before you’re far from civilisation!)
 

What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

The roads are fairly quiet, the road surfaces are generally good for skinny tyres, and travelling at bike speed allows stunning scenery and views to be fully appreciated, such as the beautiful reflections of the mountains on Loch Rannoch. There are also often great places to stop for a coffee or a meal, such as the Moor of Rannoch restaurant, or Escape Route in Pitlochry, which is a well-stocked bike / repair / hire shop with a pretty awesome café!

There are some great local bike events (see Cycling events at the end of the article).

The Explorer

Michael Kelleher is a keen wild-camper and dad of two who loves exploring the wilds of Perthshire on his bike.

Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

 There are lots of great routes in Perthshire. The Tay Loop is a nice 80K route from Perth to Dundee and can be ridden in either direction but I like Perth – Abernethy – Newburgh – Wormit – Newport – Dundee and back along the Tay through Errol and Kinnoull Hill.

Yesterday I rode National Cycle Route 77 through Almondbank and Bankfoot and met up with my wife and kids in Dunkeld for a coffee. For a longer day out, one of my favourite routes is Perth along the River Almond to Buchanty Spout – through the Sma’ Glen and then up the steep hill through Glen Quaich and into Kenmore, then up over Schiehallion and along the Tummel to Pitlochry, from here up over the Moulin Moor and home via Blairgowrie and Stanley.

As a family we like the Perth loop. It’s about 20K which goes along the North and South Inches to Almondbank and Huntingtower, along to Noah’s Ark.

One of my favourite things to do on a bike, however, is an overnight trip. I load the bike up with a tent and sleeping bag and head into the hills, mostly on road- or hill tracks.

What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

There are lots of iconic Perthshire views and places, and you really feel like you’ve had a good day out. For example, in the Carse of Gowrie between Perth and Dundee there are quiet single-track roads with beautiful views over the Tay and Fife to the south and up to the Cairngorms in the north. And earlier this year I cycled from Rannoch Station to have my tea in the most remote restaurant in the UK. Great fun and a great wilderness experience.

The Café-visiting Eventer

Lindsey Thompson is a teacher and mum who has discovered that there are loads of brilliant bike events – and cafés! – around Perthshire. She loves cycling and supports initiatives that help to get more people cycling.

 Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

I have covered most of the cycle routes and cycleable roads within a 20-mile radius of Perth. Some favourite routes are:

The Rhynd loop, a 10-mile loop from Edinburgh Road via Rhynd and coming back through Bridge of Earn (with the tempting Brig Farm Shop halfway up the hill). The views to Kinnoull Hill and the tower are stunning.

Sustrans route 77 (east) over Kinnoull Hill towards Dundee, passing Errol (with a quick stop at Cairn O’Mohr) and coming back the same way or crossing the Tay Bridge and heading back through Fife via Newburgh.

Sustrans route 77 (north) through Pitcairngreen, Almondbank and Bankfoot to Dunkeld, and then further on to Pitlochry (both of which can be combined with a train journey back, or from Dunkeld, a return route can be made via Caputh, Murthly, Stanley and Luncarty). I sometimes combine my cycles with Geocaching, too!

– The Round Perth cycle route is great. A regular short ride for me is to head along Glasgow Road, following the cycle path up to Broxden and then the Round Perth cycle signs past Noah’s Ark, to Tibbermore, where more delightful cake and treats await at Gloagburn Farm Shop.

– The roads around Dunning have spectacular views (and the odd challenging hill). Devil’s Hill from Dunning to Glendevon is a steep but beautiful climb, and then back towards Gleneagles along the valley side showcases some of Perthshire’s most beautiful landscape. I cycled Devil’s Hill when there was still snow in the ground, and it was like cycling through Narnia.

– The golden triangle of roads between the A9 and A85 has some lovely and fairly flat cycling circuits, taking in places such as Madderty, Kinkell Bridge, Muthill and Auchterarder; villages and towns with interesting sights and history.

– The Loch Leven Heritage trail is an excellent 13-mile loop on flat car-free trails (more suitable for hybrid, cross or mountain bikes than road bikes). It’s great for children as there is a playpark, too. The RSPB Loch Leven Reserve, Loch Leven’s Larder and the Boathouse Restaurant are all on the way and there are several beaches to stop at and skim some pebbles or swim, or combine with a visit to Lochleven Castle by boat in the summer. The trail is full of geocaches too.

Sustrans route 775 from Perth, through Bridge of Earn, to Milnathort and Kinross is great (and the 17 miles to Milnathort will work up an appetite to visit Heaven Scent Café before heading back the same way, or coming back via the B996 and A912 after Glenfarg and cutting back onto the cycle routes around Bridge of Earn at the junction with the A913).


What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

Perthshire is a great location to cycle in because whatever direction you go in, there are miles upon miles of quiet country roads, varied landscapes and of course, cafés to get cake to fuel your journey.

There are some great organisations, clubs and events out there, too. The Coupar Angus Cycling Hub is a great initiative that aims to get more people cycling. They held a Belles & Buns cycle on 19th May round Dunkeld and Coupar Angus, which was great. I’m looking forward to volunteering at the Mini Enduro at the Cream o’ the Croft event.

Perth & Kinross Council are great for getting kids into cycling. The Bikeability course is heavily promoted in schools. They are always looking for volunteers to run the course!

The Family

Claire and Mario Peeters love cycling with their two teenage girls. The family’s Dutch-Scots heritage stands them in good stead and they all enjoy taking off for the day on their bikes, stopping off for lunch or coffee along the way.

 Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

 We love cycling over the North Inch in Perth and up to Inveralmond. Kinfauns is also great and I absolutely love the route over the Queen’s Bridge and following the old railway path by the riverside.

What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

It’s all on our doorstep! The scenery is beautiful, with so many different terrains, but you don’t have to be professionals as you can choose your route to suit different levels – most are easy and there are plenty of places to stop off for food. You can bribe teenagers with ice cream stops/picnics along the way… and I love that it gets them off their iPads and out of the house!

The Weekend Adventurer

Where do you cycle in Perthshire?

I like cycling the hills between Perth and Dundee. I go up the back of Kinnoull Hill, past Deuchny Wood, across to the top, then past Gallowmyre and down the steep hill at Pitroddie. I also like the Rhynd/Moncreiffe Hill circular loop that comes out at Bridge of Earn.

What do you love about cycling in Perthshire?

The roads I cycle on are peaceful, with not much traffic, especially on a Sunday; some of them are actually marked as cycling-friendly. But one if the best things is that so many of them interconnect, so you can have a choice of different route lengths; I can pick from a 10-mile route up to a 30-mile one. There are nice contrasts in scenery and landscapes, and the roads and tracks are varied and challenging, from rolling hills to steep climbs or flatter sections. The views are fantastic, too. Perthshire’s got everything, really!

 

Cycling and biking events

As you can imagine, Perth now has a brilliant array of cycling and biking events, for everyone from beginners to experts. Here’s our snapshot of what’s coming up:

  • Cream o’ the Croft (including Mini Enduro) – Scotland’s family-friendly, fun-packed Mountain Bike Festival, 15th to 17th June 2018
  • Monster Balance Bike ChallengeSunday 17th June 2018; design and build a Monster Balance Bike to race at the Cream O’ The Croft and Eliminator bike festivals!
  • Coupar Angus Cycling Festival – Sunday 17th – Sunday 24th June 2018 (includes talk by Mark Beaumont and the Ballo Enduro event)
  • Fair City Enduroa spectacular Halloween-themed biking event on 27th October 2018, Perth
  • Belles on Bikes Tayside – varied and interesting monthly cycle rides for women.
  • ByCycle, the Perth & Kinross Cycle Campaign – lots of events including a weekly Wednesday cycle round different parts of Perth & Kinross.
  • Cateran Sportive – an exciting road challenge in and around the Cateran Trail, 18th August 2018.
  • Sportive Kinross – a well-established event with three levels of difficulty; takes place annually in April.
  • Étape Caledonia – every May, this sell-out event attracts riders from all over the country to take on truly breathtaking rides through the spectacular Scottish Highlands.
  • Ochil Hills 100 Sportive – annually in June; takes in some of the best of Perth & Kinross cycle routes.
  • And don’t miss Mark Beaumont’s 80 Days Around the World event in Perth in September 2018!

 

Where to buy / hire / get advice

 

 

Check out our cycling map

 

 

Follow us on social media / get our news email

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.