Fun-Filled Summer Activities For Kids

Fun-Filled Summer Activities For Kids

Summer Activities For Kids

With Summer approaching and the Summer Holidays just around the corner, you will always find some great activities in Perthshire to keep the kids entertained. From a variety of fantastic Summer Camps to a diverse selection of Activities, there is something for all ages and interests!

So to make sure you don’t miss out, here are a few of our favourite Summer Camps and Activities to enjoy in Perthshire over the summer!

Summer Camps

With the Summer sunshine and the Summer holidays right around the corner, the hunt is on to keep the kids occupied! This Summer we are spoilt for choice for some fabulous Summer Camps. Here are a few of our favourite camps that the kids won’t want to miss!

Live Active Summer Camp

1st July – 16th August

Live Active introduce their Holiday Hero Camps and Sport Camps this summer, full of fun and exciting activities. From fun sports and games to arts and crafts there is something to keep everyone happy throughout the holidays!

Perthshire Rugby Summer Camps

8th – 12th July

Perthshire Rugby Development Team are delighted to be hosting their 2019 Summer Camp. The camp puts focus on skill development and playing fun games. The kids will have great fun getting involved!

Wee Limits Adventure Academy

4th July – 11th August

Expect four fun-filled days of adventure with Wee Limits Adventure Academy. With different activities everyday from River Rafting and Tree Climbing to Zip Lines, this is a Summer Camp not to be missed!

Summer Adventure Weeks at Willowgate

1st July – 12th August

Sign up for a week filled with fun and adventure at Willowgate. With a mixture of both land and water-based activities, the fun is never-ending! Activities range from archery and kayaking to circus skills and many more great activities! 

PGL Dalguise Adventure Camps

29th June – 6th August

PGL Adventure Camps are guaranteed to keep the little ones busy this Summer! With action-packed days filled with a variety of activities, the fun never ends!

Perth College Climbing Wall Activity Camp

5th July – 9th August

With fun-packed days filled with games, multi-sport activities and indoor climbing, this is an unmissable Summer activity camp. As well as having barrels of fun, the kids will learn new skills, build their confidence and make new friends!


Summer Activities

There’s certainly no shortage of fun activities for the kids in and around Perth City Centre. In fact, there’s so many child-friendly activities this summer it was a challenge to shortlist our favourites!

Noah’s Ark

Open 7 Days a Week

Noah’s Ark is one of Perthshire’s most exciting family entertainment centre. From indoor soft play and ceramics to indoor karting and bowling, the kids will never want to leave!

Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre

Open 7 Days a Week

As well as all of the animals you must pay a visit to, there is even more activities to keep the kids busy all day. From indoor play barns and mini golf to feeding times and pony rides, they will never want to leave!

Perth Leisure Pool

Open 7 Days a Week

Perth Leisure Pool has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions since 1988. With a variety of facilities from training and leisure water to flumes and a gym, there is so much for the kids to enjoy!

For Arts Sake 

16th July – 6th August

The kids are bound to have some arty fun at For Arts Sake. With Summer workshops, creating a variety of fun crafts from flower pots to cosmic paintings, these are fun-filled days you don’t want to miss! 

Summer Holiday : The Musical

24th May – 5th October

Take a trip to Pitlochry Festival Theatre and have some fun watching ‘Summer Holiday’. The kids will have a great time and with plenty dancing and sing-alongs, this is a feel-good hit musical for the Summer.

Action Glen @ Crieff Hydro

Open 7 Days a Week

Who doesn’t like a little bit of fun and adventure, the chance to swing on ropes and climb some trees? Action Glen is packed full of fun activities the kids will love! Book an experience day the kids won’t forget!

The Reverend Robert Lyon

The Reverend Robert Lyon

The Reverend Robert Lyon

This month I am going to write about a new display in the Perth Museum and Art gallery that starts on the 22nd of June and ends on the 19th of October.  It is called Jacobite Clans, and I am going to promote it for two reasons, one, it is a period of history that I am very passionate about and two, I am involved in the event.  So please forgive a shameless plug, I am going to tie in this event at the museum with a story about one of the forgotten Perthshire Jacobites. The Reverend Robert Lyon, a Perth minister who served in Bonnie Prince Charlies Jacobite Army.

Robert was born in Forfarshire in 1709 or 1710, he was the son of a minister in the Episcopal Church, he and his two sisters were very heavily influenced by their father in all things spiritual, so when he became an adult, Robert himself joined the ministry.  In 1738 he was appointed to act as an assistant to the Rev Laurence Drummond in the Episcopal Church in Perth with a wage of £30.00 pounds a year. Drummond was an elderly man and as his health deteriorated, Robert took a more active role in running the church.  He seems to have overstepped the mark by carrying out tasks without the permission of the lay managers who usually had a say in the decision making. He also upset some of the congregation by having communion tokens stamped with R.L for Robert Lyon instead of L.D for the older minister.

Robert would have been brought up a Jacobite as the Episcopal Church was a hotbed of Jacobitism, he was to write that he considered the Revolution of 1688 when James VII of Scotland and II of England was forced from the throne by his daughter Mary and her husband William the Prince of Orange to be unlawful. He believed in the divine right of kings, that is a king had been placed on the throne by God and no man had the right to remove him.  He was engaged to a young woman from a staunchly Jacobite family called Miss Stewart Ross.

So it is hardly surprising that Robert would have been very excited when news filtered down from the North in mid-August 1745 that Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the son of the Jacobite King James VIII and III had landed in the western highlands and was raising the clans for his cause.  When the young Prince marched into Perth in early September and declared his father king at the Market Cross at the bottom of the High Street, Robert would have been one of the excited spectators, and when the Jacobites marched out of Perth to advance to Edinburgh, Robert Lyon was amongst their ranks.

Robert had joined Lord Ogilvy’s Cavalry regiment as the regimental Chaplain, this regiment was raised in Forfarshire so Robert would have been with his ain folk, as he left the town his sweetheart would have been waiving enthusiastically, probably loving her brave young fiancee more than ever. Robert took part in the Battle of Prestonpans.  It was noted in Perth by George Miller the Town Clark that the Lyon household had large letters spelling C.P.R (Charles, Prince, Regent) with lights shining through them to celebrate the Jacobite victory. Miller would later testify against Robert in court.

Robert Lyon was also involved in the invasion of England where he was spotted carrying arms as the Jacobite army marched South, he fought at the Battle of Culloden and after the Jacobite defeat became a fugitive hiding from the Government soldiers.  Robert was caught and held in the Tolbooth of Montrose. He was then put on a ship and taken South to York where he was imprisoned. From York, he was taken to Carlisle to stand trial for treason, while in Carlisle he was held in the town’s castle in horrendous conditions.  While imprisoned he was visited by his sister Cicely, he apologises to her for “the grievous troubles and afflictions both in mind and body that his situation has brought her”. He also states that “her firm love for me has made her follow me too far, and be witness of more of my troubles than I could have wished”.  While in captivity he did not forget his flock back in Perth stating that “May God almighty bless them, both in temporal and spiritual concerns and of his infinite goodness reward them for their love and kindness, their attachment and concern for me in the several difficulties I have undergone”.

Despite testifying that he had never carried arms while in the service of the Prince, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. On the 28th of October 1746, Robert Lyon stood on the scaffold at Penrith and administered the sacrament to the other condemned Jacobites who stood with him.  He was then hanged by the neck until dead and then disembowelled. Some of his friends from Perth had made the long journey south to witness the execution, seeing some friendly faces in the crowd would have given Robert some comfort.

The Derby Mercury newspaper on the 7th of November 1746 offers the best description I have been able to find.  This extremely biased report states that before his execution, Robert read an “infamous libel” where he affirmed his support for the Stuart cause, this newspaper noted that this declaration lasted 20 minutes.  The paper also states that amongst Robert Lyon’s last words were “That if his life had been given him, he would still have continued in the same principles”. The Derby Mercury also states that there was a lot of spectators who “behaved with great decency,” and talking about the condemned men the paper wrote that the crowd’s attitude towards them was one off “pitying them as men, but rejoicing at their fate as Rebels”.

My friend and talented musician John Davidson and I will be performing Jacobites in Story and Song on the 4th of July in the horse cross plaza from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm.  I will be telling the story from the death of Charles II and the forced removal of the Jacobite king James to the death of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1788 with John singing some of the best known and loved Jacobite songs including tow numbers John had written especially for this performance.   Tickets can be obtained on Eventbrite.

A ‘Foraging’ Walk to Willowgate Activity Centre

A ‘Foraging’ Walk to Willowgate Activity Centre

Foraging in Perthshire

When the good folks at Perth City Centre asked me to do a “foraging” walk along the edge of the River Tay, from Rodney Gardens to the new Willowgate Activity Centre, I was intrigued. One – I’d get the chance to find out more about our native edible plants in their natural setting, and two – I’d get a tour of the exciting new Activity Centre. I couldn’t miss the chance!

My Guides

My guides for the foraging walk are Margaret and Andrew Lear, founders of Plants with Purpose & Appletreeman, a family business that has been supplying edible and wildlife-friendly plants for over 16 years. As well as guided foraging walks they also offer workshops, talks and courses on sustainable horticulture, orchard management, forest gardening and beekeeping.

They can even supply many wild edibles for garden cultivation, including rare and special pear trees, all home-grown without chemicals or artificial fertilisers, so you wouldn’t have to forage too far to find something tasty for dinner!

Start – Rodney Gardens

We start at Rodney Gardens, part of the lovely Riverside Park. Margaret and Andrew have brought their foraging basket, along with some useful books: Food for Free by Richard Mabey, Wild Food by Roger Phillips and A Handbook of Scotland’s Wild Harvests, an invaluable guide that Margaret helped to write.

(That brings me to a really important point, which is – please don’t forage unless you’re in the hands of an expert, or you’ve gained plenty of knowledge in the subject. We came across a few plants that would be poisonous if eaten.)

Our first foraging find

We’ve barely left the car park when Andrew spots a walnut tree. I must’ve passed this tree dozens of times without giving it much thought, but to my surprise he points out little edible green fruits on the leaves.

Our next finds

About 30 seconds into our walk, Margaret stops with delight. She’s spotted at least five edible species within one patch of ordinary-looking greenery. She points out:

  • campanula – purple flower whose roots and leaves are edible
  • ground elder – also edible
  • comfrey – leaves are delicious in spring (especially deep-fried), but avoid the roots. It’s also called “knit-bone” for its alleged bone-healing qualities!
  • nettle – great for soups and stews
  • plantain – also edible

Not much further on, we stop at a cherry tree and pick a couple of juicy-looking little cherries. Margaret offers me one – it’s a little sour, but I would definitely eat some if I’d forgotten my picnic!

Mushrooms and comedy props

Then, to my disbelief, Margaret picks up what looks like a giant piece of polystyrene from the undergrowth and declares it to be a giant puffball mushroom. For some reason I’ve always assumed they’re poisonous but Margaret says: “You can slice it up, fry it, and it’s delicious – like steak for vegetarians.” It goes into their foraging basket to take home.

A little further on, she picks up something I’m familiar with. Sticky willow, sticky willie, or “cleavers” – call it what you like, I’ve only ever used it for sticking to the back of an unsuspecting family member’s back as a comedy prank. Margaret says that it can be used for making tea, for putting in stir-fries (get it young before it goes sticky), and for putting in a jug of water overnight to make a fresh drink.

A plethora of plants

It’s only about five minutes into our walk and I’ve learned so much already. Margaret’s knowledge of plants is like nothing I’ve heard before: the kind of knowledge that’s built through years of study and a passion for her subject.

I won’t go into detail on all of the plants, because we spotted over 40 on our hour-long walk, which took us on a lovely meandering path along the river, through forested and open areas, past ponds, under bridges and into the open river plain.

But just to give you a “flavour”, here are some highlights:

    • Burdock – the leaf stems, stripped down, are “delicious sautéed”
    • Coltsfoot – leaves can be made into tea
    • Brambles and raspberries – the kids’ favourite foraging food
    • Mugwort – an aromatic plant useful instead of hops for brewing porter
    • St John’s Wort – used as a herbal remedy for low mood and anxiety
    • Oregano – delicious herb, great for cooking
    • Valerian – for aiding restful sleep
    • Himalayan balsam – the pretty pink flowers are lovely in salads or tea
    • Meadowsweet – plunge a bunch into a jug of wine and leave overnight to add a delicious taste
    • Wild garlic – fantastic for soups, stir-fries, pesto and stews
    • Wild rose flowers – lovely to munch on as you walk, or in salads


Just as importantly, Margaret tells me which plants to stay away from, such as ragwort (keep dogs and horses away from this), giant hogweed – a well-known plant that can cause burns if you touch it. It’s so useful to know all the “don’t eats” as well as the “do eats”.

Apples and Pears

As we move along beside the widening river, the path also widens, and we come across some pear trees. This is Andrew’s area of expertise and he explains that there was once a huge orchard stretching from here up to Kinnoull Hill.

A one-of-a-kind pear

He points out a beautiful, healthy pear tree with dark green leaves and reveals that he was involved in getting the tree DNA-tested. And… wait for it… the tree’s DNA has been found nowhere else in the world. Where did it come from? Andrew says monks may have brought it from France, but no one knows for sure. So Andrew and Margaret have taken the chance to name it informally as the “Willowgate sausage pear”, due to its sausage-shaped fruits!

How to get your own apple or pear tree

Andrew tells me that he propagates rare varieties (as well as common ones) of apple and pear trees, and he and Margaret manage an orchard from which they sell the trees. If you’re interested in buying these or any of their “wild plants for your garden”, you can contact them through their website.

We’ve arrived at the Willowgate Ponds area, so it’s time for our fascinating walk to end. I say thanks and goodbye to the Lears and, walking (carefully!) past some anglers who are fishing in the ponds, I stroll under the Friarton Bridge and on to the Activity Centre.

Finish at – Willowgate Activity Centre

If you were at Perth’s Fun Day in 2017, you’d have been forgiven for thinking our city had drifted over to the coast. There were deck chairs, painted wooden huts, a Punch & Judy show, boat trips and a sandy beach. It was all thanks to the Willowgate Activity Centre who were having a fantastic Fun Day, both on Tay Street and at the centre itself, where over 1,200 visitors were able to try all the different activities throughout the day.

Funded by the Tay and Earn Trust, the Willowgate Activity Centre is opening up a large stretch of the Tay to the public for fun, recreation and sport.

At the centre I’ve arranged to meet Jim Findlay, Head of Development at the Tay & Earn Trust, who tells me all about this exciting new place:

“Our main aim is the physical regeneration of the Tay, improving access, putting in footpaths and the River Tay Pontoons, putting in the Activity Centre and the Riverside Café. It’s really designed to bring people down onto the river, make it more accessible. We call the river ‘the lost jewel in the crown for Perth’, as it has been underused until now, and we want to help to get more people using it.”

What can you do at Willowgate Activity Centre?

There’s so much to do here – you can try paddle-boarding, kayaking, canoeing, archery, bushcraft, aqua-zorbing, coracle-making and boat trips.

There are summer camps for kids that are booking up quickly (book yours here!) and any group can try out a new activity or skill. Schools, community groups and businesses can book the facilities or have whole activity days out.

As if that weren’t enough, there’s also an indoor classroom, outdoor classroom, training room, toilets, changing room with showers, and a seating area for picnics.


Find out more about the Willowgate Activity Centre

Check out the Willowgate Activity Centre website and the Tay and Earn Trust website for more information on the centre and all the other exciting projects funded by the Trust, or visit the Willowgate Activity Centre Facebook page.

Book a boat trip on the Tay

You can book a variety of boat trips from now until the end of October, through the Perth City website. See you there!

Find out more about Plants With Purpose & Appletreeman

You can find out more about Plants With Purpose & Appletreeman on their Facebook page, Twitter page or their Instagram page.

Join us at the ActiviTay weekend

There’s even more outdoor fun to be had at the ActiviTay weekend on 8th – 9th July at the North Inch and in Perth City Centre – find out more here.

Follow Perth City on social media

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest events, news and reviews about our wonderful city.

Unmissable Events this Spring & Summer

Unmissable Events this Spring & Summer

Events to Look Out For This Summer

No matter what time of year, you will always find something to keep you entertained in Perthshire. The Winter Festival sees thousands of locals and visitors alike come to the city centre to celebrate the Christmas Light Switch On, the Chocolate & Gin Festival and of course the Riverside Light Nights. While Spring and Summer marks the return of a diverse programme of events catering to a wide range of interest and age groups. 

So to make sure you don’t miss out, here are a few of our favouite events coming to Perth & Kinross over the next couple of months!


With the sunshine returning to Perthshire, there’s few better feelings than to enjoy some great music on a beautiful summers day! And this Spring we are spoilt for choice for amazing music. Here are a few of our favourite music events you don’t want to miss this Summer.

International Youth Band Festival

17th August


Perth Salute

18th August

International artists will join local bands in the City of Perth Salute. This breathtaking display of Military choreography will include a 50-minute show featuring a selection of the centrepiece acts.

Rewind Festival

19th – 21st July

Expect a weekend of iconic performances from musical legends, themed venues, pop-up performers and an unrivalled festival atmosphere.

Family Fun

There’s certainly no shortage of family fun in and around Perth City Centre. In fact, there’s so many family-friendly events this summer it was a challenge to shortlist our favourites!

Beach Volleyball Championships

20th – 22nd September

Teams will compete from all over Europe with up to 32 teams taking part in the Main Draw from Scotland and across 17 European Federations.

Kinross Show

10th August

Kinross Show is a great day out for all ages and interests. From the bouncy castle, fun rides and children’s education marquee to the trade stands, flower shows and much more.

Perth’s Medieval Fayre

10th August

The streets of Perth will be alive with Medieval Re-enactments, Medieval crafters, puppets and story tellers and the return of the famous Ye Olde Perth Dunk Tank.


Need some culture in your life? No problem, there are plenty of great events that will give you an insight into Perthshire’s rich history and heritage. Or if you fancy visiting some of our cultural attractions, take a look here! 

The Perth Show

2 August

For the past 112 years, the Perth Show has been held on the South Inch and brought the hugely important agricultural community of Perthshire into the city for two days of showing the year’s finest livestock.

Highland Games

Various Dates

Throughout the summer months, you will find a brilliant range of Highland Games throughout the villages and towns around Perth & Kinross. Whether you fancy a stop at Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Crieff, Perth or Blairgowrie, you will find traditional Scottish games in a beautiful Perthshire backdrop.

Scottish Game Fair

5th – 7th July

Organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), this three-day event is a true celebration of conservation and the countryside, while raising vital funds for wildlife conservation science.

Social Events

Grab your pals and head along to some of the best social events in Scotland! From unmissable sporting events to unforgettable days out – there is something for every friend group in Perthshire.

Women’s Cycle Tour

10th August

The first ever Women’s Tour of Scotland is set to be an outstanding world-class permanent UCI calendar professional race fixture with an anticipated 100,000 spectators!

Summer Carnival

17th August

The biggest crowd of the season will flock to Perth Racecourse for a mixture of first-class jump racing and brilliant summer entertainment. 

Paws at the Palace

30th June

Paws at the Palace will feature doggy fun and games, parades of different breeds, agility classes and some paw-some demonstrations.


4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

4 Things that Students Should Do Before Moving to Perth for University

Perth is home to Scotland’s 14th largest population, but to students, it’s number one when it comes to having fun. While about 50,000 people in size may not seem like much, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you head to Perth for university. If you’re an international student or Scottish native, keep this advice in mind before you head to “The Fair City.”

Save Up

Even with scholarships and financial aid from your university, you’ll still want to experience what Perth has to offer — but that requires careful considerations regarding your student finances. For example, Perth is littered with numerous historical castles, like the Scone Palace and Kirk of St. John the Baptist. You should study for your classes, but you should also save up to experience what Perth has to offer.

Get a RailCard Card

While you could take your own car in Perth for convenience, it would be much cheaper to get a RailCard for people aged 16-25. You get 33% off rail fares as you travel across Britain. Once you settle into your routine at Perth, you’ll want to explore more on your off days. Discounted travel fare is the best way to do that.

Be Prepared for the Weather

It’s often joked that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Scotland. Don’t think it’s a joke. It’s actually true, which can surprise you if you’re an international student. As a general rule, layers are your friends, but still familiarise yourself with common Scottish words for the weather. You’ll most likely hear your classmates cursing the fickle skies.

Grow Your Palate

Perth has many outlets for food lovers. There’s the famous Max & Ben’s Bistro, which has become one of the top eateries in the Strathearn area. We know university life means eating ramen all day, but you should splurge to find the best food Perth has to offer. Depending on how enthusiastically you frequent their establishment, some might look to hire you for business or serving purposes.

University Life is Unique

And you must take full advantage of it. Your uni years will fly by before you realise it, but these tips will make that experience much more memorable. You don’t want to be broke in the city wishing you could do more, don’t want to be stuck in one place, and don’t want to miss the hidden joys Perth has to offer.


Written by Jennifer King

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

The Story of Robert Balfour and Burleigh Castle

Burleigh Castle sits just outside the village of Milnathort. It is open to the public and you can visit free of charge, the key can be obtained from a nearby cottage if the castle is not already open.  If you do pay a visit to this fantastic castle, spare a thought to the anguish felt by Lord Balfour, fretting over his part in the downfall of his son, the story goes.

Robert Balfour lived with his father Lord Balfour in Burleigh Castle in the early years of the 18th century.  Robert was seeing and had fallen hopelessly in love with the daughter of the local minister, he wanted to make this young girl his wife.  But Robert’s father Lord Balfour was horrified at this suggestion, for he thought this girl far too low born for his son. The Lord wanted his son and heir to marry a young lady from a titled family, a girl whose family’s connections and status would have enhanced the marriage.  Not the lowly daughter of a minister.

Try as he could, the laird could not put an end to his sons’ relationship with this unsuitable girl.  No amount of gentle persuasion or threats seemed to get through to Robert who was smitten and planning his future with his young lover.  At a loss as how to win his son around, and at his wit’s end, Lord Balfour decided to force his son to take the “grand tour,” a journey lots of sons of the aristocracy would take, these young men would travel, soaking up the history and culture of distant lands.  Robert was not very happy at being forced to go on this trip, before he left he angrily stated that he would kill any man who got involved with his woman.

Robert Balfour was abroad travelling for a year or two, his young lover was never far from his thoughts.  When he finally returned to Burleigh Castle he was informed that his girlfriend had married another, she was now the wife of Henry Stenhouse, the schoolmaster in Inverkeithing.  A violent rage seemed to take over the whole of Roberts body, it was an anger that the young man could not shake off, he felt he had been made to look a fool and his head buzzed with thoughts of revenge.

April the 9th 1707 was market day in Inverkeithing and Robert Balfour travelled to the Fife town accompanied by a servant.  Robert may have spent a large part of the day drinking in one of the towns many taverns, sitting alone, he would have looked as if he was surrounded by a dark air of melancholy, his blood boiled with a passion-filled fury.  Robert Balfour finished his drink and walked out into the street. He made his way to the house of the schoolmaster. Banging loudly on the door with his fist Robert stood waiting to confront the man who had stolen his love.  Henry Stenhouse opened the door, unable to hide his displeasure at being interrupted in this way. After an angry exchange, Robert drew out a pair of pistols and shot Henry in the left shoulder twice. As Henry staggered and fell backward into the house, Robert drew his sword and using the weapon to threaten the gathering crowd he made his way to his horse and escaped.

Henry Stenhouse died from his wounds twelve days after the shooting and Robert Balfour was arrested for the murder.  For some unknown reason, there was a long delay in bringing the killer to trial. Eventually, Robert was tried and found guilty, he was sentenced to be beheaded at the Market Cross of Edinburgh on the 6th of January 1710.  The prisoner was held in Edinburgh’s Tolbooth until the sentence of death could be carried out. One day Robert received a visit from his sister, the two of them talked privately in the condemned cell fomenting a plan. Brother and sister quickly changed clothes, Robert dressed as his sister managed to fool the jailers and make his escape, he hid in a tree near Edinburgh Castle, when things had quietened down, he managed to slip out of the city.

Robert Balfour managed to flee overseas but returned to Scotland to take part in the Jacobite uprising in 1715, he fought for the Stuart cause at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.  Again forced to flee after the Jacobite failure Robert Balfour died a poor exile in 1757.

Can’t Get Enough of Gary’s Stories?

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

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

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




Lewis Capaldi Competition

Lewis Capaldi Competition

Win Two Tickets To See Lewis Capaldi!

This month, we have teamed up with Mi Rewards and the Perth Festival of Arts to bring you one of our best competitions yet!

We are giving you the chance to win two tickets to Lewis Capaldi’s SOLD OUT show at the Perth Festival on the 18th of May!

Lewis is a Scottish singer/songwriter who has shot to fame towards the end of 2018. His hit song ‘Someone You Loved’ has topped the UK charts for 7 consecutive weeks and boasts over 150 million plays on Spotify.

How to Enter?


For your chance to win this amazing prize all you have to do is register an account with Mi Rewards. Mi Rewards is Perth’s city-wide loyalty programme. The first of it’s kind in the UK, our smart loyalty programme links with your credit & debit cards to reward you when you spend in Perth! Whether you are taking a stagecoach bus or shopping in over 60 local businesses, you will automatically collect points that you can cash out for a Perth Gift Card.

To fully register your account and be legible for this competition, you will need to add at least one debit or credit card to your account. We need this so we can add Mi Points to your account. Your payment cards will never be charged. For more information on card security, take a look here

Don’t worry if you have already registered for Mi Rewards, you will automatically be entered into this competition! 

The Perth Festival of Arts


For ten days every May, the city of Perth becomes the gem in Scotland’s cultural calendar.  One of the oldest, continuously-running independent arts festivals in Scotland, Perth Festival of the Arts is now in its 48th year. It started as an opera and classical music festival in the early 70s and now covers all art forms. The Perth Festival are all about top quality, bringing new arts experiences to Perth, and celebrating the arts with people of all ages. 

Over the years, we’ve hosted big names including Bryn Terfel, Van Morrison, The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, Calvin Harris, and many more. Make sure to take a look at all the festival events taking place this year – there’s something for the whole family to enjoy!

Competition Terms & Conditions


  • The two tickets will be for the Standing Area, which is over 16s. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
  • To enter to this competition, you must have registered for Mi Rewards and linked at least one payment card. No purchase necessary. The winner will be chosen at random from registered Mi Rewards customers. 
  • Tickets cannot be exchanged for any other Perth Festival of the Arts event
  • This is a SOLD OUT event and tickets cannot be purchased
  • The winner will be notified by e-mail within 48 hours of the competition end (10th May 2019). If contact is not made by the winner within 48 hours of notification by email the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.
  • By entering into this prize draw, you are allowing Mi Rewards (Miconex Ltd) to process your details and contact you for the prize draw. No substitutions, exchanges, or cash alternatives are offered.
  • Entering this competition is an agreement to these terms and conditions

Tales of inspiration and hope at Perth Festival

Tales of inspiration and hope at Perth Festival

Tales of inspiration and hope at Perth Festival


Tales of inspiration and hope at Perth Festival

With Perth Theatre back in play again, Perth Festival of the Arts has increased its dramatic offerings to Festival audiences this year in the form of three award-winning theatre pieces brought from Wales, Teeside and the USA.

With two of the plays telling true stories of the lives of remarkable individuals living in the last century, the 10-day Festival hopes to inspire, inform and entertain audiences with carefully-selected productions that wouldn’t otherwise be performed in Perth.

The trio opens with A Regular Little Houdini for a one-off matinee performance on Saturday 18th May at 3pm. The Flying Bridge Theatre production is a beautiful one-man play set in South Wales at the turn of the last century and is a coming of age story. Written and performed Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, the play follows a lowly dockworker’s son who idolises his hero Harry Houdini and commits himself to a life of magic. But as the harsh reality of working class life in Edwardian Britain gets in the way, audiences watch a young man trying to follow his dreams while poverty weighs him down like mud.

The production has taken home no less than five awards, including ‘Best Actor’ in Wales Theatre Awards. The 1-hour play will be followed by a post-show Q&A with the actor/ writer.

The Festival’s second theatre pieces come together on the evening of Thursday 23rd May in Perth Theatre, offering a special double-bill. Hailing all the way from Los Angeles, is the internationally-acclaimed Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany. The short play, written and performed by Ingrid Garner, is a theatrical adaptation of her grandmother Eleanor Ramrath Garner’s award-winning memoirs, detailing her youth as an American caught in WWII Berlin. During the great depression, when she is nine, Eleanor’s family moves from her beloved America to Germany, where a new job awaits her father. But war breaks out as her family is crossing the Atlantic and return to the United States becomes impossible. Eleanor struggles to maintain stability, hope and identity in a world of terror and contrasts. 

This true story, with its themes of social and political turmoil, is strikingly relevant almost 80 years later. Ingrid Garner enacts the universal yet seldom reported experience of civilians in wartime. In a thoroughly physical production, accompanied by sound, images and video, the audience will be immersed in her grandmother’s harrowing journey of survival.

The production has achieved great acclaim in Fringe Festival circuits around the globe, including Hollywood, Australia and in 2017, Edinburgh Fringe, where Perth Festival of the Arts first spotted and reviewed the outstanding production.  In an interview with Hollywood Fringe, actor Ingrid explained “I hope my audiences feel inspired to inquire with their own parents and grandparents about their experience of war. Many people fall silent after a war… It took my grandmother 60 years to share her story. This is a story about how citizens, especially innocent children, are affected by war.”

The trio of plays culminates on 23rd May within a piece of unique modern folk theatre with 5-star reviews. Presented by three-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners, The Young’s, The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff is the true story of one man’s adventure from begging on the streets in the north of England to fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, taking in the Hunger Marches and the Battle of Cable Street. It’s a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure following the footsteps of one working class hero who witnessed some of the momentous events of the 1930s.

The production has a touching back-story. At the end of a gig in 2015, folk singers The Young’uns were approached by Johnny Longstaff’s son who was in the audience and asked to tell the story of his father’s remarkable life. With their trademark harmony, honesty and humour the Teeside trio then brought together 16 specially composed songs, spoken word, striking imagery and the real recorded voice of Johnny himself to tell a remarkable human story oozing with modern relevance.

Tickets for the plays and all Festival shows are on-sale via the Horsecross box office 01738 621031 or online The Festival runs from 16-25th May 2019 in venues across the city and has 35 events running this year.

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