Perthshire towns shortlisted for ‘Most Beautiful Town in Scotland’

Perthshire towns shortlisted for ‘Most Beautiful Town in Scotland’

Hidden Scotland is on a mission to find the most beautiful towns and villages across Scotland.

History and heritage embody the beautiful country of Scotland. Notorious for its ancient cities and municipalities, brownstone buildings, tartan and bagpipes. But it’s not just the well-known locations such as Edinburgh, the iconic Inverness and the usual Scottish stereotypes that you should explore and indulge in when visiting Caledonia. Scotland is home to over 7000 charming, picturesque and historic towns and villages that each have their own individualities and offerings which make them so special in their own rights. Coastline communities with cute harbours, small villages tucked at the foot of crags, towns enclosed by lush fauna and flora, Scotland has everything to offer.

Everyone has a town or village that has a special place in their hearts, each with a valid reason why it’s the best, so now is the time to crown the most beautiful. Hidden Scotland has announced the 2018 ‘Scotlands Most Beautiful Town or Village’ competition – the contest aims to find the most charming and picturesque place in the country. There are 35 finalists and the winner will be announced on 10th August.

We are delighted to see that FIVE towns and villages from around Perthshire have been shortlisted for this amazing title. Killin, Comrie, Crieff, Pitlochry and Dunkeld have all been shortlisted. Wouldn’t it be amazing if one of Perthshire’s stunning towns or villages won this title?

You can now vote for your favourite town below! 👇

Gary Knight: Bonnie Dundee’s raid on Perth 1689

Gary Knight: Bonnie Dundee’s raid on Perth 1689

Grahame Church Blair Castle

This month on Saturday 28th and Sunday the 29th of July the annual Soldiers of Killiecrankie Festival takes place. This event commemorates the first of the Jacobite battles in Scotland the Battle of Killiecrankie fought on the 27th of July 1689.

At the festival, battle re-enactors dressed in the uniforms of the period, battlefield tours and lectures tell the story of the battle and the events leading to it. It is a fantastic day out for anyone young or old interested in history, I must confess to having a vested interest in promoting this event as I will be there as Sandy Dow the Perth Hangman.

It is an event that took place before the Battle of Killiecrankie that I want to focus on, a daring raid on the City of Perth by the Jacobite leader John Grahame of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee or known to us now as Bonnie Dundee. The events that lead to this attack took place in late 1688 when William the Protestant Prince of Orange landed in England’s west coast and forced his father in law the Catholic King James VII of Scotland and II of England to flee into exile. While England declared for Prince William and his wife Mary (King James’s daughter) a Convention was set up in Edinburgh to debate and vote on which side to support.
Seeing things going against King James one of his most loyal and zealous supporters John Graham of Claverhouse rode out of the capital and raised the King James’s Standard on the top of Dundee Law, thus declaring war on William and his supporters. The Convention sent an army under General Hugh Mackay to hunt down and engage Graham’s small band of followers. Graham took to the highlands to gather support from the clans loyal to King James, and with Mackay following him north, both armies played out a game of tactical chess in the mountains.

It was during this game of cat and mouse that Graham who was short of ammunition and supplies and in need of a morale boost for his force decided on an audacious plan – a raid on Perth. William Blair, the son of the Duke of Hamilton and the Laird of Pollock, was in Perth with a regiment of horse, and Graham knew they would be well equipped and supplied. This regiment drilled every day on the Inch of Perth probably the North Inch and held the town, which has always been of strategic importance in times of war for King William.

Graham with about seventy of his cavalry rode down by Blair Atholl to Dunkeld, where they came across a tax collector, and they took his tax money, resting until darkness at Dunkeld they then made their way towards Perth. Graham halted his troops a mile before Perth and selected twenty men, and this party led their horses towards the sleeping city.

Finding one of the gates open, which in a time of civil war is incredible, the men filled through the gate and secured the watch houses they then gave a signal and the rest of the mounted soldiers came clattering through the gate and headed for the Market Cross. The town garrison was taken entirely by surprise, and the point of a sabre rudely awakened both William Blair and the Laird of Pollock. A municipal banquet that had been held that night resulting in many of the officers holding Perth being drunk of hangover greatly assisted the raiders who captured the forces loyal to William without a fight, amongst the prisoners were two of Mackay’s lieutenants and two or three officers in the militia. These captives witnessed the shame of seeing their standards taken by the Jacobite’s. Graham publicly removed the symbols of the House of Orange- golden oranges from the top of these standards at the town cross. At the cross, he declared King James, the rightful ruler. Graham took 900 merks of public money but would not plunder private property or cash.

Graham then left Perth and headed for Scone Palace where he and his officers had dinner with a very uncomfortable 5th Viscount Stormont, who was trying his hardest not to get entangled in this political and military crisis. Graham and his small band then rode north and rejoined his army.

Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) was killed at the Battle of Killiecrankie just as his loyal Highlanders swept aside the red coats of Mackay’s army. He lies buried in Blair Church just to the north of Blair Castle. His grieving, demoralised and poorly led army advanced south only to be stopped in its tracts in the bloody smoke-filled streets of Dunkeld on the 21st of August 1689 and then a final Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Cromdale near Grantown-on-Spey on the 30th of April and 1st of May 1690, ended the first Jacobite rising.

John Graham Memorial

If you like this story and others that I publish here, you might want to read my stories on my blog at historyandhorrorofscotland or take one of our ghost tours running every Wednesday night at Cultybraggan Prisoner of War Camp near Comrie Perthshire. Info on our Facebook page at Haunted POW Camp Tour Cultybraggan.

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??

School kids Create Garden Space at St John’s Shopping Centre

School kids Create Garden Space at St John’s Shopping Centre

Children from Goodlyburn Primary School planned, designed and created an urban garden in the heart of Perth City Centre. St John’s Shopping Centre is now home to a colourful new greenspace with the hope of attracting some new tenants in the shape of Bees, Butterflies and Spiders.

The project was a joint venture between St John’s Shopping Centre, Goodlyburn Primary School, Scotland’s Rural College and Zero Waste Perth along with the support of other members of the community with the aim of creating a further space for biodiversity to thrive in the City Centre where space for such gardens can be limited.

The once unused space is now home to a ‘Bug Hotel’ and 5 new mini gardens that we’re created by the 10 Children from the local primary school. The children gained new skills and knowledge throughout the process from the early planning stages right through to the actual planting itself. The children were the key decision makers in the project with them planning how the space would be used and how they wanted it to look.

Christina McGregor, Class Teacher from Goodlyburn Primary School said: “We have loved working with St John’s shopping centre and the many other organisations and businesses who were involved in this project. The pupils have been empowered to make decisions and have a voice on how they wanted the project to developed. The children have been instrumental in creating a unique and lasting space in their City Centre and they are proud of what they have created”.

The project was a real community effort with Poundland kindly donating garden accessories for the children to use in their gardens, Starbucks provided used ground coffee that was used as fertilizer when planting and Allander Security and cleaning kindly donated 4 tonnes of soil.

Derek Martin, Marketing manager at St John’s Shopping Centre said: “We could not be happier with the vibrant burst of colour the children from Goodlyburn Primary School have created at the Shopping Centre. It was great to see such a collective effort from the community to put this greenspace together and also share their skills and knowledge with the next generation”.

Scotland’s Rural College kindly donated all the plants and shrubs used to create the gardens. Two horticulture students from the college also prepared the ground for planting prior to the School visit and also assisted the children with planting the flowers that they choose for their gardens and teaching them the importance of biodiversity in the City Centre. Scotland’s Rural College Student, Findlay Lang said: “It was a great experience sharing my knowledge with the children and assist them in creating their own unique and colourful flower beds. I was blown away by how enthusiastic and keen the children were throughout the process”.

 

Zero Waste Perth delivered a class room exercise outlining the importance of recycling, upcycling and the reuse of plastics with the children then making decorations for their garden space from used plastic bottles. Zero Waste Perth Coordinator, Fiona McBain, said: “Single-use plastics like bottles and straws are very much in the headlines right now and there is a real urgency to tackle the issue, so we’re delighted to link up with St John’s Shopping Centre and Goodlyburn Primary School. Zero Waste Perth want to encourage people to consider reusable alternatives whenever they can; but if you do have a plastic bottle lying around you could either recycle it in your blue-lidded bin or ‘upcycle’ it and make something fun like our rainbow garden spinners.”

The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge | Glasgow Warriors V Harlequins

The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge | Glasgow Warriors V Harlequins

The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge | Glasgow Warriors V Harlequins

Glasgow Warriors will play English Premiership giants Harlequins in Perth in August.

‘The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge’, in association with Perth & Kinross Council, will be held at Perthshire RFC’s North Inch ground in a 5,000 capacity arena on Saturday 18 August.

The match is being sponsored by The Famous Grouse and will be part of a huge weekend of activity in the city, with the rugby arena also being used for other events.

Aviva Premiership champions in 2012, Harlequins have a squad packed full of international players, such as England’s Danny Care, British & Irish Lion Kyle Sinckler and former Scotland winger Tim Visser.

The London club last played the Warriors in 2016 when Harlequins edged a pre-season victory 22-17 at the Twickenham Stoop.

Categories and Match Ticket Pricing

Match Ticket prices now includes all fees.

  • ADULT Any match ticket purchaser not eligible for the below category
  • U18 Aged 18 or under as of 1 September 2018. Proof of age must be available upon request.

Match tickets for The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge will be priced as follows:

Buy Your Tickets

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there dedicated parking?

There is no dedicated parking for this event. Please use one of the long stay car parks in the city centre. Please not parking for this event is not available at Bell’s Sports Centre.

How far is the event from the train/bus Station?

The North Inch is a 15-minute walk away

Is there any standing at the event?

There is a stadium with seating and also standing space at the event

Will there be refreshments at the event?

Perthshire Rugby are providing the bar and food provision for this event.

Can tickets be bought on the day?

A limited number of tickets will be available for cash purchases only.

Is the North Inch Golf Club still open?

Yes the golf course is open as normal

 

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

 

 

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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.

 

Gary Knight: The Cultybraggan Camp

Gary Knight: The Cultybraggan Camp

Cultybraggan Prisoner of War Camp sits just outside the village of Comrie in Perthshire. Built in 1941, when things were looking bleak for Britain and her allies, as things were not going well in the war with Hitler’s Germany. France had fallen, seemingly unstoppable German panzers were tearing across Russia; Rommel’s troops in Africa were on the offensive for much of the year and America was neutral until attacked by Japan in December 1941.

As the tide began to change more and more German prisoners were being captured at the front, and Cultybraggan became one of two maximum-security prisoner of war camps, housing amongst its inmates die-hard Nazi’s classified as “black” prisoners as they had to wear black cloth patches on their prison uniforms.

The camp consisted of four divided areas of accommodation for the prisoners. The prisoners slept in long Nissen huts heated by a stove. Which must have been hot in the summer and cold in the harsh Perthshire winters, the prisoners slept in bunk beds in crowded conditions but despite this many soldiers would have just been glad to be out of danger especially as the tide of war turned against the
Germans.

Not all of the German prisoners held in the UK thought the war was lost. When the Germans launched a last-ditch offensive in the Western Front in the winter of 1944 a large contingent of Nazi Prisoners planned to break out of their camp in Wiltshire after overpowering the guards and march on London. This plot was discovered, the ringleaders, sent north to Cultybraggan. One of the prisoners sent north was Wolfgang Rosterg, he should not have been with the hardliners as he was a moderate and acted as an interpreter for the British. The Nazis’ thought that Rosterg had betrayed them and after being tried by a Kangaroo Court he was hanged by his fellow countrymen in the latrines of compound B.

Wolfgang Rosterg was the second German to die in tragic circumstances at Cultybraggan Camp, on the 29th of November 1944 Willie Thorn another who the Germans suspected of spying was found hanging in the latrines.

The kindness the prisoners received from the locals while imprisoned made a lasting impression on some, Heinrich Steinmeyer served in the 12th SS Panzer Division. Captured in Normandy in 1944 and sent to Cultybraggan when Steinmeyer died he bequeathed his house and life savings to the elderly of Comrie.

Cultybraggan ceased in its role as a Prisoner of war camp in 1947 the MOD made use of the facilities and turned Cultybraggan into a training centre. Amongst the thousands of young man and women trained at Cultybraggan included (as the Dundee Courier reported on the 19th of June 1951) Bobby Johnstone the Hibernian and Scottish International football player.

Another tragic death struck the camp in July 1950 when 19-year-old David Barclay of the Queens Royal Lancers died after being accidentally shot and killed while he and a friend were shooting. Another occurrence at the camp took place in May 1972 when two members of a Scottish terrorist organisation called the Tartan Army attempted to break into the encampment to steal. Also charged at their trial with breaking into various premises in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire and trying to rob ammunition, explosives, detonators and fuses so it would seem likely that the theft of military ordnance the intention at Cultybraggan. Also charged with causing an explosion on the BP pipeline at Bridge of Earn in 1973. Both men were found guilty of committing terrorist acts and received custodial sentences in 1976.

Today The Comrie Development Trust looks after the Cultybraggan Camp, and they let out some of the Nissen huts to local businesses while a museum is under development. Cultybraggan Camp run regular guided tours every Sunday from May to September from 11 am with the last being at 3.00 pm, and I have just started doing a Ghost Tour at the Camp every Wednesday night from 8.00 pm until 9.30.

Find out more about Gary’s Ghost Tours here!

The Pics of Perthshire

The Pics of Perthshire

The Pics of Perthshire

It’s no secret that Perthshire is a stunning part of Scotland. With towering Munros, beautiful lochs and forgotten history, there are 100’s of stunning locations across the county. With so much to offer, sometimes is hard to show off all the amazing places within Perthshire.

So this month, we have teamed up with some of Scotlands best amateur photographers and asked them to share with us their favourite spots from around the region. We have asked them what Perthshire means to them, and to share it with us through their camera lens.

Each week this month, our Instagram account will be taken over by a different photographer, which will show us their Pics of Perthshire! Take a look below and find out about some of the brilliant photographers we are working with this month. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to keep up with all the Pics of Perthshire!

This Month’s Guest Photographers

 

Steven Robinson Pictures

 

Steve is a wedding and landscape photographer based in Perth. His pictures manage to capture the beauty of the natural world with minimal editing or Photoshop.  When shooting weddings, Steve uses a documentary style to capture the decisive moments throughout the day. Take a look at his website here.

 

Sam Hayles

4 -8th June

Sam Hayles is an independent design consultant and award-winning graphic designer and has experience in working with bands, record labels, Trailer Music companies, DJs, Artists, Magicians and Music Composers since 1999!
Apparently, he finds digital graphics so interesting, that he does it also in his free time! He enjoys taking photos and exploring Scotland as much as he can with his family. A great opportunity to take photos of beautiful Scotland. Take a look at his Instagram page here.

Drone View Scotland

 

Chris is an avid amateur photographer from Perth. He is passionate about capturing the inspiring natural beauty of Scotland and its hidden gems. Take a look at their Instagram page here.

 

Previous Guest Photographers

Destinos Distantes

This brillant page is ran by Steph and Alicia, part time student/part time workers/part time travellers.

Chris Knight

Chris is an avid amateur photographer from Perth. He is passionate about capturing the inspiring natural beauty of Scotland and its hidden gems.

Questions of Light Photography

Questions Of Light Photography presents photography from macro to landscape concentrating on the effect of light in different ways on the world around us.

To see all of these amazing artist’s pictures from around Perthshire, make sure you follow our Instagram page!

Matildas Musings: Outlanderish Cultural Tandem Experience

Matildas Musings: Outlanderish Cultural Tandem Experience

Summer has finally arrived at Matildas Rest and after being on our travels for the last few weeks Team Matilda decided on a hilly ride on our own doorstep this week as my dynamic crew build up the miles and elevation for our Hebridean Way adventure in early June.

Interestingly this ride had the added advantage of turning into a cultural experience with my dynamic crew receiving an education into the cult hit tv show Outlander. They are always impressed at the rich history they find right in Team Matildas own backyard – and in this case both real and fictional.