STAGECOACH INTRODUCE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS  FOR CUSTOMERS IN EAST SCOTLAND

STAGECOACH INTRODUCE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS FOR CUSTOMERS IN EAST SCOTLAND

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

A Sma Glen Mystery

It was a quiet night at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October 1926.  Outside it was blowing a gale, two men stood at the bar, grateful to be inside, where it was warm and dry.

Elizabeth Gorrie, the 24-year-old daughter of the owners of the inn, was sitting in the parlour when she thought she heard some shouting outside, She was sure someone was shouting “hey” this happened three times.  Elizabeth went into the bar and told her mother, they ran out to see a horse-drawn delivery van standing directly in front of the inn.  Slumped in front was 63-year-old Alexander Chalmers from 7 West High Street Crieff.

Chalmers worked for D & J McEwen in Crieff and would travel up the Sma’ Glen and along Glenquaich acting as a mobile grocers shop. Although severely injured and rambling when pulled out of his van at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October. He Stated he had been to a dance when he had not, he also said two or three times that had been attacked, he was not so incoherent as to not know the name of the owner of the Inn calling him John and asking for his horse to be taken care off. The two lamps were found, one lying at the side of the road, the other 500 yards away on the way to Buchanty, a route the delivery van had not taken.

Was the death of Alexander Chalmers due to a supernatural occurrence, was he attacked by a “Mist Man”.    The Dundee Evening Telegraph dated on the 16th of May 1927, some seven months after the death of Chalmers tells a strange story.  Under the heading  “The Mist-Man in the Sma’ Glen” the writer tells of an eerie experience he and his friend witnessed in the Glen.   The two men who were cycling when they were caught up in a dense mist, one of them looked around and saw quite clearly a tall man wearing a long overcoat walking over the moor about 50 yards away.  The man leaving his bike ran towards the stranger who had disappeared behind a small hillock. When the cyclist rounded the mound there was no sign of the strange man, there was nowhere he could have hidden no trees or buildings just bleak, desolate moorland.  He could see clearly for 200 yards in every direction. The man in the long coat had just vanished into thin air.  It was no trick of the light or figment of the imagination as both the cyclists had seen the stranger.  In an atmosphere of increasing menace, both cyclists mounted their bikes and “lost no time in getting away”.

Whatever happened to Alexander Chalmers be it an accident or something more sinister in the Sma’ Glen one stormy night in 1926 will remain a mystery.

Free weekend parking in Perth

Free weekend parking in Perth

Free parking in Perth during the festive season

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

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

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

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

Do ✔️

Park in council-run car parks

Park on weekends

Don’t ❌

Park in on-street car parking bays

Park on weekdays

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

 

Perth

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

Crieff

  • James Square car park

Blairgowrie

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

Dunkeld

  • Tay Terrace car park
  • Atholl Street car park

Pitlochry

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

 

Buy your whole Christmas Dinner in Perth!

Buy your whole Christmas Dinner in Perth!

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

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

The starter

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

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

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

The Main

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

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

Perth Farmers’ Market

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

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

 

Have Yourself a Very Vegan Christmas…

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

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

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

Don’t Forget the Bubbly!

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

Gin

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

Beer

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

Whisky

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

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

Gin

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

The Pudding

The alternative pud

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

The classic pud

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

The vegan pud

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

The Décor and Crackers

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

 

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

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

The Great Clean-up

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

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

Don’t be a Stranger!

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

 

Suppliers

 

Earn Bonus Mi Rewards Points by using Broxden Park and Ride

Earn Bonus Mi Rewards Points by using Broxden Park and Ride

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

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

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

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

 

Terms and Conditions

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

Perth Park&Ride (Broxden)

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

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

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

Mi Rewards – the loyalty programme that rewards the whole city

Mi Rewards – the loyalty programme that rewards the whole city

 

How would you like to be part of a loyalty programme that rewards you without you having to do anything? If you’re out shopping, you don’t have to remember to carry a loyalty card or find an app on your phone. If you’re a local business, you don’t have to install new software or provide extra staff training. It really is as simple as it sounds!

 

 

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

How did Mi Rewards come about?

Perth, was the first city in the UK to have it’s own Gift Card that people can buy and give as gifts to friends, family, colleagues or employees. This model has now been replicated in towns and cities across the UK.  The team behind the Gift Card wanted to develop a way to reward people for spending, too. It made sense to link the two together in a programme that’s the first of its kind in the UK, possibly in Europe.

 

How does it work?

We know that simple is best when it comes to technology. So we’ve made the Mi Rewards registration process easy and quick. Here’s what you do:

 

Fill in your details (name, email address, home address etc)

Choose a password

Pop in the details of one or more of your spending cards – Visa Debit, Visa or Mastercard. (Your card details are not seen by any of the businesses you visit.)

And that’s it! Now whenever you spend money in one of our registered shops, cafés, salons, clinics or leisure providers, you’ll start earning points right away!

You can check your points at any time, too, by logging into your account

Points means prizes (and perks and Gift Cards!)

Those points will accumulate and earn you Perth Gift Cards to spend in over 50 local businesses. Even better, in the meantime we’ll send our customers regular perks and give you the chance to win fantastic prizes. (See our competition at the end of the article!) And to say a big thanks for shopping locally, we’ll also throw in some random acts of kindness.

Perks that we’ve offered so far include:

 

Where can you Earn Mi Points?

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

‘Tis the season to start building Mi Points

Over 1100 customers have now registered for Perth’s Mi Rewards programme and earned points on over £10,000-worth of spend. With the pre-Christmas shopping season upon us, what better time for you to join them and start building your balance? You’ll earn 1 Mi Point for every pound you spend, so think of how that’ll all add up. Wouldn’t it be a treat to get perks, prizes and a Perth Gift Card in the New Year?

 

 

Enter our competition and win a £500 Perth Gift Card

Everyone who registers on or before 21st December will be put into a draw to win a £500 Gift Card! We’ll do the draw on the last Friday before Christmas – what a fantastic gift for our lucky winner.

Are you a business and you’d like to know more?

It couldn’t be simpler – just contact us on support@mi-rewards.com or call 01738 444376 we’ll get that information over to you.

 

 

The Black Watch Castle & Museum win BIG

The Black Watch Castle & Museum win BIG

Award Success for The Black Watch Castle and Museum

The Black Watch Castle and Museum was the proud winner of the 2018 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality business of the year at the prestigious Courier Business Awards held on Saturday 27th October.

A Courier Business Awards spokesperson said,

“In a very competitive category, the judges were blown away by the growth, ambition and commitment to quality demonstrated by Anne Kinnes and her team at The Black Watch Castle and Museum.  Over the past year there have been increases in visitor numbers, an expansion to the premises and the team has ventured into the wedding and events market. There was no question The Black Watch Castle and Museum fully deserved to be recognised for the second consecutive year in the Tourism and Hospitality section of the Courier Business Awards.”

Anne Kinnes, CEO, The Black Watch Castle and Museum, explains,

“We are thrilled to have won the 2018 Courier Tourism and Hospitality Business of year. This award gives deserved recognition to the Castle and Museum team for their unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries and their continued dedication to providing our visitors with a world class experience. I would like to thank my hardworking team of staff and volunteers, without whom successes such as this would not be possible.”

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, tells us,

 “On behalf of VisitScotland, I’d like to congratulate Anne and her team on this thoroughly-deserved award. The Black Watch Castle and Museum has grown to become one of Perthshire’s most popular historic attractions, engaging and inspiring visitors through excellent customer service and exciting exhibitions. To win for the second year running shows that staff continue to remain passionate and committed to offering visitors the best experience possible.”

The Courier Business Awards recognise and reward business and individuals from across Dundee, Fife, Perthshire and Angus for their talent, innovation and excellence within their respective fields.

To find out more about The Black Watch Castle and Museum visit theblackwatch.co.uk

20 Great Dog Walks in Perthshire

20 Great Dog Walks in Perthshire

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

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

 

1) Aberfeldy to Kenmore

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

2) The Hermitage and Pine Cone Point

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

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

3) Dunkeld Riverside

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

4) Five Mile Wood, Stanley

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

5) Moncreiffe Hill

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

6) Forgandenny to Bridge of Earn

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

7) Loch Faskally & Linn of Tummel

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

8) Birnam Hill

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

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

 

9) Kinclaven Bluebell Wood

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

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

10) Ben Vrackie

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

11) Killiecrankie

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

12) Grandtully along the Tay

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

13) Quarrymill

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

14) The Knock of Crieff

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

15) Corbenic Poetry Path

Elaine Macfarlane says, “Corbenic Poetry Path is our latest new discovery and it’s a beautiful walk with loads of fascinating installations and some stunning natural features too.” This unique walk through a variety of terrains including open hillside, moorland, woodlands and riverbanks, offers much more than exercise and fresh air. Small poems, written word carvings and sculptures on the route make this one of Perthshire’s most peaceful and tranquil locations. Looks like Elaine’s adorable dog loves it too!

16) Glen Tilt circuit

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

17) Pitmedden Forest

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

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

18) The Ochils

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

19) Faskally Woods

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

 

20) Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Wood

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

Christmas Nights Out in Perth

Christmas Nights Out in Perth

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

1) Party Nights

Mercure Hotel

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

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

Parklands

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

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

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

The Grampian Hotel

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

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

The Royal George Hotel

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

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

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

Huntingtower Hotel

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

1) Delicious Christmas Evening Meals

63 Tay Street

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

View 63 Tay Street’s Christmas brochure

The Post Box

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

Tabla

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

View Tabla Restaurant’s Christmas Dinner Menu brochure

Tabla

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

View Tabla Restaurant’s Christmas Dinner Menu brochure

Deans

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

View Deans’ Festive menus

3) Shows and Events

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

Perth’s Winter Festival

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

Find out more about Perth’s Winter Festival

Snow White and the Seven Dames

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

From Fri 30th November to Sat 5th Jan

Find out more about Snow White and the Seven Dames

Childline Christmas Concert

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

 Find out more about Childline Christmas Concert

Kilgraston School Christmas Concert

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

Find out more about Kilgraston School Christmas Concert

The Polar Bears Go Up

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

Find out more about The Polar Bears Go Up

Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook

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

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

 Find out more about Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook

The Green Room

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

RSNO Christmas Concert Featuring the Snowman

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

Find out more about RSNO Christmas Concert Featuring the Snowman

Scenic Drives in Perthshire

Scenic Drives in Perthshire

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

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

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

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

 

Scenic Road 2: Pitlochry to Rannoch Station

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

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

 

Scenic Road 3: The Snow Roads Scenic Route

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

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

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

 

Scenic Road 4: Meikleour through the glens to Dull

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

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

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

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

 

Scenic Road 5: Perthshire Tourist Route

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

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