Perthshire in autumn – could there be anywhere lovelier? A riot of amber leaves, crisp cool misty mornings, and rich glowing sunsets. You can even see the Northern Lights on a clear night when the conditions are just right.
So it’s no surprise that there is a host of stunning viewpoints to enjoy in a county that has more than its fair share of trees, munros and lochs.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to climb a mountain to see the best of autumnal Perthshire. We’ve included high viewpoints, of course, but many beautiful views can be accessed from ground level. We’ve also included some unusual ones that you may not know. So there really is something for everyone!
And because beautiful views are so personal and affect us all deeply, I’ve asked some Perth City readers for their favourite Perthshire views. Enjoy – and don’t forget to share your favourites with us too!
Balbeggie main road from Blairgowrie
Keen photographer Kirsty Simpson Macdonald says, “I love the road coming into Balbeggie from Blairgowrie. The sky is always impressive no matter what the weather and it absolutely shows off my local Perthshire and makes me so thankful I live in such a beautiful location.”
Colin Wallace, a Sales Manager for a lettings agency in Edinburgh, loves “the view from the top of Ben Vorlich to Callander and far beyond, or looking over Loch Earn towards Ardveich (as seen in this photo!).”
Ben Vorlich is one of Scotland’s best-loved munros, towering above Loch Earn, and offering excellent views into the Lowlands.
COPYRIGHT COLIN WALLACE
This may not be one of Perthshire’s most famous walks, but I discovered this lovely glen near Blair Atholl a few years back. It’s a 4-5 hour walk, so not a short stroll, but worth it for the views of the river when you’re walking on the side of the glen (which you are for a good part of the walk).
COPYRIGHT ANNELIE CARMICHAEL
PR Consultant Claire Grainger says she loves “Pine Cone Point at the Hermitage.” This is an amazing viewpoint which you can reach from a waymarked walk in the lower section of the Hermitage. Kids will love looking for the markers then finding the giant-pine-cone surprise at the end!
Another fine view at the Hermitage is from Ossian’s Hall, built in 1758, where you can watch the dramatic falls of the River Braan and enjoy the reflection in the huge mirrors of the hall.
COPYRIGHT RUSSEL WILLS FROM GEOGRAPH.ORG.UK
We couldn’t miss out the iconic Perth hill beloved by walkers, photographers and anyone seeking a bit of peace and quiet, and stunning views. And it’s just 10 minutes from Perth City Centre. On my walks here with friends and dogs, we regularly meet people who have travelled here from Fife, Dundee and further.
There are several wonderful viewpoints on the Kinnoull Hill – here are some suggestions:
No matter how many times I see this view, I never tire of it. In the warm autumn sunlight, it’s spectacular, even when the mist shrouds the view of the Tay Valley towards Dundee. And a great place to catch your breath after the hike uphill! Don’t forget, too, to check out the viewing post about 50 metres back from the summit that tells you the names of all the mountains you can see (and there are dozens!).
Near St Mary’s Monastery
A bit of a hidden gem, this view looks right over Perth City centre. It’s close enough to be able to identify buildings and landmarks, but far enough to give you a lovely vista of the city with Perth High School high up in the background and the rolling hills beyond.
COPYRIGHT MARIAN COBURN
The famous Kinnoull Hill Tower is visible all the way from the A90 and beyond, but the best view is definitely from the hill itself, especially in autumn.
COPYRIGHT MARIAN COBURN
Perth City reader and keen mountaineer Ros Bryce loves the viewpoint across the road from the Jubilee Car Park, where the woodland opens out onto pasture and a lovely view of the River Tay twisting its way through the valley.
COPYRIGHT ANNELIE CARMICHAEL
Pass of Killiecrankie
Keen photographer Craig Townsend says, “The Pass of Killiecrankie is just so beautiful – especially in autumn when the trees are golden. There’s a bridge with a small car park that’s ideal to watch from.”
TV director and producer Sarah Howitt, from Glasgow, has fond memories of the view of “the Pass of Killiecrankie from the Atholl Palace hotel in Pitlochry, my first proper home / job when I left home at the age of 18. Watching the sunrise over that view (whilst setting breakfast tables wearing my frilly waitress overalls) was the best bit of the job.”
COPYRIGHT CRAIG TOWNSEND
Loch Tay is a hugely popular visitor attraction, with its wealth of activities and eateries on or around the picturesque loch. Perth City Centre reader Rowan Marx loves “the view up Loch Tay from Kenmore Beach and the view up Loch Tay from the Cup Stone in Fearnan.”
COPYRIGHT KENMORE PHOTOGRAPHY
This is another popular and easy-to-walk hill, south-east of Perth and very close to the village of Bridge of Earn. One of the best viewpoints, according to keen mountaineer, Graeme Dewar, is Moredun Top, the summit of the hill and the site of Moredun Fort, an ancient hill fort. Along the way you’ll also follow a lovely sculpture trail.
COPYRIGHT WILLIAM STARKEY GEOGRAPH.CO.UK
Queen’s View, Loch Tummel
This view is so lovely and well-known that the Forestry Commission built a visitor centre specially for it. It’s thought to have been named for Isabella, the wife of Robert the Bruce. People stop here specially, to take in the view and go on the forest walks nearby. The view is fully accessible and loved by many.
COPYRIGHT CRAIG TOWNSEND
One of the best-loved Scottish rivers, the Tay can be viewed from so many amazing viewpoints, e.g. the Birnam Oak walk, Dunkeld Cathedral, the Inn at Grandtully, Perth city centre, Aberfeldy, to name just a few.
Fiona Cairns says, if you’re an adventurous type and you like kayaking, it’s hard to beat “sitting on the big rock in the middle of the Tay at Stanley, looking down on the Campsie Linn whirlpool when it’s in spate. Or heading west over the River Tay towards Meikleour Fishings (turn left just before the Meikleour beech hedges from Perth direction), and look upstream. The hills and River Tay are stunning!”
Amelia Wonder Wade, an accountant from Perth, adds: “I love walking across Smeaton’s Bridge any morning and looking up the river towards Dunkeld – even in the rain the Tay is beautiful and in the sun it just glitters. And this view, from Moncrieffe Island – always reminds me of Perth raft races in days gone by.”
COPYRIGHT AMELIA WONDER WADE
Rodney Gardens / Kinnoull Church graveyard, Perth
This is an easy and accessible set of viewpoints, so if you fancy a short break from city life, or you find it tricky to access hills and countryside, pop on over to Rodney Gardens and the Kinnoull Church graveyard. From various points in the gardens and graveyard you’ll get lovely views of the city, the church, the river and the gardens themselves.
COPYRIGHT COLIN ADAMSON
Schiehallion and Loch Rannoch
One of the most iconic Perthshire views is of the mighty Schiehallion, the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians, overlooking Kinloch Rannoch and Loch Rannoch. The views can be enjoyed from other hills and mountains in the area, or from down at the lochside where the rocks and trees provide a natural frame for the view.
The view from the peak of Schiehallion itself is one to savour, too!
The Snow Roads Scenic Route
The Snow Roads Scenic Route is one of the most beautiful routes in the UK, starting at Blairgowrie in the lowlands of Perthshire and winding its way into the Cairngorms National Park, leading into the Cairngorm Mountains over the highest public road in Britain.
There are several stunning, architect-designed viewing installations, as well as Photo Posts, along the route, so the choice of views is vast. Read more in our Snow Roads article from April 2017.
COPYRIGHT VISIT SCOTLAND/DAMIAN SHEILDS
Garden design company owner Derek Keay, says, “One of my favourite views is looking west towards Crieff from Hillend in Perth. The view I had from my parents’ house has passed now but a similar view can be had if you walk past Noah’s Ark where a trail leads down to Blackruthven farm. It’s especially nice on a crisp or clear day. You can see the peak of Ben Vorlich on a crisp winter day, Ben Chonzie and Glen Turret, then Logiealmond where my grandparents had their farm beside the Chappelhill Inn. It reminds me of sitting on the back of my uncle’s bogey getting pulled along by his Massey Ferguson through the country roads.”
COPYRIGHT JACKIE PROVEN
Glasgow – Perth Road
Many people love the main A9 road from Glasgow to Perth, especially the part around Blackford. Sally Edgar, a business consultant from Ayrshire, says, “I love when you are on the main and there is a curve round near the Highland Spring factory and the distillery.”
COPYRIGHT SALLY EDGAR
As you can see, we all have our different reasons for loving our favourite Perthshire views. Maybe it’s a favourite childhood memory, or somewhere that always makes us feel happy or grounded – or on top of the world. Why don’t you let us know what your favourite views are?
Stay in touch
And if you’re looking for something to do on a lovely autumn day, why not check out our Days Out From Perth series – you’re sure to find something fantastic!