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Welcome to our Perthshire area guide, in which we'll cover various highlights of this stunning county as well as more practical details, such as transport links, property prices, schooling and more.
The scenery is a delightful mix of rolling hills, rugged mountains, rich farmland, lochs and rivers. The pace of life is gentler and yet both Edinburgh and Glasgow are within reasonable driving distance.
The Strutt & Parker Edinburgh office covers the whole of Perthshire, selling a broad range of properties throughout the country: cottages, castles, country mansions, farmhouses, equestrian properties and small holdings.
The majestic hills and mountains, many of which scale heights of over 3,000 ft, are the perfect destination for Munro-bagging (attempting to scale all the peaks of the Munros). You can even take to the slopes at Glenshee, an area serviced by the UK’s largest ski lift system; 40km of piste extends over 3 valleys and 4 mountains to give an enjoyable variety of skiing and snowboarding for all standards of snow sport enthusiasts. Highland Perthshire has an amazing choice of off-road cycle trails ranging from easy flat riverside paths to more challenging treks into the hills.
The region is world-renowned as a country sports destination. The mix of mountain, moorland and river makes it a mecca for all sporting aficionados, particularly when matched to the top-quality facilities available for both rod and gun.
Perthshire is a golfer’s paradise. Tee off at Gleneagles, the world famous golf course, which was host to the 2014 Ryder Cup. Set within 850 acres of beautiful countryside, the 5* Gleneagles Hotel is home to 3 championship courses. The Blairgowrie Golf Club offers the chance to play on two of the finest championship courses (Lansdowne and Rosemount). Seek out some of the region’s lesser-known gems such as St Fillans on Loch Earn or Killin which has been described as one of the most breathtaking in Scotland. Comrie and Muthill are also fantastic choices for those seeking a gentle round of golf over 9 holes.
For those after a more exhilarating time, head to Grantully to canoe slalom down the rapids. Perth has a state-of-the-art curling ice rink open to all, from beginners all the way up to experienced curlers. It’s also possible to take to the skies and get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent countryside in a two-seater microlight.
A variety of traditional events take place throughout the region during the summer months, including 14 Highland Games. At the Atholl Gathering, you can watch Highland dancing, bagpipers, and the tossing o’ the caber, a traditional Scottish sport, all set against the stunning backdrop of Blair Castle.
The Queen’s View is very popular with visitors, with a magnificent vista taking in Loch Tummel, the peak of Schiehallion and Glen Coe on a clear day.
One of the highlights of the year is in autumn when the Enchanted Forest at Faskally Wood is transformed into a light and music show, with the trees illuminated in beautiful, bright colours. T-in-the-Park is the biggest music festival in Scotland, now held at Strathallan Castle.
When eating out in Perthshire, you are spoilt for choice with the range of inns and restaurants on offer. A perfect place to break the journey on the A9 is the House of Bruar which has developed a reputation for quality, with the food hall and restaurant, art gallery, and country clothing range showcasing the best that Scotland has to offer. Kinloch House Hotel is a luxurious, family run establishment on the outskirts of Blairgowrie where dining is a truly memorable experience. If you want to indulge yourself, head to Andrew Fairlies’s restaurant at Gleneagles.
Beautifully situated in a valley on the banks of Scotland’s longest river, the Tay, is the Fair City of Perth. This bustling city offers a wide range of shopping, entertainment, galleries and restaurants. The racecourse shares its parkland with the historic Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish kings and where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were once crowned.
Venture north to explore the town of Dunkeld with its carefully restored white-washed houses and 11th century cathedral. The Hermitage is protected by the National Trust for Scotland, sitting on the banks of the River Braan, where you can take a leisurely stroll through Craigvinean Forest. Neighbouring Birnam is linked to Dunkeld by a seven-arched bridge, built by Thomas Telford and well known for featuring in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The area inspired Beatrix Potter; celebrated in the Birnam Institute’s Beatrix Potter Exhibition & Garden.
Head further into the county and discover delightful towns and villages like the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry - the gateway to the Highlands. It has a beautiful setting on the River Tummel and is backed by Ben Vrackie. The Power Station and Dam is an unusual attraction with a salmon ladder, which helps the fish bypass the dam and get into Loch Faskally. Blair Castle, just outside Blair Atholl, is steeped in history and open to the public.
Blairgowrie, on the banks of the River Ericht, is one of the largest towns in Perthshire. Close by is the Meikleour Beech Hedge, the longest hedge in Britain and the highest of its kind in the world, recognised in the Guinness Book of Records.
The small market town of Aberfeldy is located near the Den of Moness with its dramatic waterfall, immortalised in Birks o’ Aberfeldie by Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most famous poets. At Kenmore, on the banks of Loch Tay, you can visit the Scottish Crannog Centre which is one of the country's top heritage museums. The historic village of Fortingall is where you will find the Fortingall Yew, an ancient tree believed to be the oldest living thing in Europe.
The Strathearn area of Perthshire lies to the west and south of the city of Perth. There are many towns in this region, including “the lang toon” of Auchterarder, which has the longest main street (1.5 miles!) in Scotland, and Comrie, where each Hogmanay the town hosts The Flambeaux Parade, a torchlight procession of twelve men carrying burning birch poles around the four corners of the village. At one end of Loch Earn is St Fillans, from which Ben Vorlich, one of the highest peaks in the area, can be seen in the distance.
There are an abundance of well-reputed independent schools throughout Perthshire.
These include Glenalmond College (Methven), Craigclowan (Perth), Strathallan (Forgandenny), Kilgraston (Bridge of Earn), Ardvreck and Morrison’s Academy (Crieff).
Alongside these are many good state schools, including Dunning Primary, Dunkeld Primary, Arngask Primary (Glenfarg), Crieff High School, and Breadalbane Academy (Aberfeldy).
For a more comprehensive list of schools in Perthshire, we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
Perthshire has a number of mainline train stations including Perth, Gleneagles, Dunkeld & Birnam, and Pitlochry. Scotrail operates a sleeper service to and from London Euston, calling at various local stations, including Perth.
The A9, Scotland’s longest trunk road (273 miles), runs from Dunblane right through Perthshire up to Inverness and onto Thurso. Historically, it was called ‘the spine of Scotland’ and extensive improvements are currently taking place on this route, with planned dualling due for completion in 2025.
Perthshire is one of Scotland’s many great whisky producing regions with a number of fine distilleries from the country’s smallest distillery, Edradour, to Glenturret, the oldest. Acknowledged as Scotland's national drink, whisky has been produced here for longer than anyone can remember; the Gaelic 'uisge beatha’ literally meant water of life!