The well-groomed town of Crieff sits on the slopes of the Grampian foothills overlooking the wide Strathearn valley. It's a popular tourist centre and a good base for exploring the western part of Perthshire and the Trossachs.
People have been coming here since Victorian times, when Crieff was a popular spa town, and its position between the Highlands and Lowlands made it an important livestock market in the 18th century, with traders coming from as far afield as the Isle of Skye to buy and sell cattle. The Crieff Highland Gathering takes place on the penultimate Sunday in August.
Strathearn is called the "Valley of the River Earn", which stretches west of Perth for some forty miles to Loch Earn- a popular water sports location north of Trossachs. Check our Strathearn Guide for more details about in and around the place.
Local Sights & Activities for Crieff
A mile from town, just off the A85 to Comrie, is Glenturret Distillery, Scotland's oldest distillery, established in 1775. It has a good restaurant which serves food all day (lunch cheap/mid-range; dinner expensive).
Five miles southeast of Crieff, off the B8062, is Innerpeffray Library, Scotland's first ever public library (founded in 1680), with a huge collection of rare and ancient books (but don't make too much noise about it). Apr-Sep daily (except Thu) 1000-1245 and 1400-1645, Sun 1400-1600, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov closes at 1600; Dec, Jan by appt only. Tel. 625819. The chapel next door dates from 1508 and is also interesting.
Two miles south of Crieff, on the A822 to Muthill, is the turning to the very wonderful Drummond Castle Gardens, one of the finest formal gardens in Europe. Even the most horticulturally ignorant of people could not fail to be amazed by the graceful harmony and symmetry, in particular the magnificently laid-out flower beds celebrating family and Scottish heraldry. If you have the feeling you've seen them before, that's because they were featured in the film Rob Roy. Easter weekend and May-Oct daily 1400-1800 (last entry 1700). concession. Tel. 681257. To get there, take bus No 47 towards Muthill and get off at the gates, then walk 1 mile up the castle drive. In the village of Muthill itself is an ancient church bell tower, which dates from around 1250, and a small Village Museum, open during the summer.