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Perth

The heritage of Perth is easy to trace owing to the number of interesting historical sites within walking distance of each other.


Its position on the River Tay ensured that Perth became a busy trading port which still has a bustling harbour, the only inland harbour in Britain. In years gone by, salmon and wool were major exports from Perth, while claret was imported from Bordeaux in France. Between the High Street and South Street is St John's Kirk, still standing on its original site. It was founded in 1126, though most of the present church dates from the 15th century. In 1559 firebrand preacher John Knox gave one of his trademark sermons, inspiring the good folk of Perth to destroy the local monasteries. The church gave the town its original name of 'St John's town', a name upheld in the local football team, St Johnstone.

Eating Out

Perth is quite packed with pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes. Restaurant-wise, quite a few come with glowing references from diners. Let's Eat Bistro, Tel. 643377, on Kinnoull St, is a very classy establishment which provides a modern Scottish menu with Mediterranean influences, all meals cooked fresh to order. Open Tue-Sat 1200-1400, 1830-2130.

Its sister bistro, Let's Eat Again, Tel. 633771, is at 33 George St. Open the same hours but until 2145. Both are in the mid-range category.

No. 63, Tel. 441451, is a swish restaurant down by the river at 63 Tay Street which serves contemporary Scottish food. Open Tue-Sat 1200-1400, 1830-2100. Exceed Tel. 621189, at 65 South Methven St, has a more general menu but it's just as appetizing; as is the menu at Time Out, Tel. 567056, at 80 George St, close to the museum. For something a little more expensive, try The Seafood Restaurant , Tel. 449777, at 168 South St, which specializes in delicious fish and game. Paco's, Tel. 622290, 3-5 Mill St, has a more 'Tex-Mex' feel to it, serving fajitas, enchiladas, steaks and a fine line in chicken dishes, while also serving up a children's menu of burgers and pizzas. For a good cappucino or a panini try Caffe Canto Tel. 451938, a popular chic café at 62 George St.

 

Drinking

Of the pubs in town, The Auld Hoose, Tel. 624136, on the corner of South St and King Edward St, does a nice bar lunch; as does Mucky Mulligan's, Tel. 636705, at 97 Canal St.

Scaramouche, Tel. 637479, 103 South St, is a very popular bar; as is the Cherrybank, Tel. 624349, at 210 Glasgow Rd, where the bar lunches and suppers come very highly recommended.

Region

Perthshire

Travel Directions to Perth

Getting to Perth

Perth is easily accessible from almost anywhere in the country. It's only 1 hrs from Edinburgh or Glasgow, and half an hour from Dundee, by road, and on the main train lines to these cities, as well as on the main lines north to Aberdeen and Inverness. The train and bus stations are almost opposite each other at the west end of town, where Leonard St meets Kings Pl.

Getting around Perth

The town centre is very compact and lies on the western bank of the Tay, between 2 large parks; North Inch and South Inch. It's easy to get around on foot, but Scone Palace and many of the B&Bs are on the eastern bank of the river, so you may wish to take a bus. Local buses are run by Stagecoach, T629339. For a taxi service in Perth, call Ace Taxis, T633033. An enjoyable way to see the sights is to use the Guide Friday bus tour of Perth. Tour tickets are valid all day, so you can get on and off as often as you please and you can join the tour at various locations throughout the city. Tel. 0131-5562244 for more details, or contact the tourist office.

Stagecoach also runs a Sunday Vintage Bus Tour which takes in some of the key sights such as Scone Palace and Balhousie Castle (home to the Blackwatch Regiment). The bus runs every six minutes through July and August only between 1200 to 1725, £1.25, children £0.65).

Tourist Information

The Tourist Information Centre is housed in the Lower City Mills, West Mill St, Tel. 450600. It is open Apr-Jun, Sep and Oct Mon-fri 0900-1700, Sun 1000-1600; Jul and Aug Mon-Sat 0900-1830, Sun 1100-1700; Nov-Mar Mon-Sat 0900-1600.

Activities

Local Sights & Activities for Perth

A few minutes' walk north, on North Port, is the Fair Maid's House, the fictional home of Sir Walter Scott's virginal heroine in his novel, The Fair Maid of Perth. The novel was set in the 14th century, at the time of the Battle of the Clans which took place on the North Inch, just to the north, across Charlotte Street. Close by, at the corner of Charlotte Street and George Street, is the Museum and Art Gallery,T01738-632488, Mon-Sat 1000-1700, free, with displays on local history, art, archaeology, natural history and whisky.

In the 18th century the world-famous Black Watch regiment was raised in Perth, and the Black Watch Museum Hay St, T0131-3108530, May-Sep Mon-Sat 1000-1630, Oct-Apr Mon-Fri 1000-1530, free, housed in the 15th-century Balhousie Castle, is well worth a visit even to the most un-military minded. The museum is on the edge of the North Inch, to the north of the town centre. It's also worth perusing the work of the renowned Scottish colourist, John Duncan Fergusson, within the Fergusson GalleryT01738-441944, Mon-Sat 1000-1700, free, former site of Perth's waterworks.

May-Sep Mon-Sat 1000-1630, closed last Sat in Jun; Oct-Apr Mon-Fri 1000-1530. Free. Tel. 0131-310 8530. Back in the town centre, in West Mill Street is Lower City Mills (also home to the tourist office), a restored and working 19th-century oatmeal mill powered by a huge water wheel (closed to visitors at the time of writing).

Perth's other museum contains the excellent Fergusson Gallery, a display of works by the renowned Scottish colourist, John Duncan Fergusson. The gallery is found at the south end of Tay Street, near South Inch, in a splendid neo-classical building which was once Perth's waterworks. Mon-Sat 1000-1700. Free. TEl:441944.

Those with souvenirs to buy may be interested in a visit to the Caithness Glass factory, on Inveralmond Industrial Estate, two miles north of the town centre on the A9, where you can also watch the glass-blowing process. Easter-Oct Mon-Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1000-1700; Nov-Mar Mon-Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1200-1700. Free. TEl:492320.

For those with more horticultural leanings, Branklyn Garden, at 116 Dundee Road, T01738-625535 (NTS), 1 Apr-Oct daily 1000-1700, £5, £4 concession, has been described as "the finest two acres of private garden in the country". With an impressive collection of rare and unusual plants, it includes superb examples of Himalayan poppies. Well worth a visit at any time of year, many of the plants grown there are on sale in the shop.

 

Things To Do in Perth in Scotland

A short list of things to do in Perth, once Scotland's capital city and now a pleasant provincial city. The Fair City' of Perth is aptly named. Situated on the banks of Scotland's longest river, the River Tay, Perth and its surrounding area boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Perth was once the capital of Scotland, and there are many interesting sights to visit (most of which are free). The jewel in Perth's crown, though, is undoubtedly Scone (pronounced 'scoon') Palace, on the outskirts of town. Scone was the home of the Stone of Destiny for nearly 500 years, and the site where every Scottish king was crowned.

The town makes a convenient and very pleasant base for exploring this beautiful Highland region. There are many colourful parks and historic buildings, excellent shopping opportunities and plenty of places to eat, drink and relax. Perth also has a proliferation of leisure and sporting facilities – and not many towns can boast a golf course on an island in the middle of a river.

Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park

Scone Palace

Huntingtower Castle

Day Walking Tours of Perth (new in 2010)  - Walking tours in full costume and makeup that explore the history and background to the city. Fun as well as informative.

Also see things to do in Perthshire.

Sport In Perth

The Visitor Guide to Perth in Perthshire here guides you on the Sports in Perth, which includes information on the activities done such as fishing, golf, walking, cycling, skiing etc.

For sports and leisure, Perth takes a bit of beating. Four sports centres in the city ensure there's no excuse for 'couch-potato' inactivity. Perth Leisure Pool, Tel. 492410, open daily 1000-2200, west of the town centre on the Glasgow Rd, claims to have the best leisure swimming pool in Scotland. Next door is Dewar's Rinks, Tel. 624188, where the visitor can curl, ice skate or bowl. Bell's Sports Centre, on Hay Street, Tel. 622301, open daily 0900-2200, covers virtually every sport and leisure activity imaginable.

Theatre

Perth Theatre, 185 High St, Tel. 621031, is a beautiful Victorian-era theatre with an excellent reputation for high-class productions. The Playhouse cinema at 6 Murray St, Tel. 623126, offers a dose of escapism on the big screen.

Clubbing

For the younger (and young at heart) traveller, there are 2 nightclubs in Perth: Curly Lloyd's at 40-48 Canal St, Tel. 630503; and the Ice Factory at 6 Shore Rd, Tel. 630011.

Festivals

The Perth Highland Games are held on the second Sun in Aug, Tel. 627782, on the same weekend as the Perth Show, which takes place on South Inch. There are also regular jump racing events during the summer at Perth Racecourse, near Scone Palace, Tel. 551597.

Game and Course Fishing

Scotland is famed for its superb fishing and Perth has more than its fair share of game and course fishing facilities. Too many, in fact, to detail here, so we'll mention just one, which is recommended: the Sandyknowes fly-fishery at Bridge of Earn, Tel. 813033, a few miles southeast of Perth. Located between the rivers Earn and Tay, there are facilities for the novice, right up to the most experienced angler with great fishing in a beautiful landscape. The season runs from Mar-Dec. Details of all the Perthshire fisheries are available from the Tourist Information Centre at West Mill Street.

Golf

Another sport Scotland is renowned for is golf, and Perth is particularly worthy of mention in this respect as it has a golf course in the middle of the River Tay! Moncrieff Island is worth playing a round on, if only to be able to tell your friends that the golfers don't shout 'fore' on this course, they shout 'ahoy there!' Details from the Tourist Information Centre, or contact King James VI Golf Club, Tel. 625170.

Walking, cycling and skiing

Perth is also well-placed for other outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and skiing. Glenshee ski centre is on the A93 north of Blairgowrie and is easily reached from Perth. The tourist office can provide suggested cycle routes, and stocks the Cycle Routes in Highland Perthshire booklet. For walkers, a recommended guidebook is Perthshire, Angus and Fife Walks, which details 28 routes.

 

Nearby Ancient Monuments

  • Druids' Seat (Druids' Seat Wood)

    Ruinous and somewhat graffitied, but still magical stone circle in a forest clearing to the east of Luncarty. You walk through the forest to reach the clearing which is magical.

Local Visitor Attractions

  • Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park

    Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park is a beautiful wooded area on the outskirts of the city. The trip to the top of Kinnoull Hill (783 ft) itself affords an astounding view across Perth, down to the Tay estuary and through Fife to the Lomond hills. To the north, the views stretch from Ben More in the west to Lochnagar in the northeast.
  • Stewart Tower Farm (ice creams!)

    Enjoy a day at the farm and delicious local ice creams from dairy farm turned gelato maker. If you are travelling north on the A9 from Perth you can temporarily silence the bleat of Are we there yet...

  • Branklyn Garden

    Described as the finest two acres of private garden in the country', this oasis of peace and colour is a real urban haven, within walking distance of Perth.

  • Glendoick Gardens

    Voted one of the best 50 gardens in Europe and famous for its collection of azaleas and rhododrendons. The nearby

  • Black Watch Museum, Perth

    Hilary McNally visits the Black Watch Regimental museum in Perth and finds a permanent tribute to a local regiment with an international reputation.

Nearby Distilleries

Perth Events

  • Perth Gold Cup Day

    Most prestigious racing day combined with hats, heels, suits and jackets. Enjoy this Sunday fixture in your Sunday best

    • Start Date: 05.06.16
  • Potfest - International Ceramics Festival

    Now into the 17th year, Potfest in Scone Palace will feature some of the most creative makers in clay from around Europe.

    • Start Date: 10.06.16
  • A Celebration of Model Railways

    Scotland’s biggest independently run exhibition now in its 23rd consecutive year will take place in 2 halls in the Dewars Centre bringing quality layouts and trade from all over the UK.

     

    • Start Date: 25.06.16
  • Perth Festival of the Arts

    A 10 day festival of music, dance and drama including opera, classical, blues, rock and much more. This year's attraction include  Van Morrison, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Roland Gift, Sir James Galway, English Touring Opera, and many more.

    • Start Date: 19.05.16
  • Galloway Antiques Fairs

    Galloway Antiques Fairs have been organising quality antiques and fine art fairs for around two decades.

    • Start Date: 11.11.16
  • Perthshire Amber

    Experience the best of contemporary songs along with folk, traditional songs in this interesting 10 day event, which has evolved to be an important event in Scotland's musical calendar.

    • Start Date: 24.10.14
  • Southern Fried Festival

    The 7th Southern Fried festival is Perth's Annual Festival of American Roots Music, held in various venues across Perth.

    • Start Date: 30.07.16
  • Rewind Scotland

    As the name implies, Rewind Scotland will bring to you the theme bars, and the other customary 80s Rewind range of camping options including tents already erected for arrival, tipi villages, and more. Loads of fun and entertainment for everyone in the family.

    • Start Date: 22.07.16
  • Perth Highland Games

    Perth Highland Games has evolved to be one of the most popular Highland games in Scotland. Some of the traditional events that are featured include throwing the hammer, tossing the caber and Highland dance among others. The pipe band contest is quite popular and attracts many bands including overseas bands.

    • Start Date: 14.08.16
  • Solas Festival

    The 5th Solas Festival offers an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone with various attractions including Music, books and discussion events.

    • Start Date: 17.06.16

Perth Hotels & Accommodation

Hotels

There are numerous places to stay in and around Perth. Pick of the bunch is the Ballathie House Hotel, at Kinclaven, near Stanley, 2 miles north of Perth, just off the A9, Tel. 01250-883268, 43 rooms. This elegant, award-winning 19th-century former hunting lodge has a reputation for superb Scottish cuisine (expensive). Late Rooms Availability for Ballathie House Hotel in Stanley, near Perth

Huntingtower Hotel (Hotel)
One of Scotland’s traditional romantic country house Hotels In Perthshire, 1 mile west of Perth off the A85 to Crieff, with 34 rooms. Elegant country house hotel in its own landscaped gardens, good food in the dining room and bar meals in the conservatory.more details about Huntingtower Hotel

Next to the train station, on Leonard St, is the Quality Station Hotel, Tel. 624141, 70 rooms. A grand old Victorian edifice close to the town centre. Late Rooms Availability for Quality Hotel Perth City Centre.

Sunbank House Hotel, 50 Dundee Rd, Tel. 624882, Fax. 442515. 9 rooms. A lovely little hotel overlooking the River Tay and close to Branklyn Garden and Kinnoull Hill, great value. Late Rooms Availability for Sunbank House Hotel in Perth

Highly recommended is the Parklands on the edge of town. Late Rooms Availability for Parklands Hotel in Perth

A good value central 3 star hotel is the Salutation Hotel Late Rooms Availability for Salutation Hotel in Perth


About 6 miles from Perth is the 19th century Newton House Hotel check for Late Rooms Availability for Newton House Hotel near Perth

The New County
located in Perth, Our team are committed to the highest standards of modern hospitality in classical yet contemporary, softly elegant and very relaxing surroundings. more details about The New County

B & Bs

There are plenty of B&Bs and guesthouses in town. You'll find lots of them along Dunkeld Rd, heading north out of town towards the A9, including: Almond Villa Guest House, No 51, Tel. 629356, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Clark Kimberley, No 57-59, Tel. 637406; The Gables Guest House, No 24, Tel. /Fax. 624717, www.thegablesgh.co.uk; and Strathcona, No 45, Tel. 626185. There are also several places on Marshall Pl, which overlooks the South Inch, including the highly recommended Kinnaird Guest House, No 5, Tel. 6280121, Next door at No 6 is Marshall House, Tel. 442886. Perhaps the best place to look is Pitcullen Cres, on the A94 Coupar Angus road, where almost every house on the street offers B&B. The most recommended include Achnacarry Guest House, No 3, Tel. 621421; Adam Guest House, No 6, Tel/Fax. 627179; Clunie Guest House, No 12, Tel/Fax. 623625, ; and Pitcullen Guest House, No 17, Tel. 626506,

Cottages

Fingask Castle Cottages
5 Cottages in the grounds of Fingask Castle in Highland Perthshire
more details about Fingask Castle Cottages
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