My Guide to Visiting Perth, Scotland
by David Wheater of Tours of Edinburgh
Introduction to perth
Perth is a small, friendly Scottish city, situated in central Scotland, with a population of around 45,000. Perth is often referred to as “The Fair City” after Sir Walter Scott’s 1828 novel the “Fair Maid of Perth”.
Perth lost its city status in 1975, but regained it recently on 14th March, 2012 in a competition to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Perth is often overlooked by visitors to Scotland, but it really is a beautiful small city that always rewards a visit.
Surrounded by rich, fertile farming land, on the west bank of the river Tay, Perth is an important retail and commercial centre for the region, with regular livestock and farmers markets taking place throughout the year. Today the city’s main employment is found in the banking, insurance and whisky industries, with the Royal Bank of Scotland, Aviva and Scottish & Southern Energy being some of its largest employers. Perth is also home to the global Stagecoach Group which has its main headquarters in the city.
Perth College UHI (University of the Highlands & Islands) attracts a large number of students from the rest of Scotland and overseas to study MBA’s and MSc’s in its popular centres for Enterprise and Computing Science. Perth College is also a centre of excellence for aircraft engineering.
Perth is a lovely city, offering a high quality of life with easy access to some of the most picturesque countryside in Scotland. Occupying a convenient central location in Scotland, all of Scotland’s six other cities may be easily reached via the M90, A9 and the A90.
With the majestic River Tay running through it and an attractive, pedestrianised city centre, it’s a great place to spend a day or two. Over the years, we’ve got to know Perth pretty well and so we thought we’d share with you a little of our knowledge of this lovely Perthshire city.
The city of Perth is a small, compact city located in the heart of Scotland on the banks of the lovely River Tay.
Just over an hours drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh, the city of Perth makes the perfect base to explore all the lovely Perthshire villages and the beautiful surrounding Perthshire countryside.
Perth derives its name from the Pictish-Gaelic word for “wood” or “copse” and was at one time considered the working capital of Scotland due to the frequent visits of the royal court.
Sadly, few historic buildings remain from Perth’s days as the capital of Scotland, but it can certainly boast of a long and colourful past, with many of Scotland’s most important historical events having taken place in the city. Certainly, one of the most important was the beginning of the Scottish Reformation, which began with John Knox’s powerful sermon against “idolatry” in the burgh kirk of St John the Baptist in the city centre (open to visitors and well worth a visit). Perth actually used to be called “St John’s Town” after this church and the local football team is still named “Saint Johnstone”.
Hidden from view and buried underneath the city are the remains of Oliver Cromwell’s Citadel which was built to fortify and hold the city after capturing it in 1651. Archaeological digs have uncovered an impressive fortification, which was demolished from the 1660’s onwards after the restoration of Charles II to the throne.
Perth is easily explored on foot and offers lovely walks along the River Tay promenade and two beautiful parks, in the north and south of the city, called the North and South Inch. A highly recommended walk is the well sign posted River Tay Circular Walk. Perth is a very regular winner of the Britain in Bloom Award and its residents take great civic pride in making it one of the most attractive cities in the UK.
Now an important commercial centre for the whole of Scotland, Perth is an important retail centre offering most of the major high street brands, alongside a healthy mix of independent specialist retailers. With a traffic-free high Street and attractive Georgian terraced houses, shopping in Perth city centre is stress-free and a lovely place to be.
Perth and surrounding county offer an incredible amount to see and do with seemingly endless castles, distilleries, beautiful walks and scenery, not to mention the magnificent Cairngorms National Park less than an hours drive away. The lovely Perthshire villages of Aberfeldy, Crieff, Pitlochry and Dunkeld should also not be missed.
In Perth itself, a visit to the Perth Museum & Art Gallery, St John’s Kirk, The Fergusson Gallery, Stanley Mills, the Fair Maid’s House and the Black Watch Museum is an absolute must for every visitor. A bit further afield, a walk up Kinnoul Hill affords amazing views over the whole county and the castles of Huntingtower, Elcho and Megginch should not be missed either. Perth is also an excellent base for visiting Scone Palace and Blair Atholl.
Perth has its own very popular Perth Racecourse hosting many well-attended races throughout the year, with Ladies Day and Gold Cup Day being just a few of the highlights.
For culture lovers, the Perth Festival of the Arts is usually held in May, with other county highlights being the Perth Show, The Scottish Game Fair, the Glenfiddich Piping & Fiddling Championships, Rewind Scotland, the Perthshire Amber Festival and Blair Castle International Horse Trials & Country Fair.
With all this to offer Perth is a city not to be missed!
Transport in Perth
Unfortunately, Perth does not have a commercial airport. Travel time to Perth from Edinburgh Airport is around 40 minutes and from Glasgow Airport is around 80 minutes.
(It does, however, have a very busy airport for flight training and engineering which is very popular with students from all around the world. Located a few miles north east of Perth at New Scone it’s Scotland’s main airport for general air service training and has close links with Perth College. You can visit the air service training website at: http://www.airservicetraining.co.uk)
The city of Perth is well served by local buses with reasonably good rural services operating throughout Perthshire itself. Perth bus station is located at Leonard Street opposite the train station. For local bus timetables visit the Perth & Kinross website at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/1732/Public-and-community-transport.
There are three excellent “Park & Ride” services operating in Perth (Perth, Scone & Kinross) allowing you to park and let the bus take you into the city centre. For more information on the Perth and Scone Park+Ride schemes please visit the Perth and Kinross Council Website at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/1986/Park-and-Ride.
If you are travelling elsewhere in Scotland try First Group Edinburgh, National Express or Scottish Citylink. The website Traveline Scotland at http://www.travelinescotland.com/welcome.do can help you plan any Scottish bus journey and to other parts of the UK. You can also telephone them on 0871 200 22 33 for help to plan any public transport journey within Scotland.
Perth train station is located at Leonard Street in the city centre. For facilities at the station visit the ScotRail website at http://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/stations-and-facilities/pth. Trains operate from Perth to all the other major Scottish cities. The Caledonian Sleeper Train from London, Euston stops in Perth with a journey time of around 8.5 hours. Faster trains from London to Perth take around 6 to 7 hours.
You may also use the Highland Chieftain train which provides a daily service between inter alia Inverness, Aviemore, Pitlochry, Perth, Gleneagles, Stirling, Edinburgh and London Kings Cross.
Visit the National Rail Enquiries website (Tel. 03457 484 950) for help to plan your train journey.
Perth Taxis & Hire Cars
Hiring a Car
Hiring a car in Scotland is easy and you may like to try the following car hire companies in Perth:
Enterprise Rent A Car
Arran Road, North Muirton Industrial Estate, Perth PH1 3DZ
Tel. +44 01738-440222
Thrifty Car Rental Company
Lawgrove Place, Inveralmond Industrial Estate, Perth PH1 3XQ
Tel. 01738 783616
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental
St Leonard’s Bank, Perth PH2 8EB
Tel. 01738 897089
- Ace Taxis Perth Tel. (01738) 444 000
- A&B Taxis Perth Tel. (01738) 634 567
- Perth Taxi’s Ltd Tel. (01738) 830 002
- Perth Radio Taxi Tel. (01738) 580 058
Perth Visitor Attractions
Although Perth is a small city, there’s a surprising number of things to see and do in and around the city. Whether you love history, gardens, castles or whisky, this beautiful city has it all. If you plan to see all the attractions listed below you’ll need at least a couple of days to appreciate them all properly.
The Fergusson Gallery
The Fergusson Gallery in Perth contains the largest collection of artwork by the celebrated pioneer of modern art, Scottish colourist painter John Duncan Fergusson. It also celebrates the work of Margaret (Meg) Morris who was a talented choreographer in modern dance. The couple were together for almost fifty years and it’s lovely that their remarkable talents are celebrated together in this fabulous water tower.
St John’s Kirk of Perth
Founded in 1126, St. John’s Kirk of Perth is located in the heart of Perth and is famous as the place where reformationist John Knox began the Scottish reformation in 1559, with his “sin of idolatry” sermon. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, Perth was once named after the church “St. John’s Toun” and the local football team is still known as “St. Johnstone”.
Scone Palace & Stone of Destiny
Located just a couple of miles north of Perth, Scone Palace is home to the Earls of Mansfield and has been the crowning place of Scottish Kings, such as Robert The Bruce. The Palace houses an impressive collection of paintings, antiques and rare artefacts, and the gardens are stunning. A very popular venue for festivals and fairs and a must visit for anyone visiting Perth.
Fair Maid’s House
Linked to Sir Walter Scott’s fictitious heroine, Catherine Glover, in his novel The Fair Maid of Perth, the Fair Maid’s House is now a popular Geographic Visitor & Education Centre run by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. For anyone interested in space, planets, geology and the formation of the natural world it’s an absolutely must see. The Scottish Explorers’ Room is particularly fascinating.
The Black Watch Museum
The wonderful Black Watch Museum is housed in the historic Balhousie Castle, next to North Inch Park, in Perth. With exhibitions and galleries covering an incredible two and a half centuries of Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment, this is a fascinating insight into one of Scotland’s most celebrated family regiments. With regular events and lots of activities for children – it’s a great family day out at any time of the year.
Perth Museum & Art Gallery
Perth Museum & Art Gallery is one of the oldest museums in the UK, housing an incredible half a million objects and artefacts. The museum is a great place to find out more about Perthshire’s social and natural history, with collections covering fine art, photography, archaeology, silverware, geology and local history – to name but a few. Located in a lovely building, with regular new exhibitions, it’s an essential for anyone wishing to learn more about Perthshire and its fascinating history.
Stanley mills produced textiles for over 200 years and, today, its excellent visitor centre tells the story of the people who worked there and the products they made. With interactive exhibits, quizzes and hands-on activities there’s plenty to do to bring this place alive for both children and adults. In beautiful grounds next to the River Tay and with some lovely views, it’s a great place to learn all about the industrial revolution and the lives of cotton workers.
Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park & Tower
Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park is just a short journey from Perth and is a great place to escape to for some peace and quiet in picturesque and peaceful woodland surroundings. With miles of paths, nature trails and an abundance of wildlife, mixed woodland, flora and fauna, it’s great for family days out. Walking up to the 19th-century romantic folly, Kinnoull Tower, affords visitors some incredible panoramic views over surrounding countryside. Cyclists and horse riders are also welcomed.
Associated with two families, the Ruthvens and the Murrays, Huntingtower dates back to the 15th-century and has witnessed some notable events in its past, including the “Ruthven Raid” when Mary Queen of Scots son, James VI, was held captive here by Lord Ruthven for 10 months against his will. The painted medieval ceiling (one of the oldest in Scotland) and access to the rooftop are highlights of any visit.
Abernethy Village & Museum
Situated in the historic conservation village of Abernethy, the Abernethy Museum preserves the varied and extensive history of this lovely village, which dates back to Pictish Times. The main exhibits include artefacts and information about the historic round tower in the village, the Roman legionary fortress at Carpow and from its days as the Pictish Capital. With a lovely garden and activities for the kids it’s well worth a visit.
Located in a beautiful quiet setting on the River Tay, Elcho Castle is a well-preserved 16th-century tower house, with great views from the top over surrounding countryside. Built by the Wemyss family, whose main family seat is Wemyss Castle in Fife, it served them well as a comfortable country mansion until it fell into disuse and was entrusted to the state in the 1920’s. It’s great for picnics and for kids, who can dress up in the period costumes provided – which is great fun!.
Located on the A9 between Stirling and Perth, Tullibardine distillery is a great way to learn all about “uisge beatha” – the water of life. An independent distillery since 2003, Tullibardine produces very high-quality highland single malt whisky and you can see the whole process for yourself by booking a distillery tour. With a good cafe and shop, this is an excellent place for both whisky novices and connoisseurs alike.
Branklyn is located on the outskirts of Perth and is well worth a visit in the spring and summer to enjoy its rare and unusual plants from as far afield as China, Tibet, Bhutan and the Himalayas. Highlights include Rhododendrons, Meconopsis, Primulas and Alpine plants. Guided tours are available and there’s a small shop with a selection of gifts and plants for sale.
Glenturret Distillery (Famous Grouse Experience)
Located near the Perthshire town of Crieff, the Glenturret Distillery is the spiritual home of the Famous Grouse Whisky and is the oldest distillery in Scotland (1775). There’s a range of tours to suit all levels of interest and you can even “nose and taste” Famous Grouse Malt straight from the cask! With an excellent restaurant and a tasting bar, it’s an unmissable day out.
Perth Concert Hall, Cafe bar & Gallery
Perth Concert Hall is the hub of cultural life in Perth and has a varied programme of musical events and theatrical productions throughout the year. The concert hall is home to one of Scotland’s leading contemporary art galleries “Threshold artspace”, which hosts regular exhibitions from local and international artists all year round. If you’re after a bite to eat in bright, airy, funky surroundings, then the Glassrooms cafe-bar restaurant is a great place to stop while appreciating and admiring the artwork.
Perth Racecourse shares parkland with Scone Palace making it one of the most attractive courses in the UK. There are usually around eight fixtures every year, including the Crabbie’s Ginger Beer Festival, Ladies Day, Gold Cup Day and the Summer Carnival. Meetings take place between April and September, so check your dates and get along for a fantastic day out in lovely surroundings.
Other Attractions in Perthshire
There’s lots to see in the beautiful county of Perthshire. Here are a few other visitor attractions that are well worth a visit.
- The Queen’s View, Loch Tummel
- Blair Castle & Atholl Gathering
- The Falls of Bruar
- The Hermitage – Falls of Braan
- Soldiers Leap
- Enchanted Forest, Pitlochry
- The Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry
- Loch Tay
- Scottish Crannog Centre, Kenmore
- Dunkeld Cathedral
- Gleneagles Spa & Golf Resort
Perth Restaurants & Cafes
Anyone visiting Perth and Perthshire will find an impressive range of cafes and restaurants serving high-quality dishes to suit every culinary preference and pocket.
The rich, fertile farming land around Perth ensures a plentiful supply for its restaurants of exceptionally high-quality seasonal produce – from beef and venison to vegetables and fresh fruit. With Perthshire producing such high-quality ingredients for chefs to shine, it’s no surprise that Perth offers one of the best dining out experiences in Scotland.
A wide variety of tastes and cuisine is catered for in Perth, from small cafes offering great coffee and snacks, to characterful bistros and fine dining establishments offering a wide range of international cuisine.
What surprises many people about Perth is its vibrant Cafe Culture, with many cafes spilling out onto the street and people just choosing to relax and while away the odd hour people watching.
Below are some of our favourite restaurants, cafes and bistros in Perth. We have included a wide range of types of cuisine and places to suit all pockets.
MAE PING THAI DINING
161-165 South Street, Perth PH2 8NY
36 South Methvan Street, Perth PH1 5NU
NORTH PORT RESTAURANT
8 North Port, Perth PH1 5LU
33 George Street, Perth PH1 5LA
TABLA AUTHENTIC INDIAN RESTAURANT
173 South Street, Perth PH2 8NY
46 South Methven Street, Perth PH1 5NX
32-34 High Street, Perth PH1 5TQ
THE POST BOX RESTAURANT & BAR
80 George Street, Perth PH1 5LB
77-79 Kinnoul Street, Perth PH1 5EZ
CHATNI INDIAN RESTAURANT
15 Main Street, Methven, Perth PH1 3PU
PIG ‘HALLE RESTAURANT
38 South Street, Perth PH2 8PG
24-26 Atholl Street, Perth PH1 5NP
1 Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ
THE ROOST RESTAURANT
Forgandenny Road, Kintillo, Bridge of Earn, Perth PH2 9AZ (15 min’s south of Perth)
Bars & Pubs in Perth
Perth might be a small city, but it’s got some really good pubs, many packed with character and old fashioned charm. Try to visit when there’s live music and you’re guaranteed a great night out.
15 South Street, Perth PH2 8PG
THE TWA TWAMS
79/81 Scott Street, Perth PH2 8JR
THE PITCAIRNGREEN INN
Pitcairngreen, Perth PH1 3LP
103 South Street, Perth PH2 8PA
THE KIRKSIDE BAR
9 St John’s Place, Perth PH1 5SZ
THE AULD HOOSE
83 South Street, Perth PH2 8PA
37 Angus Road, Scone PH2 6RA
14-16 Kinnoull Street, Perth PH1 5EZ
THE GLOVER ARMS
Crieff Road, Huntingtower Park, Perth PH1 3JJ
Shopping in Perth
With a largely pedestrianised city centre, Perth is a great place for some stress-free shopping and a bit of retail therapy. Here’s a few of our favourite shops in Perth:
5 Watergate, Perth PH1 5TF
A fantastic craft boutique of contemporary gifts and homewares from designers in Scotland and around the UK. If you’re after an original high quality gift for someone special this is the place to head for in Perth.
Provender Brown Delicatessen
23 George Street, Perth PH1 5JY
This deli is a Perthshire legend offering some of the highest quality food and drink to be found anywhere in Scotland. From lunch on the go to groceries, wine and seasonal produce this is your one stop shop for high quality food and drink in Perth.
24 St John Street, Perth PH1 5SP
One of the best women’s fashion and accessories store in Perth. If you’re bored with your wardrobe head here for some inspiration and new ideas – don’t forget to take your purse – you’ll need it!
85 South Street, Perth PH2 8PA
A lovely, traditional toyshop offering a great range of traditional and contemporary toys. If you’ve got a youngster to shop for it’s really worth a visit.
Elegance of Perth – Millinery
17 Atholl Street, Perth PH1 5NH
An amazing selection of hats, fascinators, jewellery, accessories and bridalwear. If you’ve got a wedding or special occasion coming up then this is the place to ‘head for’ with a hat for every occasion. Regarded as one of Scotland’s leading Milliners. They’ve also got an excellent online store.
4-6 Bridge Lane, Perth PH1 5JJ
A fabulous ladies boutique selling high quality clothing, jewellery, handbags and accessories, many items from Scottish designers. Good online shop too.
This Little Piggy
57 South Methven Street, Perth PH1 5NX
An award winning childrens shoe shop offering all the latest brands with specialist fitting . If you’re looking for shoes for your growing family this is the only place to head for childrens shoes in Perth.
23 St John Street, Perth PH1 5SH
A highly regarded shoe shop stocking both mens and womens shoe brands including Gabor, ecco, Van Dal and many more. Well worth a visit if you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes in Perth.
The Jewellery Workshop
262 High Street, Perth PH1 5QJ
This wonderful jewellers specialises in stocking jewellery from individual designers from all around the UK – so you’re guaranteed something a little more special than the high street shops can offer. If you’re after jewellery make this your first stop in Perth.
St John’s Shopping Centre
King Edward Street, Perth PH1 5UB
With over thirty stores under one roof the St John’s Shopping Centre is a very easy and convenient place to shop bang in the centre of Perth. Stores include H&M, M&Co, Monsoon Accessories, Primark, River Island, Waterstones, Ernest Jones, and The Perfume Shop. The centre opens from 9am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday and on Sundays 11am-5pm. There are several good car parks located close to the centre including Mill Street, Scott Street, Canal Street and Kinnoull Street (Multi-storey).
Annual Festivals in Perth
Perth is host to lots of great annual festivals and events running throughout the year. Here’s some of our favourites:
Perth Festival of the Arts (May)
Scottish Game Fair (July)
Perform in Perth (Mar)
Perth Accordian & Fiddle Festival (Oct)
Perth Beer Festival (May)
Southern Fried Festival (Jul/Aug)
Perth Festival of Chocolate (Nov)
Rewind Scotland: The 80’s Festival (Jul)
Perthshire Amber Festival (Oct/Nov)
Perthshire Adventure Festival (Jun)
Highland Perthshire Cycling Festival (May)
The Enchanted Forest (Oct/Nov)
Perth Highland Games (Aug)
Birnam Highland Games (Aug)
City of Perth Paranormal Festival (Oct)
Perth Races (Events/festivals throughout the year)
T in The Park (July)
Strathallan Castle – http://www.tinthepark.com/home.aspx
Perth Winter Festival (Nov/Dec)
For what’s on in the city of Perth visit the Perth Concert Hall website at http://www.horsecross.co.uk and Visit Scotland’s events calendar for Perthshire at http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/events/perthshire/. The events calendar at Perth & Kinross Council's website is also worth a look at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/events.
Perth Leisure Activities
- The Dewar’s Centre
- Leisure Pool
- George Duncan Athletics Arena
- Bell’s Sports Centre
- Mc Diarmid Park Football Stadium
- Doo’cot Cricket Ground
- Golfing in Perth
- Perth Playhouse
- Perth Concert Hall
- Perth Theatre
- Parks: North Inch and South Inch. Norie-Millar Park, Rodney Gardens and Bellwood Park. Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park,
- Walks: Buckie Braes Walk. Quarrymill Woodland Walk.
- If you’re a keen golfer there are some excellent courses available in and around Perth, including the following clubs and courses:
- Craigie Hill Golf Club
- North Inch Golf Course
- Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses
- King James VI Golf Course
- Blairgowrie Golf Club
- Auchterarder Golf Club
- Ladybank Golf Club
- Cycling in Perth
The cycle track along the River Almond and the River Tay. Starts near Huntingtower Hotel and finishes near the city centre.
For a good overview of cycle routes in Perth and Kinross please visit the Perth & Kinross Council website at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/3703/Cycle-routes-in-Perth-and-Kinross.
For an excellent overview of cycling in Perthshire and popular routes visit Highland Perthshire Cycling at http://www.highlandperthshirecycling.co.uk/.
For sports centres and activities in Perth, including gyms and swimming pools, visit http://www.liveactive.co.uk.
Popular Perth Hotels
For a small city, Perth has a great choice of hotels and Bed & Breakfasts that are of a very high quality.
Most of the hotels are located fairly centrally, within walking distance of the city centre, and many are still family run. Some have been welcoming guests for hundreds of years and retain great character, such as the Salutation Hotel and The Royal George Hotel. There are even hotels in converted water mills like the Mercure Hotel and a good number of authentic country house hotels like the HuntingTower Hotel and the Ballathie Country House Hotel and Estate. Here’s a few of the best in and around Perth:
SUNBANK HOUSE HOTEL
50 Dundee Road, Perth PH2 7BA
http://www.sunbankhouse.com Tel. (01738) 624 882
4 Star. Wi-Fi. Free Parking.
The family run Sunbank Hotel is situated in an elevated position overlooking the River Tay and just 10 minutes walk from Perth city centre. It’s also close to the lovely Branklyn Gardens (NTS), Rodney Gardens, Bellwood Riverside Gardens and Kinnoull Hill. The hotel itself is surrounded by lovely mature gardens and offer guests a quiet country hotel retreat that’s just perfect for exploring Perthshire and Fife. The rooms are traditionally and tastefully decorated and many have great views towards the river and the rest of Perth. As well as a great breakfast menu, evening meals are also available if booked in advance. This is a charming, traditional Scottish hotel with all the modern conveniences you’ll need for a very comfortable and relaxing stay in Perth.
34 South Street, Perth PH2 8PH
www.strathmorehotels.com/Salutation+Hotel/Home/ Tel. (01738) 630 066
3 Star. Wi-Fi. Bar & Restaurant. 84 Rooms.
The Salutation Hotel has been welcoming guests for hundreds of years and retains huge amounts of charm amongst a maze of intriguing corridors and rooms. Situated in the centre of Perth close to shops, Perth Theatre and the Concert Hall, it’s ideal for visitors who want to explore Perth and beyond. The hotel has an excellent bar, Reid’s Bar, which has a good bar menu for lunch and dinner. If you fancy something a little more formal then the splendid Adam Restaurant, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling and impressive Adam window, offers fabulous high teas and a great dinner menu. The rooms are all tastefully decorated and well equipped with ensuite facilities. If you’re looking for a comfortable hotel in the centre of Perth, with lots of history and character, then this is certainly the one to go for.
THE ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL
Tay Street, Perth, PH1 5LD
http://www.theroyalgeorgehotel.co.uk Tel. (01738) 624 455
3 Star. Restaurant & Bar. 45 ensuite rooms.
The Royal George is another great Perth hotel, offering lots of charm, character and history in the very centre of Perth. The hotel received its Royal Warrant in 1848 after an unexpected visit from Queen Victoria and her family, who were very impressed with their visit! It remains an excellent choice for those who want a friendly and relaxing hotel in the city centre. The rooms are comfortable and contemporary in style and many offer great views over the promenade and the River Tay. The Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre are just a few minutes walk away, as are lovely walks along the Tay promenade. The Conservatory restaurant is ideal for a traditional Scottish high tea with fabulous views over the River Tay. A great hotel in a great location.
MERCURE PERTH HOTEL
West Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5QP
http://www.mercureperth.co.uk Tel. +44 (0) 844 815 9105
3 Star. Wi-Fi. Restaurant & Bar.
The Mercure Hotel is set within a wonderfully converted 15-century water mill that gives it great character and old world charm. It is located just a few minutes walk from Perth’s city centre shops and amenities and also next to the Tourist Information Centre. The former use of the building has been thoughtfully preserved, with the mill wheel and mill lade still visible from reception and the lounge bar. There’s a choice of standard and executive ensuite rooms, which are all tastefully decorated and well equipped with high-speed internet, flat screen TV’s and welcome trays. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available in the Brasserie Restaurant, with drinks and snacks available in the characterful bar. This is a great hotel, with lots of quirky and interesting features, offering something a little different.
GRAMPIAN HOTEL PERTH
37 York Place, Perth, PH2 8EH
http://www.grampianhotel.co.uk Tel. (01738) 621 057
3 Star. Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant & bar. 12 Rooms.
The Grampian Hotel is a small, friendly, family-run 3-star hotel located close to Perth bus and train stations. The City centre is only 5-10 minutes walk away. The 12 ensuite rooms are tastefully decorated and comfortable and come with free WiFi, tea & coffee and complimentary toiletries. The on-site restaurant offers a lunch and dinner menu with coffee and cakes available throughout the day. The highlight of a visit must be the Grampians high tea which is a real speciality and great value. The owners and staff really know how to look after their guests and offer warm and welcoming hospitality.
THE PARKLANDS HOTEL
2 Saint Leonard’s Bank, Perth, PH2 8EB
http://www.theparklandshotel.com Tel. (01738) 622 451
4 Star. Free WiFi. Bistro & Restaurant. 15 Rooms.
The Parklands Hotel is attractively located, overlooking Perth’s lovely South Inch Park and is just a few minutes walk from Perth Rail Station. The hotel is in a handsome Victorian villa with lovely landscaped gardens leading down to South Inch Park, which are great to sit in and enjoy a drink in summer. The rooms are modern and well decorated and come well equipped with WiFi, cable TV, CD player and tea & coffee facilities. The best rooms are almost certainly the larger Superior rooms which are front facing, with lovely views of the garden and South Inch Park. The hotel has two very good restaurants, 63@Parklands and No.1 the Bank Bistro, which both offer a great variety of dishes using locally sourced seasonal produce.
BEST WESTERN QUEENS HOTEL
Leonard Street, Perth, Scotland PH2 8HB
http://www.queensperth.co.uk Tel. (01738) 442 222
3 Star. Free WiFi. Leisure Club & Swimming Pool. Restaurant. 51 Rooms.
The Queens Hotel is very conveniently located next to the bus and rail stations, just a few minutes walk from the city centre. The standard ensuite rooms are very well equipped with free WiFi, complimentary toiletries and hospitality trays, with the option of upgrading to a Deluxe Room which adds a few extra luxuries. The hotel has a good lounge bar and restaurant which serves coffee and snacks throughout the day, with a good high tea and dinner menu for more formal dining. The Queens Hotel is a great choice if you’re into your health and fitness. It’s the only Perth hotel to have a heated swimming pool, which is free for guests to use along with the other gym facilities, sauna and steam room.
BALLATHIE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & ESTATE
Kinclaven, Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland PH1 4QN
http://www.ballathiehousehotel.com Tel. +44 (0) 1250 883 268
4 Star. Restaurant & Bar.
The Ballathie Country House Hotel is a wonderful, elegant, country estate house, complete with three turrets and other lovely architectural features both inside and out. The house was built in the 1880’s on the banks of the River Tay and was sympathetically converted into a hotel in 1972. Situated around a 25-minute drive from Perth in a quiet, secluded position in the Ballathie Estate, it’s ideally located for exploring Perthshire and close to many of Perthshire’s best golf courses. The characterful rooms in the main house are beautifully furnished and decorated, with a Sportsman’s Lodge providing more modest accommodation for those indulging in sporting activities. There are also 16 separate riverside rooms, with fantastic views over the River Tay, which would be the top choice for many guests. Lunch and dinner are available in the excellent restaurant and bar, with afternoon tea a favourite. Fishing and other sporting activities are available to guests.
MURRAYSHALL HOUSE HOTEL & GOLF COURSES
Scone, Perth, Scotland PH2 7PH
http://www.murrayshall.co.uk Tel. (01738) 551 171
4 Star. WiFi. Restaurant & Bar. 41 Rooms.
Murrayshall House Hotel is beautifully set in 350 acres of stunning parkland, with two excellent 18 hole golf courses. Dating back to 1664, the house has a long aristocratic history and became a hotel in the 1970’s. All the bedrooms are individually designed and traditionally furnished with lovely period features. Guests may choose from Standard and Superior rooms which are all well equipped. The best rooms are those offering views of the surrounding countryside. There are also a variety of suites located in lodges close to the main hotel. The Club Bar and Restaurant are ideal for drinks, snacks and informal lunches, while the Old Masters Restaurant offers mouth watering traditional Scottish cuisine using fresh local produce. The Murrayshall Championship golf course, a great draw for golfers, was built by the renowned designer Hamilton Stutt and is remarkable for the seamless way it fits so naturally into its surroundings. A lovely hotel with lots of charm in stunning Perthshire countryside.
HUNTINGTOWER HOTEL PERTH
1 Crieff Road, Perth, PH1 3JT
http://www.huntingtowerhotel.co.uk Tel. (01738) 583 771
3 Star. Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant & Lounge Bar. 34 Rooms.
HuntingTower is a lovely country house hotel, situated just 3 miles and 10 minutes drive from Perth city centre. Set in 6 acres of lovely mature gardens and parkland, it’s in an ideal location for those looking for a little more peace and tranquillity than the city can offer – yet the city is just a few minutes drive away. The hotel offers a variety of rooms, including a Cottage Room with outdoor access and large Family Rooms that can sleep five with room for a cot. The modern rooms are very well equipped and tastefully decorated in keeping with the style and character of the house. The excellent wood panelled restaurant offers guests a traditional choice of authentic Scottish dishes prepared from local Perthshire produce, while the lounge bar is great for snacks, lunch and afternoon tea. A charming, peaceful hotel in wonderful mature gardens with all the attractions of Perth just a short drive away.
Perth Bed & Breakfast
Perth has lots of excellent bed and breakfast accommodation. The standards are very high and many B&Bs beat the local hotels at their own game. Here’s a few of the best regarded B&Bs in Perth:
Pitcullen Guest House
17 Pitcullen Crescent, Perth PH2 7HT
17 Marshall Place, Perth PH2 8AG
Rowanlea Guest House
87 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PQ
Rosebank Guest House
53 Dunkeld Road, Perth PH1 5RP
Dalvey Bed & Breakfast
55 Dunkeld Road, Perth PH1 5RP
Ardfern Guest House
15 Pitcullen Crescent, Perth PH2 7HT
Alma Villa Guest House
73 Dunkeld Road, Perth PH1 5RP
West Inchmichael, by Errol, Perthshire PH2 7RS
Hogmanay Parties in Perth
Most of the local hotels in Perth host excellent Hogmanay dinners and ceilidhs. Here’s a few that normally hold annual Hogmanay parties in Perth (please check with the venue in advance).
Scone Palace Park, Perth PH2 6BB
Best Western Queens Hotel
Leonard Street, Perth PH2 8HB
Hogmanay Gala Dinner
Best Western Lovat Hotel
Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0LT
Hogmanay House Party
Hogmanay Parties are also held annually at The Salutation Hotel, The Huntingtower Hotel, the Grampian Hotel and The Royal George Hotel (see restaurants).
Popular Districts of Perth
Here’s a few popular districts of Perth with some information on each.
Bridge of Earn, Perth
Bridge of Earn is a lovely village located around 4 miles south of Perth. The village grew up on the south bank of the River Earn and is affectionately known by locals as “The Brig” .
The village owes its existence to bridges over the River Earn where tolls were once collected. Inns and hotels grew up around the bridge to serve travellers on the road north from Edinburgh.
The economy of the village was at one time largely dependent on the huge popularity of a long since closed local spa called Pitkeathly Wells which closed in 1949. People used to flock to the spa by train and paddle steamer from all around the UK to “take the waters” and improve their health.
The main source of employment in the village used to be Bridge of Earn Hospital which started life as one of the temporary war hospitals during World War II and closed in 1993. A new development of the former Hospital grounds called Oudenarde is being built to the east of the village.
The village has grown significantly in recent years to accommodate commuters who take advantage of the villages close proximity to the M90 motorway to work in Perth, Edinburgh and Dundee. This has resulted in much improved local amenities and shops. Village amenities are excellent and include a medical practice and dentist, a chemist, post office, mobile bank, various pubs, restaurants, takeaways and convenience shops, a Co-op supermarket, hairdressers and a bakery.
The village is home to one of the best fine dining restaurants in Fife, The Roost Restaurant.
There is a good variety of property types available in the village including large detached bungalows, 4/5 bed new build detached houses, traditional stone built Victorian villas and ex-local authority houses and flats.
There are two excellent schools in the village including Dunbarney Primary School and the fee paying girls boarding school of Kilgraston. Strathallan School, a fee paying school for boys and girls, is just three miles away in the neighbouring village of Forgandenny.
Recreation wise the village has a bowling club, a nearby trout fishery (Sandyknowes), holiday lets on the river and fantastic walks along the River Earn and surrounding countryside.
Burghmuir, which incorporates the sought after Oakbank district, is a popular residential suburb located around a mile west of Perth city centre.
The Burghmuir area is very popular with families who wish to be close to the highly respected Oakbank Primary School, Viewlands Primary School and Perth High School. There are currently plans for a new Oakbank Primary School and nursery to open in 2015.
The area is also home to the popular Stagecoach Theatre Arts School which provides part-time training in singing, dancing and acting for children aged 4 – 18 years old.
Properties in the area vary from 4 bed family semi’s to 3 & 4 bed detached villas and bungalows. Properties are predominantly brick built from the 1960’s with some further properties built in the 1990’s. There are a few new executive developments.
The area is well served by good local shops and amenities and golfers have the Craigie Hill Golf Club nearby.
Burghmuir is the ideal location for those needing quick access to the M90 and A9(T) at the nearby Broxden roundabout.
Local Schools: Oakbank Primary School, Viewlands Primary School, Perth Academy, Perth High School subject to catchment areas.
Craigie is a very desirable and convenient residential district of Perth, lying just south west of the city centre. Often referred to as the “village in Perth’ it’s ideally located for enjoying all the business and leisure facilities of the city centre which can be easily accessed on foot.
The area has its own Ice Rink, Leisure centre and Swimming pool and Craigie Hill Golf Course (est. 1911) is just a few minutes drive away. The lovely South Inch park, with its boating pond, is also within easy walking distance and a great way to access the city centre by foot.
The area benefits from good local shops, especially around Craigie Cross, a Post Office and various food outlets including The Fish n’ Chip Company on St Leonards Bridge which is a local favourite. There is a good local bus service linking the area to the city centre.
Properties range from traditional, stone built 3 & 4 bed Victorian semi’s and detached villas with lovely period features to ex local authority houses and modern 1 , 2 & 3 bedroom flats. There are also a number of newer build houses, Craigie View being a favourite.
The Bus Station and Perth Railway Station are located nearby and within easy walking distance.
The Broxden Roundabout, which gives access to the M90 motorway, is easily accessible via the Glasgow Road which skirts around the north of Craigie. The area is ideal for anyone working at Perth Royal Infirmary which is just a short journey away by car.
Local Schools: Craigie Primary School, Moncrieffe Primary School, Inchview Primary School and Perth Academy subject to catchment areas.
Kinnoull is a small, residential suburb located around half a mile east of Perth city centre. It is one of the most sought after areas of Perth in which to live.
The area is home to some of the most prestigious Victorian & Georgian properties in Perth, many of which are uniquely designed with large mature gardens. The area also has some large modern executive style properties, particularly around St Mary’s Monastery. Properties don’t come to market very often.
Kinnoull has its own bowling club and tennis club. The Kinnoull Tennis Club is one of the best in the country with excellent clubhouse facilities, artificial grass and over 250 adult and junior members.
One of the best features of the district is Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park which offers visitors fantastic views across Perth, the Tay and Fife. The park is also home to Kinnoull Tower, a 19th century romantic folly spectacularly perched on the cliff top overlooking the Tay.
The area is also close to lovely Branklyn Gardens, one of the finest gardens in Scotland containing an outstanding range of rare and unusual plants.
Local Schools: Kinnoull Primary School
Letham is a very popular housing estate located around 1.5 miles north west of Perth city centre. It’s very popular with first time buyers and families.
Like its immediate neighbours, Hillyland and Tulloch, the estate was purpose built by the local authority to provide housing and, today, a great majority of the houses are now privately owned.
Houses in the area are predominantly brick built 2 & 3 bedroomed semi’s and terraces which are generally very well maintained by owners who take a pride in their area. There are also a number of purpose built local authority blocks of flats in the area.
The area is popular with first time buyers for its affordability and families are well catered for with excellent schools including Our Lady’s Primary and Letham Primary.
Letham has an excellent community sports club and even its own Football Club at Seven Acres Park which plays a large role in the development of youth football in Perth (Mc Diarmid Park home to St Johnstone FC is close by). There’s also a very popular Letham Community Club on Marlee Road with over 700 members.
The area enjoys good local amenities including local convenience shops and a B&Q DIY store and Tesco supermarket on nearby Crieff Road.
The area is particularly convenient for those working at nearby UHI Perth College and Perth Royal Infirmary. There’s an excellent bus service to and from the city centre.
Local Schools: Letham Primary School, Tulloch Primary School, Our Lady’s Primary School, Perth High School, Perth Academy and St Columba’s RC School subject to catchment areas.
Muirton is a popular residential suburb situated around a mile north of Perth city centre. The area was at one time just agricultural land with only a handful of farms and cottages.
The area is sandwiched between the River Tay and the Dunkeld Road and mainly comprises a large 1960’s local authority housing estate which has seen significant redevelopment in recent years. Most of the housing is contained in purpose built low rise blocks of flats and upper and lower villas.
There have been new housing developments in recent years such as Gowans Terrace. With the ongoing regeneration of the area this is likely to become a more common feature of the area.
To the north of Muirton is another 1960’s housing estate called “North Muirton” which is bound by pleasant open countryside. Many of the properties enjoy nice views over the River Tay to the parkland of Scone Palace. North Muirton has its own North Muirton Primary School and there’s an industrial estate located to the north of the area.
Muirton itself is particularly handy for enjoying the North Inch Golf Course and Playing Fields which are an easy walk away. The area used to be home to St. Johnstone FC until their ground at Muirton Park was purchased by ASDA and they moved across the city to McDiarmid Park.
The area is well served by local shops and a post office. There is also a very convenient 24hr ASDA superstore located in the district and St Catherine’s Retail Park is very close by off the Dunkeld Road (B&Q, PC World, Dunelm, Currys, Homebase and TK Maxx).
For leisure, the area is well served by Bell’s Sports Centre which is one of the largest sports facilities in Scotland.
There is excellent schooling at Perth Northern District Primary, St Columba’s High, St John’s RC Academy and Perth Grammar.
Scone is a very attractive, semi-rural, village located just over two miles north east of Perth. It’s an extremely sought after peaceful village with good local amenities. Many people may know of it through William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the place of his coronation.
Scone has a long interesting history and was famously the ancient capital of Scotland where the Kings of Scotland held their coronation.
The existing village of Scone was, until fairly recently, called “New Scone” and was planned and built in 1805 after the old medieval village was demolished to make way for the new palace of Scone. Nearby Scone Palace is a firm favourite for both locals and visitors and holds many events throughout the year including the Rewind Festival and the ever popular Game Fair.
Scone offers a good range of facilities with attractive shops, restaurants and pubs. Kinnear’s Inn and The Wheel Inn are some firm local favourites. The village has a post office, a bank, a good library and a medical centre and dentist. For bigger purchases, the village is only a short drive from Perth city centre and Perth train station. Scone also has its own well regarded Robert Douglas Memorial Primary School.
An excellent bus service (No.7 Park & Ride) runs from the village to and from the city centre and other nearby villages.
Properties in Scone vary widely from handsome detached 5 bed Victorian villas to 3/4/5 bedroom bungalows, traditional detached farmhouses, 3/5 bed modern detached villas, small cottages and ex-local authority flats and houses.
Scone is an ideal location for golf enthusiasts with Murrayshall Golf Resort and their prestigious Lynedoch Golf Course close by. Scone is surrounded by lovely open countryside with lots of lovely walks. In the middle of the village there’s the lovely scenic Scone Recreation Park with its small duck-pond and tennis and bowling clubs.
For commuters, the main A94 Perth/Angus road runs right through the village giving good access to Perth and the main motorway networks north and south.
Scone is convenient for Perth Airport, a general airport for private and business aircraft, located around 3 miles north east of Scone. The airport is well regarded for its flight and air service training schools.
With all the shopping, entertainment and recreational facilities of Perth just a short journey away, Scone is the perfect semi-rural location for those looking for a quieter more peaceful way of life, but with close access to the great facilities of an attractive modern city.
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