The last time I visited Perthshire, I went to Scone Palace and didn't go to the city centre or visit any other sights, but this time I didn't make that mistake. With over an area of 6500 square kilometres, Perthshire is most definitely an area of Scotland that you should visit.
Your first stop when you visit Perthshire may be the city of Perth. It is here that you can see Perth Cathedral, St Ninian's and the Black Watch Museum. If you are driving in, there is a Pay and Display car park at the Black Watch Museum or a Park and Ride at Broxden Services.
In 1848, two young Scottish men from Oxford University decided to revive the Scottish Episcopal Church and chose an architect from London to design the Cathedral. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1850 and dedicated to St. Ninian.
Ongoing restorations to the Cathedral have brought it to life with the organ and the roof completed to date.
There are information pamphlets in a few different languages so you can wander about and learn at your leisure. There is also a memorial to the Black Watch soldiers that lost their lives in the 2nd Boer War. The stained glass window, above it, has the crest of the Black Watch.
There are services daily, and it's open for visitors 9-3pm daily, although that is volunteer dependent. It is free to enter, although a donation is welcome and you're free to take photos inside respecting others in there of course.
Just a 5-minute walk up the road from the Cathedral is the Black Watch Museum.
Formed in 1725, The Black Watch has seen action ever since. Although not known by that name then, but as The Regiment of the Line, they would keep watch over the Highlands, making sure no more Jacobite risings were to occur.
Their name Black Watch comes from their Gaelic name, as they wore dark colours and watched over the Highland enforcing the harsh English laws. They had the nickname "the ladies from hell" from the Germans, as they fought fearlessly and wore kilts.
The museum holds many artefacts from the history of this regiment, and you can take a guided tour to learn more about the history and what is here.
Balhousie Castle is a fitting place for the museum, as it was the ancestral home of the Black Watch and the origins of the Castle date back to the 12th Century.
The trench has been recreated above ground so you can easily walk through. It's in the original zig-zag pattern, and you can see dugouts and learn what life was like in a WW1 trench as part of your tour.
Memorials also line the front of the Castle, paying respect to those who fought so bravely for us.
Just on the northern boundary of the museum is North Inch Park. You can walk or cycle and kids can play in the playground. In 1396 it had been a battleground between two clans, the Chattan and Kay. Over the years, their feuding finally came to fruition in a bloody battle to the death. Of course, feuding started up again in only a few years, when numbers were strong enough.
At about 54 hectares in size, there is plenty of room to explore here. Fancy a round of golf? Anyone can join the millions that would have played this course when they would visit Perthshire over the last 500 years. It's open to visitors every day with free golf hire.
If you're lucky enough to be in Perth in August, you should google the City of Perth Salute.
This Salute is a nod to Edinburgh Tattoo but without the crowds. It's only been on for four years but is slowly gaining momentum, and this year I was lucky enough to see it.
The Perth Chinese Community was added to in large number by Chinese School kids enjoying themselves.
The Parade runs from South Inch to North Inch along Tay Street, and there was plenty of room along the road to view them.
Perth has flooded over hundreds of years, and when it does, the Tay River rises. Keep an eye out on the North Inch side of the bridge, for the markings of where the floodwaters have come up to.
Less than 20 minutes out of Perth city centre, Huntingtower Castle is truly a step back in time.
First built in the 15th Century, it has been added on over the centuries to its present state although the bats and pigeons now hold residence.
Now part of Historic Scotland you can learn all about the "rocky" history by reading information boards about the kidnapping of James VI at the age of 16, the disloyalty and disintegration of the castle.
One of the fantastic features of the castle is the painted ceiling, which they think, dates from about 1540 and one of a few left in Scotland.
Scone Palace is one of the premier places to include when you visit Perthshire. It is where Kings of Scotland were crowned, and ornate furnishings are on display in the Palace. You are free to take a self-guided walk through the Palace although photography is not allowed.
Special days occur at Scone, and you should check the website to see if anything is on when you are visiting.
Over 100 acres of grounds are available for you to wander through. Paths are throughout the gardens are woodland, and you are free to photography anything here.
You can also try your hand at the maze. From the entrance, you can find your way to the bridge where you can see your path to the fountain in the middle. Once in, of course, you have to find your way out again.
If you're after something to eat, there is a cafe, or you can bring a picnic to enjoy.
Scone Palace is a great place to spend an afternoon.
When you visit Perthshire, The House of Bruar is an excellent stop to make when you're travelling on the A9 between Perth and Inverness. It is a total surprise with shops, food halls and toilets in the middle of nowhere. At the back of the House of Bruar, you can do the walk to the Bruar Falls, which is well signposted.
Robbie Burns visited Bruar Falls in 1787. Today we have Robbie Burns to thank for the well-stocked woods that stand here. The ground was bare of trees when Robbie Burns first visited, so he petitioned the 4th Earl of Athol, that trees of Ash and Fir be planted.
It's only about 10-15 minutes up the path to the Lower Falls. There are steps on your right that lead to a viewing platform, or if you carry on just before the bridge, there is a Victorian viewing house, with fantastic views of the falls cascading down through the gorge.
Canyoning is very popular here as you may see from the people in the photos.
You can continue, from here, up to the Upper Falls. I went part of the way, and it is an easy but steep climb although you should keep an eye on the kids (and your footing) as the sides of the track fall away. The view of the falls wasn't great as the trees partly obscured them even from a distance.
You can get closer, but I have yet to see a photo of them close up, as you are too close to these significant falls.
Although not part of Perthshire, you should visit Dundee it is only a 30-minute drive away with plenty of attractions to see.
If you are driving, there is a Pay and Display car park next to Discovery Point.
From here you can also walk along the esplanade with views of the Tay Road and Rail Bridges.
The V and A building on the Dundee waterfront is not only an incredible design it holds exhibitions inside of other works in the design world and more.
It is free to visit, although there may be exhibitions that you have to pay to enter. If you want a snack, you have the choice of two cafes, one on the ground floor and another on the first level with views over the River Tay.
Discovery Point holds the RSS Discovery and Discovery Centre next to the V and A on the waterfront.
Here in Dundee, the RSS Discovery was built and took the hand-picked crew of Captain Scott, one of whom was Ernest Shackleton, on their voyage and adventure to Antartica.
It is in the Discovery Story that you can learn all about the Antarctic expeditions, what conditions were like, how they survived (or didn't) and much more. More exhibitions are inside which can change, so check the website for updates.
Just walking up the city centre will give you plenty of sights to see, including the statues of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx in the city square.
If churches are more your style, then St. Mary's Parish Church may be worth a visit. The Church is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during June, July and August from 10 am to 12 pm, so organise your time well if you want to go inside. You may also want to check the website before you go just in case something has changed.
What I have posted is just the tip of the iceberg. You can visit The Hermitage with its tall fir trees, which has paths to the Black Linn Falls. The village of Dull has Highland Safaris and cruises of Loch Tay, or if you're into walking there are plenty of countryside walks to keep you satisfied.
Perthshire has so much to see and do that you should consider spending more time when you visit. It has all that Scotland offers, wrapped up in an area for you to explore.
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