Tips from the Locals: Perthshire

What does Perthshire mean to you?  These are the snapshots that come to my mind: landscapes thick with forests; wide, winding rivers, dotted with fly-fishers; majestic mountains and rolling hills; charming towns; a haven for those who love the great outdoors.  From the rugged landscapes of Highland Perthshire to the tranquil farmlands in the south of the region, the heart of Scotland has a lot to offer throughout the year.  For me, though, it is during the autumn months that I really feel the pull of Perthshire; the golden glow and burnt autumnal hues that blaze across the landscape also set my heart alight.

If you’re staying in self-catering Perthshire this October, there are a number of fantastic events happening across the region, from Perthshire Amber (the Dougie MacLean Festival) to the Crieff and Strathearn Walking Festival.  The Enchanted Forest, recently named Cultural Event 2013, is a must-see (but make sure you book early as tickets sell quickly!).  

Whichever seasonal displays provide the backdrop to your holiday, you can enjoy a wide range of activities in Perthshire.  Here are a few tips on things to see and do in the area, courtesy of EmbraceScotland holiday home owners.

Coronation Bridge Bike Ride

This is a real gem of a bike ride through a stunning part of Highland Perthshire.  The route covers the area between Pitlochry and Coronation Bridge, running alongside the forest-lined Loch Faskally, River Tummel and Linn of Tummel, and through Faskally Wood.  (Loch Dunmore in Faskally Wood is particularly pretty, strewn with lilies, and is also part of the Enchanted Forest).  You can buy a map of the trail (and hire bikes) from the Escape Route Bike Shop in Pitlochry (where you can also get a good cup of coffee!).

If you’re not keen on cycling, you can also enjoy the trail on foot.

Innerpeffray Library

Delve into the past at Innerpeffray Library – Scotland’s first free lending library, founded in 1680.  This unique museum houses a fascinating collection of manuscripts and books, including some by Robert Burns and John Knox.  The library is situated in picturesque setting near the River Earn and also has a chapel and tearoom.

Elcho Castle

Elcho Castle lies just outside Perth, in a rather lovely setting in an orchard on the banks of the River Tay.  This extremely well-preserved, but little-known, tower house has not changed a great deal since it was built in the 16th century and begs to be explored. (William Wallace is said to have sheltered here).

Birks of Aberfeldy

The hour long walk at the Birks of Aberfeldy is a good place to spot wildlife and enjoy the peacefulness of the woodland.  The walk involves ascending the gorge of the Moness burn with a number of waterfalls forming the backdrop to the walk, including Upper Moness Falls.  Enjoy views of the surrounding countryside on the walk back to the car park.

Birks of Aberfeldy Waterfall

Perth Piano Sundays

If you’d like the soundtrack to your Sunday afternoon to include some beautiful piano music, head to the Horsecross Theatre for Perth Piano Sundays.  The newly launched series of concerts by world-class pianists is a truly relaxing way to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon in Scotland’s newest city.  You can also enjoy a spot of lunch before the concert, or high tea afterwards.  Isn’t this what Sundays were made for?

What do you love about Perthshire?  Do you have any tips for visitors?  Please leave any comments below.

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