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Issue 36 - Perthshire & Kinross

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 36
December 2007


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Perthshire & Kinross

Perthshire & Kinross is the perfect destination for a healthy, happy and inexpensive summer holiday as our man discovers.

It’s funny how life goes round in circles.

Who would have thought a few decades back as cars grew in popularity and bus, train and underground transport reached new levels of efficiency, that the ageing tram, consigned seemingly to museums, would find its way back into cities across the world and be championed as the transport of the future?

Or that the humble pedal bike, regarded by a growing number as a child’s play thing until a motorised vehicle could be legally commandeered, should not only survive as a recreation vehicle but would begin to grow in popularity again as its health and environmental benefits came to the fore?

The cynics among us scoffed at the stick insect weedies in their not so macho lycra outfits and sank back into the comfort of our car seats, little knowing that we were the dinosaurs and stick man was ahead of the game.

Now, though, we’re on the edge of a transport revolution and the only thing holding it back is the mental block many of us have about the fear and discomfort of trusting ourselves to two very thin wheels.

And where better to enjoy outdoor living than in Scotland, and where better in Scotland than Perth or Kinross. It’s the perfect reason not least because while some parts of the country require high levels of fitness and no little skill, Perth offers a variety of options for everyone from the novice to the expert.

Throw in the fact that it’s easy to reach, that the area boasts a great deal for the tourist, and the fact that there is a good selection of accommodation geared up for the cyclist and you’re looking at the makings of a perfect holiday – a holiday with a real difference if you’re used to luxury hotels and the best of everything.

Perth claims to have some of the best cycling routes in the country. The county is littered with little-used routes that provide riders with the perfect opportunity to enjoy stunning views and wonderful flora and fauna up close and personal.

This is the area where the Lowlands meets the Highlands so the region offers great choice and diversity.

“You can choose between routes which roll gently over rural south Perthshire and onto the Fife Millennium cycle-ways, or rugged Highland tracks and quiet roads in the north and west of the area,” said a spokesman for VisitScotland in Perth.

“Off-roaders are well-accommodated too. Here you will find an extensive selection of little-used Highland forestry and other tracks.” Among the best cycle routes is the 28 mile journey through Auchterarder and The Ochils. It takes in Pictish forts, Roman Camps, Celtic chapels and a Benedictine Abbey, reflecting the varied history of the region.

Wildlife lovers might prefer to travel around east Perthshire on a routed that takes you through Blairgowrie and the Angus Glens. The route includes eight picturesque miles by the side of Loch Lintrathen.

For the more adventurous, there are three longer National Cycle Network routes passing through the region. These are cycle routes planned specifically to maximise the fun of cycling by avoiding as much road traffic as possible.

Of the three, the route from Dundee to Pitlochry is mainly through Perthshire. It’s described as an easy to moderate route and is known as the Salmon Run. It is 54 miles in total.

At the other extreme, there are easy going routes of 10 miles or under, designed for the casual cyclist who may fancy stopping for a meal en route.

It’s not just cyclists that can enjoy Perth’s varied terrain. The region increasingly promotes itself as an outstanding adventure destination and it offers walks into the Southern Highlands that provide stunning views without making too many demands on the walker.

Long distance walkers will be particularly attracted to the 64 mile Cateran Trail which forms a circuit in East Perthshire, beginning and ending in Blairgowrie. Alternatively there is 77 mile, seven day walk walking in Rob Roy’s footsteps on the Rob Roy Way.

And if all of this is too conventional for you, don’t despair. The county offers visitors the chance to spin in a sphere, jump off cliffs, go canyoning, fly in a microlite or relax on a Highland safari.

“There are few places better for enjoying the great outdoors, particularly if you’ve not somuch as been on a Sunday afternoon stroll in recent years,” said a spokesman for the region. “This is the ideal place to rediscover the great outdoors and to reconnect with nature. And once you’ve got started the region offers more than enough to attract you back again and again.” VisitScotland provides a range of leaflets outlining some of the best routes. They include rides around Aberfeldy, Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Crieff, Dunkeld, Kinross, Perth and Pitlochry. These leaflets can also be downloaded.


Tel +44 (0) 1887 829 010

Kinross lies just 30 minutes away from Edinburgh and within easy reach of St Andrews and the pretty East Neuk fishing villages on the shores of Loch Leven.

There is a castle on the loch that is open to the public from April to September. It can only be reached by a tiny ferry but it’s worth the effort. It was from here that Mary Queen of Scots escaped in 1568.

The loch itself is renowned for its wildlife and overlooking it is Kirkgate Park, which is ideal for families, and the pretty Kinross House.

Other sites worth visiting include the 17th century Toll Booth, The Well at Scotlandwell, Burleigh Castle near Milnathort.

To find out more about the area visit the Heart of Scotland Visitor Centre.