Scotland has a wealth of visitor attractions, and the area of Perthshire is not short of a good share of those. History and landscape, and plenty of space to enjoy it. Compared to the crowds of southern England, parts of Perthshire can seem almost uninhabited. According to CLC World, Scotland has 3000+ castles, many of which are driving distance from Perthshire.

While it’s maybe not “big country”, Perthshire is sometimes called the “big county”, with landscape ranging from wide agricultural valleys, to the mountains of the southern Highlands.

With all this open space, it’s no surprise that hiking, camping, and mountaineering are popular. If you don’t want to spend your nights in the open air, there are plenty of hotels and hostels, and self-catering accommodation.

The city of Perth itself is a good place to start; this area around the River Tay has been settled for thousands of years. For a while, the city was also the capital of Scotland, due to the presence of the royal court, and the nearby Scone Abbey. This is an ancient site, where Scottish kings were crowned for 1,000 years. Kings such as Macbeth and Robert the Bruce. The abbey building no longer exists, but archaeology suggests the location was at Moot Hill.

The abbey remains are in the grounds of the magnificent Scone Palace, about 3 miles from the city center. There is plenty to see in the palace and grounds, though it does cost several pounds per person. Car parking is included in the price, and there is usually enough space for about 200 cars. If you have the budget for luxury accommodation, you can actually stay in the palace – but at present there is only space for about 6 guests.

At Scone Palace you can also find the typical Scottish pursuits of fishing, shooting, and deer stalking. Being on the River Tay, the largest river in Britain, means a plentiful supply of quality fish – especially the Atlantic Salmon.

Another attraction in Perth, this time dating from around the 12th century, is Balhousie Castle. Fans of military history will know that this is the home of the Black Watch museum, a regiment whose motto is “No One Attacks Me With Impunity”. There’s also a lovely cafe and gift shop, and this is all in easy walking distance from Perth city center. The castle is not far from the Dunchally country estate which is a great hotel option if you want to stay close by, you’ll find some great deals if you search online.

If you like horses, then maybe try a visit to Perth Racecourse, which is close to Scone Palace. There has been horse racing in Perth since the 17th century, but only began at the current site in 1908. There are over 100 events every year, and travel to the racecourse is very easy by whatever transport you choose – even private aircraft.

Speaking of aircraft, Scotland has several international airports to welcome foreign visitors – Glasgow, Prestwick, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Hire a car at the airport, and you’ll soon find yourself on some remarkably quite roads, once you’re out of the city. Perth is a very good starting-point for a driving tour of Scotland, where the lack of traffic means you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

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Janice