The landscapes of Perthshire are among Scotland’s most beautiful. As well as having a colourful past marked by ancient dwellers, battles, clans and captive Queens, there are many hidden gems to discover under the canopies of its ancient woodlands and atop its soaring Highland peaks, home to some of Scotland’s rarest flora and fauna and wildlife.
Discover for yourself the picturesque nature reserve on Ben Lawers, Scotland’s tenth highest munro which towers high above Loch Tay. A magnet for hill walkers and munro-baggers, you’ll experience the vast diversity of flora and fauna supported by the mountain’s unique climate as you climb from the lush lower slopes to the arctic alpine plants higher up.
At the head of Loch Tay at Kenmore, experience history first-hand at the award-winning Scottish Crannog Centre where the Iron Age is brought to life. With a replica of an ancient type of loch-dwelling built on stilts in the water, visitors can see what it was like to live here thousands of years ago while discovering artefacts from 600BC or trying a hand at ancient crafts.
Perthshire is also home to Scotland’s largest lowland loch, Loch Leven, a National Nature Reserve. In the summer months, you can catch an unforgettable glimpse of ospreys fishing in the tranquil freshwater loch as well as the arrival of dense flocks of waterfowl, including over 20,000 pink footed geese during autumn. While you’re there, stroll along the Loch Leven Heritage trail or take to your bikes and uncover some of the loch’s secrets. Lochleven Castle, set on an island out in the loch, was the famous prison of Mary Queen of Scots before she managed to escape to England.
Just north of Perth city centre, you’ll find Scone Palace where kings of Scotland were crowned, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce. Take a tour of the main state rooms which house an outstanding collection of antiques before paying a visit to the finest formal gardens in Europe at the historic Drummond Castle near Crieff. Over 500-years old, it’s the seat of the clan Drummond, a clan that has been at the fore of many of Scotland’s decisive moments in history. Drummonds fought alongside Robert the Bruce at the famous Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and sided with Bonnie Prince Charlie in the two Jacobite wars in the 1700s.
Known as ‘Big Tree Country’, the region is home to some of Scotland’s most remarkable woodland, ancient forests and tallest trees. Its shaded glens and babbling burns have long inspired artists and photographers and is the ideal location for a peaceful walk. Spend the day walking in Faskally Woods near Pitlochry, the location for the spectacular, award-winning Enchanted Forest light show held annually in October. From here, continue on to the Pass of Killicrankie, the site of both a bloody Jacobean batte and the jewel in Perthshire’s crown, the Queen’s View, said to be named in honour of Queen Victoria who took tea admiring the stunning vista.
Visit the dedicated Brave site for more information.