Begin your third day at the breathtakingly beautiful and historical Scone Palace, once the crowning place of Scottish Kings including Robert the Bruce and Macbeth. Scone Palace is the rightful home to the Stone of Scone, otherwise known as the Stone of Destiny which now resides on display at Edinburgh Castle. There can be few places in Scotland as historically important as Scone Palace. When you visit Scone Palace you are walking in the footsteps of Scotland’s ancient founding fathers, both pagan and Christian. It was an important religious gathering place of the Picts, and it was the site of an early Christian church. Robert the Bruce was crowned at Scone in 1306 and the last coronation was of Charles II, when he accepted the Scottish crown in 1651. Visitors can tour the castle and the stunning gardens, including an outstanding collection of antiques, paintings and rare artefacts.
Pay a visit to something completely different next, at the Beatrix Potter Garden and Exhibition in the village of Birnam, where this famous author spent her summers as a child. The Birnam Institute in the heart of the village is home to an excellent and highly interactive exhibition celebrating the life of the popular children's author. Inspired by her holidays in the Scottish countryside Beatrix wrote many children’s books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Take a stroll through the interactive garden and meet some of the characters, including Peter, Mr Tod and Tiggy Winkle. The indoor exhibition has a number of children’s activities including dressing up, watching the enchanting stories, drawing and puzzles and book readings. There are a variety of interactive displays which explore the life and works of Beatrix and her inspiration in Perthshire.
Finish the trail with a visit to Blair Castle, the home of Europe’s only private army, the Atholl Highlanders and a favourite visiting place of Queen Victoria. The Castle is nestled in the dramatic landscape of Highland Perthshire and has been home to 19 generations of Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl. Unique amongst Scottish castles, the castle has seen many important historic events, from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden following Bonnie Prince Charlie's own stay in the castle. You'll hear how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a stay by Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe's only surviving private army.
Outside Blair Castle, the Hercules Garden, recently restored to its original Georgian design, is a peaceful walled garden of fruit trees, vegetables and herbaceous borders. Diana's Grove boasts some of the country's finest and tallest trees. For a special view of the castle and the historic landscape, take a short stroll to 18th century folly the Whim, for the view from its gothic arches.