Follow in Little’s small footsteps and you’ll be dazzled by the things to do in Perthshire. Head out onto the water in a boat to see the prison tower house of Mary Queen of Scots, go llama trekking, and night kayaking under the stars. And you don’t need a week to spare, as these six activities could all be enjoyed on a short break or day out in Perthshire.
1. Night kayaking
Under a clear night sky, head out in a tandem or single kayak to marvel at the stars, moon and maybe on a rare night, even the Northern Lights. Scotland’s skies are great for star-spotting as there’s less light pollution out in the countryside. This trip with Outdoor Explore takes place during autumn, winter and spring on Clunie Loch near Dunkeld. This is the perfect relaxing activity – and a great way to try something new as it’s suitable for novices to kayaking
2. Boat trip out to Loch Leven
Not many visits to a historic tower house begin with a boat ride, but this one does, and it’s even included in the ticket price! From Kinross, you can climb aboard and sail over a short distance to Lochleven Castle, which in 1567 was home, or rather prison, to Mary Queen of Scots. Explore the rooms where she was held against her will for a year and soak up the quiet setting on the small island.
Other things you might like:
Nearby, you can visit Loch Leven’s Larder, a family-run farm, restaurant, deli and gift shop just a 10-minute drive from the pier. There’s also the Loch Leven Heritage Trail which will take you around the loch – head south and east from the pier for 8 km and you’ll reach the nature reserve, which is a spectacle all year round. There’s migrating geese in spring, nesting swallows and ospreys fishing in summer, returning geese from Iceland in autumn, and birds of prey hovering in the winter.
3. Hiking, biking and camping at Comrie Croft
If you like to get a little extra from your accommodation, then look no further. Not only can you choose from the farmstead hostel, exclusive-use self-catering house, campervan pitches, eco-camping and Nordic katas, you also get walking trails, wildlife spotting and compact mountain biking, all on-site at Comrie Croft! The eco-camping complex is a great choice for a sustainable stay, partly run on wind and solar generated power, with reusing and recycling practices in place, while the unique handmade kata tents have wood burning stones, throws, cushions and other camping essentials.
This is also a great spot for getting away from it all and enjoying the countryside. Explore one of the waymarked squirrel trails, hire bikes or tackle the mountain bike skills park, pump track and graded routes, or tackle one of the nearby 43 Munros.
4. Llama trekking at Glenshee
Huge dark eyes, long eyelashes, deep soft fleece and velvety muzzles – forget everything you’ve heard about llamas before, and meet Jett, Bradley and Atticus. Learn about their aloof and quirky behaviour, help halter the llamas and then take them llama trekking with you on a three-hour journey through the Perthshire forests.
5. Local culture at an event
Whenever you decide to book your break in Perthshire, there’s bound to be an event taking place where you can enjoy the culture of the area, mingle with locals and soak up the amazing architecture and scenery.
Coming up in 2019 is:
• Perth Festival of the Arts, May – 10 days of classical music, opera, theatre, rock, folk, jazz, comedy, dance and contemporary visual art.
• Solas Festival, June – a midsummer celebration of music and arts in Errol Park.
• Perthshire Open Studios, September – a chance to see what local artists and makers create.
• Solheim Cup 2019, September – watch the greatest golfers compete at Gleneagles in the biggest event in women’s golf as Team USA take on Team Europe.
• Enchanted Forest, September – a dazzling show where lights and music are used to compliment the stunning Faskally Wood.
• Spirits of Scone, October – a frightening night at Scone Palace with the grounds a playground for ghouls.
6. Fine formal gardens at Drummond Castle
Drummond Gardens are some of the finest formal gardens in Europe, and as you wander along the beech-lined avenue, you might think them worthy of a film set. And you’d be right! These gardens appeared in 1995’s Rob Roy and recently, as the Palace of Versailles gardens in Outlander season 2. Admire the ancient yew hedges, the copper beech trees planted by Queen Victoria, and the finely trimmed topiary shrubs which create a ‘wonder-landscape’.
Fancy a few more hidden gems in Perthshire?
Or turn your short break into a week, by adding on our four-day itinerary in Perthshire, find more information on planning your trip to Perthshire, or see what else Little and Large got up to on their last trip to the region.