Explore Perth

Explore Perth
Did you know that Perth, Scotland was once the capital of the country? Nowadays, it’s one of the lesser-known tourist destinations, but journeying here is worth it. Nestled on the banks of the Tay River, Perth offers stately architecture, fine restaurants, limitless art galleries, and even a palace. And it’s just a stone’s throw from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, making Perth very accessible.

Perth is also considered one of the most livable places in the country, thanks to its massive amount of parkland surrounding the city centre. It’s even won the Beautiful Britain award! Perth is also a young city, with lots of nightlife options for those who want to party until the sun comes up. Explore St. John’s Kirk, the cobbled streets around the city centre. There are a ton of shopping options here as well. You can spend your day shopping the markets, pausing for some fish and chips, or enjoying some coffee at a sidewalk café. Be sure to visit the Perth Farmer’s Market.

For history lovers, Perth has much to offer. The Scone Palace in particular is a big draw, and each piece of architecture in the city has a grand story to tell. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Perth, there are plenty.

Places to Visit in Perth

  • Scone Palace
  • Black Watch Museum
  • Fergusson Gallery
  • St. John’s Kirk
  • Camperdown Country Park

Unique Things to See and Do in Perth

  • Take a cycling trip into the Highlands
  • Spend time at the Perth Museum and Gallery
  • Visit Elcho Castle
  • See the Fair Maids House
  • Relax at the Perth Leisure Pool
  • Try curling at the Dewars Centre
  • See Huntingtower Castle
  • See the Stanley Mills cotton mill

Perth Architecture

If you want to learn a little about Perth’s history, get to know its architecture. The main draw in Perth is the famous Scone Palace. This luxurious abode was once the coronation place for Scottish monarchs, and its opulence is hard to describe in words. The original palace was built in 1580, and then rebuilt in the 19th century as a Georgian mansion. Inside is a museum of sorts. Even the wall paneling tells the story of Scottish kings, and the rooms are filled with fine French furniture.  Nearby: Moot Hill, where kings were crowned. Onsite now is a chapel.

Scone Palace gets all the glory, but there are other castles around as well. In the centre of Perth is Balhousie Castle. Although it’s no longer technically a castle, it does have a 16th-century tower. It was rebuilt in 1862, and since 1962 has been the headquarters of the Black Watch. Visitors can peruse the Black Watch Museum, featuring a collection of military memorabilia.

There’s also Huntingtower Castle with two complete towers built in the 15th and 16th centuries. If you visit, you must see the painted ceiling in the hall of the eastern tower. The Ruthven family, who held King James VI captive here for over 10 months, owned this home.

Getting around Perth

Like most cities in Scotland, Perth has efficient and reliable public transit. Stagecoach is the main bus operator, and you can buy day tickets onboard. You can rent a car, or you can opt to get around on foot. Taxis are also readily available.

Perth is within easy transit distance from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and both of their international airports. The rail system in Scotland makes inter-city travel easy, as well as the bus system.

Did you know…?

Perth is known as The Fair City, named after Sir Walter Scott’s Fair Maid of Perth.

Did you ALSO know…?

Perth was the Scottish capital from the 9th century.

Best time of year to travel to Perth

Many people prefer to travel to Scotland (and Perth) during the spring. This is when the snow melts and temperatures warm significantly, days become longer and the scenery becomes lush. Summers gets all the tourists, but spring is really when Perth shines.

Winters can get quite cold and snowy, but autumns are stunning. Just keep in mind that Scotland receives a lot of rainfall, and temperatures can turn on a dime! Be sure to come prepared for all weather.

Photo credits: Walencienne / Shutterstock.com

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