Travel guide: The Best Things to Do and Places to Eat in Perthshire

Situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, The House of Bruar is a stone’s throw away from some of Scotland’s most exciting visitor attractions, dramatic scenery and country activities. A slightly longer journey through stunning landscapes opens up a world of interesting locations, quirky accommodation and gourmet delights. So, once you’ve finished browsing and shopping in The Home of Country Clothing, pick a direction and set off to discover some of the very best things to do in Perthshire.  

Explore the Fair City of Perth and the market town of Kinross, and wander through the picturesque villages of Pitlochry and Dunkeld — famed for their beautiful settings. Discover medieval castles and ruined kirks, traverse mountains, and discover the breathtaking wildlife that makes this part of the country special. 

But Perthshire isn’t all about the outdoors. Choose a luxury hotel or quirky holiday let to be your base for the area, not forgetting to take in Michelin-starred restaurants, traditional pubs and whisky distilleries along the way. 

Whatever the reason for your visit, you’ll soon realise that Perthshire has something for everyone — topped off with a charming dash of Scottish hospitality that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Things to Do in Perthshire

Castles in Perthshire

  Blair Castle
Blair castle
Blair Castle Source:
No trip to Scotland would be complete without time dedicated to the exploration of a castle, and Blair Castle, just north of The House of Bruar, is one glorious estate house you really won’t want to miss. Sitting on the 145,000 acre Atholl Estate in Highland Perthshire, this remarkable fortification is the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, Britain’s only private army. With landscaped gardens, a ruined kirk and traditional interiors, step back in time to explore the castle as it was in its prime and enjoy a fascinating insight into local history.

With some thirty treasure-filled rooms to see, extensive parklands - including Diana's Grove and the Hercules Garden – and woodland and riverside walks in the grounds, Blair Castle makes an ideal day out for all the family. 

Shooting, fishing and pony trekking all take place on the estate, and Highland Balls and celebration dinners are hosted in the grand setting of the castle’s ballroom, where it’s not hard to imagine dances attended by Queen Victoria herself.

Scone Palace

Poised above the River Tay, Scone Palace overlooks the routes north to the Highlands and east through Strathmore to the coast. The Grampian mountains form a distant backdrop, and across the river stands the city of Perth. The Palace of Scone has an exciting and colourful history as one of Scotland's most important stately homes. Fifteen hundred years ago it was the capital of the Picts. In the intervening centuries, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce. The Palace houses an outstanding collection of antiques, paintings and rare artefacts and the grounds are renowned throughout the world.

Huntingtower Castle

When it comes to having a turbulent history, Huntingtower Castle near Perth has a tale or two to tell. This impressive keep was once two imposing towers standing side by side, until it was remodelled in the 1600’s to resemble a country estate home instead. Changing hands between Scottish clans a number of times meant this particular castle saw plenty of action, including a stay by Mary Queen of Scots in 1565, and later, in an episode that came to be known as the Ruthven Raid, Mary’s own son, James VI was held captive here. Today, however, Huntingtower Castle is best known for having one of the oldest known painted ceilings still intact in Scotland along with mediaeval frescoes.

The Black Watch Castle and Museum

The Black Watch Castle and Museum, ancestral home to the world renowned Black Watch (3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland), is located near the heart of the bustling city of Perth. Within its walls lies a remarkable collection of military memorabilia and artefacts collected from the many deployments the unit has seen since its inception. In this museum you can discover details of the very first deployment of the newly-formed Black Watch, when it was sent to fight in the Anglo-Egyptian war in 1882, right up to its modern day exercises with NATO.

Lochs in Perthshire

Loch Rannoch

Just west of Pitlochry lies Loch Rannoch, a 10 mile long stretch of water largely untouched by modern development and traffic. There’s plenty to do here, from cycling the 22 mile flat circuit that encompasses the loch, or exploring its inlets by kayak or paddleboard. The village of Kinloch Rannoch is situated on the eastern bank, and if you leave from here you can follow the Clan Trail, a series of information boards that line the loch edge and tell tales of the clans who lived and fought there. If you reach the western shore, you’ll spot a Crannog (Scottish term for an artificial island that looks like a circular wooden hut on stilts) where banished members of the MacGregor clan once hid out. Don’t forget a picnic though, because the many sandy beaches make for an excellent place to stop and relax.

Loch Freuchie

To truly get away from it all, Loch Freuchie is an escape spot you won’t want to miss. Known as the heatherly loch thanks to the wild heather that covers the mountains here, this small body of water is packed with trout that enter from the River Quaich. Explore the southwest shoreline and you’ll discover the remains of a traditional Crannog still partially visible through the trees.

Loch Tay

Loch Tay, sitting in the shadows of the Ben Lawers mountain range, is one of Scotland’s deepest lochs, reaching 508ft at its lowest point. Once home to settlers and Scottish clanspeople, it is now best loved for its multitude of watersports from the nearby village of Kenmore. A visit to Loch Tay isn’t complete without a stop at the Scottish Crannog Centre, the only accurate recreation of an Iron Age loch dwelling, however if the real thing is what you’re after, there are eighteen original Crannogs dotted around the shoreline in various states of ruin, including one near the northern shore where Sybilla, wife of Alexander King of Scots, was laid to rest.

Loch Faskally

You don’t have to travel far from Pitlochry to find Loch Faskally, a beautiful man-made loch just north of the town’s centre. Created by the hydro-electric dam built on the site in 1950, Loch Faskally is partially hidden by towering pine trees. Packed with trout, you’ll often find anglers lining its banks enjoying the peace and solitude of their sport, and occasionally, they might be lucky enough to land a salmon too. Take a visit to the dam, which is a tourist attraction in its own right, and marvel at the salmon ladder which allows over 5400 fish to bypass the dam to reach their breeding waters.

Loch Tummel

Loch Tummel, just six miles west of Pitlochry, boasts some of the best and most accessible scenery in the Scottish Highlands. Queen’s View is a popular viewpoint that sits high above the water and affords fantastic views towards the famous Schiehallion mountain. It has a carpark available so that it’s accessible to all, and other visitor comforts include toilets and a tearoom. Back down at the loch, there are plenty of Forestry Commision waymarked walking and cycling routes to follow, allowing you to explore the Strathtummel region to your heart’s content.

Activities in Perthshire

Ben Alder Estate

Ben Alder Estate
Image credit: Ben Alder Estate. Source:
Renowned for deer stalking, visit the Ben Alder Estate between July and October to have your chance at shooting a red stag. This sustainably managed estate includes plenty of activities for the whole family. If hunting isn’t your thing, why not try kayaking or fishing, paddle-boarding or cycling? Whatever your choice, you’ll delight in the stunning scenery of this beautiful Perthshire estate.

County Clays at Dunkeld House Hotel

County Clays Dunkeld House
Image credit: County Clays. Source:
As Scotland’s largest shooting range, County Clays is well worth a trip. Make your way around the course with a qualified tutor and shoot your shot at a range of different targets. There are clay shots to be taken that mirror the characteristics of rabbits, pheasants and more. With experience guiding both novices and experienced shooters, the tutors here can create a fantastic experience for all who stop by. 

Beaver Tours with Perthshire Wildlife
Beaver Tours
Image credit: Perthshire Wildlife. Source:
Learn more about these fascinating creatures, native to this part of Scotland. Visit beaver dams and view families; and learn all about local ecology and how these critters are transforming the wetlands of the local area. Perfect for families, children will love the opportunity to forage for beaver chips and chewed up branches. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not take to the water to spot your beavers, on one of the company’s kayaking tours. A truly memorable day out for all the family.


Any visit to Perthshire wouldn’t be complete without looking in at the picturesque town of Pitlochry, where the River Garry joins forces with the Tummel. Sights include the acclaimed Festival Theatre, Explorers’ Garden and the new Pitlochry Dam visitor centre where you can see the salmon swim to their breeding grounds up river and learn the secrets of that incredible journey. The waters gather momentum as they eventually spill into the Tay a few miles further south, forming one of Scotland’s most beautiful rivers which is renowned the world over for its salmon fishing.

House of Bruar

The House of Bruar

Known as the home of country clothing, The House of Bruar is Scotland’s leading independent retailer. It offers a unique shopping experience that includes the UK's largest Knitwear Hall specialising in luxury natural fibres including merino and cashmere, a luxury Food Hall and Restaurant, an Art Gallery, Country Living Department and Present Shop featuring handmade gifts. With so much to see and do, exploring the Perthshire Highlands can be a hungry business, so sustenance is available at The House of Bruar’s acclaimed restaurant and food hall. Refreshments can be consumed in the light and airy glass-roofed conservatory, whatever the Scottish weather. And our new Fish & Chip shop is open until 10pm so that weary travellers can recharge their batteries whilst enjoying luxurious lobster and chips - a meal fit for royalty - in this stunning Highland setting.

Places to Eat in Perthshire

Restaurants in Perthshire

  63 Tay Street, Perth
63 Tay Street
Image credit: 63 Tay Street. Source:
Located on the River Tay in central Perth, 63 Tay Street is an award-winning restaurant loved by both locals and tourists alike. Famed for their tasting menus and wine flights, the team at 63 keep it local, honest and simple whilst creating mouthwatering menus for all to enjoy. Visitors love the thoughtful service and regard it as excellent value for money. 

The Pitcairngreen Inn, Pitcairngreen

The Inn Pitcairngreem
Image credit: Pitcairngreen Inn. Source:
A traditional pub in the heart of Pitcairngreen village, the Pitcairngreen Inn was built as a coaching inn in the 19th century. Enjoy the small beer garden on a sunny day, and when it’s colder, cosy up in front of the roaring fire in the snug with a dram. As well as an affordable menu, the pub’s great atmosphere and local beers are what keeps people coming back for more. 

The Orangery, Blair Atholl

The Orangery is a real foodie destination in Perthshire. Based at the Old Manse of Blair hotel, the restaurant is famed for its locally sourced menu and afternoon teas — best enjoyed with champagne in the sunny garden. Book a night’s stay in the hotel to fully enjoy the experience, and remember to pick up some groceries from their onsite farm shop on the way home. Be sure to book in advance, though — the restaurant has reached new audiences through their takeaway style menu during the lockdowns, so is expected to book up fast.

The Moulin Inn, Pitlochry

The Moulin Inn
Image credit: The Moulin Inn. Source:
For those seeking out an authentic Scottish pub to enjoy, the Moulin Inn is surely that. For over three hundred years, residents of Pitlochry and Moulin have enjoyed its quiet and friendly atmosphere. The on-site Moulin Brewery means that local beers are readily available. Enjoy one in front of an open fire or sitting in the flower-filled beer garden — depending on the Scottish weather — and do a brewery tour to gain an insight into the brewing process and to learn about the history of this fascinating pub. 

Afternoon Tea in Perthshire

Murrayshall Country Estate

Pull up a chair at the Murrayshall Country Estate, where the culinary experience befits the luxury surroundings. Here, afternoon tea consists of light-as-air pastries, finger sandwiches and traditional delicacies like Scotch eggs with gooey centres. Set in 365 acres of sublime Perthshire landscape, this is a haven for foodies.

Effies of Perth

Located at the heart of Perth, Effies of Perthshire is a Victorian-era traditional tearoom where they take their own 30 blends of tea very seriously indeed. Not a tea lover? That’s okay, because they have a delightful range of coffee too, with beans that are roasted daily from a local supplier. Afternoon tea here is a delightful smorgasbord of delicacies that truly showcase the best produce Perthshire has to offer, like home baked scones with freshly whipped local cream and a dollop of their own handmade jam.


The Gloagburn Farm Shop offers something a little different; afternoon tea boxes to take away that are perfect for picnics as you walk or cycle the many trails in Perthshire. The views at Gloagburn are lovely however, so if you choose to stay and dine on site, you’ll be rewarded with as much coffee and tea as you can drink.

Places to Stay in Perthshire

Hotels in Perthshire

  The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Gleneagles Hotel
Credit: The Gleneagles Hotel. Source:
Famed in the area for its beautiful accommodation and magnificent setting, Gleneagles is home to many unforgettable experiences. Whether you wish to horse ride through the estate, relax in the spa or hit some balls down the fairway on its world-famous golf course, a stay at Gleneagles is one to remember. Nearly one hundred years old, on its opening in 1924, the hotel was described as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. To this day, the hotel is a bastion of British high society — dedicated to providing unparalleled experiences all year round. A truly five-star experience. 

East Haugh House Hotel, Pitlochry

East Haugh House
Credit: East Haugh House Hotel. Source:
The multi-award-winning East Haugh House Hotel in Pitlochry is a fantastic choice for those seeking a relaxing escape to Perthshire. Enjoy the surrounding area through woodland walks, mountain hikes or to simply stroll around the local shops. Preferred by fishers and shooters, the hotel offers some of the very best fishing spots in the country. But out of everything it offers, it’s the little touches, like the cosy bar area, that make it feel like a home away from home. 

Kinloch House Hotel

Kinloch House Hotel
Image credit: Kinloch House Hotel. Source:
The beautiful Scottish country house of Kinloch is home to well-presented rooms and a fabulous restaurant. Guests appreciate the locally sourced menu and comfortable beds and remark that the hotel feels like a home away from home thanks to the service and welcome. Those looking to stray further afield to appreciate the hotel’s rural surroundings will enjoy the hiking, cycling and fishing that can be found on the hotel’s doorstep.

Campsites in Perthshire

Craighead Howfs, Dunblane
Craighead Howfs Dunblanr
Summer Howf at Craighead Howfs, Dunblane. Credit: Craighead Howfs.

Surrounded by natural gardens, a lochan and woodland, the adults-only glamping accommodation at Craighead are designed to help create romantic and memorable experiences. Choose from idyllic Hobbit houses with grass roofs and circular doors, or stay in a beautifully designed treehouse — high up in the branches with 360-degree views. Also available is a stunning summerhouse, complete with an outdoor fire pit for those wanting to try outdoor cooking. Lie back under the canopy of the trees and enjoy your beautiful surroundings. 

Glamping at Alexander House, Auchterarder

Alexander House
Image credit: Alexander House. Source:
For an unusual stay, try luxury self-catering at Alexander House. Choose from Yurts for 2-5 people, or converted horse boxes. Complete with a wood-fired hot tub and hammocks, as well as incredible views across the valley; you’ll never want to leave. Don’t worry, this isn’t usual camping. Each yurt has a large ensuite bathroom and a wood-burning stove opposite the bed — the perfect creature comforts that you’d expect from a luxury break.

More Things to do in Perthshire

So if you’re planning a Scottish Highlands staycation this year, Perthshire could be just the place. With fantastic days out for all the family, as well as memorable places to eat and drink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Create unforgettable memories with a Perthshire holiday. Check out our blog for even more ideas to whet your appetite.