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The outdoorsy guide to Perthshire

Perthshire is full of beautiful lochs, towering Munros, huge glens and the stunning ancient woodlands of the Trossachs – they don’t call Perthshire Big Tree Country for nothing. 

Most popular for its spectacular Autumn colours, you can discover this central region of Scotland by foot, SUP, kayak or on horseback – Perthshire is a great destination for an adventure holiday.

From the hills of Highland Perthshire to the city of Perth, here is my complete guide to Perthshire. 

Read more: things to do in the Trossachs

Perthshire Map

You can view all the things to do in Perthshire on my Perthshire Map which you can save as a layer in Google Maps.

Loch Voil Perthshire

My 10 favourite things to do in Perthshire

  1. Take a stroll at the Hermitage, Dunkeld – walk in an 18th-century pleasure garden filled with giant Douglas Fir trees to Ossian’s Hall, where a viewing platform reveals the tumbling Black Linn Falls below.
  2. Climb up to Creag an Tuirc, Balquhidder – a simply stunning viewpoint high above the small village of Balquhidder. 
  3. Visit the Linn of Tummel, Garry Bridge – hike through pretty woodlands to a dramatic gorge. 
  4. Hike Ben A’an – climb this ‘mountain in miniature’ for an incredible view across Loch Katrine- one of the best in Scotland. 
  5. Climb Ben Ledi, Callandar – the mountain of God’ dominates the Trossachs town of Callander. Starting from the edge of Loch Lubnaig it is a steady walk up a good path. 
  6. Discover Loch Katrine – take a steam ship out on the pretty Loch Katrine – one of the sources of water for the city of Glasgow! 
  7. Visit Pitlochry in Autumn for spectacular colours at Killiekrankie and Faskally Wood.
  8. Hike The Birks of Aberfeldy, made famous by Robert Burns’ famous 1787 poem. 
  9. Visit the Deil’s Cauldron and Glen Lednock before climbing up to the Melville Monument.
  10. Drive to the end of Scotland’s longest Glen – Glen Lyon – to visit the Post Office and Tea Room.
Loch Katrine Perthshire

The best walks in Perthshire – low level and short 

From loch-side strolls to waterfalls and forest, here are my favourite short walks in Perthshire.

  • The falls of Acharn, Kenmore  – the falls at Acharn are a series of dramatic waterfalls above the banks of Loch Tay. 1.25 miles. Falls of Acharn, near Kenmore
  • The Birks of Aberfeldy –  follow in the footsteps of a Robert Burns song to explore the waterfalls above Aberfeldy. 2.5 miles. Walk – The Birks of Aberfeldy
  • The Birnam Oak, Dunkeld – explore the River Tay at Dunkeld to find the Birnham Oak, 00 year old oak tree mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 3.75 miles. Walk Birnam Oak and the River Tay, Dunkeld
  • The Deli’s Cauldron, Comrie – take a short walk up to the two viewing platforms for the waterfalls – the Wee Cauldron, and the more dramatic Deil’s (Devil’s) Cauldron or do the walk as a circuit through the glen, and climb up to the Melville Monument for a fine view across Perthshire. 2 miles (there and back) 4-mile circular. Walk – The Deil’s Cauldron and the Melville Monument, Comrie
  • Kinnoull Hill, Perth – with dramatic wooded cliffs, and a fantastic romantic folly, Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park gives spectacular views across Perth and to the countryside beyond. Visit Kinnoull Hill.
  • The Hermitage, Dunkeld – an 18th-century pleasure garden filled with giant Douglas Fir trees. The most popular is to walk to Ossian’s Hall, where a viewing platform reveals the tumbling Black Linn Falls below. 2 miles – The Hermitage and Braan Walk, Dunkeld
  • Creag an Tuirc, Balquhidder – a simply stunning viewpoint high above the small village of Balquhidder. 1.5miles – walk Creag an Tuirc, Balquhidder
  • Linn of Tummel, Garry Bridge – follow the River Tummel to a dramatic Linn (cleft through pretty woodlands. 6.75 miles. Walk Linn of Tummel circuit, Garry Bridge
Perthshire in Winter

Perthshire Munros and other mountains

Split by the Highland Boundary Fault, Perthshire’s Grampian mountains give great views over its many lochs. Why not bag a Munro in Perthshire?

Not hill walked in Scotland before? Read my beginners guide first before deciding to bag a Munro.

  • Ben A’an – climb this ‘mountain in miniature’ for an incredible view across Loch Katrine- one of the best in Scotland. Distance. Climb Ben A’an.
  • Ben Vrackie, near Pitlochry – an incredibly popular hill walk above the town of Pitlochry. Meaning ‘Speckled Mountain’ the walk up the hill starts just past the small hamlet at Moulin – spot the pub for your return! Climb Ben Vrackie.  
  • Ben Ledi, Calendar – the mountain of God’ dominates the Trossachs town of Callander. Starting from the edge of Loch Lubnaig it is a steady walk up a good path.  4 hours. 879m. Climb Ben Ledi
  • Schiehallion – meaning “Fairy Hill of the Caledonians” with a well-made path most of the way up the mountain, that is until you reach the legendary (and very hard!) boulder field at the top. Schiehallion route via Walkhighlands
  • Ben Vorlich, Loch Earn – ‘The Hill of the Bay’ at Loch Earn (don’t mistake this one for the one at Loch Lomond) is one of the most popular beginners Munros with fantastic views down to Loch Earn and across to the Ben Lawers range on Loch Tay. Climb Ben Vorlich.
  • Meall Nam Tarmachan – Gaelic for the ‘Hill of the Ptarmigan’, Meall Nam Tarmachan in the Ben Lawers Range above Loch Tay is a very quick Munro climb with rewarding views for very little work. For a full day out take the spectacular, but a lot more challenging, Tarmachan Ridge back down. Climb Meall Nam Tarmachan.
  • Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas – Ben Lawers (1214m) might be the 10th highest mountain in Scotland, but thankfully you don’t have to climb all of it. It isn’t quite as hard as it seems… Starting at 400m at the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve you pop over the small Beinn Glass (1103m) before finally climbing up to the summit of Ben Lawers. Climb Ben Lawers.
Perthshire Munros

The Perthshire Lochs

While better known as Big Tree Country, Perthshire also has 47 lochs to explore. Here are my favourites. 

Loch Tay – stretching from Kenmore to Killin, Loch Tay has gentle bankside walks to whisky tasting at Dewars Distillery and traditional buildings at the Scottish Crannog Centre. However, if, like me, you like to get up to something a little more adventurous, why not discover the loch on Loch Tay Safaris RIB, go paddle boarding from Taymouth Marina, hike in Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve  or go horse riding at Mains of Taymouth Stables. Stop for dinner in Killin where the Falls of Dochart tumble into the loch. Read more visit Loch Tay.

Loch Earn – visit the pretty Perthshire village of St Fillans on Loch Earn before going boating on the loch or climbing Ben Vorlich, one of Scotland’s more popular Munros. 

Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel – the famous Queen’s View across Loch Tummel is one of Scotland’s most popular views – even if Queen Victoria once thought the view was named after her (hint, its not, it was named after Isabella, Robert the Bruce’s first wife, from 500 years before!) Nearby, climb the famous Schiehallion from the Braes of Foss – there is a great view of the mountain from Loch Rannoch.

Loch Voil – Ddep in the heart of Perthshire lies Loch Voil, a small loch just 8km in length. At the head of the loch is Balquidder (pronounced Balwhidder) sits a small village with a famous resident in the graveyard, Scottish folk hero Rob Roy McGregor. However, this was not always Red Robert’s land, for it was once Clan MacClaren country; the lands around the loch were a battleground for ownership with Clan MacGregor. For a true taste climb Creag an Turic above the village – it was once the rallying point for the Maclarens. You can see why it was used as a lookout – you can see for miles.

Loch Katrine – take a steam ship out on the pretty Loch Katrine or climb up Ben A’an or Ben Venue for a spectacular view of this loch – one of the sources of water for the city of Glasgow! 

Three lochs Forest Drive – closed to cars over winter, but open to cyclists all year round, the beautiful 7-mile Three Lochs Forest Drive visits Lochan Reòidhte, Loch Drunkie and Loch Achray and takes you over the beautiful Dukes Pass.

Loch Tay Perthshire

Perthshire towns and villages 

Looking for a Perthshire town or village to make your base?

Things to do in Perth

Sitting on the banks of the beautiful River Tay, Scotland’s Fair City might be one of the smallest cities in Scotland, but this ancient place was once Scotland’s capital. Now the gateway to the Scottish Highlands and the heart of spectacular Perthshire, the city of Perth is a great place to visit in its own right.

Here are the best things to do in Perth Scotland

Kinnoull Hill Perthsire Scotland

Things to do Callander, Strathyre and Doune

Callander is one of central Scotland’s ‘hubs’ and a great place to stop, stay or eat as you explore Perthshire. 

  • Climb up to the stunning Bracklinn Falls and Upper Crags
  • Hike up Ben Ledi, returning via Stank Glen 
  • Grab fish and chips from  Mhor Fish or pies from Mhor Bread, or stop for longer at Mhor tearoom.
  • Stop for cakes and coffee at Strathyre at the Broch Cafe 
  • Visit Doune Castle – made famous by Outlander and Monty Python

Things to do Aberfoyle

A pretty village to make as a base for exploring the Queen Elizabeth Forest in Perthshire

Things to do Pitlochry 

One of Perthshire’s biggest towns, Pitlochry has hotels, restaurants and lots of beautiful walks.

Autumn in Perthshire

Things to do Aberfeldy

Things to do Dunkeld and Birnam

One of my favourite spots in Perthshire, Dunkeld is a lovely village from which to explore. Here is what to get up to in Dunkeld.

Things to do Crieff and Comrie

Stretching from Glen Lyon to Tyndrum, Balqhuider and Comrie,The beautiful Breadlebane or “Bràghaid Alban” (the High Ground of Scotland) area of Perthshire is mostly undiscovered by those who normally venture further north to Glencoe or the highlands. 

Comrie is located on the Highland Fault line and experiences more tremors than anywhere else in Scotland – giving it its name ‘shaky toun’. 

Where to stay in Perthshire 

The Meikleour Arms, Cateran Country – Built in 1820 as a coaching inn for those travelling from Edinburgh to Inverness, and then a fishing lodge, the Meikleour Arms Hotel has 11 bedrooms in the main hotel, cottages in the stables and steading, and a lovely French-Scottish farm to fork restaurant.

Comrie Croft, Breadlebane – With gorgeous views, quiet secluded woodland pitches, sunny camping fields, a hostel, Swedish katas, a friendly vibe, a great little cafe, mountain biking trails, as well a gold award for green tourism, it is safe to say that Comrie Croft ticks all the campsite boxes. 

Murrayshall House Hotel, nr Scone – Sitting in 365 acres of beautiful grounds, Murrayshall was built in 1664 and now has 40 bedrooms and suites all with stunning views of the grounds and out over the Perthshire countryside, a modern fine dining brasserie, a cosy cocktail bar and its own an 18-hole golf course.

Monachyle Mhor / Mhor 84, Balquidder – located on the edge of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Mhor 84 and its big sister Monachyle Mhor just up the road, are stylish and vintage chic boutique hotels with a fantastic welcome, glamping options anc chic rooms, along with even more fantastic food. 

Grandtully Hotel  / Ballintaggart Farm – the Grandtully Hotel and Ballintaggart Farm are foodie boltholes in the heart of Perthshire, on the famous River Tay. Indulge in stylish rooms, farm to fork menus and great cocktails. 

More places to stay in Perthshire

Glen Lyon Perthshire

Where is Perthshire?

One of Scotland’s most central regions, Perthshire is split between the highlands and the lowlands, with the hills of the Grampian mountains to the north and the lowland city of Perth. Perthshire is around 1 hour north from Edinburgh and Glasgow.  

How to get to Perthshire, Scotland

  • By car – Perth sits on the M90 motorway and is around 1.5 hours north from the city to Edinburgh. The city is also on the A9 to Stirling, Glasgow and Inverness in the north. Other nearby towns include Crieff and Crianlarich, Blairgowrie and Braemar, and the A90 to Dundee and Aberdeen.
  • By Train and Bus – Perth has a mainline train station and is connected to the rest of Scotland by City Link and Stagecoach buses.

Like this? More Scotland regions to explore

Love, from Scotland x