Perthshire in Scotland is the perfect place for a short break, holiday or a day out exploring. Lying at the heart of Scotland, this beautiful county is only an hour's drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh. From walking and hiking to ambling round historical sites, from a round of golf to loch and river fishing, Perthshire has something for everybody. It's also the ideal place to sample some traditional highland fayre, such as local venison, fresh wild salmon, haggis, wild boar, and a wee dram of whisky.
Low Level Walking
Perthshire has always been popular with walkers because of its scenery and wildlife. Deer roam the heather-clad hills and the rare red squirrel makes its home in Scots Pine woods. There are low level walks in secluded glens and hills such as Glen Devon and the Ochils. The Cadger's Way is one such low level walk from Auchterarder to Glen Devon that follows an old packmen's path. The highest point is about 1500ft where the views across the Perthshire landscape are breathtaking. Then follow the path down to tranquil Glen Devon where you can enjoy a rest, a bite to eat and a welcome dram. For more walks, the Hallewell Pocket Walking Guide "Walks South Perthshire" is a good source.
Some of the greatest figures in Scottish history have lived in Perthshire and have left their marks for modern history lovers to explore. Loch Leven castle, for example, was Mary Queen of Scots' prison in the 1500s. Its ruins lie on an island that can be visited by a short ferry ride. The ruins of Bronze Age homes have been found near Gleneagles, and remains of ancient roundhouses and settlements can be explored. Scone Palace lies just outside Perth. The original Stone of Destiny was housed here and its antique treasures and superb architecture have delighted many a visitor.
The fishing in Perthshire is world famous. Its rivers and lochs are home to large, wild brown trout, sea trout and salmon, which are famous for their hard fighting, and anglers visit from all over the world come to test their skills on the River Tay, Loch Rannoch and Loch Earn. The purity of the Southern Highland water gives the fish their prized taste, chiefly the wild salmon which is highly sought after not just by anglers, but by diners and chefs.
Scotland has dozens of distilleries and Perthshire has one of the oldest. Tullibardine lies on the site of Scotland's oldest brewery near the town of Blackford and dates back to the 12th century. As with most distilleries, visits are available where you can see how whisky is made and enjoy tasting a wee dram.
No visit to Perthshire would be complete without sampling some traditional highland food. The area is noted for its beef. Highland cattle provide the highest quality beef that has a superior flavour, very juicy and easy to cook. Or how about tasting some wild boar! Boar used to roam the glens of Scotland and are now proving a very popular dish in local restaurants. Locally caught fresh salmon are a staple on local menus. Venison is also a favourite Scottish delicacy. Deer farms are dotted around Scotland, but deer stalking exists in many areas. For example, Glen Lean, where the deer feed on myrtle and wild thyme, which makes the venison even more delicious.
Harry Young works for Toltech Internet Solutions and writes on behalf of An Lochan. For a central base from which to explore Perthshire, Scotland visit 4 star An Lochan Country Inn, Tormaukin. Fresh Highland food, fine wines and ales, and comfortable rooms in a scenic Scottish setting.