Download GPX file for this article
56.592018-3.340137Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Blairgowrie & Rattray is a town in Perth and Kinross, 16 miles north of Perth, with a population of 9260 in 2021. Blairgowrie is the larger settlement, southwest of the River Ericht, and Rattray is northeast. They were combined in 1928 and are locally referred to as "Blair" which is the Scottish Gaelic word for a plain or open meadow. They grew up as small market towns at the meeting point of historic routes, including one of General Wade's military roads. They're best known for their raspberries and strawberries; they have a huge demand for casual labour to pick the fruit in early summer, which they struggle to recruit now that EU residents can no longer be hired.

Get in[edit]

Map of Blairgowrie & Rattray

By train head to Perth which has frequent trains from all the major Scottish cities. Birnam and Dunkeld station is closer but lacks onward public transport, and there's a stiff hill if you cycle it.

Stagecoach Bus 57 runs every 30 min from Perth via Scone (for the Palace), Kinrossie and Coupar Angus to Blairgowrie (50 min), and continues hourly to Rattray, Alyth, Meigle, Muirhead, Lochee and Dundee. Bus 59 also plies hourly from Dundee to Blairgowrie (55 min) so that route is served every 30 min.

Bus 60 from Dunkeld is just a school bus twice M-F.

Bus 71 is similar, from Blairgowrie three times M-Sa up the valley through Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael and Tarvie. It doesn't reach the Glenshee ski area.

Get around[edit]

You can walk around town, but Bus 63 orbits Blairgowrie and Rattray every 30-60 min. You need your own wheel for outlying sights.

Taxi firms are Coysie (+44 7803 782727), WH Taxi (+44 1250 873538), Blairgowrie Taxis (+44 1250 872116) and Faisal (+44 1250 875533).


  • River Ericht divides Blairgowrie from Rattray. It descends steeply, so its flow was harnessed for a series of textile mills, processing flax for linen, then jute, then rayon. They're all derelict now but a bosky riverside walk leads past them. A suggested route from the bridge is upstream on the west bank past "Cargill's Leap" then returning on the east bank.
  • 1 Ardblair Stone Circle has been bisected by B947, so it just looks like a barrier to prevent the illegal parking of Druids. Only if you happen to be going that way.
  • 2 Alyth five miles northeast of Blairgowrie was on the old cattle-drovers' route, crossing the river by the 17th century Packhorse Bridge. It later had textile mills driven by the river. Alyth Museum is on Commercial St, open F noon-4PM, Sa Su 10AM-4PM. The Alyth Arches were part of a church dating back to 6th century; the nearby Gothic parish church of 1839 dominates the skyline.
  • 3 Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum is east on A94, see Forfar.
  • 4 Spittal of Glenshee is the last tiny settlement on A93 before the road climbs Devil's Elbow and the bleak moors of Cairnwell, to reach Glenshee ski centre at the top then descend into Braemar. The name indicates "hospital", a refuge as night and the weather closed in. There's an ancient megalith by the Spittal parish church, and a stone circle nearby.
  • 5 Glen Isla is the most western of the five Angus Glens. It starts above Bridge of Craigisla, where there's a 24-m waterfall, the Reekie Linn. The B951 climbs the valley through Kirkton of Glenisla and Brewlands Bridge to Forter Castle, a 16th century tower house that's now a private dwelling. The B951 here crosses the ridge west to join Glenshee. A dead-end lane continues north in the glen to Auchavan, where trails lead up to the glacial Corrie Fee.
  • Beavers became re-established on Tayside by 2006 and are thriving, so look out for them on any loch or river hereabouts.


A93 ascends Glenshee
  • Davie Park is east side of Rattray. It has a children's play area and a wilder area "Loon Braes" with a pond for birdwatching.
  • 1 Blairgowrie Golf Club, +44 1250 872622. The club was founded in 1899 and has three courses: Rosemount, Lansdowne and the Wee Course (9 holes). Day ticket £200.
  • Darroch Wood is reached by a footpath east of the cemetery. From there you can loop north via the Ardblair Stones, but might prefer to loop south via Fingask Loch to the golf course.
  • Glenshee ski area is 25 miles north on A93, see Braemar. You can tell when conditions have been good as hordes of wind-reddened skiers emerge from vehicles to re-fuel on fish & chips before heading home to the cities - Blairgowrie & Rattray is the first place of any size on their road south.
  • Alyth Agricultural Show is held on Bogle's Field, with the next on Sa 15 June 2024.
  • Strathardle Highland Gathering and Agricultural Show is on Bannerfield Park, Strathardle, with the next on Sa 24 Aug 2024.
  • Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games are held in September on Bogle's Field, a mile south of Blairgowrie on Essendy Road, B947 through the standing stones. The next are on Su 8 Sept 2024.


Bluebells in Darroch Wood
  • Tesco is on Welton Rd by the bridge in Blairgowrie, open M-Sa 7AM-11PM, Su 8AM-8PM. The main store in Rattray is Scotmid on Hatton Rd.
  • Rattray Arts Festival is a selling exhibition of paintings, sculpture and jewellery by local artists, with proceeds donated to Scottish Charity Air Ambulance. It's held in Blairgowrie Hall on Brown St, with the next on Sa 24 Aug - Su 1 Sept 2024.


  • Little's, 1 Riverside Rd, Rattray PH10 7GA (just east of bridge), +44 1250 875358. Tu-Sa 11AM-8:30PM. Classy seafood restaurant in a converted church.
  • 1 Dalmore Inn, Perth Road PH10 6QB (near the golf course), +44 1250 871088. Daily 11AM-8:30PM. Traditional Scottish restaurant.


  • 1 The Fair O’Blair, 25–29 Allan Street PH10 6AB, +44 1250 871890. Daily 8AM-midnight. Reliable Wetherspoon pub with food in former Woolworths.
  • Others in Blairgowrie are Crown Bar, Number 31, Dreadnought Inn, Cartwheel Inn and Ericht Alehouse. Rattray has the Balmoral at the crossroads.
  • Persie Distillery on A93 north of Bridge of Cally makes gin and vodka.
  • Highland Boundary in Alyth distils Scottish spirits. Breaking categories seems to be the concept, but think gin or vodka not Scotch. No tours.


The chieftain's salute at the Highland Games
  • 1 Angus Hotel, 46 Wellmeadow, Blairgowrie PH10 6NH, +44 1250 872455. Good mid-range place with pool and spa, plumb centre of town. Dog-friendly, catering hit-and-miss. B&B double £180.
  • Victoria Hotel, Lower Mill St, Blairgowrie PH10 6NG (block west of Angus Hotel), +44 1250 876669. Good value small hotel in town centre. B&B double £100.
  • 2 Ivybank Lodge, Boat Brae, Rattray PH10 7BH, +44 1250 873056. Lovely welcoming B&B in town centre. B&B double £120.
  • 3 Blairgowrie Holiday Park, Hatton Rd, Rattray PH10 7AL, +44 1250 878123. Caravan park open year-round with long-let static units plus pitches for tourers and campers. Hook-up £32.
  • 4 Glenshieling House, Hatton Rd, Rattray PH10 7HZ, +44 1250 874605. Beautifully decorated B&B in a villa of 1893, north edge of town.
  • 5 Kinloch House, Dunkeld Rd, Blairgowrie PH10 6SG, +44 1250 884237. Charming rambling country house, great dining. No dogs. B&B double £320.
  • 6 Meikleour Arms, Meikleour PH2 6EB, +44 1250 883206. Smart country house hotel with fine dining, dog-friendly. B&B double £180.
  • Tigh na Leigh, 22 Airlie St, Alyth PH11 8AJ (Alyth village centre), +44 1828 632372. Stylish guesthouse open Feb-Nov, comfort and service to a high standard. It's primarily a B&B but you can dine with notice, and won't regret it. No children under 12. B&B double £140.


As of April 2024, Blairgowrie, Rattray and their approach roads have a basic mobile signal from EE, and 4G from O2, Three and Vodafone. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next[edit]

  • Perth is an agreeable small city: its top sight Scone Palace is on the road to Blairgowrie.
  • Dundee, once grubby and industrial, is now worthy of its fine location on the Tay, with the sailing ship Discovery, Verdant jute mill, and V&A design museum.
  • Forfar has sculpted Pictish stones, and Edzell and Glamis castles.
  • Dunkeld and Birnam mark the beginning of the Highlands. The autumn colours are glorious.

Routes through Blairgowrie & Rattray
Cairngorms / Braemar  N  S  Perth

This city travel guide to Blairgowrie & Rattray is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.