Blairgowrie & Rattray is a small town in Perth and Kinross, 16 miles north of Perth. 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 influx of casual labour to pick the fruit in early summer, mostly from East Europe, and the growers wonder how this labour can be supplied once EU residents can no longer be hired.
By train head to Perth which has frequent trains from all the main Scottish cities, and 2 or 3 direct trains from London. Birnam and Dunkeld railway station is closer but lacks onward public transport, and there's a stiff hill if you cycle it.
For all local bus timetables, see P&KC website.
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 between Blairgowrie and Dundee (55 min) so that route is served every 30 min.
Bus 60 between Blairgowrie and Dunkeld is basically just a school bus three times a day, with one bus continuing to Aberfeldy.
Bus 71 is similar, from Blairgowrie four times a day up the valley through Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael and Tarvie, with two continuing to Spittal of Glenshee. It doesn't go as far as the ski area or over to Braemar.
You can usually walk, but Bus 63 orbits Blairgowrie and Rattray every 30-60 min.
- 1 [dead link] Jute and Flax Mill. There are ruins of several jute and flax mills around the village. The Meikle and Plash Mills are on the bank of the River Ericht.
- 1 Ski at Glenshee (25 miles north of Blairgowrie). Depending on snow conditions there may be up to 22 lifts and 36 runs.
- 2 Blairgowrie Golf Club. The club was founded in 1899 and has three courses: Rosemount, Lansdownre and the Wee Course (9 holes). 9 hole round £20 - day ticket £145.
- 3 Davie Park, Rattray. Childrens play area and a wilder area (Loon Braes) with a pond for birdwatching.
- 1 Tesco Superstore, Welton Rd, Blairgowrie PH10 6NQ, ☏ .
- Rattray Art Festival, Rattray Hall, Balmoral Road. One weekend in August (29-30 Aug 2020, 10:00-17:00). Selling exhibition of paintings, sculpture and jewelery by local artists, with event proceeds going to Scottish Charity Air Ambulance. Coffee and baking available.
- 1 Cargill's Bistro, Lower Mill St. Traditional Scottish restaurant. lunch around £10, dinner from £20.
- 2 Dalmore Inn, Perth Road (Southern edge of town near the golf course). daily 12:00 - 21:00. Traditional Scottish restaurant, which often has game (wild meat) on the menu. dinner around £25.
- 1 The Fair O’Blair, 25–29 Allan Street. daily 08:00 - 23:00 or later. Wetherspoon pub with food in former Woolworths. Sheltered outdoor tables for smokers.
- 1 The Angus Hotel, 46 Wellmeadow, Blairgowrie PH10 6NQ, ☏ .
- 2 Milton Royal Hotel, Royal Hotel, 53 Allan St, Blairgowrie PH10 6AB, ☏ .
- 3 Kinloch House, Dunkeld Rd, Blairgowrie PH10 6SG, ☏ . Charming rambling country house, great dining. No dogs. B&B double £250.
- 4 Tigh na Leigh, 22 Airlie St, Alyth PH11 8AJ, ☏ . 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 £110.
- 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.