Perth and Kinross (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt agus Ceann Rois) is a county in the north east of Scotland. Here is the divide between Lowland and Highland, as the hills suddenly rear up from the broad valleys.
Towns and villages
- 1 Perth is the only city. It has gardens, a museum and gallery.
- 2 Kinross, under the scarp of the Lomond Hills, has Loch Leven, with its island castle. Mary Queen of Scots escaped from imprisonment here.
- 3 Auchterarder is a straggling nondescript place, but just outside is the Gleneagles Hotel.
- 4 Crieff and 5 Comrie to the west are Victorian resort towns.
- 6 Blairgowrie & Rattray and 7 Alyth to the east are fruit-growing towns.
The Highlands: There's a false start, with the Ochills just south of Perth. But continue, and it's very obvious when you've reached the real thing.
- 8 Birnam was where the forest began marching, to the dismay of Macbeth; its sister-town is 9 Dunkeld.
- A few miles north is a river confluence. From here the Tay Valley ascends west via 10 Aberfeldy and 11 Kenmore to Loch Tay, with Ben Lawers brooding above.
- The main road A9 and railway continue north up the valley of the River Tummel, to 12 Pitlochry and 13 Blair Atholl.
- Beyond, the road climbs over the bleak Drumochter Pass towards Aviemore, Speyside and Inverness.
Everyone native to Perthshire speaks English to a highly comprehendable standard. The local dialects are widely regarded as some of the most understandable in Scotland (unlike nearby Dundee). Gaelic is no longer widely spoken in the area. Due to EU law a large number of Eastern European (mainly Polish) workers emigrate to Perthshire to work on the fresh fruit farms north of Perth. Many of the migrants have little or no English.
By air: the airport for this area is Edinburgh (EDI). A direct Jetbus 747 runs from the airport to Inverkeithing railway station in Fife, where trains for Perth stop. But other trains across the county run a different route, via Stirling: it might be better to take the airport bus or tram to Haymarket station in Edinburgh for the full choice of trains.
Perthshire has one of the most developed bus infrastructure networks in the UK, largely run by transport giant Stagecoach, who have their offices in Perth. They operate many services linking all local communities. At peak time on weekdays buses can run as often as once every 5 minutes but on Sundays service can be much slower. Check the online timetables before planning a day out. If you miss a bus from a rural area there will usually be another one later, just how later can vary. Bus travel is normally safe but can get intimidating on Friday or Saturday nights. It is advised not to travel by bus after dark if you are unfamiliar with the route.
- Play golf at Gleneagles (near Auchterarder). Play golf at the site of the 2014 Ryder Cup. There are several other courses in the region. £32 to £230.
- Hike the Cateran Trail, a 64-mile walk up Glenshee and Glenisla. It's usually done in five stages, with convenient starting points being Blairgowrie, Bridge of Cally, Kirkmichael, Spittal of Glenshee, Cray, Kirkton of Glenisla and Alyth.
- Highland Gatherings and Games: each town or large village hosts at least one event during summer. Pipe bands, caber-tossing, field & track events and so on; often combined with Agricultural Shows. For instance in mid-July, Lochearnhead hosts the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games, while Blairgowrie & Rattray Games are early September.
- South to Fife, Clackmannanshire or Stirlingshire
- West to Scottish Highlands
- North to Aberdeenshire
- East to Angus