Perthshire has so much to offer: Glorious Countryside, Grand Castles, Ancient History, the Silvery Tay, Golf Courses Galore, Skiing, Country Walks and Drives, Energetic Outdoor Pursuits, Excellent Shopping, Art and a Huge Array of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes for Dining Out. Here is just some of what's available:
The River Tay is the longest of Scotland's Salmon Rivers. Visit the Fish Tay website for a full list of Tay beats.
There are a growing number of local businesses who offer a variety of adventurous activities, many suitable for both children and adults such as Quad-Biking, Segway Trekking, Off-Road Driving, White Water Rafting, Archery, Falconry and Shooting: Splash, Nae Limits, Perthshire Off Road, Highland Offload, Landrover Experience Scotland
Golf courses within 30mins drive include:
Blairgowrie, Alyth, Strathmore, Dunkeld and Birnam, King James VI,
Some a little further afield although still within 1 hour's drive:
St. Andrews, Carnoustie
Let Visit Scotland show you the way - from gentle stolls along riverside paths to strenuous hikes up a mighty munro!
Another useful site for walks and scenery is Perthshire's Big Tree Country
Just on the other side of the village to Horsey Reach is the Active Kid Adventure Park which has go karts, terrific slides, climbing frames, trampolines and a lovely coffee shop for the grown-ups mum to sit and relax.
Here are a couple of general websites to look at for children's activities: Active Perthshire and Activity Scotland.The following are for specific activities:
Pony trekking/riding lessons at Blair Castle Trekking and Crieff Hydro
Perth Leisure Centre boasts a fantastic swimming pool: Perth Leisure Pool
Cycling: Comrie Croft Bikes
Soft Play Area, Indoor Karting and Bowling: Noah's Ark.
Children's quad biking and other outdoor activities including Segway Trekking and Bungee Tramplines: The Edge Outdoor Activity Centre
Nestling in the Perthshire countryside you will find evidence of Scotland's historic past: ancestral homes and castles rub shoulders with churches and battlefields. To name but a few we have:
Glamis Castle - the childhood home of the late Queen Mother, magnificent castle and grounds
Scone Palace- (pronounced 'scoon') for centuries the crowning place of Scottish kings and home to the Earls of Mansfield
St. John's Kirk, Perth - where John Knox fuelled the fire of the Reformation
Castle Menzies, by Aberfeldy - where Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed on his way to the Battle of Culloden
Queen's View - one of Scotland's most famous views across Loch Tummel to Schiehallion, commemorates the first wife of Robert the Bruce
Blair Castle - still protected to this day by the last and only private army in Europe: the Atholl Highlanders
- our own slice of history - only 10 mins walk from Horsey Reach - a beautifully restored mill and visitors centre depicting life in the 19th Century
Perthshire is perfect for a little bit of retail therapy:
Perth City Centre has a wealth of shops: It has the usual suspects including good sized Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next, Boots, WH Smith, Waterstones, as well as some rather nice additions with some lovely independent clothing stores: Marian's of Perth, Loretta's Collection, also our own little department store: Beales, more shoe shops than we really deserve: Rogersons, Begg Shoes and Mostyn & McKenzie, some really great independent jewellery stores: No. 5, TB. Mitchell, and Cairncross and gift shops and art galleries: Boo Vake, Frames Contemporary Gallery, Tayberry Gallery, Sarah's Attick and Julian Jardine Ceramics.
Perthshire's smaller towns and villages offer a number of independent retail outlets and in particular art, craft and gift shops that are worth visiting: Aberfeldy, Blairgowrie, Dunkeld and Crieff all offer something a little different.
Worthy of special mention is House of Bruar - at the north end of Blair Atholl just off the A9. Huge country shopping centre, fine Scottish produce, cashmere, knitwear and gifts. Also garden centre and Bruar Falls, a strenuous woodland walk to the top. Along similar, but smaller lines is the Bankfoot Visitors Centre which also has a great coffee shop.
I can personally recommend the Highland Chocolatier - for not only the most delicious chocolates I have ever tasted and an amazing Chocolate Tasting Experience and Tour, this is on the road to Aberfeldy, and in Aberfeldy itself there is the Watermill, for an eclectic mix of books, art and wholesome cooking. And for art-lovers I can recommend The Strathearn Gallery in Crieff and The Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld, both always exhibit works by Scotland's finest artists.
Take a day out of your busy schedule and really relax at the pool and beauty area at the Hilton Dunkeld House or have a day in the Spa at either Fonab Castle or Gleneagles.
Or better still, invite a therapist to pamper you and your guests at Horsey Reach - contact us for more information.
Perth and the surrounding area can certainly compete with Scotland's biggest cities when it comes to eating out. For a full list of Perth restaurants and night life see the Perth City Website.
I can personally recommend: Dean's at Lets Eat or 63 Tay Street for more formal dining, Cafe Tabou for relaxed authentic French cuisine and for a more lively night out with great food and cocktails there's Gringo's, Cafe Kisa, and The Bothy.
And more locally, in Stanley itself, I can recommend The Tayside Hotel for a relaxed bar meal or just a couple of miles out of the village, there us Uisge in Murthy, The Meikleour Arms or for more a more formal dining experience, we are happy to recommend Ballathie House Hotel.
For Coffee, Cakes and Light Bites
These are handy to know when you're out and about, but also worthy of the drive to get you up and going: Stewart Tower, the award winning dairy and ice cream parlour which is virtually on our doorstep, and where I'll send you if you arrive early! Gloagburn Farm Shop, my personal favourite place for lunch, great menu, and a nice shop to browse as well And I've just discovered their wonderful breakfast menu!! There is, of course, the afore mentioned Highland Chocolatier and Watermill in Aberfeldy, and new to my list of places to lunch is Delivino in Crieff (although you usually have to book, even for lunch) which offers modern European food with a lovely selection of wines.
And for something different:
Learn to cook amazing Indian food the Indian Cook School, learn bread-making with Lesley's Kitchen, learn fine art photography with Jo Cound, learn to make chocolates and combine that with an afternoon tea with Alison at Getting Gooey or go on a guided wildlife walk with Perthshire Wildlife or even paint some pottery at the Ceramic Experience. Tony, Lesley, Alison and Jo have all offered to come to Horsey Reach and teach you there, by special arrangement. And Daniele from Perthshire Wildlife is available, by special arrangements, to take groups from Horsey Reach on wildlife tours of Perthshire. For something slightly wilder, learn to make Cocktails at The Bothy in Perth.