Genteel, attractive Perthshire is, in many ways, the epitome of well-groomed rural Scotland. An area of gentle glens, mature woodland, rushing rivers and peaceful lochs, it’s the long-established domain of Scotland’s well-to-do country set. First settled more than eight thousand years ago, it was ruled by the Romans and then the Picts before Celtic missionaries established themselves.
The ancient town of Perth occupies a strategic position at the mouth of the River Tay; salmon, wool and, by the sixteenth century, whisky, were exported, while a major import was Bordeaux claret. At nearby Scone, Kenneth MacAlpine established the capital of the kingdom of the Scots and the Picts in 846. When this settlement was washed away by floods in 1210, William the Lion founded Perth as a royal burgh.
North and west of Perth, Highland Perthshire is made up of gorgeous and mighty woodlands, particularly along the banks of the River Tay. The area is dotted with neat, confident towns and villages like Dunkeld and Birnam, with its mature trees and lovely ruined cathedral, and Aberfeldy set deep amongst farmland east of Loch Tay. Further north, the countryside becomes more sparsely populated and spectacular, with some wonderful walking country, especially around Pitlochry, Blair Atholl and the wild expanses of Rannoch Moor to the west.