Situated on the banks of the River Tay, the town of Perth was once the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland and the county town of Perthshire. The name Perth is derived from the Pictish word for a wood or copse and suggests that a settlement has existed there since at least early times, as is supported by Roman accounts. Archaeological evidence in and around the town points to far older occupation, perhaps as much as 8,000 years ago.

Throughout the Middle Ages the city was a royal residence and later became an important industrial centre, particularly famed for the whisky distilleries that thrived in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the last century Perth has undergone a decline and, in 1990, lost its status as a city for the first time in centuries. Now, the town or 'former city' of around 50,000 people has little of the significance it has historically enjoyed. However, Perth is packed with evidence of its heritage and remains a commercial centre thanks to the influx of new insurance and banking businesses.


Perth's long and varied history have given it a broad range of attractions - historical, architectural, cultural and more.

[ St. John's Kirk] (Church) in the centre of the town is Perth's oldest building, probably dating back to the mid-12th century. It was here that the Reformation began when John Knox preached a sermon in 1559, paving the way for the rise of Protestantism.

A mile north of Perth, the village of Scone (pronounced 'Scoon') was the capital of the Pictish kingdom, 1,500 years ago. It is Scotland's traditional crowning-place and has seen the coronation of 42 Scottish kings, including Oliver Cromwell and Robert the Bruce. Kings were crowned on the Stone of Destiny, said to be the pillow stone used by the biblical Jacob. The stone was stolen by Edward I and taken to London, finally returned to Scotland centuries later in 1950. It is now kept in Edinburgh Castle. A replica can be found in the Scone Palace, which was built in 1808 on the site of the earlier Abbey where coronations took place. Scone was also an important site for the development of Celtic Christianity.

The Perth Museum and Art Gallery on George Street is the city's chief museum. The Fergusson Gallery on Marshall Place (admission free) houses a large collection of drawings, paintings and sculptures by the renowned Scottish artist.

Branklyn Gardens on Dundee Road are visited by gardeners and botanists the world over, famed for their collection of Himalayan plants. The city also has several public parks. The forested Kinnoull Hill and Craigie Hill are both beautiful locations for walking and offer amazing views of the city.


Perth's central location in Scotland has meant that it has been an important trading and market town for centuries. The High Street, which is traffic free, has both local family businesses and larger department stores. Many of these can be found in the St. John's Shopping Centre, which holds over 40 retailers in the same complex.

Local specialities include whisky (particularly Bells), although the distilleries in Perth itself have long since moved out of the city. The world-famous Caithness Glass on Dunkeld Road specialises in high-quality glassware. The factory workshop is open for visitors to see craftsmen at work. Paperweights and artistic pieces can be bought from the shop.

There are many art galleries and antiques shops in Perthshire. Between Perth and Dundee, the Carse of Gowrie has its own antiques trail, with signs pointing to many shops of particular interest along the way.

Perthshire's mild climate and fertile soil have given its food and drink a national and international reputation. The farmer's market in Perth is possibly the best in Scotland. It is held throughout the year, on the first Saturday of the month. Local producers treat it as a showcase for their many different types of goods - meat, fish and game, fresh fruit and vegetables, wines and liqueurs, honey, preserves, bread, cakes and more. Stallholders often give out free samples.


[ Perth Festival of the Arts] is held every year, offering drama, dance, classical and popular music, comedy and more. During the days of the festival, nightlife is particular diverse. For the rest of the year, there is still plenty to do. Perth's twenty million GBP new Concert Hall is the location for a great number of cultural events. The Loft Nightclub on South Street is a popular venue for dancing, drinking and general socialising. The Ice Factory on Shore Road offers an outside courtyard and BBQ, 6 bars and 3 dance floors.

The city's numerous restaurants often source their food and drink from the many excellent local producers. The Acanthu] offers traditional Scottish cuisine; the 63 Tay Street Restaurant is also very highly regarded. Many pubs and smaller restaurants provide cheaper but still good-quality meals.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information Centre,Lower City Mills, West Mill St, Perth, Perthshire, PH1 5QP


Perth does have a small airport, around 4 miles northeast of the city, but it is mainly used for pilot training and by private aircraft.

[ Edinburgh Airport] is 40 miles south of Perth. From the airport, head north over the Forth Road Bridge and up the M90. Flights serve many European destinations, including London airports and numerous other UK cities.

Dundee Airport is 20 miles east of Perth along the A90/A85. Although it is also a relatively small airport, there are daily flights to London.

All car hire locations in United Kingdom