Castles & historical sites

This area of Scotland has a rich history which has been reflected in its castles, settlements and other sites.

Castles

Scone Palace is a short drive from Blairgowrie. It has a rich history, having been the crowning place of Scottish kings, the seat of the Scottish Parliament and the capital of Scotland. Today it makes for an interesting half-day visit exploring its collections of fine antiques, the pinetum and maze.

Glamis Castle is 20 minutes drive from Blairgowrie and as the birthplace of the Queen Mother, has a place in contemporary Royal history.  It enjoys a stunning setting backed by the Angus hills, and with its picturesque architecture is a favourite place to visit.

Blair Atholl is a wonderful castle near Pitlochry which has a long and varied history dating back to 1269. The castle was remodelled in the Victorian era and boasts magnificent collections of art and antiques. It also has lovely grounds including the picturesque walled garden. Blair Castle is also home to the Blair International Horse trials at the end of August each year, which is a great occasion in the three-day-eventing calendar. The Blair Atholl Estate covers a large area, and makes for some great walking and cycling too.

Stirling Castle has held an important place in Scottish history for a very long time. Perched above the city on its rock it is easy to see why it was such an important defensive position, changing hands regularly in battles between the English and the Scots, but remaining an important symbol of Scottish independence. It has recently benefited from a major restoration and representation which allows you to see the Royal Palace as it was around 1545 on its completion.

Balmoral Castle is at the top of the list for lots of our guests to visit. It is open from April to July, please check the website for precise dates and times. You can visit the Ballroom, stables exhibition and gardens, but the other rooms in the castle are not open to the public as this remains the Queen’s private home. The estate is however open throughout the year and offers some wonderful walking both through regenerated Caledonian forest and moorland or scaling the heights of some of the Grampian mountains.

 

Ancient settlements

To get a completely different take on Scottish history it is worth visit the Crannog Centre near Aberfeldy. It shows what life was like around 2,500 years ago when the climate was warmer than it is today. The unusual dwellings were built on stilts over Loch Tay as defensive homesteads. There is an exhibition and a fully reconstructed crannog on the site as well as demonstrations and special events throughout the season.

 

Industrial sites

Coming to stay in part of an old mill may make you want to explore some of our industrial heritage a bit more. Stanley Mills near Perth offers an insight into this world. There is an interactive exhibition exploring the history of spinning and weaving in the area and the economics and social issues which came into play too. There are also exhibits demonstrating the different types of hydro-power technologies and reconstructions of the carding and spinning rooms.