The Best Things to Do in Perth, Scotland

Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens as you tour Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland
Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens as you tour Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland | © CHRIS BOSWORTH / Alamy Stock Photo
Tamarin Fountain

Known as the ‘Fair City’, Perth sits at the edge of Scotland’s Highland gateway region. The city offers a range of galleries, historic attractions and stunning scenery. Whether you prefer to get active in the great outdoors or soak up some culture, here are some amazing things you can see and do in Perth, Scotland.

1. Explore The Fergusson Gallery

Art Gallery

An architectural feature, as well as a cultural one, The Fergusson Gallery’s exterior is that of a grand old water tower. Inside, you’ll find works by the renowned colourist John Duncan Fergusson and his wife, the groundbreaking contemporary dancer Margaret Morris. Sketchbooks, photographs and costumes complement the large art collection. It’s located on Marshall Place, and the entry is free.

2. Take a guided tour of Scone Palace

Villa

Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens as you tour the legendary Scone Palace and its 100 acres (40.5ha) of gardens and grounds. When viewing its splendid interior, you’ll learn about its illustrious past as capital of the Picts, a seat of Parliament and the crowning place of Robert the Bruce. If you’d rather go at your own pace, you can wander the many public rooms alone and ask the staff in each room any specific questions you may have.

3. Learn bushcraft at Willowgate Activity Centre

Park, Sports Center

Channel your inner Bear Grylls, and develop wilderness survival skills. Willowgate Activity Centre’s Bushcraft Experience enables you to get up close to nature. In just two hours, you’ll learn the basics of animal tracking, water filtration, fire lighting, survival tins and tarp shelters – and toast a few marshmallows, too. Afterwards, you might like to add on some onsite archery or aqua zorbing.

4. Immerse in the history of the Black Watch

Museum, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Black Watch Museum, Perth, Perthshire , Scotland UK
© MediaWorldImages / Alamy Stock Photo

Dating back to 1739, the prestigious Black Watch played an important role in military history. At the museum, you can peruse regalia from the family regiment, including medals, uniforms, oil paintings, photographs, diaries and weapons. Treasures from two and half centuries reside in this museum, which is part of the 12th-century Balhousie Castle, home of the Black Watch.

5. Spend a day at Perth Racecourse

Sports Center

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of being a trackside spectator as you hear the thunder of hooves rush past. Set in the spectacular grounds of Scone Palace, this is the farthest north a course you’ll find in Scotland. Buy a grandstand ticket to be right at the heart of the action, and book lunch in The Tay Bistro for a fine British day out. Or, if it’s a warm day, pack a vintage wicker hamper of goodies, grab some champagne on ice, and savour a classy picnic in the park.

6. Walk the River Tay

Natural Feature

The River Tay and Dunkeld Bridge, Dunkeld Perthshire
© Keith Fergus / Alamy Stock Photo

The ‘silvery’ Tay runs through the centre of Perth to Dundee. Take a 5-mile (8km) walk from the South Inch Park across North Inch Golf Course to Luncarty, or head in the other direction for a shorter stroll to see Moncreiffe Island. In calm weather conditions, you can also hire a kayak to discover the route from the river itself.

7. Go clubbing at the Ice Factory

Music Venue

One of Scotland’s best-loved nightclubs, the Ice Factory has been around since the early 1990s. It was once one of the top clubs in the UK but, after a less popular spell, underwent an exciting transformation and rebrand in 2019. It plays host to local and national club nights such as The Rhumba Club, NightVision and Fly Club Party. Housed in an iconic historic warehouse building, it boasts a multi-room experience with outdoor space, too – unusual for a club venue.

8. Visit the Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Art Gallery, Museum

Facde of the Perth Museum and Art Gallery
© Sérgio Nogueira / Alamy Stock Photo

Found on George Street, this museum is one of the oldest in the land. It houses more than half a million objects, artefacts and artworks from around the globe, as well as dedicated exhibitions to celebrate the local area. There are also interactive trails and puzzles to keep those of all ages amused. The site is fully accessible, and entry is completely free.

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