Best Places to Visit in Perthshire, Scotland
As one of the most unsung corners of Scotland, Angus has plenty to offer visitors, from fantastic historical sights to amazing local cuisine. Located just 12 miles north of Dundee is the quaint village of Glamis, which is well-known for its collection of beautiful 18th century cottages which make it an outstanding conservation area. As well as being a lovely place to stay, Glamis has a number of attractions within the surrounding area which make it a great place to holiday. Here’s a guide to things to do in Glamis and the immediate area.
Historical Things to Do
Glamis Castle is the main reason why people head to this wonderful village. Although there is over 1,000 years worth of history to discover here, the castle is primarily known for being the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the birthplace of her second daughter HRH Princess Margaret. It is easily one of Scotland’s most stunning castles with its fairy tale turrets, towers and conical roofs against the impressive backdrop of the Grampian mountains. A tour of the castle will take you through the royal apartments, dining room and drawing room, among many others. The grounds are worthy of a stroll by themselves, especially the formal Italian Garden and the Macbeth Trail; the castle was the setting of Shakespeare’s tragedy. You should also visit the castle’s Victorian Kitchen Restaurant which serves delicious meals using the best local produce, some of it from the castle grounds itself.
Dotted around the eastern side of Scotland are a number of stones dating back to between the 6th and 9th centuries. These stones are the most visible evidence of the Picts, a group of Celts who lived in the area during the late Bronze and early Medieval Ages. It was during these centuries that the Picts converted to Christianity. The stones are intricately carved with a number of mysterious symbols which have perplexed archaeologists and academics for years. If you’re interested in seeing these stones, there are a few dotted in and around Glamis, including the Glamis manse, Hunter’s Hill, Eassie and St. Orland’s stones.
Outdoor Things to Do
Forfar Loch Country Park
Located just a ten-minute drive from Glamis, Forfar Loch Country Park is a wonderful place to escape to the countryside. There is a four-kilometre route around the park which is suitable for all levels of walkers and gives plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting; otters, foxes, roe deer and kingfishers can regularly be seen by visitors as well as fishing osprey during the summer.
The Cateran Ecomuseum
Describing itself as a museum without walls, the Cateran Ecomuseum in Alyth is situated on the 500-million-year-old Highland Boundary Fault – the geological feature that separates the Scottish Highlands and the Lowlands – an area with is steeped in history. The numerous sites that the museum encompasses tells the stories of the people, places and events which have taken place in the area over the centuries. You will discover and learn about legends of King Arthur and the Irish Giant Finn mac Cumhaill, events relating to the Jacobite rebellion, and stories of the Caterans themselves, the Highland clan warriors who were mostly associated with cattle raiding.
Indoor Things to Do
The Bothy Experience
The perfect attraction for those who love gin, the Bothy Experience started life as a jam-making business in 2013. They soon discovered that their production of home-made jam was also producing large quantities of leftover juice. Kim Cameron, the owner, was wondering what to do with this excess juice when her mother suggested mixing it with gin. The idea turned out to be a great one, and now the gin bothy produces a variety of spirits and liqueurs. Visitors can learn more about the gin-making process and the history of the bothy in the exhibitions rooms before heading to the shop to purchase some of the delicious products they make here.
JM Barrie’s Birthplace
JM Barrie is well known across the UK – and indeed the whole world – as the writer of a book which captured the imagination of children everywhere, Peter Pan. What not many people know is that Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, not far from Glamis. JM Barrie’s birthplace is now a delightful museum where visitors can see various objects and rooms where Barrie drew inspiration for his magnificent play and novel. Here you can see the washhouse where Barrie performed his first place and provided the inspiration for the Wendy house, the box beds where all the Barrie children would have slept, the jungle-themed garden and even original costumes from the first production of Peter Pan.
Kirriemuir Camera Obscura
Only one of four camera obscuras in Scotland, the Kirriemuir camera obscura was gifted to the town by JM Barrie along with the cricket pavilion where it is located back in 1930. Now run completely by a group of volunteers who did not want to see the building or camera obscura close, it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It is best enjoyed on bright, sunny days, so keep this in mind when you organise your visit.
Things for Kids
Newton Farm Holidays – Farm Tours and Alpaca Experience
Voted ‘Best Outdoor Experience’ in the VisitScotland Regional Thistle Awards 2018/2019, Newton Farm Holidays offer a truly wonderful experience for the whole family. It is a traditional family-run farm who open up their estate to those interested in how the farm runs and the animals that they rear. Their bespoke tour takes around one-and-a-half to two hours and they are happy to tailor it to your specific needs. The standard tour involves meeting the animals on the farm, such as cows, sheep, goats, alpacas and Lucy, their micropig as well as taking a look at Timmy, their beloved vintage tractor and other machines on the farm. The farm is also dog-friendly so if you’re travelling with your pooch, they can come along too.