The Perthshire Tourist Route might be short, but it’s certainly sweet and offers almost everything. While you drive the 43 miles (69km), you’ll take in simply gorgeous scenery, plenty of distilleries, golf courses and history with a good dose of castles.
This is a Scottish road trip for those who like to get out and active in the countryside, and for those who prefer to take things slightly more sedately. Read on to discover another great adventure in Scotland as we make our way from Greenloaning to Ballinluig.
This is the latest in our series of Scottish road trips.
Why drive the Perthshire Tourist Route
This is the Scottish road trip for you if you’re looking for one to do in a day. The 43 miles are easily covered, although you’ll want to allow longer if you plan to do any of the walks and climbs along the way.
It’s also ideal for stunning scenery as the entire trip meanders through some of the prettiest parts of Scotland. Think miles of woodlands and forests, serene river valleys, the occasional loch plus lofty mountains on the horizon. For maximum beauty, time your trip for late summer or early autumn when the woodlands turn from green to golden.
The Perthshire Tourist Route also offers a huge variety of activities within a short distance. Some of the country’s best golf courses line this route. You can hike, climb, canoe, ride or fish to your heart’s content. You can also see some of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, seriously ancient books, life during the Iron Age and watch salmon make their challenging way upstream.
Highlights along the way
There might just be 43 miles of it, but the Perthshire Tourist Route packs in the things to do and see. Read on to discover the highlights and then plan your stop-offs.
Just north of the small village of Greenloaning lies one of the most famous golf resorts in Europe: Gleneagles. Make the most of this Scottish road trip to treat yourself to a round on the championship course, a luxurious soak at the spa or a foodie experience at one of the restaurants. Or just take a stroll around and bask in a bit of the glamour before you drive on.
Scotland ranks among the world’s great literary nations and this road trip includes the country’s oldest library. Established in the late 17th-century, the Library of Innerpeffray is a treasure trove of priceless literary works. The gems include a rare Scottish collection plus a number of ancient volumes that date back more than 500 years. While you’re there, check out the chapel, the ruins of Innerpeffray castle and the newly-opened river walk.
Up there with the finest in Europe, Drummond Castle gardens provide a spectacle of colour at any time of year. With its first seeds sown in 1490 and the formal gardens added in the 1630s, Drummond boasts a glorious mile-long beech avenue, a supremely elegant Italian parterre, lots of fountains and the occasional peacock. Don’t miss the 17th-century sundial, Queen Victoria’s copper beech and the kitchen gardens, perfect for stocking up on produce for your Scottish holiday home.
The Perthshire Tourist Route then continues its way north to Crieff. Before you reach the market town, the outdoorsy members of your party will want to stop off at Comrie. The village offers a long list of activities including walking (why not climb Ben Chonzie and bag another Munro?) and mountain biking. Keen riders will want to time their visit to coincide with the Cream O’ The Croft mountain biking festival in the summer. And if you enjoy hiking, make a date in your diary for the Drover’s Tryst family walking festival in October. Refresh yourselves after all the physical activity with a little something at one of the great pubs in Comrie.
Wee dram treats
No visit to Scotland would be complete without a distillery or two and the river landscapes along the Perthshire Tourist Route means it includes several. Just outside Crieff is the Glenturret Distillery, established in 1775 and home to Scotland’s oldest single malt, Famous Grouse. It’s also the only distillery still doing things by hand.
And from the oldest to the smallest. Strathearn Distillery, again near Crieff, produces fine single malt in the country’s smallest whisky manufacturer. Another famous brand, Dewar’s, has a distillery near Aberfeldy.
Iron Age treats
The Tourist Route now wanders further north through wooded valleys on its way to Aberfeldy. History enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a good view will want to take the short side trip to Loch Tay. Here, the Scottish Crannog Centre includes a replica of an Iron Age dwelling and offers unique insight into this ancient way of life. You can also hire canoes and bikes to explore Loch Tay with some of the prettiest lochscapes in Scotland.
The route next strikes northeast along the River Tay. Don’t miss the walking and hiking in this part of Scotland, where some of the country’s most emblematic wildlife roam the mountains and skies. Look out for golden eagles high up above and red deer and squirrels, mountain hare and grouse down below.
Ballinluig marks the official end to the Perthshire Tourist Route, but it’s well worth continuing slightly north to the thriving market town of Pitlochry. As well as good shopping and cafés, it’s also home to the famous Fish Ladder. Built in 1947 when the Pitlochry Dam was constructed, the ladder allows salmon to swim up river to spawn. Time your visit for the summer months and you can view some of the 5,000 fish who make their way upstream every year.
Where to stay on the Perthshire Tourist Route
Seeing as this Scottish road trip is all about woodlands and rivers, make your base in stunning countryside. This Georgian House sits in idyllic surroundings with views from every room across the trees and valleys. Up to 13 guests can enjoy comfort in spacious surroundings, both inside and out. The country estate lies just 3 miles from Ballinluig making it the perfect location for exploring the Perthshire Tourist Route and enjoying the very best of Scottish country scenery. Book your stay now.
Stay in a Scottish castle as part of your trip
Not convinced you should take a Scottish road trip? Read more in this series:
- Fife Coastal Route
- Angus Coastal Route
- Argyll Coastal Route
- Borders Historic Route
- Clyde Valley Historic Route
- Deeside Tourist Route
- Forth Valley Tourist Route
- Galloway Tourist Route
- Moray Firth Tourist Route
- North Coast 500 Route
- North & West Highlands Route
- Highlands Tourist Route
- 10 reasons to take a Scottish road trip
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