Famously connected with Mary Queen of Scots, the Chapel Royal within the castle was the place of her coronation in 1543. The Great Hall and the Royal Apartments have been recently restored. Impressive views from the Esplanade over the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge where Sir William Wallace trapped and routed the English Army in 1297. Also views across to the Wallace monument erected in his honour. Argyll's lodging which is included with the Castle ticket is a fine surviving example of a 17th century town residence and has been restored with elegant furniture, tapestries and wall hangings.
Situated just outside of Perth on the Blairgowrie road, Scone is the crowning place of the Kings of Scotland. The Stone of Destiny was brought to Scone from Dunstaffnage and was used at the coronations of the Scottish Kings until 1296. The Palace contains many treasures, works of art, furniture and porcelain. The grounds have historic woodland walks and informal gardens with strutting peacocks. There is an adventure playground for children a picnic area, a tearoom and a restaurant. Continue on towards Blairgowrie passing the famous Beech Hedge at Meikleour. Planted in 1746 this hedge is now 85ft in height and requires special pruning. Blairgowrie is a busy market town and has some interesting shops and several places to eat.
Huntingtowner Castle, by Perth
To the west of Perth stands the House of Ruthven or Huntingtower Castle, an impressive tower house with a fine painted ceiling. Nearby is the Perth Mart Visitor Centre with Highland Farm Life Show and restaurant. Also on this site is Dobbies Garden Centre with a coffee shop and wide selection of plants and gifts.
Home of the Atholl family for over 700 years and of Europe's only remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders, the castle is set in true highland scenery. On display in thirty rooms are fine objects, china and linen and an impressive collection of arms and militaria. The restored Hercules Garden and Diana's Grove are set in glorious woodlands, extensive parklands and a deer park. Pony trekking and nature trails to explore, guided walks with a Ranger, picnic area, children's play area, gift shop and restaurant. There are places to eat in Blair Atholl, and at the House of Bruar a few miles north of the Castle. To the south there are all types of restaurants in Pitlochry and at the Festival Theatre overlooking the Faskally Dam.
The family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorn since the 14th century and the childhood home of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Glamis is the legendary setting of Shakespeare's Macbeth. There are fine collections of armour, paintings and furniture. Beautiful woodland walks and gardens, shops and restaurants. In Glamis village is the Angus Folk Museum, which gives an insight into how the local workforce used to live. To the north of Glamis is Kirriemuir, birthplace of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. There are shops, coffee shops and fish-and-chip shops, as well as pubs and restaurants. Five miles on lies the busy market town of Forfar, which also has a variety of eating-places. On the return journey to Perth, stop off in the village of Meigle and see the sculptured stones, which make up one of the most important collections of medieval sculpture in Western Europe.
Five miles west of Dunblane is the magnificent 14th century courtyard castle that was used in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It has an impressive keep gatehouse and Lords Hall with its musician's gallery. Set above the River Teith, there are walks along the riverside. There are pubs in the town but for fish and chips or ice cream drive back into Bridge of Allan where the Allan Water Cafe is renowned.
Castle Menziea, by Aberfeldy
From Aberfeldy take the road for Kinloch Rannoch over Wade's Bridge to the village of Weem. Castle Menzies, the seat of the Menzies family contains relics and artefacts. There is a gift shop and coffee shop in the grounds. Just beyond the castle is House of Menzies a converted mill with an impressive range of New World wines, a gallery and a coffee shop providing light meals, coffee and tea. There is also a lovely converted mill with art gallery and coffee shop in Aberfeldy town centre.
Elcho Castle, by Perth
Five miles northeast of Bridge of Earn, near to the village of Rhynd, stands this 16th century castle on the banks of the River Tay. The castle is remarkably preserved and has three projecting towers. The orchard has been replanted. In the grounds there is a small gift shop and a refreshment stand with soft drinks and ice cream.