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Perth & Kinross
Thanks to Scot Travel for supplying this information


Perth & Kinross

By any standards Perthshire is one of the truly great old counties of Scotland. It has its great mountain tracts including some of the most famous scenery in the United Kingdom; but there is an enormous amount of fertile, populous countryside--far more, probably, than is generally realised--and its great green straits, or wide open valleys, are also a special pride. Contrary, therefore, to frequent pronouncements, the true glory of Perthshire is not just its hills and lochs, it is also in its magnificent, age-old settled lowlands, its characterful small towns and its unnumbered villages. Especially the latter. Here are, probably, more ancient and interesting small communities than anywhere else in Scotland. And these communities are unfortunately generally bypassed by the typical traveler.

Basically, Perthshire is the basin and catchment area of the great River Tay; although the south-west section, or Menteith (more properly Monteith) as its name suggests, is the mouth of the Teith, principal tributary of the Forth. But in the main, Perthshire's innumerable and often splendid rivers reach the sea via the silver Tay. The county has another basic feature--the great Highland Fault, which runs across Scotland from the Gareloch to the Tay, most of it in Perthshire. This, because in general it marks the division between Highlands and Lowlands, is important. The old county, therefore, has a split personality.

Perthshire is also a historically exciting county. Here, indeed, the past can be studied at its earliest, as far as Scotland is concerned, better than most; for it so happened that into Perthshire, Strathearn in especial, came the early Christian missionaries of the Irish Celtic Church, via Iona, the Brethren of Columba, to set up their cells and churches in these lovely valleys. The greatest concentration of early Celtic Church sites are here; also a large number of those quite extraordinary Pictish sculptured stones, with their symbols, things of splendid beauty and workmanship, full of as yet unsolved mystery, which so give the lie to the folly that the Picts were a race of savages, painting their bodies and going about half naked. Quite clearly these Pictish ancestors of ours, whom the Celtic Church missionaries Christianised, were a highly developed and artistic people, with unique culture. Perthshire is where they can best be studied.

The northern parts of Perthshire are divided between Breadalbane and Atholl, huge tracts both, and largely mountainside. Breadalbane is the more westerly, stretching from the edge of Argyll, at Strathfillan, Mamlorn and Moor of Rannoch right across the country to Glen Almond, Aberfeldy and Strathtay--braid Alban indeed, the very geographical centre of Scotland. It measures almost a thousand square miles, 33 by 31 miles, according to the gazetteer, and is basically the basin of the upper Tay, including the great Loch of that name and all the catchment area. Aberfeldy is sometimes claimed as its capital; certainly it is the largest town and only burgh. But Kuhn, at the other end of Loch Tay, has the better claim, as the original centre, where the Campbell lords had their main seat, at Finlarig Castle. Strangely, although the name is ancient and the area an entity from early times, there were no great Celtic earls or mormaers here. It was not until 1681 that the 11th Campbell of Glenorchy, having by then got rid of the MacGregors who anciently lorded it hereabouts, got himself created Earl of Breadalbane, and by peculiar means. His successors became almost the greatest landowners in Scotland, being able, at one time, to ride from the Atlantic shores to the North Sea on their own land--or so it is said. These territories include some of the most renowned scenery in the Central Highlands, from Glen Ogle to the Tarmachans, from Glen Dochart to Glen Lyon.

Sir Walter Scott, that fervent Borderer, yet said: "If an intelligent stranger were asked to describe the most varied and most beautiful province in Scotland, it is probable that he would name the County of Perth." The present day visitor would find no fault with that statement.

Highland Perthshire is ideally situated for a base location from which to tour much of Scotland.

A Few Places To Visit In Perth & Kinross

Should you be interested in arranging a tour of this area do contact Scot Travel


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