County Town: Perth

"Amid all the provinces in Scotland if an intelligent stranger were asked to describe the most varied and the most beautiful it is probable he would name the county of Perth. A native also of any other district of Caledonia though his partialities might lead him to prefer his native county in the first instance would certainly class that of Perth in the second, and thus give its inhabitants a fair right to plead that—prejudice apart—Perthshire forms the fairest portion of the northern kingdom." Sir Walter Scott

The above words, or the gist of them at least, have long been etched in my mind. I have lived most of my life in the Aberdeen area of Scotland, and whilst that area has its fair attractions, I have long agreed with the sentiment of Sir Walter Scott's words. The county of Perthshire contains a huge variation of Scottish landscape, stretching from the wilds of Breadalbane at Tyndrum in the west, to the flat Carse of Gowrie and Invergowrie, directly adjacent to the city of Dundee, in the east, and from the mountainous pass of Drumochter in the north to the sinuous flow of the mighty river Forth, under the ominous gaze of Stirling Castle, in the south. Within the county are quaint towns such as Callander, Dunblane, Crieff and Pitlochry, mighty rivers such as the Tay (the longest in Scotland) and the Earn, great lochs such as Loch Tay and Loch Tummel, the vast and bleak Rannoch Moor, the northern slopes of the Ochil Hills in the south and great mountains such as Ben Lawers, Schiehallion, Ben Vorlich and many, many more. And the county town is the "Fair City" of Perth, a bustling centre of commerce with a racecourse, a station with connections to Inverness, Dundee and Stirling and the Saint Johnstone football club (from the old name of the city, "St John's Town").

A map of Perthshire

A map of the Parishes of Perthshire (to follow):

I was recently blessed to be able to move to Perthshire, to the village of Auchterarder, which is a small but busy village nicknamed "The Lang Toon" due to its long main street with the village strung out along each side. The nearby Gleneagles golf course and hotel bring many visitors to the area, and as a consequence, Auchterarder has a high number of decent shops and cafés for its size.

A map of the parish of Auchterarder

A. Middleton 2017