Perthshire has played a key part in Scotland's history, as you would expect of a region known as the "Gateway to the Scottish Highlands". There are many magnificent castles spread around the area, each with a unique and fascinating history.
Not all castles are open all the time, but your hosts will be happy to check opening times for you. Just ask
5 miles north of Pitlochry. Ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Home of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only remaining private army. The earliest known part of the present castle dates from 1269 and is known as Cumming’s Tower. John Cumming of Badenoch took advantage of the Earl’s absence on the crusades to start building a tower. Despite the Earl’s complaints to the King, the tower survives to this day and forms the highest part of the castle. The original tower had an extension added to it by the 3rd Earl in 1530 to form a Great Hall. Admission charges apply. Restaurant and shop. Extensive grounds, pony trekking, walks and ranger service.
Situated near Crieff this is one of the finest formal gardens in Europe, first laid out in the early 17th century. Gardens open at Easter, then from 1 May to 31 October 1pm - 6pm. Admission charge. Note: the castle itself is not open to the public.
This spectacular sixteenth century castle near Aberfeldy was restored by the Menzies Clan Society and welcomes visitors. Seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years and importantly situated, it was involved in the turbulent history of the Highlands and here Bonnie Prince Charlie rested on his way to Culloden in 1746. Splendid example of the transition between earlier rugged fortress and later mansion house. Open from 1st April (or Easter) to mid October. 10.30am - 5pm (Sundays, 2-5 pm).
Near Perth. Once the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, Scone Palace occupies a unique position in the history of Scotland. A breathtakingly beautiful place of power and mystery and the rightful home of the celebrated Stone of Scone - also known as the Stone of Destiny. Open daily from 1 April - 31 October, 9.30am - 5pm (last admission 4pm on Saturdays). Evening and winter tours by arrangement. Admission charges apply.
Near Perth - The structure consists of two separate tower houses, of a type common from the north of England through the Borders up into Scotland, which were subsequently joined together to form a larger residence. Historic Scotland.
16th century fortified mansion with three towers near Perth. Open daily 1 April - 30 September 9.30am to 5.30pm. Historic Scotland.
This late 14th or early 15th century tower near Kinross was the setting for the most traumatic year in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. It was here in 1567 that she was imprisoned and forced to abdicate before her dramatic escape a year later. Visitors can enjoy the south and east wooded walks from April to July. Open daily April - October. Historic Scotland. Admission charges apply.
There are lots of memorable castles in Scotland, but not many can boast the celebrity status of Doune Castle near Stirling. Built in the late 14th century, Doune has achieved pilgrimage status in recent years having been used as the location for the popular Monty Python film, ‘The Holy Grail’, and more recently featured in the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Outlander’. Even without its impressive acting credits, the castle is a stunning example of its type and well worth a visit. Open all year round.