Tour 1
Perth to Dunkeld & Birnam

Welcome to Tour 1 of my series of Perthshire Self Drive Guides. I hope you find it informative in helping you plan another exiting day of your vacation or short break in Perthshire Scottish Highlands. I trust you had a memorable stay in the 'Fair City' of Perth and managed to visit some or all of the attractions identified in my Special Tour 2 Guide.

As you travel north on the main route to the Scottish Highlands be careful and pay attention to the warning road signs for other motorists overtaking slower moving vehicles.

Driving directions from Perth to Dunkeld & Birnam, Perthshire, UK
Key road designations are A85 - A9
Estimated direct travel distance/time: 14.2miles/25mins

If you didn't manage to visit Scone Palace when staying in Perth, I have added this attraction and directions here. The round trip is approx 6 miles.

From Perth town centre......
  • Head east from town centre on County Pl toward Kings St; Continueonto South St over the river Tay
  • slight left to stay on South St
  • Turn left at A85/Dundee Rd; Continue to follow A85
  • Continue onto A93/Main St; Continue to follow A93
  • Turn next left to Scone Palace
ThistleScone Palace, just outside Perth is the home of the Earls of Mansfield, and a 5 star visitor attraction to visitors from around the world. There is so much to see and enjoy at Scone Palace, the history, the art and antiques, the superb landscape and architecture, fun for the children.

Retrace your route back to the centre of Perth to continue to Dunkeld

From Perth town centre......
  • Head west from town centre on County Pl toward New Row; Continue onto York Pl
  • Turn right at A989/Caledonian Rd;
  • Go through 1 roundabout; slight left at Barrack St; Continue onto A85/Dunkeld Rd
  • Continue along Dunkeld Rd
  • Go through 3 roundabouts
  • At the last roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A912

At Inveralmond Roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto A9 heading to Inverness.

  • Continue on A9 and take left turn to Luncarty on B9099
  • Head north on B9099/Main Rd toward Kirkhill Dr
  • Continue to follow B9099 to Stanley
  • Turn right at King St
  • Turn right at Mill St
  • Take the 1st right into Mill Rd. You have now arrived at....
ThistleStanley Mills is one the best-preserved relics of the 18th-century Industrial Revolution. It was established as a cotton mill by local merchants, with support from the English cotton baron Richard Arkwright. Textiles were produced here for 200 years.The mills were built in 1786 at a hairpin bend in the River Tay, where tremendous water-power was available.

Retrace your route back to the A9 at Luncarty
  • Turn left for Bankfoot onto B867 You will see your destinationon on the right...
ThistleThe Scottish Liqueur Centre, one of Perthshire’s great tourist destinations. Packed with an array of local produce, our Visitor Centre and Columba Cream Café have something for everyone. Whether it’s Scotch Whisky, Whisky Liqueur or a just a Scottish Souvenir you’re looking for, make this your first stop on your awe-inspiring Whisky Trail of Scotland.

Return to the A9 to continue your journey to Dunkeld and Birnam
  • Turn right at A923 (signs for Blairgowrie/A923/Coupar Angus/A984)
  • Turn left to stay on A923 go over the Telford Bridge. Car park and toilets are at the other end of town.
  • Head back on foot towards the Telford Bridge to see ....
ThistleDunkeld Cathedral which stands on the north bank of the River Tay inDunkeld. Built in square-stone style of predominantly gray sandstone, the cathedral proper was begun in 1260 and completed in 1501.
ThistleIn Cathedral Street and the Cross are restored  buildingsto provide modern homes while outwardly retaining the architectural charm of the 17th century. The restored Atholl Memorial Fountain at the heart of the Cross completes the scene.
ThistleThe Ell Shop, which takes its name from the ell or weaver’s measure fixed to the wall outside. The property offers very comfortable accommodation and is ideally situated for touring Perthshire.
Tourist Information can be found in Cathedral Street
You may wish to visit the Osprey Centre at Loch of Lowes.....
  • Head north on A923 toward A984 Tay Terrace
  • Turn right at A923/Blairgow 
  • Continue to follow A923
  • Slight right

Loch of the Lowes is all about Ospreys. From April to September a pair of ospreys usually breed here and there is an observation hide just 150m from their nest, as well as a TV camera so visitors can watch close up pictures of the birds. The reserve covers 95 hectares of the loch, shoreline and surrounding woodland. There any many other species of wild life to be seen.

Cross over the Telford Bridge to Birnam to see the following attractions

There is an ancient tree, the Birnam Oak, standing a few hundred metres from the centre of Birnam. It may well have been part of Birnam Wood at the time of the battle 900 years ago, and remains part of the legend.
The village of Birnam sprang up in the Victorian era when a famous Victorian writer, Beatrix Potter spent her summer holidays here. Beatrix Potter's love for the area and works in both literature and science are now commemorated in the Beatrix Potter Exhibition and Garden in Birnam.

Leave Birnam turn right on to the A9 heading north

  • Head northwest on Perth Rd toward A923
  • Take the 1st left onto A923
  • Turn left - sign posted to The Hermitage

The Hermitage is a pleasant riverside stroll, great for clearing your head whilst on a long drive up or down the A9; Situated just beside Dunkeld, the Hermitage is a National Trust for Scotland property on land which stretches up the River Braan from just off the A9.