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Perth (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is a royal burgh in central Scotland, which lies on the banks of the River Tay.

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      30.05.2009 19:09
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      Very much a B-list as a place to visit itself, but not without its charms and interest,

      Perth is a big town (which likes to think it's a city, and in a colloquial speech is often referred to as a Fair City) on the banks of Tay, approximately 50 miles north of Edinburgh. It has good rail, coach and road connections to Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and towards the North.

      ===Perfect Centre?===

      Another slogan, this one printed on the name signs as you enter the town is "the perfect centre" and, however much one might wish to question the "perfect" part of it, Perth is indeed a very central place in Scotland, pretty much right on the border between the Highlands and the Lowland/Central part, and between east and West.

      Its origins lay far back in time in the Roman times (yes, the Romans did get as far back as here, there are still fort remains all along the Gask ridge nearby), but the modern town was set up in by King David in 1125.

      It was a port (as it remains - you can sea small coasters making their way up the Tay quite often, and there is a small but noticeable harbour in Perth) but foremostly, an important crossing point. Until the building of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee (1878 - but not for long, and then permanently 1887), it was the lowest crossing point on the Tay, and for road traffic, it remained the lowest bridge until 1966. If you come up north from either Glasgow on M9/A9 or Edinburgh on M90, you will come via Perth, although mercifully, both of those major roads bypass the town almost completely.

      Perth is located mostly on the western bank of the Tay, although the nearby Scone on the eastern bank is almost a suburb of the town, and the western bank has some of the best houses, facing the river.

      ===County Town===

      Modern Perth is still very much a county town: it feels bigger than its actual population of barely over 40,000 people and its array of services and shopping provision serves a comparatively vast are of the largely agricultural Perthshire.

      It still caters for the "county lady", which is very noticeable in the retail mix in the centre. Many shopping streets feature rather expensive boutiques filled with not exactly fashionable clothing, a large Lakeland, its own independent department store McEwens; an AGA store side by side with Fire Earth and kilt hire.

      As a tourist destination in itself, Perth is definitely in the second league. A visitor to this part of Scotland wouldn't lose out much by missing it. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, just nothing very exciting either.

      The surrounding area is a different matter altogether, rich in attractions, sights and interest. Perth is best used as a base for exploring the area. It has reasonable public transport links, particularly for the car-less. The very nearest sights include the Scone Palace and Huntingtower Castle; Elcho Castle, Stanley Mills, Dunkeld and (at a push) Kinross and Loch Leven Castle are all within half an hour's drive.

      ===See the Town===

      Still, the town itself is pleasant enough and not without interest, and if you have a day or two in Perth you can easily occupy yourself.

      As mentioned earlier, the banks of Tay are a very pleasant place to walk along. The western bank (Tay Street) is actually a busy street, but the riverside pavement is wide and pleasant, with sculptures, information panels and benches for the visitors. The eastern bank of the Tay is also a good little walk, mostly through parkland, enlivened by an interesting modern sculpture trial in Rodney Gardens .

      As far as larger green spaces and parks are concerned, the centre of Perth boasts two: The South Inch and the North Inch.

      The South Inch is smaller and the riverside part is often a host to visiting fairgrounds, circuses and the like. The other half of the South Inch has a busy play park with a paddling lido, boating on the pond and good climbing frames, crow's nest made of ropes and other typical play equipment.

      The North Inch is nicer, bigger and better kept, with many playing fields, a golf course and another lovely riverside walk. There is also a play park, but much smaller than the one on the South Inch. The best value parking in town is by Bell's Sports Centre on North Inch, where you can park for 20p for up to five hours (although it's a bit of a walk from the centre).

      Perth has an excellent, modern Concert Hall, with frequent art exhibitions and installations in the foyer space, and the theatre (Perth Playhouse) on the High Street is also pretty decent.

      St John's Kirk bang in the centre is the oldest building still standing in town, and although not particularly striking on the outside, it's has pretty impressive medieval nave worth a look if you manage to find the church open. St John's historical significance is huge, though. A sermon by John Knox on 11 May 1559 started riots that resulted in a destruction of Perth's three monasteries and an almost instant de-Catholicisation of the church itself.

      Perth Museum and Art Gallery, in an impressive old building topped with a glass dome, contains a vast array of objects and is very much worth visiting. Although recognised as a collection of "national significance", it's not something that will blow you away with its magnificence, but a visit will certainly afford an informative and pleasant couple of hours to half a day. The permanent collections include art (with a good selection of Scottish painters), but unless you are really into it, nothing to shout home about; excellent and imaginative displays of historical artefacts, particularly good at bringing the now fashionable social history to life; and surprisingly, but perhaps expectedly in a local museum, a very good section on natural history - good for the children. Free admission.

      Fergusson Gallery is a home to over 5,000 artwork (including 150 oil paintings) by a renowned Scottish Impressionist, John Duncan Fergusson. The gallery is housed in Perth's old waterworks building, itself a very attractive building and an industrial architecture monument in its own right (it is round and looks more like a temple than a cover for tanks and machinery). The displays are modern and imaginatively done, and change a lot, as not all exhibits can be shown at the same time. It's a great gallery and anybody even slightly interested in painting will find it well worth visiting. Free admission.

      Balhousie Castle, itself a noticeable building in a vaguely Scottish Baronial style, situated near the North Inch, houses The Regimental Museum of the Black Watch. This is touted as a major attraction of Perth, and the admission is free, but I can't imagine many people apart from fanatics of military history that would be that interested in the museum's displays. There are some models (for example a soldier in the trenches), and the historical information is quite interesting, but I always had a feeling such things are better learned from a book than museum displays.


      ===Verdict===

      Very much a B-list as a place to visit itself, but not without its charms and interest, Perth is best used as a base to explore central Scotland and the southern part of the Highlands.

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      • More +
        12.01.2009 21:28

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        suits the older community better

        Perth - also known as the fair city. when I was younger i used to think that Perth was such a boring place - no decent shops and not much to do. It has a prison, football club, shoppping area, theatre but not much else.

        Lately i have visited Perth several times and each time I kie it more. the shops while not london or edinburgh have everything you need with their own "department store" - mcewens well worth a browse around. there are a lot of independant shops too. If you like eating out then Perth has a great deal of choice, my favourites include - wotherspoons for a cheap lunch and drink, Pacos just outside the theatre for a great place to meet friends and for something a little bit more special try the bothy or Breiche - a really good small french restaurant. Perth is the last large town heading north before you take the A9 to inverness and the highlands - admittedly there are no hotels that are very good but is a real old farming town - quite picturesque as well

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        03.08.2008 00:55
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        Perth dosnt really have much to offer young people if you don't like drinking.

        ****Thank God for the internet!!!! ****


        **Location**
        Perth is a large town located 30 minutes away from Dundee

        **Getting there**
        Perth is easy to visit by car, train or bus,and there is loads of nice views surrounding it.

        **Staying there**
        I haven't had any experience staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast since i live in Perth but there are loads to choose from. Beware if you are like me and love luxury hotels you will be disappointed as the best Perth offers is 3 star hotels.One being Ramda Jarvis plus there are two others that i know off.

        **Shopping**
        The main shopping street is the high street which is not that big and there is a shopping centre called St Johns.There are about 15 shops in it - the better ones being Jane Normans and Topshop.
        A few years ago we had an Ann Summers but the"old farts" decided to complain about it meaning there is nowhere to buy nice underwear.Perth also doesn't have a Primark -so theres no point in coming to Perth for a bargain..

        **Culture/Things to do**
        Perth is a nice place to visit. In times long gone (lol) Perth was the capital city in Scotland.
        Things to do include history walks, Scone Palace,Huntingtower Castle. Elcho castle and the old town hall. Which was used as a meeting place for the suffragettes in the 1900s.
        These are nice and all but once you have done it about 50 times it loses its appeal.

        There is a new town hall where people like Amy mcdonald have played.Elton John has played in the local football stadium-he must be short of money.
        Things for kids to do include the swimming baths.This building is located near a doctors which you will need to visit if you eat the food at the swimmies.There is also an ice rink but its very rarely open.Ice skateing is open to public about once a month.

        **Nightlife**
        The place that is open the latest (till about 2am) is called the ice factory. Customers are made up of 2 main age groups under 18S and over 40.
        Bliss and Envy-changed its name more times than britney spears has flashed her ..... i don't think i have ever seen people over the age of around 25 in there Others include sporsters and Thatbar .There are also loads of pubs some of which have live bands playing, others have karoke which are similar really.I tend to stay away from most of these
        theatre-Quite small
        cinema - We are one of only two "lucky" places to have a caladonian cinema-it does not always play the big movies.

        Restaurants-places to go include Pacos,Ciao Roma,frankie and bennie.The Royal George Hotel is nice .It does a lovely high tea.

        Perth also has two nice inches-north inch and the south inch.

        *Other information*
        http://www.perthshire.co.uk/ - this website

        if theres anything you want to know,just ask!!!

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          11.11.2000 19:45

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          Perth is often forgotten about possibly due to its approximity to Dundee which is a better place for shopping but I prefer Perth because of its atmosphere and the feel of the place. When you go there you feel as if you are in a more friendly environment and it would be fai rto say that you feel safer than you would in other major cities. As I said before Perth probably isn't the best place for shopping when compared to Dundee butit does have its fair share of shops which are enough to keep the average shopper busy for quite a while. It also has a lot of small independent shops which you should check out, theres a few good bargains to be found in them. Parking in Perth can be quite difficult but its true that this is a problem suffered by a lot of towns and cities up and down the country. This problem has been partly relieved by the construction of a new car park which is very near to the town centre. There are other things apart from shopping which can be done in Perth though. There is a great swimming pool which kids will love and right next to it there is the Dewars Ice Rink. I would also recommend a visit to the AK Bell library to. It is very modern and the building is very eyecatching. It has a cafe where you can get a snack too. The cinema in Perth was refurbished last summer so thats another place to go. Perth is a nice little place to go for a family day out. There something for every age group to do and with its friendly atmosphere and people it makes a great place for a trip.

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          11.08.2000 02:03
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          Visiting Perth as a tourist can turn out to be an adventure in the jungle. Once arrived in the train station in a city that looked completely deserted. No indications to where the information centre was, so I just walked along roads and roads until I could finally find it. Once there I waited for 15 minutes until the lovely lady decided it was time to deal with me, as the phone conversation with her friend was far too much interesting than her job. My intent was to book a room in a B&B to spend the night. When I told her what I wanted she called me crazy and she said I would never find anything in Perth for just one person, and that I would better off going back from where I came from! Doesn't sound to hospitable does it? Especially coming from the tourist information centre. Anyway, determined in staying in Perth I told her I was willing to pay the price of a double, to what I got as reply "Why would they let the room to one tourist if they can get more money giving it to two?". Well I guess the woman was decididly against visitors to Perth. Enfuriated I left and bought a book with Scottish B&B list, and phoned the first one on the list for Perth. Much to my surprise they had a single room and it was just a 5 minute walk from the tourist information centre. How can people like that woman get a job in that place? She must scare tourists away from Perth all the time. If you are planning on visiting Perth don't rely on the information centre.

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