With so much to do on our doorstep, we've handpicked our top 10 favourities for you to explore in and around Crieff.
It’ll take you no more than five minutes to get to the Glenturret Distillery — Scotland’s oldest — by car from the hotel. It’s a little longer on foot but you’ll be able to enjoy a dram when you get there. Follow the walking route from Action Glen.
The distillery hosts a number of great tours where you’ll learn how they create The Famous Grouse and The Glenturret Highland Single Malt. Tours start from £10 and run throughout the year. If you’re feeling energetic, you could spend a full day working as a stillman, to get a real understanding of this time-honoured craft.
Ready to up your adrenaline levels with our 230 metre zip line, experience the four-wheeled mayhem of the quad bikes, or something more relaxing, like clay pigeon shooting? With more than 30 activities you’ll be spoiled for choice.
It’s open 365 (or 366) days of the year. So if playing crazy golf on Christmas Day is your thing, Action Glen is your El Dorado.
We haven’t forgotten the little ones either. With treasure hunts, bush craft skills, crazy golf, quad pods and much more, there’s plenty to keep the under 5’s happy.
On those days when you feel like staying closer to home, you’ll find plenty to do in and around the hotel. Like our daily film screening, name that tune competitions on Tuesday evenings, and even the zoo lab, where you’ll come face to face with some unusual creatures.
There’s plenty going on at the weekends too – from live music to our classic Saturday night ceilidh.
The club is a great place to hang out if you want to relax in the pool or work out at the gym. Bring the kids along for a splash about from 2.30 till 4 every day, and 10.30-11.30 at peak times. Training for that triathlon? There’s lane swimming too, for when you want to get in the metres.
5. Crieff High Street
Crieff High Street is a great place to spend a morning, or an afternoon. If you’re here on the second Saturday of the month don’t miss the country market for fresh local produce, crafts, baking, jams and preserves, local artisans and lots more.
Gordon & Durwards sweetie shop is a must; so is the Christmas shop, which is open all year round. Strathearn Gallery features artwork from leading Scottish artists, as well as a wide selection of ceramics, glass and jewellery. Carnelian crafts, on Comrie Street, is an Aladdin’s cave of glass treasures from local and other artists.
Your kids will love the Fun Junction — a traditional toy shop with a modern twist. McNee’s of Crieff is a deli that stocks old favourites, like tablet and shortbread, alongside the Mediterranean tastes of cured meats and cheeses.
To get there, stroll down the hill, past Morrison’s Academy School and you’ll be at the Square. If you’re feeling peckish when you arrive then grab a table at Café Rhubarb or Delivinos – and our sister hotel the Murraypark is a handy stop-off on the way back up the hill.
Hop on the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer bus on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays from July to October. The service runs in two directions – with stops at Crieff, Comrie, St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Killin, Kenmore, Acharn and Aberfeldy.
There’s lots to see on the way, and the route gives you easy access to many local tourist attractions, including the Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy, Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, the Scottish Crannog Centre and Highland Safaris.
It’s buggy and bike-friendly, and well-behaved dogs are welcome to travel free of charge too. Four services run in both directions every operating day, starting at 9am.
7. The Knock
The Knock is a wooded hill that lies just north of the hotel. The name comes from ‘cnoc’, Gaelic for hill.
It’s easy to reach from the hotel’s front door — head uphill past the Riding Centre and along the road before turning right onto the wide path just after the car park.
It’s a popular choice for walkers of every ability. You can take the short but steep hike to the summit, or enjoy a gentler ascent via the circular path — recommended if you have a buggy. Whatever route you take, you’ll be rewarded at the summit with great views across Strathearn.
This 100 acre wildlife park has over 70 types of animal − from albino wallabies, meerkats and lemurs to native red deer and wild cats. For little kids there’s an indoor and outdoor play area, play barn, crazy golf, and pony rides in the summer. For big kids (most of us, really) there’s also falconry, fishing, a gift shop and a coffee shop.
To get there from Crieff, take the A85 to Comrie, turn left into Bridge Street and continue for two miles before picking up the signs for Auchingarrich. Tickets for the park cost £8.45 for adults and £6.95 for kids, or £28.50 for a family ticket. It’s open all year round from 10am till 5pm.
If you enjoy rare and unusual plants, or fancy a trip to one of the Outlander TV series filming locations, Drummond Castle has plenty to offer. This small but brilliant garden is home to a collection that includes the Himalayan blue poppy, Meconopsis. There’s also an excellent collection of Asian and Alpine plants, and in autumn, Japanese Maples provide a stunning feature. The garden also is home to the national collection of Cassiope. The formal planting and attention to detail makes it one of the finest gardens in Europe.
To get there, take the A822 toward Muthill and the entrance is on the right just after Bennybeg. Combine it with a coffee stop at Stuart Crystal or the Crieff Visitor Centre.
10. Crieff Ceramics
This award-winning paint-your-own pottery studio is just three miles south of Crieff on the A822. If you’re ready to have a go at painting your own piece of ‘bisque’ (unpainted pottery), this is the place for you.
Friendly staff will help you and your children create your masterpiece. There’s also a soft play area, a café and a ballpool for kids. Parking and entry are free and you don’t need to book — just turn up and create. It’s open 10am–5pm on weekdays and 10am-5.30pm at weekends.
While you’re there, you might also want to try the nearby Bennybeg Nature Trail.