Top 10 Things We Love
With so much to do on our doorstep, we’ve handpicked our top 10 favourities for you to explore in and around Crieff.
1. The Famous Grouse Experience
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.
2. Lady Mary’s Walk
This leafy path next to the River Earn will shield you from the formidable rays of the Scottish summer sun, and (possibly) even the rain. Start at the bridge at Turretbank Road across from the Macrosty Park car park, where there’s plenty of free parking, and turn left along the path alongside Turret Burn. Head through the gate to reach the banks of the River Earn and you’ve reached the start of Lady Mary’s walk.
It’s a picturesque route that features mature oak, beech, lime and sweet chestnut trees – some of the larger ones are over 150 years old.
Visit at the right times and you might even catch sight of some herons, kingfishers, grey wagtails, oystercatchers and otters – if you’re really lucky. And keep your eyes open for the woodland fairy house, and fairies of course.
For a longer walk, turn right when you reach the gap in the old railway embankment and take the circular route to nearby Laggan Hill. It’s well signposted – and the views are well worth the effort.
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.
It should take just under an hour to drive to Pitlochry from the hotel on the A85 and A9. If you prefer, you can take the scenic route through the ‘Sma Glen’ via the A822. Once you arrive, there’s plenty to do and see. This long-established holiday destination abounds with beautiful scenery, rich clan history, and plenty of places to eat.
There are plenty of local walks and cycling routes, plus museums and distilleries to visit nearby. The Pitlochry Festival Theatre is a focal point for Highland Perthshire life, and offers a year-round programme of events. If you visit during October, make sure to book your tickets for the Enchanted Forest, a stunning sound and lighting show that takes place in the nearby Faskally Wood during the evening.
5. 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.
6. Action Glen
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.
8. Leisure club
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.