Best Things to do in Auchterarder
Located in the heart of Scotland, Auchterarder is brilliantly placed for exploring much of the country. Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews are all within easy reach of the house and the Highlands are not far away, so Auchterarder house is a wonderful place to act as your base.
Spend the day at Gleneagles Hotel
If golf is a game you enjoy, the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel is located just 5 minutes from the house. With its King’s, Queen’s and PGA Centenary courses the hotel offers amazing golf and a whole host of other activities which include air rifle shooting, archery, carriage driving, clay shooting, cycling, e-rider adventure, falconry, ferrets, fishing, game shooting, guided hill walking, gundog training, horse riding, lawn games, off-roading, pashleys, polo, salmon fishing, tennis, trail rides, tree climbing, wildlife photography and zip wires. There is also a great spa, gym and indoor swimming pool. Gleneagles also has a fascinating history that is well worth exploring.
Explore Auchterarder’s Scenic Walking Routes & Cycling Paths
There are many outdoor activities available in Auchterarder and walking and cycling are very popular activities. Comprising 7 main routes around the town, the Auchterarder network of paths offers more than 50 miles of routes for walkers & cyclists. The Sma Glen, Glen Quaich and Glen Lyon are three of the most spectacular Scottish walking areas and are close to Auchterarder for walkers of all levels. People looking for more adventurous country walks can head to Ben Lawers, Schiehallion and Tarmachan Ridge which provide some of the higher and more technical mountain walks in Scotland. For those that attempt these walks the rewards are amazing, with fantastic views of the highlands and surrounding Perthshire landscapes. For a more leisurely stroll, especially with kids in tow, the gentle pathways around Loch Tay and Loch Earn will provide plenty of opportunities to appreciate the wonderful countryside.
The countryside surrounding Gleneagles offers a fantastic choice of riverside walks and woodland trails. Head for the Hermitage’s iconic trees, water pools and roaring falls just forty minutes from the hotel and follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth and Mendelssohn, who drew creative inspiration from the area’s dramatic landscape. This patch of forest owned by the National Trust for Scotland, was originally designed as a pleasure ground for the Dukes of Atholl and is most spectacular in mid-autumn when the trees are ablaze with colour. The perfect walk for all the family is this easy woodland circular route which takes around 2½ hours. There are also a number of quaint dog-friendly pubs nearby, including the Taybank, which is renowned for its cosy atmosphere.
Enjoy the attractions in the town of Auchterarder
Close to Auchterarder and in the most tranquil and rural spot is one the most popular attractions in Auchterarder, the library at Innerpeffray, which was Scotland’s first free public lending library founded in 1680. Used by people from the local community until 1968 you can still read the rare books in its diverse collection and trace the families who took the time to cross the fields in pursuit of knowledge, education and fun. You can wander through the graveyard to the medieval St Mary’s Chapel of Innerpeffray to view some rare wall paintings and experience the timeless atmosphere and beautiful acoustics. A Roman road passes through Innerpeffray and the cutting from the river ford is still visible today. On the far bank the land rises to an important landmark in Auchterarder history, the site of Strageath Fort, a well known staging post and supply depot for the Romans during their time in Scotland. Innerpeffray School was founded at the same time as the Library and was operational until 1947. The staff at the library are incredibly friendly and will bring the place to life for you, showing off rare books and letting children explore any subject that might interest them.
Skydiving for the brave
Skydive operates at Strathallan Airfield, near the town of Auchterarder. They are open every weekend, as well as some bank holiday Mondays. Skydive Strathallan is an active operation making around 10000 jumps per year. They cater for regular jumpers as well as training over 1,500 beginners for their first jump per year. This is on either static line courses or tandem skydives. They have around 100 regulars and welcome visiting jumpers. The Scottish Parachute Club, Skydive Strathallan, aims to provide customers with a truly unforgettable experience, enjoyed in an environment founded on safety and professionalism. Their main objective is to facilitate the personal skydiving goals of all who wish to be part of the skydiving family right here in Scotland; founded in 1960, their members offer a warm welcome. President Reagan stayed at Auchterarder House and his successor President George H Bush was a very keen skydiver and took his last jump aged 90.
Visit historic Tullibardine Distillery
Just a few minutes from Auchterarder, Tullibardine Distillery was founded in 1949 on the site of an old brewery, which was said to have brewed ale for King James IV’s coronation back in 1488. The brewery itself dated back to the 12th century, so it’s fair to say that the site has had an incredibly long brewing and distilling history. Named for Tullibardine Moor, the distillery draws its water from the Danny Burn and lies to the south-west of Blackford. The area is renowned for the purity of its water and Highland Spring is bottled locally. Queen Helen, the wife of King Magnus of Alba, drowned in a ford after falling from her horse not far from the town and Blackford was named after her tragic death. After being bought by Invergordon in 1971 Tullibardine’s stills capacity was increased from two to four. Two decades later, Invergordon was acquired by Whyte and Mackay and a year later the whisky distillery was shut down. In December of 2003 the distillery was put back into production following the June acquisition of Tullibardine and they now produce 2.5 million litres of whisky per annum. They welcome visitors for tours and have a café. If visiting whisky distilleries are something of interest, this is something that we can arrange for you when staying at Auchterarder House.
Experience the tranquillity of the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Also near Auchterarder is the Japanese Garden at Cowden which is another joy to visit and is so peaceful. At the turn of the 20th century, Scottish adventurer Ella Christie returned home from a trip to the Orient inspired to build a Japanese garden. She chose a female designer Taki Handa to create the seven acre site in the grounds of Cowden Castle. In so doing, The Japanese Garden at Cowden became the first and only garden of its size and scale to be designed by a woman. Sadly vandalised in the 1960’s, the garden is being brought back to life by Sara Stewart and her team of experts. The restoration is still ongoing and they hope visitors will appreciate being part of the experience of the re-emergence of a unique and internationally important garden, which is unique in Scotland and somewhere you can sit quietly and think about life. For garden lovers there are many other beautiful gardens to visit and enjoy nearby.
Discover all that Crieff Visitor Centre has to offer
Crieff Visitor Centre provides a fascinating insight into the hardships & history of ancient Scottish life. A timeline depicts the stirring and interesting life and times of Crieff and how this was influenced by the relevant history of Scotland. Caithness Glass, based at the Visitor Centre has established a proud tradition of fine glassmaking since 1961 and is still a world leader today in the design and production of groundbreaking abstract glass paperweights.
This is a unique opportunity to see Caithness Glass being handcrafted by a team of skilled craftspeople close up in a studio environment. After watching the glassmakers in action, you can buy some Caithness Glass or explore your creative side and paint your own glass or plate. Glass painting is great fun for all ages, you just need to select a glass and paint your own design in their special painting area.