Perth and Kinross

The River Tay at Perth
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

The River Tay at Perth

The administrative centre of Perth and Kinross, Perth is situated at the heart of Scotland, 22 miles (35 km) west of Dundee and 45 miles (72 km) north of Edinburgh. The city owes its existence to its location at an important crossing of the River Tay at the highest point of the tidal water and was occupied by the Romans who established a camp at Bertha to the north of the present city. Always prominent owing to its ecclesiastical importance and position as an early capital of Scotland, Perth was created a Royal Burgh in 1124, but lost this status in 1975. Its position as a city was restored in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. Perth is a river port as well as an agricultural market town and a rail and road hub. The River Tay is crossed by the concrete Queen's Bridge and the red sandstone Perth Bridge which was built by John Smeaton in 1771.

Known as the 'Fair City', Perth has two large parklands named the North Inch and South Inch and is overlooked to the east by Kinnoull Hill which rises to 222m (729 feet). It has been the winner of numerous accolades, carrying off trophies and awards for competitions and distinctions that include Britain in Bloom, Beautiful Scotland in Bloom, Scottish Tourism City of the Year, Best Quality of Life in Britain and Best Large Town. Amongst the city's main tourist attractions are the Fair Maid's House, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, the Black Watch Regimental Museum, the Fergusson Gallery, St John's Kirk, the Lower City Mills on the Town Lade, Bell's Cherrybank Gardens and Branklyn Garden (National Trust for Scotland). Perth has numerous sporting facilities including a National Hunt Racecourse at Scone, Gannochy Trust Sports Complex, Perth Leisure Pool, Dewars Ice Rink and Indoor Bowling Centre, McDiarmid Park football stadium (St. Johnstone FC), and four 18-hole golf courses.

Annual events include Perth Festival of the Arts in May, Perth Agricultural Show in July and Perth Highland Games in August. Perth College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, provides a comprehensive training service to industry and commerce, while reference facilities are available at the A.K. Bell Library. In addition to St John's Shopping Centre in the heart of the city, there are retail parks to the west of Perth and industrial estates at Inveralmond and on the Shore Road. Agricultural chemicals, farm machinery, soft drinks, furniture, glassware, clothing and textiles are the chief manufactures in addition to distilling, insurance, civil engineering, and printing industries.

Perth was the birthplace of divines Archbishop Patrick Adamson (c.1543 -91), Rev. John Row (1568 - 1646) and Robert Sandeman (1718-71), photography pioneer David Octavius Hill (1802-70), author and statesman John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875 - 1940), brother-and-sister transport entrepreneurs Ann Gloag (b.1942) and Brian Souter (b.1954), Average White Band vocalist Alan Gorrie (b.1946), environmental administrator Baroness Young (b.1948), broadcasters Rhod Sharp (b.1953) and Fred MacAulay (b.1956), and of rugby internationalist Rob Wainwright (b.1965).

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