Perth (Scotland)

Perth is a city in Perthshire, Scotland, which lies on the banks of River Tay to the north eastern fringe of Central Scotland. Perth is the administrative centre of Perthshire, and is popularly referred to as The Fair City, although its city status was revoked in the 1970s following local authority reforms. On 14th March 2012 it was decided to restore city status to Perth to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II after many years of campaigning.

The history of Perth goes back over 800 years when it was originally founded as Saint John's Town - the name is still used for the Perth's professional football (soccer) team St. Johnstone - and the adjoining town of Scone was a former capital city of Scotland. Today it is perhaps best known for giving its name to the Western Australian city of Perth, although it also has a namesake sister city Perth (Ontario) on a River Tay which were both named for their Scottish counterparts.


Perth "St John's Toon" used to be Scotland's capital from the 12th century on with the important Scone Palace nearby. Nowadays it is a pretty quiet place and according to the 2001 census, the population of the town is 43,450 , many of whom work in financial and customer services.

Get in

By car

Perth Bridge over the River Tay

Perth can be accessed from Edinburgh via the M90 from the south, Glasgow and Stirling via the M80/M9/A9 from the southwest, Inverness via the A9 from the north, Dundee and Aberdeen via the A90 from the east and the A85 from the West. Broxden Roundabout, on the outskirts of Perth, is unique as it lists all seven of Scotland's cities on its exit signs, as well as Crianlarich, a small village that must be passed through en route to major tourist centres such as Oban, Glencoe, Fort William, Mull and Iona (visitors to Scotland might be forgiven for thinking that Crianlarich is in fact a city, given the number of road signs that mention it).

Perth Park and Ride and Scone Park and Ride are convenient ways to get in and out of the town centre without taking your car.

By plane

Perth has its own airfield to the north of the town near Scone, but this is used mainly for private aviation and training. The nearest, and most convenient commercial airport for Perth by far is Dundee Airport, which is around 20–25 minutes drive from the town. Being largely a regional airport however, the choice of departures is quite limited compared to Edinburgh or Glasgow. However it has useful links from Birmingham and London City, although flights are rather expensive in comparison.

By train

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.

Perth station is operated by Scotrail, and the station is staffed throughout its opening hours. It is on the Highland Main Line from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness.

The local service pattern is as follows (all these services are run by ScotRail)

Perth has two direct rail services from London per day, otherwise a change in either Glasgow or Edinburgh is required if you are travelling from south of the border.

The station has seven platforms, five of which are "through" platforms.

There are two entrances, both of which allow car parking. The ticket office, newsagent and café are between platforms 2 and 3. The original main concourse was between the current platforms 4 and 7 and the station was covered by a large overall roof, which still exists in a reduced form. At one time there were nine platforms as it once boasted more services in the past to serve the smaller branch lines running throughout Perthshire.

By bus

Perth bus station is on Leonard Street, a couple of hundred metres further along from the railway station.

Get around

By bus

Stagecoach operate the majority of the bus services in Perth. Day tickets can be bought on the bus which gives unlimited trips in Perth.

By car

There are many vehicle hire companies operating in Perth. If you want to get off the beaten track then traveling by car is the best way to go.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful around the town. There is a taxi rank outside the Caledonian Cinema and also on South Street beside the Tesco Metro. Local taxi firms include Ace Taxis +44 1738 633033, Station Taxis +44 1738 623400, Taylor's Taxis +44 1738 621789 and Thistle Taxis +44 1738 632424.


Scone Palace


Fair Maids House


There is potential for picking up seasonal work in the many restaurants, hotels and tourists attractions, particularly during the summer. There is also the nearby Cairngorms for skiing in the winter. In the rural areas surrounding Perth it is possible to earn money picking fruit or vegetables.

Unemployment is generally lower than the Scottish average, however many jobs are in retail or hospitality and so do not pay great wages. The biggest employers are Scottish and Southern Energy, Perth and Kinross Council and Aviva Insurance.


Rose Terrace




Salutation Hotel - an hotel since 1699

Stay safe

The local police is Tayside Police . Perth is home to the Force's Western Divisional Headquarters, situated in Barrack Street. Although in the UK '999' and '112' are the numbers to call the emergency services, you may also want to take note of the direct phone number to Perth Divisional HQ : +44 1738 621141

The town centre can get rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights, and should be avoided by those who do not enjoy confrontations with drunk morons wearing tracksuits. It is best not to walk through any dark areas at night.

It is relatively safe to walk out of Perth at night back up to the guest houses on Dunkeld Road or Pitcullen Crescent but like most cities it has areas of no go. If you aren't familiar with the areas then it would be best to avoid walking through them late at night.


Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 05, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.