Crieff is everything you would expect from a town on the edge of the Highlands. It is located a little west of the major city of Perth and is literally right on the border where the Lowlands become the Highlands. The town was built along the Highland Boundary Fault Line and although it is now a haven for tourists, it was once a major player in the political and judicial history of this part of Scotland.
Crieff was once a centre for trade, mainly in cattle. Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries at the times of the main market, the drovers would drive up to 30,000 of their black cattle into the streets of the town to the cattle market. The town of Crieff makes a wonderful base for exploring both the Highlands and the Lowlands, there are lots of pretty villages to explore, such as Muthill with its ancient church and cemetery and the bustling city of Perth is only a short drive away.
Places to Visit
While in the town you should make a point of visiting the Crieff Visitors Centre. While there you will be able to find out all about the history of the town from the days of the drovers through to the coming of the distilleries and the glass factories. There is also a pottery workshop that you can take part in. The Famous Grouse Distillery is also not too far away and it too has an interactive visitors centre to enjoy.
Right on the edge of the town you will find the Stuart and Waterford Crystal factory shop where there are many beautiful bargains to be found. The beautiful city of Stirling is a great place to visit for a day out; the castle there is one of the most beautiful and stunningly decorated castles in the country. Just outside of Stirling you will find the Blair Drummond Safari Park (Highland Safari Park) which offers a fabulous day out for all of the family.
Things to Do
The Crieff Visitors Centre is more than just a place offering tourist information. Here you can grab something great to eat, buy your holiday mementos and enjoy their garden centre and views over the Caithness Glass factory. The Drovers Exhibition sheds a little light onto the history of the town, and illustrates just how hard life was for the people that once lived here. Caithness Glass is sold around the world and while in the Visitor Centre you will be able to see some of the glassworks being hand crafted as the factory is next door to the visitor centre which has installed a special viewing area.
The Famous Grouse Distillery is another ‘must do’ experience. This is widely regarded as Scotland’s oldest whiskey distillery. Tours are available throughout the year and the show that they offer has even won a BAFTA. With more than sixty different whiskeys to choose from you will find that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a bottle to take away with you.