2017 is all about the ‘Staycation’ with a recent high-profile survey showing that two-fifths of Scots would prefer to holiday at home this year.

Influential travel guide publisher, Rough Guide has also listed Scotland as one of its must-see destinations for 2017.

If following the big city crowds packed on their shortbread tin bus tours doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, then why not book a holiday to the historic Perthshire town of Crieff?

Crieff’s central location provides an excellent base for visitors to explore the rest of Scotland, with Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Dundee an easy drive away.

A popular holiday escape since Victorian times, Crieff offers plenty of the ‘wildlife, whisky and a wonderfully warm welcome’ that you would expect in Scotland – as well as a few surprises that you won’t.

Here’s 8 things you’ll be telling your friends back home about your holiday in Crieff:

1: “It was so easy to get there.”

Right on the cusp between the old Lowlands and the wild Highlands, Crieff’s enviable location in the picturesque heartland of Perthshire is within a 90-minute drive from anywhere in mainland Scotland. Although it’s easy to get to, you may find it harder to leave!

2: “We discovered this excellent place to stay.”

From unique hideaways and unusual self-catering properties to welcoming B&B’s and swanky luxury spa hotels, Crieff is full of fabulous places to rest your head. If you’re finding the choice overwhelming, we’ve got couple of recommendations for you:

Galvelbeg House is a Bed & Breakfast with a warm and friendly atmosphere. They serve a delicious Perthshire Breakfast, using good quality locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce.

The Tower is a family run gastro pub with self-catering studio apartments. The perfect blend of city chic and country tradition creates a cosy, yet lively atmosphere. Their gastro pub menu offers pub favourites with an exquisite twist.

3:  “I found the perfect gift in this unique little shop.”

Crieff’s bustling High Street is the heart of the town, boasting an impressive range of independent and specialist shops. You won’t find any identikit retail giants here, but you will find Scotland’s oldest bakery, a ‘must visit’ whisky shop and delicatessen, busy galleries and many long-established businesses which contribute the town’s individual character.

4:  “We even visited the Palace of Versailles!”

Well, sort of…

Crieff has played a starring role in film and TV. Over the years, directors have been drawn to the rolling hills and rugged scenery as a location for many productions, including Chariots of Fire, the 39 Steps and Dr Findlay’s Casebook.

Most recently the stunning gardens of Drummond Castle have doubled as the Palace of Versailles in the popular series, Outlander.

5:  “You’ll never guess who we saw?!”

We can’t promise anything, but… there’s a high chance of bumping into a young Obi Wan Kenobi in Crieff High Street, when actor Ewan McGregor visits his childhood home. Fellow Hollywood star Gerard Butler also likes an occasional pint in his old local, the Royal Hotel in Comrie.

6:  “We didn’t know Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in Crieff.”

2017 is Scotland’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, celebrating the richness of Scotland’s history, cultural heritage and archaeology with exciting experiences and events.

Throughout medieval times Crieff was a major political and judicial centre that developed into the main cattle trading centre in Scotland between the 16th and 18th centuries. This summer, Crieff’s event programme includes Crieff Remembers and a special exhibition of The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry.

7:  It tasted so good, I went back for more!”

Crieff is a haven for food lovers. From one of Scotland’s oldest family bakers to Scotland’s oldest whisky, Crieff has a quality food and drink offering with no less than five Taste our Best accredited restaurants and an additional 4 restaurants with the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Whether it’s whisky tasting followed by afternoon tea at Glenturret Distillery, fine dining at Knock Castle,  fresh takeaway from Delivino Pronto or foodie shopping in Campbell’s Bakery, JL Gill’s or Gordon & Durward, there’s no shortage of experiences for your taste buds.

8:  “The kids played all day, it was brilliant – and free!”

The stunning Macrosty Park is one of Crieff’s unique gems. Explore mature woodland walkways, challenge your kids to a game of pooh sticks on one of the many little bridges that cross the burn, play a giant game of chess, or just relax and enjoy an ice cream from the Pavilion Café.

There are swings, slides, water features and climbing frames to keep all ages amused, as well as a flying fox zip wire for the more adventurous. Plenty of seating for adults to keep a watchful eye, as well as picnic tables throughout the park mean you can make a day of it!

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