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Living in Perthshire: The Local Area Guide

Perthshire is a county in central Scotland spanning a large area, from forests and fields to soaring Highland mountains. Because of this it is known widely as the 'Big County' and, more flatteringly, 'the fairest portion of the northern kingdom' as described by poet Sir Walter Scott. It occupies the area between Strathmore in the east, Ben Lui in the west, Aberfoyle in the south and the Pass of Drumochter in the north.

The county is well known for its astounding variety of natural wonders. Its size and placement means that almost any way someone could imagine the Scottish countryside, they'll find an example in Perthshire. It has the rugged peaks of the Highlands, beautifully bleak moorland, wild and untamable forests, breathtaking farmland and much more. It contains excellent examples of Scottish flora and fauna, including red deer, ospreys, and some of the most beautiful trees in Europe (as well as the oldest).

As well as natural beauty, the urban centres have a lot to offer. Perth, the administrative centre of the county, was also in the good books of Sir Walter Scott, who described it as 'the fair city'. It combines riveting history, including some of the oldest and best-preserved architecture in the country, with a vibrant culture, lively nightlife and excellent modern shopping scene. It has a population of a little under 50,000 and employs large numbers of the people of Perthshire, with the banking and insurance industries particularly strong.


In total, the county has a population of a little under 150,000, with more than a third based in the city of Perth. Overall there is an average household occupation rate of 2.19 people per dwelling, with around 66% of houses owner-occupied. Less than 17% are private rented or rent-free, while only 11.5% are run by the council.

Very nearly 40% of households are detached, and about 35% are semi-detached or terraced.

Demographically, Perthshire as a whole is fairly representative of the rest of Scotland. 63% of people are of working age, 17% are children and 20% are over the age of 65. It is highly ethnically homogenous: 93% of people were born in the UK and only 3.4% come from elsewhere in the EU, while a further 1.35% come from the Middle East & Asia. Overall, 98% of people describe themselves as White – a significantly higher figure than the UK average.


The city of Perth and surrounding district is the primary industrial and retail centre for the county, and is also home to some of the best schools. It is therefore a very attractive place for families.

There are a handful of very good secondary schools including St John's Academy, Perth Grammar School and Perth Academy. Perth Academy, in particular, has a very consistent level of performance under official Government inspection. Perth Grammar School, one of only a handful of Grammar Schools in the county, has achieved the Eco Schools Green Flag for four years in a row – a rare achievement.


The location of the ‘Big County', right in the centre of Scotland, affords it fantastic transport links both internally and externally. There are three major motorways bringing traffic in and out: the M90, M80 and M9. As well as this, there is a big network of A and B roads, several of which offer spectacular views. It's no surprise that more than half of people working in the county prefer to commute by road.

For travel by air, Dundee and Edinburgh Airports are only around half an hour's drive away and Glasgow Airport can be reached in just over an hour. There are also some good rail networks offering direct links between towns.

Amenities and Shopping

Most people in Perthshire will seek out Perth if they're looking for a day's shopping. It has a fully pedestrianised high street which has a fantastic variety of small boutique shops selling locally produced wares as well as more fashionable, recognisable outlets.

Perth also has St John's Shopping Centre, a large modern development with more than 30 retailers and places to eat. Brands you can find there include H&M, Primark, River Island, Waterstones and plenty more.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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