COMRIE & CRIEFF

Comrie and Crieff offers a wide range of activities, golf clubs, Comrie Croft bike hire, walks, fishing and cycling. The annual Comrie Fortnight event attracts large numbers of visitors and the Crieff Hydro Hotel is a popular spa resort and activity centre. If you are looking for self catering holiday accommodation we have a selection of cottages, lodges and luxury holiday homes in the area, including pet friendly places to stay.

Comrie

Comrie lies on the banks of the River Earn and is situated in the heart of the scenic West Strathearn area of Perthshire at the meeting of Glen Lednock and Glen Artney, with the Scottish Highlands rising to the north. The village has a wide range of local businesses, a hotel, medical centre, butcher, bakery, restaurants and Sense spa for a holiday treat.

The focal point of the village is the ‘White Church’ previously a historic church and now providing the village with a community centre. Located just outside the village, Comrie Croft offers bike hire, activities and events throughout the year. The Lednock leads up to the Deil’s Cauldron waterfall and above this a hilltop granite obelisk commemorating Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811). Stand at Melvilles monument and you can see the whole village of Comrie.

‘Comrie Fortnight’, is an annual two-week festival in July and August with music, family friendly events and a float parade. The Comrie Fortnight started in the late 1960s and has evolved over the years. Profits from the Comrie Fortnight are used to support events and groups in the local community.

Did you know? Comrie is also known as the ‘Shaky Toun’. Due to its position astride the Highland Boundary Fault it experiences frequent earthquakes. In the 1830s around 7,300 tremors were recorded and today Comrie records earthquakes more often, and to a higher intensity, than anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Comrie became the site of one of the world’s first seismometers in 1840, and a functional replica is still housed in the ‘Earthquake House’ in The Ross in Comrie.

Nearby Cultybraggan Camp is the site of the once-secret underground nuclear bunker. Cultybraggan was first used as a PoW camp during World War II, and then became an Army training area. It later housed a Royal Observer Corps (ROC) nuclear monitoring post, and a Regional Government Headquarters (RGH).The camp ceased to be used by the military in 2004. Thanks to recent funding the site has become a popular with tourists. Some of the original 100 Nissen huts on the western side of the camp were demolished in the 1970s to make way for a firing range, but the majority remain.

The surviving huts, together with an assault course and modern Officers’ Mess facility, make Cultybraggan “one of the three best preserved purpose-built WWII prisoner of war camps in Britain”. In 2006, Historic Scotland listed a number of structures at the camp. Huts 19, 20, and 44–46 are category A listed as being of national significance, while huts 1-3, 21, 29-39, and 47-57 are category B listed.

The Comrie Flambeaux is a unique Hogmanay ritual. On the stroke of midnight, December 31st, a torchlight procession marches through the village. Traditionally the procession involves the twelve strongest men of the village carrying long, thick birch poles, to which burning tarred rags are attached, to each of the four corners of the village.

The procession is usually accompanied by the village pipe band and villagers with floats and dressed in costume. Following the procession the villagers throw the torches from the Dalginross Bridge into the River Earn. The precise origins of the ceremony are unclear. It is generally assumed to have pre-Christian Celtic or possibly Pictish roots and to be intended to cleanse the village of evil spirits in advance of the New Year (albeit the New Year’s commencing in January is a relatively modern convention). The use of the birch tree specifically may have significance as the first letter of the Celtic Ogham alphabet, and a symbol of new beginning.

The spectacle attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world to the small highland village each Hogmanay. A countdown to midnight is usually held at Melville Square and after the processions people gather here again for traditional Scottish music and dancing. Parties in village homes are common and other Scottish Hogmanay traditions like “first footing” are also observed.

Crieff

Crieff (from the Gaelic word for “tree”) is famous for its whisky and cattle droving history. The town used to be a gathering point (or tryst) for cattle farmers to bring their livestock to market. The annual Drover’s Tryst Walking Festival commemorates this heritage with many of the routes ending in the town. Due to disreputable sorts, horse thieves, bandits and drunkards, who came to the town, there was a hanging tree that saw a lot of use. By the 1700’s this tree had been replaced by formal gallows, in the area now called Gallowhill.

Rob Roy MacGregor, perhaps the most famous cattle-rustler of them all, travelled to Crieff on many occasions. The establishment of the hydropathic establishment in the 1800’s saw the town cast off its former reputation to become a popular tourist destination for wealthy businessmen. The modern Crieff Hydro still attracts a large number of visitors and now features a number of activities for guests.

The Famous Grouse Distillery offers excellent tours of the oldest distillery in Scotland, and at the end of the tour, a wee dram of whisky. There’s a restaurant there too. Strathearn Glass on the edge of Crieff is a fine display of Stuart crystal and other brands, the Visitor Centre has a large café, shops and some Buchan Pottery that is local to Crieff and also Caithness Glass. Drummond Castle Gardens are particularly spectacular in high summer but the large Italian garden may be enjoyed at any time. This location was used in the film, Rob Roy.

The Ceramic Experience offers artistic opportunities for old and young to paint pottery and there is an excellent garden centre and a pleasant short walk beside. A visit in the autumn months to Buchanty Spout, a local beauty spot, where large salmon can be seen leaping their way up the River Almond, is a truly spectacular sight. A day out at the Auchingarroch Wildlife Centre near Comrie is popular with children.

PROPERTIES IN COMRIE & CRIEFF

Aberturret Cottage

Crieff, Sleeps 5

Rural location near Glenturret Distillery

Earnmhor

Comrie, Sleeps 2

Cosy annexe for couples near River Earn

The Distillery

Crieff, Sleeps 6

Luxury farm accommodation with great walks nearby

Fire Station Cottage

Comrie, Sleeps 5

Well appointed cottage close to village amenities

Foulford South Wing

Sleeps 4/8

Free access to adjacent 9-hole par 3 golf course

Glen Cottage

Comrie, Sleeps 8

Large stone cottage with table tennis games room outside

Isle of Murray

Gilmerton, Sleeps 4

Family accommodation nearby Crieff Hydro Hotel

Tomanour

Comrie, Sleeps 4

Dog friendly bungalow in Comrie

The Wee House

Muthill, Sleeps 2

Adjoining Muthill golf course

What's On

Senses Spa, Comrie – Beauty Salon offering a range of treatments

Walking – A number of local walks from the village and surrounding area

Fishing – Many opportunities for fishing in the locality

Golf – Comrie has its own golf course.

Comrie Croft Bikes

Auchingarrich Wildlife Park, Comrie – great family day out with both farm and exotic animals

Earthquake House, Comrie

Tullichettle Gardens – Open as part of the Scottish Garden Scheme, every Wednesday in June

Action Glen, Crieff  – Offering tree top adventures, Segways and more

Comrie Fortnight, July/August – music, dancing, float parade and a host of events over two weeks.

Comrie Flambeaux, New Year – a torch procession through the village, with music and fancy dress.

Cream of the Croft, June – Mountain bike festival.