At the southern entrance to Tayside, Kinross is a main town surrounded by several interesting areas. In the town itself is a seventeenth century Tolbooth and in the High Street a museum devoted to local history, linen and peat.
In summer, the gardens at Kinross House offer the experience of a magnificent seventeenth century formal design with yew hedges, herbaceous borders and rose beds to accompany the wonderful views across Loch Leven.
The island and its fortress set in the middle of this famous trout fishing loch was the prison of Mary Queen of Scots. It can be visited by taking the small ferry from Kirkgate Park in Kinross. In 1567 Mary Queen of Scots was exiled to Loch Leven Castle.
Five miles (8km) south of Kinross is a converted farm with displays that interpret the local environment and its animal inhabitants. The area surrounding Vane Farm is a favourite resting-place for wild geese and ducks and there are facilities provided to observe these and other animals more closely throughout the year.
The Butterfly Farm at Turfhills in Kinross is a tropical habitat for butterflies and moths from around the world. There is also a children's farm, an aviary, cafe and gift shop.
Going back into Perth and travelling west on the A85 you arrive at Huntingtower Castle, a castled mansion, originally the hunting seat of the Earl of Ruthven. The painted timber ceiling on the first floor of the eastern tower is one of the earliest of its kind done around 1540. Another feature is the dovecote in the garret of the western tower. Huntingtower Castle Hotel, signposted just beyond the castle entrance, is well-worth stopping for lunch and they offer an excellent standard of accommodation.
Travelling west again along the A85 Fowlis Wester,
5 miles (8km) before Crieff, is a charming little conservation village. The thirteenth
century Church of St Bean houses a richly carved, eighth-century Pictish stone while
the village square holds a 10ft (3m) high Pictish cross slab bearing a cross on one
side and an equestrian scene on the other.
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