View along East High Street in Crieff in 2012, looking towards the old town hall tower
Other Stuff
Crieff's tourist information centre is housed in the town's Victorian Town Hall. They have a teensy-weensy exhibition downstairs in two old prison cells, so teensy-weensy that any more than two visitors and it's crowded. You can see the Burgh Cross, the town's stocks, and the Drummond Cross, brought inside for safekeeping to prevent further deterioration from the weather and drunken Jacobites. It was at the Drummond Cross that Rob Roy MacGregor gathered with around thirty clansmen to openly defy the government by drinking the health of 'His Majesty King James VIII' with untaxed whisky.
Innerpeffray sits around 4 miles south-east of Crieff, between the B8062 road and the River Earn. It is not a village or hamlet, so there is no shop or inn or anything at all other than an old library and an old church. It was once a place of great importance, where a Roman road crossed the River Earn, and there is evidence of Roman structural remains on either side of the river, there one presumes to guard and control this crucial crossing.
Innerpeffray Library is the oldest free public lending library in Scotland, being founded in 1680 and rehoused in its current building in 1762. Your first thought as you approach it might well be, why on earth did they build a public library out here in the middle of nowhere? Well, the books were originally housed in the old adjacent church (built as a chapel and burial place for the Drummond family), in a wee room at the top of a set of spiral stairs. You can still enter the church and climb those stairs to stand in that dusty little room. There was also a school nearby, and farming families with their children would come from miles around to learn at school, attend church, and read the books in the library. You might think that there would not be sufficient people in the area to make a school and library worthwhile, but there are many farms within a radius of just a few miles and long long ago it was the norm for families to have upwards of ten children.
Today, you can enter the library and learn about the strange and special old books they have. There are musty books on witchcraft, and ancient wizened tomes that on appearance alone come straight from a Harry Potter set with mysterious pictures of hippos and recipes for soups wot they ate in ye olden days.
There is a car-park at the library. If you have no car, then it very much looks like a walk from Crieff along the B8062 road, which has no pavement most of the time. There is an admittance charge for the library (£5 in 2012 - children free), and it's only open March to October, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Make the effort and be enlightened, for the small area of land in which the library and church sit is very beautiful.
There are walks all over the place in and around Crieff. If you go to the tourist office in Crieff's High Street you may purchase a small leaflet titled, 'Explore Crieff Path Network'. In it are listed loadsa walks, like The River Earn Walk, Lady Mary's Walk, The Knock Walk, and many more. The Knock Walk, for example, will take you up onto the Knock of Crieff, which is a small hill, or two, that sits over the town. You can start this walk from the High Street, up Hill Street by the old Drummond Arms Hotel, and follow signs by Crieff Hydro Hotel. There is a choice of distances, varying from half a mile to four miles.
At Glenturret Distillery there is an Experience. Those of you who are familiar with my literary ramblings will know how much I hate the 'experience' word. It is a word that for me smacks of desperation, a word plucked from the depths of despair with a view to pulling in paying punters. 'Let's go and see the experience,' they might all say in their droves. At Glenturret Distillery the Experience is The Famous Grouse Experience. Now, the bottom line here is that no matter how much you may dislike the 'Experience' word, and no matter how much you may even dislike whisky (for there are a few folk who fall into this camp), the fact of the matter is that Glenturret Distillery was established in 1775 and is Scotland's oldest distillery. And that's got to be worth a look. [The distillery sits about a mile north of Crieff, off the A85 road. Cost of a tour in 2012 was £7.50. Children under 12 free. There is a shop and restaurant.]
Drummond Gardens has to be one of the top visual feasts in all of Scotland. It is outstandingly pretty. The gardens, created in the 1620s by John Drummond, are attached to a fine castle, but the castle is not open to the public. Clearly one may spend no small amount of time engaged in being agog and wandering through this colourful echo of Eden. [The gardens sit about 3 miles south of Crieff, nearer Muthill. Admission charge in 2012 was £5 for adults, £4 concession, and £2 for children. Facilities are limited, with perhaps only cold drinks and ice-cream available. The gardens are open Easter weekend and May to October.]
Looking up Hill Street in Crieff, by the disused Drummond Arms Hotel, towards The Knock Walk
The Library of Innerpeffray, near Crieff - exterior in 2012
Inside the old chapel at Innerpeffray, near Crieff, in 2012
View from the B8062 road between Innerpeffray and Crieff
Tourist Information Centre, in the old Town Hall, High Street, Crieff - exterior in 2012
Glenturret Distillery - their copyright
Drummond Gardens - their copyright