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Dunkeld, Birnam, Caputh
HIGHLAND Perthshire is widely acknowledged to be among the most scenic areas Scotland has to offer, acting as the gateway to the Cairngorm National Park, where development is strictly controlled.
Pitlochry lies in the shadow of 2759 feet Ben Vrackie and has long been a key halt on the north-south route linking the Lowlands with the Highlands, with her railway station dating back to the Victorian era.
Villas and the occasional extravagant tower dot the hillside and while it thrives as a year-round holiday destination encouraged by the Theatre in the Hills, The Etape Caledonia and The Enchanted Forest, a strong sense of community endures.
Like Pitlochry, the nearby town of Aberfeldy boasts a distillery and its own secondary school, along with an impressive recreation centre. Poet Robert Burns Birks o Aberfeldy helped put the town on the tourist map.
Kenmore, a village which can justifiably lay claim to be the prettiest in Perthshire, is tucked between the expanse of Loch Tay and the river which emerges from it en route to the North Sea.
Dunkeld is instantly identifiable thanks to its 1809 Thomas Telford designed, seven arch bridge linking with Birnam on the southern bank of the Tay, a medieval cathedral and the cluster of restored whitewashed cottages around The Cross and ornate Atholl Memorial Fountain.
Properties in both Dunkeld and Birnam, which were by-passed by the A9 in the 1970s, tend to generate immediate interest when they come onto the market.
Many of them date back to 18th Century reconstruction demanded after all but a handful of older homes were destroyed by a battle in 1689.
Set within a National Scenic Area, theres no shortage of trails to explore, with The Hermitage and its magnificent trees and folly just a few miles up-river.
The railway station on the outskirts of Birnam provides an alternative to road links with Perth and the Royal School of Dunkeld can trace its history back 450 years and more.
Both villages have a thriving cultural scene and a visit to the pioneering Community Orchard near the bridge is always fruitful in the autumn months.
Stanley, near the River Tay, is one of the Big Countys planned villages, dating back to the 1780s.
It was developed on the back of the nearby six-storey cotton mills which provided local employment for nearly 200 years before finally shutting down in 1989. These listed buildings have been transformed from industrial heritage into in-demand apartments.
Nearby villages like Luncarty, four miles north of the Fair City, have been mushrooming - with the commute to Perth promising to be made even easier with ongoing A9 improvements.