Perth is the communications centre for this part of Tayside and long referred to as the 'Gateway to the Highlands' although the hills are still a fair drive on. The 'Fair City' as it is also dubbed, with its tall spires and shallow River Tay flowing through it, is surrounded by two wide parklands. The North Inch, the site of the famous Battle of the Clans in 1396, is played over by a municipal golf course next to the Bells Sports Centre while the South Inch holds various facilities for bowling, boating and field games.
Perth is home to two Historic Scotland properties, namely Huntingtower Castle and Elcho Castle. Perth is also famous for its Inches, the South Inch and North Inch. These are large grass parks found on the western side of the River Tay and joined by Tay Street. This is a common place for snowball fights in winter and picnics in the summer months.
Perth Art Gallery and Museum presents exhibitions that illustrate the development of local industry particularly whisky, which remains very important to the area along with the insurance industry. Silverware is also on display fashioned by the county's craftsmen of three centuries and there are good depictions of Perth's local history. The Fair Maid's House situated behind Charlotte Street in North Port was the home of Sir Walter Scott's heroine, Catherine Glover and is one of the oldest houses in Perth. It contains a well-stocked and popular craft and gift shop.
Perth Leisure Pool, just off the Glasgow Road, is Scotland's most advanced water-works complete with flumes, wild-water rides, and outdoor lagoon and bubble beds. There is also a good diner & bistro. Further west is Bell's Cherrybank Gardens just off the A9 on the Glasgow Road and part of the whisky distiller, Arthur Bell's head office. It incorporates the Bell's National Heather Collection along with a bright, pleasant cafe.