The Black Watch Museum

By Solveig - Saturday, June 23, 2018


Recently I had the real pleasure of visiting one of Scotland's most interesting and beautiful military museums. The Black Watch Castle and Museum is located in central Perth, Perthshire and really is a must-do visit for all tourists on their way north to the Highlands. 

I am sure all the family, especially boys (both small and grown up) will love this great, but lesser-known visitor attraction. Beyond the obvious boyish interests of a military museum, there are so many powerful messages and lasting impressions to take from visiting a museum such as this. This is a special place, dedicated to the brave men and women of one of Scotland's finest military regiments and with a formidable and beautiful collection of personally donated items.  

The Black Watch Experience is a unique collection that charts the rich and captivating story of one of the most famous Scottish regiments. The castle and museum are located in the centre of Perth, at the historic and beautiful Balhousie Castle. 

Visitors are able to marvel at over 300-years worth of regimental history in the form of beautiful and fascinating artifacts, many of which have been kindly donated by servicemen or their families. One particular item on display in the museum which struck a real chord was an officer's kilt, from the battle fields of WW1. The kilt is that of an officer who sadly lost his life and it still has the mud splats on it from the day he fell in those foreign fields. The family of the officer donated the kilt to the museum and I felt this was one of the most moving and beautiful items on display at Balhousie Castle. 

Balhousie Castle - The Black Watch Castle & Museum 

Whilst visiting the castle and museum I though it was fitting to wear my long Black Watch tartan kilt. The Black Watch tartan, along with Royal Stewart and only a handful of others, is one tartan that has no family connection and is 'wearable' around the world by all. I love this tartan as to me it is a powerful symbol of Scotland and the nations great history and qualities. Black Watch tartan now has an extra-special meaning to me having learned more of the history of both the cloth, and the men and women who have served wearing it. 

Entering the Black Watch Castle gates dressed in Black Watch!

The museum is laid out well charting the story of the regiment through the ages in chronological order from room to room. Outside in the grounds, to help serve as an educational tool to current and future generations there is now a newly built WW1 trench. This reconstruction is aimed at showing how the serving soldiers lived their daily life whilst on the front line. I was immediately taken on an insightful visit to the world of trench warfare, where my kilted, ex-servicemen guide told me of the daily life the brave soldiers from The Black Watch endured. 

The Black Watch has always been known for its courage, discipline, endurance, integrity, loyalty, respect for others, selfless commitment and team spirit. The museum hopes to promote these qualities in all, but in particular, to inspire younger people visiting the museum. 

On-site, the castle boasts not only the stunning museum, but a great cafe and interesting gift shop selling regimental memorabilia as well as local arts and crafts. 

Entering the Black Watch Castle & Museum by the original main door. 

Drawings of Highlanders

The regimental colours of 1st Battalion, Incredible embroidery work

Down the impressive portrait staircase 

Best camouflage ever!

Scottish military camouflage taken to a new level! Blending in with the beautiful wall panel at the Black Watch Castle & Museum, it was fun to get a photo here with my antique child's "Piper's" sporran made in the traditional style using horse hair. This sporran features a cantle with Scottish thistle badge. 

Engraved Highlander sword from 1768

For those visitors with an interest or fascination with military weapons, there are some great items on display, from old rifles to officer's basket-hilted broadswords. This particular sword captivated me, showcased in a special cabinet shortly after entering the museum. 

One of the many paintings at the Black Watch Museum

In the 3rd room - French Wars 1745-1815

Drawings from French Wars

Such an impressive painting in the first staircase 

One of my favourite room, Empire 1815-1914

Uniforms across the British Army have changed a lot through the ages, it was amazing to see the old heavy, restrictive yet utterly beautiful uniforms. To think that the soldiers often went off to war dressed so impeccably astounded me. Beyond uniforms, the rooms here are adored with fine paintings, hard won medals, photographs, diary extracts and entries, weapons and equipment. The collection is not all about the past either, containing a significant amount of items gathered by the Regiment from more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Whilst at the museum I was able to try on a real 'Drummer's Tunic' which although was huge still somehow matched my outfit! I was struck by the weight of this garment - tailored to the highest standards the tunic must have weighed about 1-kg alone. Sadly it was missing it's once ornate buttons. 

Dressing up with a drummer jacket available for children to dress up! 

Scottish style! 

Loving the drummer jacket! 

Silver artefacts and horse hair sporran from the Black Watch Regiment

In the Castle's garden, by the poppy wall

Nice cards at the souvenir shop

Black Watch ties and flashes 

Time to go! I have really enjoyed this travel in time, what a great Museum. Thank you very much to the very welcoming team at The Black Watch.

Opening Hours of the Black Watch Castle & Museum:
Winter Hours: 7-days per week 10am to 4pm
Summer Hours: 7-days per week 10am to 4:30pm

Parking is Free for those visiting the Castle and Museum Visitors. 

Adults £7
Children under 5yo go Free
Children 5 - 16 £3:50

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

2 commentaires

  1. Good article, your sharing is so nice, love your work!


  2. Thank you for sharing these great photos. I am an American that has a love for Scotland and all things Scottish (despite my email - which is based on my love of British military history of which the Black Watch is my favorite regiment) - thank you for sharing your passion. Mitch