Perth is an elegant little town perched on the banks of the Tay River. The fabulous Scone Palace is one of the best known landmarks, and was built in 1580 and is a site rich in Scottish history. It is here that in 858 Kenneth MacAlpin became the first king of a united Scotland. The grounds of the castle are remarkable, with manicured gardens and free roaming peacocks and a butterfly garden. Also worth seeing is Fergusson Gallery, which has the most extensive collection of work by Scottish artist JD Fergusson, one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. One block south of High Street is St. John’s Kirk, a stone church dating from the 15th century. The city’s main museum is Perth Museum and is worth a stroll through for the elegant interior alone. The Black Watch Museum is housed in a mansion on the edge of North Inch, and honors what was once Scotland’s best regiment. For accommodations in Perth, there are a number of options, but one of the most popular is Parklands, a secluded hotel overlooking the amazing expanse of South Inch.