Find out how Beatrix Potter spent many of her childhood summers in Perthshire. Wee ones will enjoy spending time playing traditional games, dressing up as their favourite character & stepping back in time to visit our Victorian School Room! And for enthusiasts of the world she created, discover the story of where she sought inspiration for these much loved characters, as well as our collections of original memorabilia. Fun for all the family!
Can you do the laundry the way Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle does so carefully with her chores?
Stocked full of fun colouring-in and activity sheets, along with pencils & crayons - maybe your little artist will be inspired by the beautiful illustrations of Beatrix Potter and create a masterpiece to take home. The boxes are available to borrow in the Gift Shop.
Write in chalk on a slate at a Victorian school desk.
Discover Beatrix Potters' stories in our range of library books, enjoy playing with traditional toys or dress up as your favourite character & get a selfie with Peter Rabbit himself!
The beautifully carved stone column which use to stand on the lawn at Dalguise House, summer home for Beatrix Potter during her childhood, is elaborately carved, dating from the 18th century. The Corinthian details, spiral fluting and unicorn carving became the subject of drawings by Beatrix during her summer holidays.
Following its sad demise over time, the badly deteriorated column was dismantled in the 1980s. During the conservation efforts, each stone received attention, with the removal of previous repair efforts and consolidation of vulnerable sections, using threaded stainless-steel rods and lime fills, where needed.
The pillar now lives inside Birnam Arts, where it is protected, and supported by a stainless-steel stand, designed by Henry Boyd of Edinburgh.
Importantly, the illustrations young Beatrix completed in her holiday garden were invaluable for identifying the pieces during the different restoration projects.
We remain very grateful to the Beatrix Potter Society and PGL Adventures Limited for their support for the project.
Rabbit Family, Beatrix Potter Gardens Birnam
The garden offers a chance to explore the world of Beatrix Potter's imagination in Beatrix Potter Garden, beside Birnam Arts.
Young Beatrix spent a lot of her childhood in a garden enjoying the company of her many pets, including her rabbits, Benjamin and Peter. During her summers in Perthshire, her world expanded with the new area to explore – those eleven seasons were highly influential on her later life and career.
See if you can find the sculptures inspired by the wonderful stories by Beatrix Potter.
Born into a wealthy London family in 1866, Beatrix had a privileged yet lonely upbringing. As a child she became interested in the natural world and spent much of her time drawing and sketching, which was enhanced during her childhood summers in Perthshire.
The family's long summer breaks in nearby Dalguise – usually from May to the end of the salmon season in October – started when Beatrix was quite young, and continued for a decade, into her mid-teens. It was during this time that she was free to explore the countryside around her, indulging her interest in the natural world. It was this time that was to be one of the most enduring influences on Beatrix's development, both as an artist and scientist.
Even when the family summered in the Lake District, Beatrix visited Dalguise in 1884 for time with friends.
It was in 1892, while the family was at Heath Park in Birnam, that Beatrix first met Charles Macintosh, postman for the Dalguise postal district.
Gradually Beatrix's interest had turned to mycology, the study of fungi, and it was this shared interest which brought Beatrix Potter and Charles Macintosh together for the first time.
They had both been aware of the other’s interest in fungi, each approaching the topic from a different perspective: Charles, in his 50s, more scientific, and Beatrix, in her mid 20s, more aesthetic. It was this meeting which led to a long correspondence which gave great pleasure to both.
Charles’ occupation was an ideal one for a budding natural historian, his daily walks delivering mail allowing him to study the local flora and fauna.
It was also during that 1892 time in Scotland that Beatrix wrote a 'picture letter' to the young son of her former governess. The letter became the basis for her first book 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'. Similarly, a later book 'The Tale of Jeremy Fisher' also started life as a picture letter with characters clearly based on her study and exploration on the banks of the River Tay. 'The tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle' was published in 1905 and is almost certainly based on the Potters' old washer woman at Dalguise, Kitty MacDonald.
Great exhibition and performance spaces. Lovely terrace and indoor seating with lots of light. Great food and drinks and even a garden next-door for a stroll afterwards. Like
John Kirkwood | Google Reviews
Beautiful space, lovely people, Beatrix Potter Gardens and a wonderful exhibition "Earthly Walks" by Grigorios Karastamatis until the 18th of July (2021)!
Stella Valvi | Google Reviews
There are two dedicated accessible car park spaces directly in front of the venue. There is a gentle slope from street level up to the accessible entrance.
Using the touch pad, enter via the large glass doors to the right of the main entrance.
There are two Accessible Toilets within the venue, one on each level.
There are ramps situated throughout the building to enable easy access from the Café to the Box Office and Shop, as well as on the first floor to go from the Gallery to the Meeting Room.
There is a lift between the ground level and first floor.
View our floorplan for more
Welcome to Birnam Arts, a boutique multi-purpose arts, conferencing and entertainment venue.
Pop in to the Foyer Cafe for breakfast, grab a delicious coffee with a selection of our homemade baking or enjoy a light lunch whilst browsing on the free WiFi. Wander upstairs to view the latest of our monthly art exhibitions before visiting the world of Beatrix Potter, or the Gift Shop to purchase a special gift for your loved ones or yourself!
Happy to support this incredible venue which hosted our wedding 3 years ago now. Still the best day of our lives and the Birnam arts played a huge part in that!
Jane Lewis | Crowdfunder #savebirnamarts 2020
Located in the heart of Birnam Arts, our café is the meeting place and gathering space for everyone, from local friendly faces to new visitors from far and wide.
Daily | Mon-Tues 11-3 | Wed-Sun 10-4
The food scene in Dunkeld and Birnam is becoming a go-to for food lovers and we're proud to be part of the that story.
A lovely welcome. Keep on flourishing.
Alan Reid | Birnam Book Festival 2018
BA Shop has a unique selection of gifts sourced both locally and from throughout Scotland. With a range of design, jewellery and craft items there’s a little something for everyone.
Daily | 10:30 - 15:30
We pride ourselves in supporting emerging and established makers alongside contemporary brands such as Harris Tweed, and offer a range of books on Perthshire, as well as V&A Stationery and gifts for the wee ones.
The comfortable and aesthetically pleasing cafe seating attracted praise and provided ideal places for small groups to gather at the tables, enjoying excellent food and drinks! Visitors remarked upon your new signage, now so much easier to navigate to the various rooms within the venue.
Fiona Ritchie | Birnam Book Festival 2022
Birnam Arts delivers a programme of monthly exhibitions showing work by artists at varying stages of their careers within both solo and group exhibitions.
We continually develop new opportunities to support the practice and development of Scottish based artists, whilst also bringing work that is inspiring, creative and different to the contemporary art scene in rural Perthshire.
One of the most wonderful weekends of my life. Thanks to all at the Birnam Book Festival, Guest of Honour, author and musician.
Peggy Seeger | Birnam Book Festival 2018
Located upstairs of the original Victorian part of Birnam Arts, our Visual Arts and Performing Arts studios are where much of the creative magic at Birnam Arts takes place.
I have enjoyed taking part in events such as Scots Opera before we came to live in the area. Since then we have enjoyed both attending events and the splendid cafe In the foyer. It is a brilliant example of a local/regional community arts initiative and must not be allowed to falter.
Christopher D Morris | Crowdfunder #savebirnamarts 2020
At the heart of Birnam Arts is a highly versatile space, otherwise known as the John Kinnaird Hall, our home for live music, film, theatre, public meetings, conferences and private events.
Spacious Hall, New Tech
Birnam Arts has made such a difference to Birnam since its redevelopment 20 years ago, and attracts an incredible variety of high-quality arts performers. It's also a great Community space. We're very happy to make a contribution to such an asset.
Murthly Estate | Crowdfunder #savebirnamarts 2020
Within this dedicated space celebrating Beatrix Potter, her much loved characters and historical ties to the area, there is something for both kids and adults alike.
Daily | 10:30 - 15:30
Lovely wee cafe with amazing service. Been here 3 times now and always notice how friendly and upbeat the staff are. The coffee and cake is top notch also. Will definitely be back the next time I head to Dunkeld!
Marcus Sheridan | Google Reviews