Angus Coastal Tourist Route
|Angus Coastal Tourist Route|
|Distance:||58 miles (93.3 km)|
|Old route now:||A92, unclassified (northbound only), A957, B979, unclassified (southbound only)|
The Angus Coastal Tourist Route runs along the coast of Angus, between Dundee and Stonehaven, mostly on the A92. It therefore offers an alternative to the often busy A90 dual carriageway, but also visits some of the pleasant towns and villages found in this corner of Scotland. For those wishing to explore in more detail, there is also an Angus Coastal Path for walkers. Signage between Dundee and Arbroath can be vague or non existent in places.
The route starts in the heart of Dundee, just across the Tay Road Bridge from the Fife Coastal Tourist Route, and so can be used as a continuation for those seeking more adventure. Dundee is a bustling city which may not always have been given the best write up in the press, but nevertheless has a lot to offer the tourist. The new waterfront area is home to museums and other attractions, with parks and nature reserves further west near the airport. The city centre also boasts a good range of shops and eateries, with the city quay attractions around the old docks nearby.
The tourist route leaves Dundee on the A92, which is a good fast route east out of the city which passes Claypotts Castle. However, a slightly more interesting route is the A930 which runs through Broughty Ferry, where Broughty Castle stands practically on the pier. The esplanade and beach run eastwards from this small harbour to Moniefieth where the A930 can be resumed past holiday parks to the golfing town of Carnoustie. There are more beaches here to enjoy, even for a stroll on a blustery day, before turning back to the A92.
After running inland since Dundee, the A92 returns to the coast on the approach to Arbroath. This historic town is famous for its Treaty, Smokies an Abbey to name just a few things. It also has a fascinating museum about the Bell Rock Lighthouse, 11 miles out to sea to the east. The old harbour is now home to a marina, and the town centre has a busy shopping centre. A park stretches out along Kings Drive to the east of the town, above the rocky foreshore, with good views out to sea, although it is a good pair of eyes that will spot the Bell Rock in daylight hours!
The A92 leaves the coast behind once more as it heads north from Arbroath, side roads leading down to the little village of Auchmithie on the cliffs above the harbour and also to Ethie Castle. Further north, near Inverkeilor, the small village of Lunan sits behind the long sandy beaches of Lunan Bay, whilst those seeking a bit of history and culture could maybe detour inland to the old Cathedral at Brechin. This old city is now a sad and forgotten town which still has a number of boarded up buildings in the town centre despite recent efforts to improve the place. There is however some fine architecture to admire, not least the Cathedral with its unusual round tower.
Back on the tourist route, and Montrose is the next town reached, with the vast, natural Montrose Basin lying to the west of the town. The busy town centre of grand buildings reflects the wealth the town has enjoyed over the centuries from its busy port, and whilst the Basin is no longer used by shipping, there is still a substantial industrial area along the river bank. Montrose Bay has a long sandy beach stretching several miles past the River North Esk to the St Cyrus Nature reserve, which can be reached from a number of points along the A92.
St Cyrus itself is a large village with a coffee shop, but little else to tempt the visitor to stop, whilst Johnshaven a few miles to the north has a pretty harbour and a rocky beach leading to a holiday park. Further north on the A92, Inverbervie has a selection of shops and cafes strung along its main street, and at the end are a pair of bridges that are worth stopping at to admire.
The last few miles of the route meander inland once more, and whilst the little village of Catterline on the cliffs above the harbour is worth a visit, most people will simply head straight for Stonehaven. Here Dunottar Castle is dramatically sited on the cliffs to the south of the town, as is the towns war memorial. There are different routes for northbound and southbound traffic through the town, but it maybe best to find your own way, whether heading for the town centre or out to the harbour and museum. There is also a sandy beach and sea front attractions to the north of the Cowie Water.
If this short route has whet your appetite for more adventure, then it is just a few miles north to Aberdeen, from where the Deeside Tourist Route heads south west on the A93 to Perth, and the Highland Tourist Route heads north west to Inverness