Saturday 20 June 2015
Arbroath to Montrose
Fran’s house (brother’s friend)
I left Ruth’s house for the final time and caught a bus and then train to Arbroath. I reckon I got a better view of the coast from the train than I did walking yesterday. Arbroath seemed deserted as I followed the signs to “fit o’ the toon” (the foot of the town) and found myself in the small harbour. I could have stopped at any number of half a dozen small shops selling Arbroath smokies, most of which seemed to be somebody’s front room. I walked down the streets of small terraced houses, out into Victoria Park and then up onto Seaton Cliffs.
It was a gloomy day, just grey, no clouds, everything grey – the sky, the houses, the sea, and this was turning my mood grey! The annoying Angus Coast Path, with its poor signs and poor paths (or no paths) was not helping. This was a shame because had Seaton Cliffs been anywhere else they would have been magnificent, but here, today they just had to be walked. If you can peer over the sandstone cliffs there are some obvious caves and inlets that would be great to explore by sea, and I did see a couple of sea kayakers. I could also smell and hear plenty of sea birds nesting on the cliffs. There were plenty o gulls and occasionally I saw fulmars, razorbills and cormorants.
I walked through the small village of Auchmithie and the path to Lunan Bay took me slightly inland on farm tracks and skirting a few crop fields. I reached the Bay at the Southern end where a few shacks and caravans made up the tiny settlement of Corbie Knowe and had a great view along the beach before I walked it. It was beautiful and there was no one here on this huge expanse of beach in summer.
Halfway along the beach Lunan Water flows out into the sea and so I had to detour inland and over a road bridge at Lunan Village. I had a quick chat with a man who I’d just watched drive his tractor around the sand; he owned the main house by the beach (and the beach as well). He uses the tractor to pull in the salmon nets laid out in the bay. He directed me up a path around Red Castle into Lunan and confirmed that I couldn’t walk to Montrose any other way than following the cycle way along the roads. Armed with that knowledge I walked up the hill to the main road and waited for a bus, just as the sun was coming out.
I caught the bus along the A92 and across the bridge that spans the River South Esk and the Montrose Basin. Montrose is a large town and was the first busy place I’d seen. I didn’t spend long here as I still had to reach St Cyrus further along Montrose Bay. I followed yet another cycle track along a disused railway line that used to take the salmon to London. I crossed the viaduct over the River North Esk, which took me out of Angus and into Aberdeenshire. It was here that Sam and Fran picked me up and I got a lift the last 2 miles up the hill to their house. I was treated to a lovely evening of good food and good company.