Monday, April 09, 2007

An Easter Break In Montrose - Day 4

It was the last day of our break in Montrose so, after breakfast, we headed up to Edzell to have a look at Edzell Castle and then take in some stops on the way back down the road on the way home.

Edzell Castle

The castle is maintained by Historic Scotland and we were the first visitors of the day. We had a bit of a chat with the caretaker, who was very helpful and suggested what looked like an interesting walk near Edzell.

Edzell CastleEdzell Castle

The castle itself is ruined but has been restored enough to allow access to some of the upper floors of the tower, which gives some good views of the walled gardens, which are patrolled by some gorgeous looking peacocks and have an interesting array of bas relief murals along the walls. There's also a well restored summer house at the end of the gardens. After spending an hour or so wandering around, we went back to Edzell and had some lunch in a small café.

Lunan Bay

The road down to Lunan Bay is pretty windy and seemingly endless but it's worth the time and trouble as this is definitely one of Scotland's best beaches. Mind out for the sleeping policemen bumps in the road as you go through the farmyard near the bottom of the road as they're lethal at any speed.

Lunan BayLunan Bay

There's a good sized car park among the dunes and the beach stretches for over two miles of lovely sand and it's popular with surfers as well. It's a pity there no amenities like public toilets or anywhere to get some refreshments but I suppose it'd lose some of what makes it so attractive if it was descended on by hordes of day-trippers.

In the centre and overlooking the bay is the old ruined, 12th century Red Castle, once the haunt of King William I "The Lion" of Scotland, who had it built to fend off attacks by Viking raiders. We walked along the road from Lunan and found the path out to the castle for a wander around and you get some nice views out over the bay from where it perches so it's worth the short trek. It's possible to wander in and around the ruins but they are in very poor repair and it looks ready to collapse at any moment.

Red CastleRed Castle, Overlooking Lunan Bay


Auchmithie is a small fishing village a few miles North-East of Arbroath and is reputedly the origin of the Arbroath Smokie. It sits perched on top of a cliff and there's a steep path leading down to the beach and harbour. The 19th century harbour is pretty dilapidated and crumbling away but there are were a few pretty blue boats pulled up on the grass.

AuchmithieA Natural Arch At Auchmithie

There are some caves within easy reach when the tide is low enough, although we did spot some numpty trying to get over to them as the water was coming in. The best part was the view of some natural arches along the shoreline to the North; definitely worth the steep walk down and back up again.

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