Residents and visitors have voted on their top ten walks in Angus. They made their selection from a wide range of routes in this scenic, varied, and inspiring region of Scotland.
Angus offers an impressive choice of walking routes to suit all abilities, from relaxing, scenic coastal paths to longer, more challenging treks through the countryside.
So, in no particular order, here are just some of the very best routes that let you experience Angus on foot, as voted for by the people who live here and those who love to visit.
1. Blue Door Walk, Edzell
Distance: 4.7km (3 miles) | Grade: Moderate | Walking time: 1 to 1.5 hours | Start point: Layby on the north side of Gannochy Bridge, further parking in a layby just round the corner on the road to Glen Esk
A few minutes drive from Edzell near Gannochy Bridge, you’ll discover a mysterious blue door that leads to an extraordinary riverside walk. Starting from a layby on the north side of the bridge, this local favourite offers tree-lined paths, canyon-like cliffs, huge rocks, thunderous rapids and spectacular waterfalls.
On the return leg to Edzell, you will walk past some local landmarks like the Dalhousie Arch, Inglis Memorial Hall & Library, and the Panmure Arms Hotel. You may also catch sight of another landmark, Edzell Castle, as well as the Caterthun Hillforts, two massive iron age hill-forts on two neighbouring low hilltops on the fringe of the Angus glens.
Although this route offers an unforgettable experience for all family members, there are some steep drops from the start, so care should be taken when walking with dogs or young children.
2. Cortachy River Walk
Distance: 3km (2 miles) | Grade: Moderate | Walking time: 45 minutes | Start point: Car park in woodland next to Cortachy Primary School
Starting in a lovely woodland glen next to the local primary school, this scenic walk takes you alongside the beautiful River South Esk, over old bridges and through some picturesque Angus countryside. Look out for the entrance to Cortachy Castle, a castellated mansion house dating from the 15th century.
Parts of this route can be muddy, and there are steep drops in some places, but generally, this walk is enjoyable for all skill levels. It’s an ideal walk for families and nature lovers of all ages.
3. Mount Keen Munro and Queen’s Well
Distance: 17.5km (11 miles) | Grade: Difficult | Walking time: 5 to 7 hours | Start point: Large car park at Invermark
If you are searching for more of a challenge, this long, spectacular route is for you. With steep hills and flowing burns to cross, this walk takes you to the peak of Mount Keen to bag a Munro, visiting Queen’s Well on the way.
Mount Keen is the most easterly Munro and is rated as one of the easier to climb – perfect for beginners. The views from the top are incredible, especially if you are fortunate enough to visit on a clear day. You may also be fortunate enough to spot an adder or two basking in the sun.
Queen’s Well is an unusual crown-shared monument built over a natural sprint in 1861 in honour of Queen Victoria. Your walk will also take you near Invermark Castle; turn left at the fork in the path just after Lochlee Parish Church near the walk’s start point.
The paths on this route are clear and wide until you reach the top-most part, where it can get quite rocky.
4. Arbroath to Auchmithie
Distance: 13km (8 miles) | Grade: Moderate | Walking time: 4 hours | Start point: Car park at the far end of Victoria Park
This coastal walk along the impressive cliffs near Arbroath offers unforgettable views, beautiful wildflowers, forest, fields, hills, a pebble beach, and a pretty fishing village and even a harbour to explore. You may even be lucky enough to spot some dolphins offshore.
Your walk starts in Arbroath and immediately takes you up and along the spectacular Seaton Cliffs, where you’ll be treated to a wealth of unique red sandstone formations. The trail includes many geological treats, such as the ‘Deil’s Heid’ – a stack with a very distinctive, menacing face.
And once you reach Auchmithie, why not stop in at the But n Ben restaurant for some well-earned food and refreshments? You then have the option of returning to Arbroath using public transport, reducing the route distance to 6.5km (4 miles) and around 2 hours walking time.
Although walkers of all skill levels can enjoy this route, the cliff path is prone to erosion, so please follow any signs or diversions that are in place.
5. Airlie Monument
Distance: 2.5km (1.5 miles) | Grade: Moderate | Walking time: 1 to 1.5 hours | Start point: Scott-Wilson Memorial Car Park, 1 mile from Dykehead heading into Glen Prosen
This short but scenic walk through some picturesque Glen Prosen woodland takes you from a car park near the small village of Dykehead to Airlie Monument on top of Tulloch Hill.
The Airlie Monument is a memorial to the ninth Earl of Airlie, Lord Lieutenant-Colonel David William Stanley Ogilvy, who was killed in the Boer War.
The path is suitable for all abilities, but can be steep at some points. Once you have reached the top, you will enjoy a stunning 360-degree view, looking across to Glen Clova, Glen Prosen and south towards Kirriemuir and Forfar.
While you are visiting the area, why not visit the Scott-Wilson Memorial erected in 2012 to commemorate Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Edward Wilson, who lived in Glen Prosen for a time, both of whom died during the infamous expedition to reach the South Pole.
The Airlie Arms Hotel is nearby too if you are looking for refreshments or a place to stay the night.
6. Caddam Woods, Kirriemuir
Distance: 3km (2 miles) | Grade: Easy | Walking time: 45 minutes | Start point: There are several parking laybys along the road around the woods (these can get muddy in wet weather)
This is the shortest walk on our list but one of the most tranquil. Starting from one of the many parking spots around Caddam Woods on the edge of Kirriemuir, this family-friendly walk offers a pleasant stroll among scots pines and beech trees.
Part of the walk includes a Roman road that runs through the wood, although this isn’t easy to spot. Caddam Woods is sometimes also referred to as Kinnordy Estate, a rural estate that has been in the ownership of the same family since 1782.
7. Carmyllie Circular Heritage Trail
Distance: 7.5km (4.7 miles) | Grade: Easy | Walking time: 1 to 2 hours | Start point: Milton Haugh Farm and Coffee Shop
Starting at Milton Haugh, the Carmyllie Circular Heritage Trail is a pleasant countryside walk with many heritage points of interest and some great scenery to enjoy.
Suitable for all abilities, this route takes you on quiet roads and farm tracks through Graystone village to Carmyllie and back to Milton Haugh to enjoy some refreshments.
Carmyllie is a medieval settlement. Its Parish Church was built in 1609 on the same site as St Mary’s Chapel, where the monks from Arbroath Abbey assisted in the religious services.
Please note – During times of heavy rainfall, there is the possibility of a lot of water lying 0.5 miles North-East of Greystone making this part of the route impassable.
8. Sidlaw Hills
Distance: 8.5km (5 miles) | Grade: Difficult | Walking time: 3 hours | Start point: Balkello Community Woodland car park
This challenging but beautiful walk takes you to the summit of three of the Sidlaw Hills for spectacular views across Dundee and the surrounding area. The Sidlaws are a range of hills that extend for 30 miles from Kinnoull Hill, near Perth, northeast to Forfar.
Your walk starts in a tranquil woodland nestled next to Dundee at a convenient car park and leads to the summits of Auchterhouse Hill and Balluderon Hill before finally reaching the highest summit on Craigowl Hill. From here, you will enjoy sweeping views of the countryside, the city and the coast.
There are some steep paths with loose stone, muddy narrow paths and stiles to negotiate, so this route is most suitable for experienced walkers.
9. Glen Moy
Distance: 10km (6.5 miles) | Grade: Moderate | Walking time: 3 hours | Start point: End of the Glen Moy road
This moderate walk through the countryside takes you to the top of a hill where you can enjoy views down to Angus and across to the hills at Glen Clova.
Glen Moy is one of the lesser-known Angus Glens, located north of Kirriemuir. Starting at the end of the Glen Moy road, this route is one of the less popular walks on our list simply because not many people know about it. If you’re looking for a moderately challenging but peaceful walk in the Glens, this route is perfect.
This route is suitable for relatively fit walkers as it involves walking on grassland and farm tracks, both of which can be boggy depending on the weather and time of year. There is one sustained ascent with rewarding views at the top.
Nearby points of interest include the Redwings Mountains Horse Sanctuary, which is worth visiting while you are in the area.
10. Crombie Country Park
Distance: 3km (2 miles) | Grade: Easy | Walking time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Start point: Crombie car park
Popular with families and walkers of all abilities, this woodland walk around a reservoir offers a fantastic experience at any time of the year among mature pine trees. It also offers relaxing views of the water, wildlife hides, a popular children’s play park, and organised activities at the Ranger Centre.
The main walking route around Crombie Country Park is the Discovery Trail, which starts at the car park. Follow the trail with the yellow markers from the information hut in the car park to the bridge over the reservoir spillway and dam. Then simply follow the main path around the reservoir. This is a lovely gentle walk around the well-maintained paths that is the perfect distance for walkers of all ages.
You can visit a couple of wildlife hides along the way – great for watching the resident roe deer, waterfowl, or red squirrels. The route has benches where you can rest for a while, enjoy unforgettable views across the water, and even have a picnic if the weather allows.
You can stop to admire the old farm equipment displayed near Hairy Nicol’s cottage about halfway around the route. You can also discover some fine examples of drystone dyking and learn more about the Beaker people who built a stone burial chamber (called a Cist) here around 4,000 years ago.
More days out in Angus
There is so much to see and do here in Angus. Take a look at the variety of places to visit, plus our other Insider’s Guides.
Insider’s Guide to Places to Eat
Insider’s Guide to Nature and Wildlife
Insider’s Guide to Food and Drink
Insider’s Guide to Family Days Out
Insider’s Guide to Coast and Waters
Insider’s Guide to Cycling Routes
Insider’s Guide to Beauty Spots
Insider’s Guide to Visitor Attractions
Insider’s Guide to Hidden Gems