The Angus Tour – Discover our Coastal Heritage

No. of Days

3

Transport

 

Theme

  • Coast and Waters
  • Nature and Wildlife
  • Heritage Attractions

Season

  • Spring
  • Summer

Highlights and Delights

Our diverse three-day itinerary has been created to help you discover the best heritage experiences Angus has to offer among some of the most spectacular coastal locations in Scotland.

From ancient landmarks and fascinating museums to stunning beaches and golf courses, Angus offers many diverse and memorable experiences along its dramatic coastline, and fantastic places to eat too.

Angus is the perfect destination to create some special memories along a beautiful coastline while learning more about Scottish heritage.

DAY 1 – ARBROATH

Welcome to Arbroath

Day 1 begins in Arbroath, a traditional 12th century fishing town famous for its historic medieval abbey, stunning coastline, fishing heritage, and the Arbroath Smokie.

Arbroath Abbey was founded by William the Lion in 1178. Today, it’s home to the Declaration of Arbroath, in which Scotland’s nobility proclaimed their independence from England in around 1320.

Travel information

Situated on the A92, 17 miles north of Dundee and 55 miles south of Aberdeen, Arbroath is easy to reach by car or bus. Arbroath also has excellent rail connections and is on the main Aberdeen to London line.

Keen cyclists will enjoy the magnificent coastal path that takes you from Dundee right into Arbroath town centre.

Travelling around Arbroath is easy, whether by car, bicycle, public transport or on foot. There are charging points for electric vehicles throughout the town, including the harbour area. Download the Visit Angus app for convenient access to an interactive map of electric charging points on your iOS or Android phone.

  • Hospitalfield
  • Lunch
  • Arbroath Abbey
  • Signal Tower
  • Dinner

Location 1: Hospitalfield House & Gardens

The first stop is Hospitalfield House, a stunning early Arts & Crafts Scottish Baronial country house. It was originally built in 1260 as a hospital to support Arbroath Abbey and later converted to a monastery. The estate eventually became privately owned, and in 1890, it was left in trust to support independent artists and education in the arts.

In 1902, Hospitalfield opened as a residential art school, later becoming a postgraduate school. It was an important home for early Scottish Modern painters, including James Cowie, Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, and Joan Eardley.

Hospitalfield’s inspiring collections will give you some insight into 19th and 20th century history, from the vision of artist Patrick Allan Fraser to the years of the art college. Visit the Picture Gallery to enjoy one of Scotland’s most significant Victorian rooms.

Be sure to also find some time before or after lunch to explore the new Fernery and the recently redeveloped walled garden.

  • Location: Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, DD11 2NH
  • Summer opening times: Thursday to Sun, 10am to 5pm
  • Entry to Garden & Fernery:

Individual ticket: £6.00
Children under 12 years: Free

  • Accessibility: Some areas of the house, including the Music Room on the ground floor, are accessible by wheelchair
Hospitalfield House

Location 2: Lunch at Hospitalfield Garden Cafe

Discover the Garden Café within the magnificent grounds of Hospitalfield House, adjacent to the Fernery. This attractive glasshouse, designed by Caruso St John, sits in a bright and sunny spot that commands a view of the beautiful gardens. Its tables were designed by artist Mick Peter and furniture makers ThreeFourFive who took inspiration from the historical collections at Hospitalfield.

The café menu changes daily and features seasonal produce from the area, homegrown vegetables, and herbs straight from the garden – all freshly prepared. You can also enjoy delicious cakes served with locally roasted coffee from Arbroath’s Sacred Grounds Coffee Company.

After lunch, why not spend some time in the beautiful walled garden, recently redesigned by garden designer Nigel Dunnett. As you walk around the garden, you’ll learn more about the medicinal planting of medieval monastic gardeners and about the form and function of the Victorian approach to horticulture.

  • Location: Garden Café, Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, DD11 2NH
  • Opening times: Thursday to Sun, 10am to 5pm

Brunch served: 10am to 12pm
Last orders for lunch: 3pm
Last orders for coffee and cake: 4pm

  • Entry:

Entry to Garden Café: Free
Entry to Garden & Fernery: £6.00

  • Accessibility: The Garden Café is wheelchair accessible via a ramp into the gardens

Location 3: Arbroath Abbey

After lunch, visit Arbroath Abbey to see substantial ruins of a twelfth-century abbey steeped in Scottish history. Founded by William I in 1178, in memory of martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey remained one of the nation’s grandest monasteries for almost 400 years.

The abbey’s newly-refurbished visitor centre is where you can learn more about one of the most famous documents in Scottish history. Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England in the Declaration of Arbroath to the Pope. The declaration was sent from the abbey in 1320.

An unusual and notable feature of the abbey is a marble effigy thought to depict William I, also known as William the Lion. And the sacristy has one of the longest echoes in the country.

And one of the most interesting parts of the abbey complex is the very complete Abbot’s House. Whereas most of the church was dismantled in the years following the Scottish Reformation (1560), the Abbot’s house was left untouched as it still had a useful role as a centre of administration.

Due to ongoing masonry inspections, there is currently no visitor access to the abbey or grounds as a precautionary measure. The admission price has been reduced to reflect this.

  • Location: Abbey Street, Arbroath, DD11 1EG
  • Opening times (booking recommended):

Daily, 10am to 4pm (closed for lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm)

  • Entry:

Adult (aged 16-64): £4.50 – £4.75
Concession (aged 65+): £3.60 – £3.75
Child (aged 5-15): £2.70 – £2.75
Child Under 5 (aged 0-4)
Historic Scotland members: Free
English Heritage: Half price/Free depending on membership status
Carers accompanying visitors with disabilities: Free

  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible. Accessible toilets.
Arbroath Abbey

Location 4: Arbroath Signal Tower Museum

The Signal Tower Museum is located near Arbroath’s picturesque harbour. It sits among buildings used originally as the shore station and accommodation for the Bell Rock Lighthouse.

Built in 1813, the Signal Tower served as the lighthouse until it was decommissioned in 1955 and became a museum in 1974. During your visit, you’ll hear some of Arbroath’s fascinating fishing and maritime heritage stories that are told through multimedia displays and historical objects. You can also see how the traditional fishing methods compare to today’s techniques.

You can arrange to join one of the tours of the tower room that take place on Saturdays. These can be pre-booked by emailing arbroathmuseum@angusalive.scot in advance of your visit.

The museum is also a great place to learn about Arbroath’s world-famous Smokie. The origins of the Smokie began in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, just north of Arbroath. The Smokie has protected status under European law, which means that it can only be called an Arbroath Smokie if produced in the traditional manner within a five-mile radius of the town.

The Bell Rock Lighthouse is Britain’s oldest surviving rock lighthouse and still stands today, warning ships away from the jagged Bell Rock, 11 miles offshore. It sits on a long and treacherous reef in the North Sea, guiding the vessels that sail to and from the Firths of Tay and Forth. It was considered a significant engineering feat in the early 19th century. Learn more about its history at the Signal Tower Museum.

  • Location: Ladyloan, Arbroath, DD11 1PU
  • Opening times (1 April to 31 October): Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm
  • Tours: Tower room tours take place every Saturday
  • Entry: Free but limited to groups of six
  • Accessibility: Partially suitable for visitors with limited mobility with some accessible parking available
Arbroath Signal Tower Museum

Location 5: Dinner at The Old Boatyard

The Old Boatyard serves delicious, fresh seafood using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients and their secret family recipes. The restaurant is conveniently located next to Arbroath Harbour, offering incredible views for your dinner at the end of your first day on the Angus coast.

Enjoy fantastic seafood like lobster, salmon, fish pie, and traditional fish and chips. There are many delicious starters, a selection of children’s meals, and a tempting selection of homemade ice cream sundaes.

The restaurant is known for the quality and freshness of its seafood, great atmosphere, and the friendly and attentive staff.

  • Location: Fishmarket Quay, Arbroath, DD11 1PS
  • Opening times: Daily from 10am (except Tuesdays)
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with accessible parking and toilets
Old Boatyard, Arbroath

DAY 2 – MONTROSE

Welcome to Montrose

Visit Montrose on Day 2, a coastal town that sits on the edge of a nature reserve, a haven for wildfowl and wading birds that you can study at the Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre. Montrose boasts an attractive town centre and a wide sandy beach.

Travel information

Travelling to Montrose from Arbroath takes around 20 minutes by car or bus following the A92 through the picturesque Angus countryside. Montrose can be reached from the main A90 dual carriageway by car in around 20 minutes.

There are six locations around the town with charging points for electric vehicles.

  • House of Dun
  • Lunch
  • Air Station
  • Scurdie Ness
  • Dinner

Location 1: House of Dun

Day 2 starts with a journey back to the 18th-century to visit an elegant country house set amid glorious gardens and woodland. Designed with Georgian pride and baroque extravagance by renowned architect William Adam, House of Dun in Montrose is every bit a laird’s home.

Words cannot accurately describe the impressive level of precision and fine detail throughout this stunning building. Admire the detailed plasterwork by Joseph Enzer in the saloon and the hand-stitched woolwork and embroideries by Lady Augusta FitzClarence.

In the kitchen, you’ll find a traditional clockwork roasting spit, a labour-saving device that was once at the forefront of technology. The house is filled with treasures like this that tell the stories of the people who once lived here.

Guided tours run every 45 minutes and last around 1 hour 15 minutes. The costumed guides will lead you through this elegant Georgian country house – a highly entertaining and enjoyable way to learn about the history of the House of Dun. On the last Sunday of the month from April to September, you are free to look round the house at your leisure without a guide.

And outside in the courtyard, you’ll discover a new, interactive visitor experience called the Angus Folk Collection. The collection contains over 4,500 pieces that together tell the story of Angus life, including a harpoon gun, a mother of pearl clock, a penny-farthing bicycle, and even a hearse.

There are acres of lush woodland surrounding the beautiful formal gardens that include a recreated Victorian walled garden. Look out for red squirrels as you enjoy a woodland walk. There is a fun woodland play area for children as well.

House of Dun lies close to the edge of Montrose Basin Nature Reserve. Enjoy stunning views of the basin from the estate.

  • Location: House of Dun, Montrose, DD10 9LQ
  • Opening times (1 April to 12 September): Daily, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Entry (house):

Adult: £13.50
Family: £31.00
Single adult family: £25.50
Concession: £11.00
Young Scot: £1.00

  • Entry (garden and estate): Free
  • Accessibility: The basement of the house, excluding the kitchen, is accessible. The ground floor is reached via a stairlift. The first floor is not wheelchair accessible. The gardens are suitable for wheelchairs.
House of Dun

Location 2: Lunch at Erskine’s Cafe, House of Dun

Erskine’s Café is based in the courtyard at House of Dun and offers a peaceful place for an indoor or outdoor lunch. Inside, you are surrounded by a fascinating display of historical agricultural tools, posters, and pictures.

Serving delicious, freshly-prepared hot and cold food, as well as a range of baked treats and light refreshments, this is the perfect spot for lunch. Erskine’s offers homemade soup, generously-filled sandwiches, ciabattas, and tempting homemade cakes and bakes.

This café is known for its generous portions, tasty sandwiches, quality coffee, and a warm, friendly atmosphere.

  • Location: House of Dun, Montrose, DD10 9LQ
  • Opening times (1 April to 12 September): Daily, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Accessibility: Partial wheelchair access with accessible parking and toilets

Location 3: Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre

Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre sits on the site of Britain’s first operational military airfield that was established by the Royal Flying Corps in 1913.

The centre’s unique collection of contemporary photographs, artefacts, memorabilia, and planes will take you on a journey back in time and also demonstrate the human side of the Air Station’s past. During your visit, you’ll hear some unforgettable stories of their lives and of the people who lived in the area.

The centre offers some unique and memorable experiences. Step inside a 1940’s house and a full-size Anderson shelter. Marvel at the full-size replica of the B.E.2a aircraft flown by No.2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps – the first squadron to land in France at the start of World War One. You can also see full-size replicas of a Sopwith Camel and an MkVb Spitfire. The Hawker Hunter, Meteor, and Vampire jets will impress too.

The centre ​​is an independent and fully accredited museum run entirely by volunteers whose work will ensure future generations will remember the service of the men and women who served at Montrose Air Station. They recently received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award for volunteer groups in the UK.

  • Location: Waldron Road, Montrose, DD10 9BD
  • Opening times:

Monday to Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: 12pm to 4pm

  • Entry (booking required):

Adults £6.60
Concessions £5.50

  • Accessibility: Partially suitable for visitors with limited mobility. Accessible toilets.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre

Location 4: Scurdie Ness Lighthouse

Scurdie Ness is a headland on the south side of the River South Esk, sitting proudly at the southern end of Montrose Bay. The word Scurdie is a local word for the volcanic rock found there, and Ness means headland. Locals and visitors spend hours searching this rocky shoreline for its famous semi-precious agates originating from the volcanic outcrops above.

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse was built by David Stevenson and Thomas Stevenson and was lit for the first time on Tuesday, 1 March 1870.

The road to the lighthouse is a fantastic walk that offers elevated views over the estuary. Sightings of seals and bottlenose dolphins are not unusual here. Whales are sometimes seen in the area too; you may even be fortunate enough to enjoy a rare sighting of a humpback whale.

You can follow the route beyond the lighthouse towards Usan, Boddin Point and finally Lunan Bay on foot and by bike. A fantastic way to explore the Angus coastline for a few hours before dinner.

  • Location: Beacon Terrace, Ferryden, Montrose DD10
  • Accessibility: Some uneven terrain
Scurdie Ness Lighthouse, Montrose

Location 5: Dinner at Park Hotel

Set within the Park Hotel, Parkers restaurant is the perfect location for a memorable family dinner. The food on the modern dinner menu uses locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, including meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit sourced from within Angus.

Dinner options include fantastic food like the battered Angus chicken goujons, 8oz steak burger, and their beetroot, red pepper and quinoa burger. There are also tasty options to keep the kids happy and a choice of delicious desserts.

The restaurant has a specials board that changes daily, so there is always something to suit every taste.

  • Location: 61 John Street, Montrose, DD10 8RJ
  • Opening times: Dinner served daily from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
  • Accessibility: Level access with accessible parking
Park Hotel Restaurant Montrose

DAY 3 – CARNOUSTIE

Welcome to Carnoustie

On Day 3, travel to Carnoustie, a town famous for its golfing heritage, stunning scenery, exceptional hospitality, and courses that attract golfers from all over the world.

But there’s more to the town than just golf. There are also historic buildings and monuments to see, an impressive coastline to explore on foot or by bike, and some outstanding restaurants and hotels. The town offers plenty of entertainment for families too, with its large sandy beach, skate park, and fantastic playpark that’s suitable for children of all ages.

Carnoustie is a very dog-friendly town so you’ll find that all of today’s locations are happy to see your furry canine companion. Stop into Millie’s Pet Services, a family-run dog retail store and dog groomers on High Street, for some tasty dog treats.

Travel information

Carnoustie is situated along the stunning Angus coast, just 5 minutes off the A92. It takes around 25 minutes to reach the town from the main A90 trunk road that runs through Angus. Travelling from Montrose takes around 30 minutes by car on the A92 coastal road.

There are electric vehicle charging points spread across the town, including several at the main beach area.

  • Barry Mill
  • Lunch
  • Golf Trail
  • East Haven
  • Dinner

Location 1: Barry Mill

Located just outside Carnoustie in the Angus countryside, this picturesque working mill offers a rare glimpse into the life of a miller, a tough job involving sacking up, hoisting and grinding the grains.

Barry Mill is one of only a handful of mills still powered by water. Rebuilt after a fire around 1814, it is probably the largest and finest example of its type still in operation.

Peaceful Barry Mill was once the beating heart of a rural community. It supplied food, provided a place for trade and gossip, and witnessed the transition from a rural to an industrial society. The water-powered mill produced oatmeal and other foods, as well as providing work for local people, for almost 800 years – right up until 1982.

Visit to see first-hand the ingenuity of engineering that kept the mill in business. Watch the wheel turning, the water splashing, and the machinery moving. Then take a relaxing stroll alongside Barry Burn to enjoy the wildflowers and breathe in the natural beauty of the mill’s charming countryside setting.

  • Location: Mill Road, Barry, Carnoustie, DD7 7RJ
  • Opening times (grounds): Dawn to dusk
  • Entry (grounds): Free
  • Opening times (mill): Friday to Monday, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Entry (mill):

Adult: £8
Child/concession: £7
Family: £20
Single adult family: £14.50
National Trust for Scotland or National Trust members: Free

  • Accessibility: Accessible parking and accessible toilets. Some uneven terrain and steps.
Barry Mill, Carnoustie

Location 2: Lunch at Gather Cafe

Enjoy a special lunch made with fantastic fresh produce and quality ingredients at Carnoustie’s Gather Café. Choose from their all-day brunch options, a warming bowl of soup, a hot or cold frittata, freshly-baked handmade sourdough sandwiches, or one of the many other delicious options.

Their daily specials change depending on seasonality and availability. They offer an excellent selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food and cakes.

They serve up speciality coffee from Arbroath-based Sacred Grounds. And if you’re in the mood for something sweet, the café offers a selection of freshly baked treats.

Grab some local produce on the way out from their deli that stocks a fantastic selection of locally-sourced drinks, wholefoods, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Location: 25-27 Dundee Street, Carnoustie, DD7 7PB
  • Opening times:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sunday: Closed

  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets
Gather Kitchen & Deli, Carnoustie

Location 3: Golf History Trail

The Golf History Trail is a new addition to Carnoustie. Look out for information boards around the town featuring fascinating facts about its long association with the sport and about Carnoustie itself.

Carnoustie has a long association with the game of golf, not just in Scotland but across the globe. Members of the Carnoustie Golf Club played key roles in the formation of the PGA of Australia in 1911 and the PGA of America in 1916. They went on to influence all parts of the game, including the modern golf swing, golf club manufacturing, course design, and much more.

You can start the Golf History Trail at any point on the map, but there is a large car park beside the Golf Hotel on Links Parade. This is an ideal starting point for your walk, especially with the glorious views across the beach and Championship golf course.

The trail takes you on a circular route through the main sights in Carnoustie, including the town’s three golf clubs, Simpsons Golf Shop, and even the crazy golf course at the sport and leisure centre.

  • Location: Links Parade, Carnoustie DD7 7JB
  • Accessible: Wheelchair accessible with accessible parking
Carnoustie Championship Golf Course

Location 4: East Haven

East Haven is the perfect place for a walk by the sea and is easily reached on foot, by bike, or with a short drive from Carnoustie. Located around one and a half miles to the east of Carnoustie, East Haven is one of the oldest fishing communities in Scotland, dating back to 1214, and a beautiful place to visit. It was awarded a Britain in Bloom Gold Award and Best Coastal Village 2018.

The village was gifted by the Barony of Panmure to the monks of Coupar Angus Abbey with an acre of land to build a homestead. They were also given rights to charge a toll on fishing. Today, only a few boats fish out of East Haven. However, signs of its fishing heritage can be seen all around the village.

In the 1930s, young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, were often brought down from Glamis to play on East Haven’s unspoiled rural beach. The village has been known by many names over the centuries and was a thriving community in the mid-1900s with a brewery, bakehouse and other occupations supporting fishing and farm work.

As you drive into East Haven, you’ll see The Sisters boat just before you pass under the railway bridge towards the car park and beach. It was restored and put on display as part of the village’s 800th-anniversary celebrations by the local community. They have also transformed the village’s public toilets into a unique public gallery.

  • ​​Location: East Haven, DD7 6LT
  • Entry: Free
  • Opening times: Open at all times
  • Accessibility: Some uneven terrain
East Haven Village and Beach

Location 5: Dinner at Wee Cook Kitchen

Enjoy a delicious dinner at Wee Cook Kitchen, a family-run restaurant and award-winning pie maker based at the Barry Downs Holiday Park just outside Carnoustie. Wee Cook specialise in dishes inspired by exotic international dishes made with local seasonal produce.

Wee Cook’s menu changes regularly but always offers quality food, freshly cooked with care. Their signature dishes include famous, award-winning pies, ‘Hanger kebabs’, burgers, seafood and exciting weekend specials. Wee Cook also has outstanding vegetarian and vegan options like their cauliflower bhuna pie and mushroom marinara. There are also some tempting desserts and a great children’s menu.

The restaurant is unlicensed, but you are welcome to bring your own bottle to enjoy with your meal. There are no corkage fees for alcoholic drinks apart from spirits and cocktails. Alternatively, you can head back into Carnoustie after dinner to enjoy a drink at one of the town’s friendly bars or hotels like the 19th Hole Hotel, which is just around the corner from the Championship golf course.

Advance booking is recommended through their website or by calling 01382 533671.

  • Location: Barry Downs Holiday Park, Carnoustie, DD7 7SA
  • Opening times:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 11:30am to 8pm
Thursday: 11:30am to 8pm
Friday: 11:30am to 9pm
Saturday: 10:30am–9pm
Sunday: 10:30am–7pm

  • Accessibility: Partial disabled access with accessible parking
Wee Cook Kitchen, Carnoustie

Accommodation

Angus offers a broad choice of places to stay during your visit, from traditional cottages and coach houses to comfortable hotels in convenient locations.

The Angus Tour

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Map of Angus in Scotland

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