The Angus Tour – Get Active in the Great Outdoors

No. of Days

3

Transport

 

Theme

  • Coast and Waters
  • Nature and Wildlife
  • Outdoor Pursuits

Season

  • Autumn
  • Winter

Highlights and Delights

This exciting and diverse three-day itinerary will help you discover the best outdoor adventures Angus has to offer. From the stunning cliffs and caves of Arbroath to the unspoilt and dramatic countryside along the Wild South Esk Trail, many invigorating and unforgettable experiences are waiting for you.

DAY 1 – KIRRIEMUIR AND THE GLENS

Welcome to Kirriemuir

Day 1 starts in Kirriemuir. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Glens’, the town is the ideal location for exploring the beautiful Angus Glens.

Whether you’re walking or cycling, the glens have routes for all abilities among some of the most outstanding scenery in the UK. From short strolls to long hikes, you’ll find the perfect walk for you here. And if you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll love the narrow twisting roads and incredible views.

Travel information

Kirriemuir is located just 10 minutes from the main A90 dual carriageway and only 15 minutes away from nearby Forfar by car or bus. There are eight locations with charging points for electric vehicles across the town.

  • Angus Glens
  • Lunch
  • Glen Clova
  • Dinner

Location 1: The Angus Glens

Walking

Kirriemuir is an ideal starting point for a walk through the Angus Glens because it provides access to a wide range of excellent routes. A two hour walk from the town centre using the extensive path network will take you into Glen Prosen, one of the lesser-known and quieter glens. Walk this route to see the Scott-Wilson Memorial and Airlie Monument and enjoy stunning views across to Glen Clova, Glen Prosen and south towards Kirriemuir and Forfar.

Experienced walkers looking for a full day’s walk can head through Glen Clova to reach Corrie Fee in Glen Doll. This wonderful National Nature Reserve is considered one of the most picturesque and dramatic locations in Scotland; a massive bowl scooped out from the rugged mountainside by a glacier during the Ice Age. Contact the Glen Doll Ranger Centre in advance for routes and guides.

Part of the magic of exploring the Angus Glens is ‘munro bagging’. This is a popular pastime in Scotland where walking enthusiasts challenge themselves to climb as many of the peaks as they can. Munros are mountains over 3,000 ft (914.4m).

See more walking locations in Angus.

Cycling

When it comes to cycling routes that start at Kirriemuir, you are spoilt for choice. There is a wide variety of cycling available, from short and reasonably flat road cycles to all-day cycles for advanced cyclists in the hills of the Angus Glens. 

And if you don’t have your own bike, reserve a mountain bike or electric bike from Lintrathen Cycles. They are based in a small rural village at the foot of the Angus Glens. Call 01575 560450 to make a booking.

The Kirriemuir to Loch of Lintrathen route takes around two hours, during which time you’ll get the chance to admire many species of wintering birds and take in beautiful Loch of Kinnordy and Lintrathen.

Alternatively, cycle some of the Cateran Eco Museum Trail, starting from Kirriemuir. The trail is situated on the 500-million-year-old Highland Boundary Fault – a great geological feature that divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands. All of the Cateran Eco Museum sites are outdoors and set in the beautiful and dramatic landscapes of Cateran Country, a little known part of Scotland. 

For a more challenging, all-day circular route, try the Kirriemuir to Glen Isla circuit. Starting at Kirriemuir, this challenging 35 mile route will take you through some spectacular Angus Glens scenery where you can enjoy views of the inspiring Loch of Lintrathen and Loch of Kinnordy nature reserves. You will also pass Balintore Castle before heading back to Kirriemuir.

View the full range of cycling and mountain biking routes that cater for all abilities and interests.

Location 2: Lunch at the Wee Bear Cafe or Glenisla Hotel

Wee Bear Café

Enjoy a break from all that activity and a hearty lunch at the Wee Bear Café based at the Lodge at Lochside in Lintrathen. 

Relax and enjoy delicious home cooking and baking amidst the rustic charm of this beautiful café. Warm up after your walk or cycle at the cosy wood stove and enjoy views out to the loch.

  • Location: Bridgend of Lintrathen, Kirriemuir, DD8 5JH
  • Opening times: Thursday to Monday, 10am to 4pm
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Glenisla Hotel

Alternatively, if you decide to cycle the Kirriemuir to Glen Isla Circuit route, you may wish to enjoy a long and well-deserved lunch in the Glenisla Hotel. Situated right on the Cateran Trail, the hotel serves excellent home-cooked food from a wide and varied menu to suit all tastes. 

There is a good selection of vegetarian and vegan options, including an appetising vegetable tagine pie.

  • Location: Kirkton of Glenisla, PH11 8PH
  • Opening times:
    • Wednesday and Thursday: 12pm to 11pm
    • Friday and Saturday: 12pm to midnight
    • Sunday: 12.30pm to 11pm
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets
Glenisla Hotel, Angus

Location 3: Glen Clova Hotel tours and activities (or Forfar Indoor Sports)

Glen Clova Hotel guided tours 

If you want to really make the most of the Angus Glens, consider staying at the Glen Clova Hotel and spending an action-packed afternoon on a guided tour organised by the hotel. The hotel can arrange for you to be driven out in a 4×4 into the Angus hills so you can enjoy an outdoor activity of your choice. One of the most popular activities is clay pigeon shooting, with photography, painting, and bird watching among the other options.

Clay pigeon shooting is a fun activity whether you’re an experienced shooter or looking to try something new. A qualified and experienced instructor will demonstrate how to handle the equipment safely, give you helpful advice on your stance and aim, and show you the best way to track the clay as it flies through the sky.

The Angus Glens delight and enthral photographers and artists of all ages and skill levels. Capture the floral and fauna of the hills or the deer, mountain animals and wild birds in whichever medium you prefer and then enjoy the journey by 4×4 back to the hotel.

The hotel also offers cycling tours with their British Cycling MTB Level 2/TCL instructor who will guide you through the beautiful Angus Glens. The tours cater for both intermediate and advanced levels.

Activities must be booked in advance and are subject to availability and suitable weather. The hotel can also provide maps and guidance for some of the many spectacular climbing and walking routes in the vicinity and around the glens.

  • Location: Glen Clova, Near Kirriemuir, Angus, DD8 4QS
  • Opening times: 8am to 10pm
  • Booking: Activities must be pre booked and are for guests only
  • Accessibility: Accessible entrance but upper floors only accessible by stairs

Forfar Indoor Sports Centre

If you want to spend the afternoon indoors or are simply looking for something a bit different, consider spending the afternoon at Forfar Indoor Sports.

The centre provides the opportunity for you to enjoy three traditional Scottish sports; ice skating, curling, and carpet bowling.

Curling is one of the world’s oldest team sports, originating in the 16th century in Scotland when games were played during winter on frozen ponds and lochs. The centre was originally opened as a curling rink in 1989 and offers the chance for you to try your hand at this unique and enjoyable sport.

Carpet bowling is another sport originating in Scotland. T​he Scottish Bowling Association was formed in 1893 to establish the rules and code of ethics. A warm welcome awaits when you come along to try the sport for yourself at a pre booked coaching session.

And if you want to enjoy some indoor skating, the centre welcomes skaters old and young. Experienced skaters steward the sessions so anyone who visits the rink can enjoy a skate in a relaxed yet safe environment.

  • Location: Suttieside Road, Forfar, DD8 3NJ
  • Opening times: Times vary depending on your chosen activity.
  • Accessibility: Accessible access with accessible parking and toilets

Location 4: Dinner at Climbers Bar, Glen Clova Hotel

After a busy and active afternoon, it’s time to relax and enjoy some well-earned dinner and drinks in Glen Clova Hotel’s rustic Climbers Bar.

Enjoy an impressive selection of Scottish and International dishes freshly prepared using a range of locally-sourced and seasonal produce. From the lemon and black pepper scampi to exciting vegetarian options like the Sichuan vegetables and noodles, there is something here to please all taste buds.

You’ll find Climbers Bar to be authentic, original and very homely. The fire will be burning on chilly days which makes the bar a perfect place to stop and catch your breath after a long walk or cycle in the hills.

There is a big focus on local produce in the bar. It offers a selection of gins from the nearby Gin Bothy and spirits from Ogilvy Vodka. You can also enjoy local ales from Burnside Brewery, as well as the hotel’s own Clova Ale.

  • Location: Glen Clova, Near Kirriemuir, Angus, DD8 4QS
  • Dinner service:
    • Monday to Friday: 4pm to 8pm
    • Saturday to Sunday: 12pm to 8pm
  • Accessibility: Accessible entrance

DAY 2 – ARBROATH AND CARNOUSTIE

Welcome to Arbroath and Carnoustie

Day 2 starts in Arbroath, a traditional 12th Century fishing town famous for its smokie (a freshly caught haddock smoked over hardwood) and its stunning cliffs.

In the afternoon, head to nearby Carnoustie for lunch and a round of golf. Carnoustie is a town famous for its golfing heritage, stunning scenery, exceptional hospitality, and courses that attract golfers from all over the world.

Travel information

Arbroath is easy to reach by car or bus using the A92 coastal road or by train. Travelling around Arbroath is easy, whether by car, bicycle, public transport or on foot.

You can hire a bike from Angus Cycle Hub, an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise based in the town centre. Arbroath is part of NCN1 (National Cycle Network) which makes it ideal for bike travel.

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.

It takes around 10 minutes to drive from Arbroath to Carnoustie on the A92 and around 30 minutes by bike along the stunning coastal path. 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.

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

  • Arbroath Cliffs
  • Lunch
  • Carnoustie Golf
  • Dinner

Location 1: Arbroath Cliff Tours

Explore Arbroath’s incredible coastline on an unforgettable kayak tour that features breathtaking natural sea caves, secret coves, spectacular blowholes, impressive rock formations, and even the potential to spot bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises or a minke whale.

Arbroath’s coastline includes a wealth of unique red sandstone formations, such as the ‘Deil’s Heid’, a stack that appears to have a distinctive and menacing face, as well as natural arches like the Needle E’e.

One particular cave along the coastline is 400ft long and has impressive Stalactites on the ceiling, as well as its own sandy beach at one end. Some of the caves here have a mesmerising emerald green glow when the sun shines into the cave at just the right angle. This only happens in the caves where there is sand on the seabed, and it is breathtaking every single time.

The Arbroath Cliff Tours company also offers guided wild swimming for those brave enough to take the plunge. Whichever option you choose, it will be an Angus adventure you’ll never forget.

Your tour guide, Cameron, is fully qualified, having completed SLSGB Surf Lifeguard training with the RNLI. You can enquire and book through the Arbroath Cliff Tours Facebook page. However, tours are weather dependent and will only go ahead if the sea conditions are safe.

If the conditions aren’t quite right or a kayak tour isn’t right for you, then walk the Arbroath Cliff Trail to explore the coastline instead. You will encounter many of the impressive red sandstone formations and enjoy some stunning views from high up on the cliffs.

  • Location: Arbroath Cliffs Car Park, Arbroath, DD11 1AY
  • Opening times: Tours must be booked in advance
  • Accessibility: A good level of fitness is required so you can carry and manoeuvre the kayak and you must be able to swim
Arbroath Cliff Tours

Location 2: Lunch at Gather in Carnoustie

Enjoy a special lunch made with fantastic fresh produce and quality ingredients at Carnoustie’s Gather. Choose from their all-day brunch options, a warming bowl of soup, a hot or cold frittata, a delicious wrap 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 specialty 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: Carnoustie Golf Links

Carnoustie has three outstanding golf courses, but the Championship Course is considered the ultimate test of links golf. It features the toughest closing stretch of golf holes anywhere. Established in 1842, the Championship Course has hosted The Open on eight occasions, most recently the 147th Open in July 2018. It has also hosted the Ricoh British Women’s Open, two Senior Open Championships, and is one of the three courses used for the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Book in advance on the website to play any of the courses. In the case of bad weather, you can enjoy a unique, state-of-the-art indoor golf experience in Links House, situated next to the first tee of the Championship Course.

The seven Foresight simulator bays in the building’s Carnoustie Performance Centre allow golfers of all abilities to enjoy their golf in comfortable and relaxed surroundings. You can book a 60 or 120 minute session in advance.

And why not finish the afternoon in style with a visit to the spa at nearby Carnoustie Golf and Spa Hotel.

  • Location: Links House, Links Parade, Carnoustie, DD7 7JE
  • Entry: See website for prices
  • Opening times:
    • Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm
    • Friday and Saturday, 8am to 10pm
  • Accessibility: Wheelchair access with accessible parking and toilets
Carnoustie Championship Golf Course

Location 4: 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 cauliflower bhuna pie or curry.

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.

  • 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 10pm
    • Saturday: 10:30am–10pm
    • Sunday: 10:30am–6pm
  • Accessibility: Partial disabled access with accessible parking
Wee Cook Kitchen Carnoustie

DAY 3 – MONTROSE

Welcome to Montrose

Travel to Montrose on Day 3 to spend time in a historic town that’s full of things to see and do, and is also home to the world’s 5th oldest golf course.

Montrose Basin is a designated nature reserve with a four-star visitor centre. The reserve provides sanctuary for thousands of waders and wildfowl, including over 80,000 migratory pink-footed geese each year.

The largest number of geese start to gather in early-to-mid October, with their numbers peaking at the end of the month. However, you can spot geese around the basin all winter.

There is plenty of other birdlife to see on the reserve too, from large numbers of wintering shelduck and wigeon to the resident kingfisher which can be spotted regularly from the visitor centre.

Montrose boasts an attractive town centre, a wide sandy beach, and plenty of outdoor experiences to enjoy. It’s one of the best spots in Angus to watch bottlenose dolphins from the shore.

Travel information

Travelling to Montrose from Carnoustie takes around 30 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. Download the Visit Angus app for convenient access to an interactive map of electric charging points on your iOS or Android phone.

  • Wild South Esk
  • Dinner

Location 1: Wild South Esk Trail

Spend the day exploring the dramatic Angus countryside on the Wild South Esk Trail, beginning at Montrose. The trail follows the River South Esk through lowlands and highlands, taking in impressive castles, charming historic towns, and stunning glens with incredible routes for walking and cycling.

Ten places in the catchment of the River South Esk make up the trail, including Ferryden, the Lurgies at Montrose Basin, Inch Park in Brechin, Angus Hill near Aberlemno, Cortachy, Tulloch Hill (Airlie Monument), Glen Prosen, Gella Bridge, Glen Clova (Loch Brandy), and Corrie Fee.

Climb to a remote mountain loch, Loch Brandy, look out for mountain hare  on the moorland and try to spot signs of wildcat that may hunt amongst the  native woodland nearby.

Or visit the Lurgies, where the river flows into the vast bowl of Montrose Basin just before it reaches the sea. Thousands of pink-footed geese shelter here in autumn.

Every site on the trail has different wildlife to discover and beautiful scenery to enjoy. The country roads on the trail make good cycling routes, while hill tracks and forests offer great outings for mountain bikers. There are over 15 local walks highlighted along the trail.

We recommend organising a packed lunch from your hotel to enjoy while exploring, although there are plenty of eating experiences and farm shops along the trail. The picnic site on the riverbank at Gella Bridge is the perfect place to enjoy a packed lunch while looking out for dippers, small birds that dive underwater to catch their food.

The entire trail is 50 miles long, so if you are cycling or walking, it’s best to plan your journey in advance using the beautifully-illustrated interactive map.

Wild South Esk Trail - Aberlemno

Location 2: Dinner at The George Hotel

Enjoy a well-earned dinner after a day of activity at The George Hotel in Montrose. Located close to the town centre, The George Hotel is a family-run hotel that has built a reputation over the last 25 years for offering generous portions of excellent food at reasonable prices.

The George Hotel’s restaurant and lounge bar serves a large selection of freshly-prepared dishes to suit all tastes and appetites using locally-sourced produce whenever possible. Dinner options include tasty fish dishes like the grilled Scottish salmon, rice and pasta dishes, chicken dishes, burgers, and vegetarian options like the homemade vegetable lasagne and Quorn salt and vinegar fishless fillet.

They offer a range of drinks to accompany your meal, including soft drinks, beers including a cask ale, and a fine selection of local whiskies and gin.

  • Location: 22 George Street, Montrose, DD10 8EW
  • Dinner service:
    • Monday to Thursday: 5.00pm to 9.00pm
    • Friday to Sunday: 4.00pm to 9.30pm
  • Accessibility: The restaurant is on the second floor and is not wheelchair accessible
George Hotel, Montrose

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.

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Map of Angus in Scotland

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