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The Hidden County of Angus

von Wilfried Klöpping

Our ancestry goes back hundreds of years in the old fishing village of Broughty Ferry and the country town of Kirriemuir. We have seen many changes over our lifetimes, but never cease to appreciate how lucky we are to live in the hidden county of Angus with its variety of coastal and countryside scenery. We love to take our visitors on a trip by car up the Dundee Law where they see a breathtaking view over the Estuary of the River Tay to the Lomond Hills of Fife, the fertile Carse of Gowrie, and the Sidlaw Hills just hiding the glens of Angus – Clova, Isla and Prosen – good walking countryside.

From here, we can also see the road and rail bridges spanning the Tay, RRS Discovery lying in dock and the nearby Frigate Unicorn, part of Dundee’s maritime past.  Looking out to the North Sea, we can see the old fishing village of Broughty Ferry with its castle on a promontory, a large stretch of golden sands and now a bustling scene of boutique shops and mouth watering cafes – our grandsons’ favourite being the ice cream parlour – Visocchi’s. The challenging links of Carnoustie Golf Course, scene of the British Open, is a favourite with our golfing friends.

A little further on is Arbroath, home of that delicacy the “Smokie”, a fish to challenge the most sophisticated of foods especially when eaten straight from one of the many smokeries. We often serve this for breakfast, and freshly caught trout for dinner .We sometimes pop in to Arbroath Abbey to witness the colourful re-enactment of the Declaration of Arbroath 1320, securing Scotland’s independence from England.  We enjoy a walk along Seaton Cliffs a paradise for flora and fauna of coastal Angus.

A few miles northwards is one of our favourite places, Lunan Bay. The thrill of the smell, sight and sounds of the North Sea breaking on the stunning beach is etched in our psyche. The Royal Burgh of Montrose is the most northerly coastal town of Angus. We like its wide-open streets and the narrow alleys leading off down to the sea.  It is located at the mouth of a spectacular tidal lagoon, which is now an important wildlife sanctuary.

Nearby is House of Dun, once the home of the Angus poet Violet Jacob. It has spectacular plasterwork, a lovely garden – not to mention great home baking in the café and working craft shops. Inland, at the entrance to Glen Esk, lies Edzell Castle.  It has one of the most unusual walled gardens we have ever seen – carved figures and niches for plants as well as a knot garden.

Further into the glen is The Retreat Glenesk, a good place to sample Scottish home baking and Scottish crafts. Another favourite place is the little red toon of Kirriemuir, the Gateway to the Glens. It is worth visiting the Camera Obscura on Kirrie Hill, donated to his birthplace by Sir JM Barrie the author of Peter Pan. This is just 5 miles from fairy tale Glamis Castle.

Angus, known as Scotland’s birthplace, is last refuge of the ancient blue painted Picts. St Vigeans Museum, near Arbroath, carved standing stones at Aberlemno, Meigle Museum holding many artefacts and Pictavia at Brechin tell the story of their culture.

Olwyn and Barrie Jack
-Duntrune House

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Fotocredits: Olwyn and Barrie Jack

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