Mearns 50+ Group -walking at Arbroath

Arbroath offers many different choices of walks in and around the town, with a choice of seaside, cliff top paths rural and urban on good pathways and roads.

We started our latest walks in Victoria Park, opened for the Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Victoria. An Art Deco gateway was erected in the 1930s and the park has been used for the Angus Show and various Spectaculars and Events over the years.

Our main group of walkers set off up the path to the cliff tops, passing features such as the Deil’s Head and Needle’s E’e on the shoreline. At the end the sea sweeps into a large bay, great for picnics and so on, but our mission was to reach Auchmithie by a series of pathways many of which are quite overgrown this year with a good spring after a surprising winter free of snow has allowed the roadside foliage to grow well.

Meanwhile, our second group walked back through the park passing the Old Coastguard’s House with the large outdoor paintings in the gardens. Birds, a whale and a really life-like man are some of the display painted on the walls.

Passing the end of the Brothock burn, which features prominently throughout Arbroath right back to St. Vigeans and beyond, we walked to the harbour and crossed over the opening steel bridge which spans the slipway to Mackay’s the Boat builders.

A new development of terraced houses has been built since our last visit, looking over the harbour and out to sea.

A short stop to read the information plaques at the harbour, a route map shows where the Heritage Trail goes and places of interest. Alongside are plaques with names of lifeboatmen and other seafarers lost at sea. A stark reminder of how the sea can be a very dangerous place to be, at times.

Passing the harbour and the Lifeboat Station we came to the Signal Tower Museum once home to the Lighthouse Keepers for the Bell Rock Lighthouse. A round ball suspended above the building was raised or lowered to communicate with the lighthouse eleven miles away on the Inchcape rock – No Mobile Phones in those days!

We had a lunch break on seats beside the Museum, and then continued along past Gayfield Park, to reach the old outdoor swimming pool.

Crossing over we then walked up to the War Memorial, past the old Windmill Hotel and meandered our way through the less well used streets to Dishlandtown.

By the time we arrived back at our start point, we had seen old buildings, new buildings, the recently closed Sheriff Courthouse, the old Corn Exchange as well as many fish processors and of course, smoked haddock retailers, better known of course as Smokies.

It had been an interesting wander through the town, with features such as the “Fit o’ the Toon”, the harbour, the slipway, Museums, the Library and even the old Marine Ballroom now turned into housing.

The main group covered about seven miles to Auchmithie and back through the Seaton Den area.

An ice-cream van was doing good trade at our start and finish point, well supported by all our walkers. It had been a fine sunny day, with hardly any wind, perfect conditions for our walkers.

The next walk is a new one starting from Ballater.

Please note the bus leaves at 9.30 am – not 10 o’clock on this occasion from the Burgh Buildings – Don’t be late.