Rediscover Scotland: Hidden gems of Angus revealed as lockdown retreats inspire travel campaign

From sandy beaches to rolling hills, great cycling routes, deep history and good gin, there is no doubt Angus has plenty to offer.

Sunset at Montrose Basin, a wildlife reserve and tidal basin which is included in a new Insider's Guide to Angus which has been inspired by the favourite places locals retreated to during lockdown. PIC: Contributed.

A new campaign now aims to kick-start tourism in this stretch of the North East, an area where the challenges of lockdown have been made a little easier with its wide open spaces, coastal stretches and quiet landscapes.

Locals have helped inspire the guide using the places they have found to explore during the pandemic to feed a list of 100 top Angus experiences.

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It is hoped that the list of favourite places – which includes places like Arbirlot Falls near Arbroath, Loch Brandy mountain corrie in Glen Clova, Shakin Brig at Edzell, Montrose Basin nature reserve, Lunan Bay beach and Arbroath cliff trails – will inspire others to visit the area.

Loch Brandy, Glen Clova, a spectacular mountain corrie that has made it into the new Insider's Guide to Angus. PIC: Stuart Anthony, Flickr.

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Food and drink producers such as The Gin Bothy at Glamis and Kinnettles Black Tea – a tea farm near Forfar – are also included along with restaurants Cashley’s at Forfar and Drovers Inn at Memus.

Alison Elliott, chair of the Angus Tourism Cooperative and the manager of Murton Farm, Tearoom and Nature Reserve in Forfar, said local people had been key to the Insider’s Guide.

She added: “During the first lockdown we heard from so many people in the area how grateful they were to be living in such a beautiful and varied part of the country. They could be at the beach, go on a bike ride and then be in the hills all in the same day.

The new Visit Angus campaign is launched on Montrose Beach with Scurdie Ness lighthouse in the background. PIC: Contributed.

“Once you begin to scratch the surface of all that Angus has to offer the number of opportunities is incredible.”

The guide is split into 10 different sections and covers Beauty Spots; Hidden Gems; Nature & Wildlife; Visitor Attractions; Coasts & Waters; Family Days Out; Cycling Routes; Walking Routes; Places to Eat and Food & Drink.

Angus is one of Scotland’s lesser-visited areas but the region has become a more popular destination in recent years, largely due to the success of Dundee V&A.

In 2018, the volume and value of overnight tourism to Dundee and Angus were at their highest since 2013.

Lunan Bay beach is one of the most-loved beaches on the Angus coast. PIC: Adrian Diack/geograph.org

Between 2017 and 2019, Dundee and Angus welcomed 420,000 overnight visits from a mix of domestic and international travellers.

Visits from British travellers went up 3 % with domestic tourists staying for shorter periods but spending more.

Visits from overseas travellers were down 9 per cent during the period but this group of tourists stayed longer and also spent more.

The Dundee V&A was the most visited attraction in 2019 with 621,123 visits followed by RSS Discovery, the Dundee-built Polar expedition ship that took Scott and Shackleton to Antarctica in 1901, which recorded 86,141 visitors.

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director said the Insider’s Guide to Angus cracked open some “lesser-known gems” for visitors to discover.

She said: “Situated within easy reach of many of Scotland’s cities, Angus is an ideal destination for anyone who enjoys rolling hills and glens, spectacular coastline, championship golf courses, castles and historic buildings. This new guide curates some of Angus’s most iconic visitor experiences, which includes some lesser-known gems for everyone to discover.”

Rediscover Scotland is a new campaign run by The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening supporting and celebrating Scottish hospitality, tourism, events and business. As Scotland slowly emerges from the nightmare of Covid we will be highlighting the very best our country has to offer. If you have a story for us let us know by emailling [email protected] or calling 0131 311 7541

If you are a business owner and would like to know more about Rediscover Scotland advertising opportunities contact our Commercial Director Jim Killough to find out more [email protected] or contact us on 0131 311 7311