This was my final days walk on this particular trip and overall it had been a successful 3 days so far. I decided to reverse my direction of travel for this particular walk as I would be heading south when I finished. It was also Sunday morning and the first bus service did not run before 8:20. With so much daylight available at this time of the year and the advantage of walking in the cool dawn of the morning, I opted for an early start. I was up and away from my hotel by 4 and by 4:45 I had driven to and parked up in Monifieth, on the outskirts of the City of Dundee. Sunrise was still 50 minutes away, but it was light enough to walk. I could now make out Fife to the south and in the distance could see the lights of St. Andrews.
Virtually all of today’s walk would be along flat roads, lanes and footpaths and in a straight line. Almost immediately after setting out I joined the huge military firing range to my right, which occupies most of the Barry Links promontory. I had awoken early this morning to find that the temperature had dropped by quite a bit and as I followed the tarmac path I could see low lying mist just a few metres above the ground. As the footpath rose and fell by just a few metres I could feel still feel the cold temperature change as I descended into the dips of the path.
I emerged on the far side of the firing range at the outskirts of the large and famous golf links at Carnoustie. I continued alongside the railway line and out of Carnoustie. I had not seen a soul all morning, but eventually a few other walkers appeared out of the mist. By the time I reached the old fishing village of East Haven I was immersed in a large fog bank which reduced visibility to less than 100m. East Haven seemed to be filled with all sorts of statues and information boards. One board in particular caught my eye. It featured an old photograph of, presumably, the whole village lined up near the shoreline, to have their picture taken in 1870.
The fog had lifted when I entered the outskirts of Arbroath giving a bright sunny day. I stayed close to the promenade along the West Links. I passed behind the football ground, Gayfield Park, of Arbroath FC and continued onto the large white building of the Signal Station. The Signal Tower was the shore station and family accommodation for the Bell Rock Lighthouse, built in 1813, 11 miles off-shore, but is now a free entry museum. As I walked around the harbour I kept an eye open for a place to buy a pair of Arbroath Smokies. Unfortunately, on a Sunday morning and still being quite early, I found none of the shops open. I decided that I would order them online, as I particularly like smoked fish.
I began to leave Arbroath behind and carried along the long sweeping Kings Drive through Springfield Park. Where the drive finished I continued on along a tarmac footpath. The appearance of Devonian Old Red Sandstone cliffs was quite dramatic with bedding lines, weathered joins, caves and sea arches giving interesting shapes and forms to the rocks. At Carlingheugh Bay, I followed a signpost to the village of Auchmithie, which took me down to the shoreline and then back up the steep cliff, an unnecessary route from what I could see. I followed the path around a huge set of fields containing polytunnels. Near Tanglehall cottages and in a field of Brussels sprouts I found Gaylet Pot a large blow hole, which could be climbed down with care. This is a video I found on You Tube, although there are others.
I continued on in to the small village of Auchmithie. This former fishing village was where the Arbroath Smokie (Haddock hot smoked) originated.
I left Auchmithie and followed an old coast road north, before beginning to make my inland towards Inverkeilor to pick up a bus back to Monifieth.
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance =6,113 miles