I love walking along the seashore - harbours, beaches, cliffs, but don't get (or probably take) too many opportunities nowadays. Since I was on the east coast of Scotland this weekend I decided to go to Lunan Bay (where I think I'd been to once as a kid) and then walk up the coast to Montrose to try a couple of pubs I'd never visited before.
View Montrose in a larger map
Outward travel was by car to The Chance Inn, Inverkeilor.
The Chance Inn is a cracking small pub in the middle of the village. There's a pretty small bar with about 6 chairs to every table and a quite large modern restaurant to one side. I stayed in the bar, and after making sure the fish had been caught in Arbroath, devoured the fish'n'chips'n'peas in record time. No real ale unfortunately (* see comments), but I was hoping my luck would change in Montrose.
I then set off to Lunan Bay to walk my meal off. It's about a mile and a half to the beach on a narrow, but seldom used road which eventually connects to National Cycle Route 1.
Before I reached the beach I walked past the ruined Red Castle, close on 1000 years old but still pretty imposing in spite of its condition.
After that it was a short walk through the car park to Lunan Bay beach. It really is a stunning beach - classic golden sand, stretching out for a couple of miles until a set of cliffs and sea stacks drop into the North Sea - all with the waves crashing noisily due to the brisk wind - and today it was practically EMPTY!
I decided to retrace my steps back to the beach entrance rather than trying to go cross-country through various fields, and I was soon back on National Cycle Route 1 marching through a couple of small hamlets into Montrose.
I crossed the new bridge over the River South Esk and my first shelter from the squally rain was the Market Arms on the High Street. This afternoon it was busy, bright and noisy with multiple TVs tuned to the football results and a mixture of guys watching this and girls chatting after shopping. The 2 hand-pulls had on Lia Fail from Inveralmond and GoldenX from nearby Burnside Brewery in Laurencekirk. I went for half of the GoldenX and it was very good indeed - a smooth best bitter with some nut and almost oak-like tones - easily the best I've had from Burnside.
The George Hotel is completely different. The photo probably doesn't suggest it, but inside is a classy bar area with high stools and a neat, modern restaurant area. There was only the one hand-pull on, Theakstons XB, but it was well kept and the staff polite and helpful, letting me use the hotel WiFi.
All told an enjoyable afternoon out, a decent walk, stunning beach and good beer at the end.
Bus: Montrose to Inverkeilor (39, Strathtay)