Posted by: natsevs | November 1, 2010

Stonehaven to Dundee

I was thankful it hadn’t rained during the night and after a few trial runs I woke up proper at 8. By 9.20 I was heading out into a miserable looking day. I got some food for the day in the town then continued on through to the cycle route up and out.

At the top of the climb out was a path to Dunnottar castle with a few people on it. The castle was impressive but I wasn’t about to pay to go in. From there I had to walk roads trying to stick as close to the coast as possible. The path to the castle was part of the Nave Nortrail which I had been in quite a lot but it seems that large portions of it have been abandoned and left to disappear. It was pretty boring until Inverbervie where there was path along the front on the old railway to Johnshaven.

That was a nicer walk and the sun even peeped out momentarily. There was more path after Johnshaven with a bit of road now and then. I got to a clifftop path which said it was closed because of landslides but I figured I’d risk it as I could always jump over into the fields behind if the path disappeared. The farmer had obviously anticipated that and put electric fence along the top of the wall. Luckily the path was all there, if a little thin at times, so I was ok.

I got to St Cyrus and took the steps down to the beach. I walked right along to the river and realised it was definitely not crossable on foot. It wasn’t much of a detour back on mybself to get in to the car park there and join the road. I had been tempted to stop and camp in the dunes but pressed on. The road was surrounded by fields but all of them had animals in. One had 2 dalmation patterned horses that caught my attention. Further on was a place calling itself Steptoes Yard Sale, and it was full of junk. It was all organised into sections around a huge area with all sorts on tables or spread around.

I got to the river and went over then climbed up onto an old railway bridge, the line onwards had Bern fenced off but badly so I carried on along there rather than on the road. When a field turned up on my left I climbed over into it then made my way to a gate. That took me into trees of a big house. There was a guy there who said hello, I thought he might have a go at me for tresspassing but was nice and told me a good camping spot by the sea. I walked on towards the sea and found a good spot by the forest edge. Whilst sat with the door open the guy rode up with his son on bikes. Appareny he’d felt guilty about not offering me anything so he’d come out with beer, water and cheesecake. He was a Dutch man called Ivo, the Dutch seem to be quite generous, especially with beer.

Despite waking up actually being a bit too hot, I slept quite well. After a sausage roll breakfast I began walking along the paths behind the dunes. After a golf course, I got into Montrose and walked through on the road. A bridge took me over a river on the opposite side and I made my way out along the harbour to the lighthouse at the end.

There was a path along the front to Mains of Usan before I was forced to use roads, following a cycle path much of the time. It was seriously dull. After a while I went out to the beach past Red Castle and ate my lunch on the dunes. Further down the beach there were cars parked on the sand with empty trailors. The occupiers had obviously been the jet skis tearing up the sea. At the end was a van with kite buggies as well so it’s obviously a popular beach for recreation. I took tracks and road to Ethie then path to Auchmithie. I was feeling tired and lazy so had a lie down in the grass for a bit. Not for too long though because Arbroath was looking to be further than I’d expected.

Between Auchmithie and Arbroath was a clifftop path. It was windy along there but easy going and a scenic walk. The cliffs were all red with plenty of character. There were loads of people out walking as I got closer to Arbroath. The popularity put me off any good camping spots. I got down to Victoria Park in Arbroath and was eager to get through and find a stop. I went past the football stadium and out along the esplanade. I ended up stopping in the dunes between the beach and railway and it was a little too windy for my liking.

The wind ensured I has chuff all sleep that night and I had to re-peg one end twice. I tried what I could with little success so I was knackered in the morning. It was actually fairly sunny but packing the tent was a challenge. I was walking through the dunes on a path right by the railway. When I sat down waiting for some energy to turn up I was jumped on by 3 over friendly dogs.

At the harbour at East Haven I came in under the railway and onto a cycle route along the roadside to Carnoustie. After a pit stop I walked out to the seafront to follow the esplande to the golf course. The tide was right in so there was no beach to see. Unfortunately Budden Ness was inaccessable as the flags to show shooting was happening were up. I had to carry on along the cycle way instead with the railway one side and firing range the other. I could hear the rifles going. I ate my lunch halfway along still with no energy. Monifieth was full of caravans but the walk through to Broughty ferry was a nice one.

The first thing I saw of Dundee was a massive oil rig towering ridiculousy high above the harbour. There were quite a few people taking photos of it. I carried on and in round the docks on the road and got to the Tay bridge quite early. I was staying with friends though so stopped and met up with Jill and her sons Andy and Phil. After having to do an interview and photos for the local paper we went to the pub for tea. I got a chilli burger on phil’s advice, the waitress said they’d put extra on and it certainly looked like it. It was a mountain with a bun on top but somehow I managed it.


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