Angus (Scottish Gaelic: Aonghas) is a county in the north east of Scotland, with Dundee its main conurbation. Angus can be considered the birthplace not only of Scotland - the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath asserted the nation's sovereignty - but also of its grandparents. It appears to have been the heartland of the Picts from about 100 BC to circa 900 AD, when they merged into the Celts. Any place named "Pit-" is likely to have been their dwelling.
Towns and villages
- 1 Dundee is the only city in Angus. Once a drab industrial place, it's now rejuvenated, with Captain Scott's sailing ship Discovery, the Verdant jute mill, and the V&A Design Museum. At last it's worthy of its fine natural setting at the outlet of the Tay.
A string of small towns line the coast to the north-east:
- Broughty Ferry was where you crossed the Tay until the railway bridge was built - and then, tragically, where you still had to cross.
- 2 Monifieth has Pictish stones
- 3 Carnoustie has a famous golf course.
- 4 Arbroath and 5 Montrose are small fishing ports.
- 6 Brechin has a medieval cathedral, and 5 miles north is Edzell Castle.
- 7 Guthrie has a baronial castle and golf course.
- 8 Forfar, home of the Forfar Bridie, has Pictish stones, and nearby is 9 Glamis Castle.
- 10 Kirriemuir was the birthplace of JM Barrie, who portrayed the town as "Thrums".
- 11 Kirkton of Glenisla is the gateway to scenic Glenisla.
See options for Dundee. The main railway line from Edinburgh and points south crosses the Tay from Fife into Dundee, and continues north via Arbroath and Montrose towards Aberdeen. Trains from Glasgow approach via Perth and along the north bank of Tay to Dundee. The main road A90 also approaches this way, bypasses the city and goes north further inland.
Along the coast, train is always much quicker; but they don't run inland. Stagecoach Strathtay Bus 27 connects Kirriemuir, Forfar, Guthrie and Arbroath hourly. Bus 20 / 21 connects Kirriemuir, Forfar and Dundee every 30 mins. Bus 39 connects Brechin, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee and Perth every 30 mins.
- Pictish stones have striking designs, often a "Z-rod" with discs. The best examples can be seen at Aberlemno (on B9134 midway between Forfar and Brechin), but these (and many other outdoor stones) are boxed in winter to prevent frost damage. Museum collections can be seen at Forfar, Meigle, Montrose, Brechin, St Vigeans just north of Arbroath, Dundee, and the National Museum in Edinburgh.
- Bonfest is a rock festival held in May in Kirriemuir. The next event is 1-3 May 2020.
Follow Glenisla north into Glenshee, over the bleak moor to Braemar on Deeside, then down the valley to Balmoral and lowland Aberdeenshire.