Recently, Neil’s Mum, Carol, was in town, and she had two requests for things she would like to do before heading off to Orkney – seeing the Ospreys at the Loch of the Lowes and doing a coastal cycle. I’ve already covered the Loch of the Lowes in a previous blog – Ospreys and Beavers at the Loch of the Lowes. This covers our afternoon bike ride from Arbroath to Auchmithie.
I struggled to find much information about biking the Arbroath Coast – lots of information for walking, but very little for biking. Not long after we set off, I discovered why so.
Starting at the car park for Seaton Cliffs, at the north end of Arbroath, the path is very good, pretty much all tarmac and sits high above the cliffs looking out to the North Sea – some parts of the path are narrow and there is a right, old drop to the right hand side!
Perhaps mid-way between Arbroath and Auchmithie the path takes a turn and we had to wheel the bikes down some steep wooden steps onto the beach – the beach here is really sandy with loose pebbles. It’s not really for biking over with a standard trail bike or hardtail, so we had to push until we came to the steps to take us back up to the path – I haven’t pushed my bike up anything for months and this was hard going for us all – especially in the blistering Scottish sun!
Once back on the path, we bumped into a couple of walkers who told us the path was substantially overgrown – we thought we would go for it anyway. Overgrown is a massive understatement! I was head deep in beautiful Scottish flora and fauna – it was so hard to peddle through, I kept getting my pedals caught in all sorts and was chilled to the core thinking about the number of insect bites I was acquiring during this short stretch of trail! The came the thick, melted chocolate layer of mud that had been washed off the tattie fields – I’m not sure even the fattiest of fatty tyres could have made it through this stuff – the muddy brown goo glued itself to the tyres more than an inch thick and from there attached itself to every small stone possible. It was a nightmare to ride across and I lost count of the times I completely lost control and let my tyres slip away from me.
We finally reached the beautiful fishing village of Auchmithie, greeted by the delicious smell of fresh strawberries and the sight of some unusual looking scarecrows.
The whole route, is pretty much flat and a mere few kilometres, but it took us an age to get through the thick of it – I was covered in more mud than I’ve ever been from any trail ride. We had planned to pedal to Lunan Bay – which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland, and enjoy some of the delights from the Lunan Bay Farm Shop – however, with a flight to catch time was against us, so we decided to leave it for another day.
I suppose it was early on in the walking season, and perhaps now, with a greater footfall on the path it will be more passible – but, if still in the same condition as when we were there it’s a bit of a pain and very much stop-start with all the different obstacles to contend with. The views are spectacular and Seaton Cliffs are a really beautiful and unusual geology. Wildlife and birdlife is in abundance, as is the flora and fauna. I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to make it to Lunan Bay in the future.