The Angus Glens – A spectacular outdoor day trip from Dundee
The kilt is on. The sun is shining. I’ve got the Angus Glens almost entirely to myself and it’s days like this when the Scottish Highlands have no equal.
My journey today takes me into Glen Clova, meandering my way north from Dundee into the national nature reserve of Corrie Fee and just sneaking into the outdoor mecca that is the Cairngorms National Park. The northern point of Glen Clova, Corrie Fee stretches around 5 kilometres. The site of a glacier around 12, 000 years ago it’s a spot that is today home to birds of prey, a wide variety of tree and plant life and….complete serenity.
From the start, everything about today exceeds my expectations. I fully expected some beautiful scenery but the glacial hollow of Corrie Fee is one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. A gentle walk from Glen Doll along a clear track eases visitors in nicely. Emerging dramatically from the treeline into the Corrie delivers a dizzying and powerful panorama. Surrounded on three sides by an amphitheatre of cliffs it is a moment to just gawk in awe.
A nice wee stroll around the base of the Corrie would now be any normal person’s conclusion to a winter’s day in these parts. Not I. Off I trot on the ascent towards the looming waterfall and the Knapps of Fee ahead. The first half hour of the climb is relatively easy going but soon enough the snow thickens and I’m walking over thick beds of the white stuff.
Time to pause for a moment as every now and then some self-reflection is called for. What on earth am I doing? Pretty much on all fours – completely alone by now I should add – hauling myself up this snow covered peak. But this is what Scotland does to you. It sometimes has that addictive quality and solitary moments like this are when the country is at its most powerful. The stunning views from the plateau are just reward for my life and limb endangerment. Glen Clova to the south and the vast Cairngorms to the north, what a magnificent example of the great Scottish Outdoors.
Glen Clova and all that follows is reached by heading north from Dundee towards Forfar and then continue on past Kirriemuir towards the Glen Clova hotel. For this particular walk, you can leave your car at Glen Doll car park and the return hike takes anything from 90 minutes to 4 hours depending on if how much you want to see. Dress wisely and bring food and water. Exactly what I thought I was playing at wearing my kilt for this often strenuous walk remains to be seen. Anything For The Cause, or something equally gallant, let’s go with that.
The other great glens of Angus include Prosen, Glenesk, Lethnot and Isla and each is very much worth experiencing in their own right for those looking for wider exploration.
My visit to the Angus Glens has been part of the debut campaign for the Scotlanders – a shiny new Scotland travel blogging collaboration. It has seen 6 of the top Scottish bloggers working together to promote the city of Dundee and the nearby area over a 2 day period. My focus has been on why the area is perfect for lovers of the outdoors and I recommend a look at my fellow Scotlander Kay Gillespie’s blog on some of the great outdoor attractions in the city itself. A special thanks to all involved in making our Dundee visit such a success, for the Queen’s Hotel for generously hosting us and for the great people of Dundee that have helped to guarantee our return.
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