Tuesday, 19 September 2017

River Run - South Esk

An idea I had a few years back was to do a "river run". That is follow the course of a river to see what I find. This turned out to be a good idea and I discovered some great roads and interesting places. I've run out of rivers in central & southern Scotland so today I went a little further afield. I went to Angus for a run along the South Esk. The river didn't turn out to be that interesting itself but I found plenty of other things to photograph. I don't know this area so much of what you see is new to me. 

I started where the South Esk meets the North Sea in the town of Montrose.

The mouth of the South Esk

There is a busy port. The ships here service the North Sea oil industry (I'm guessing)

The sun shines on Montrose! The lighthouse marks the mouth of the river

The Traill beach pavilion dates from 1913

To the west of the town is a large tidal lagoon - the Montrose Basin. It is a habitat for wildlife. When I stopped here a local lent me his binoculars to look at seals basking on the sands and a huge flock of geese.

West of the basin the Bridge of Dun crosses the river. Completed in 1787 it has many interesting features. I particularly like the prow shaped refuges supported by quartefoil columns.

The approach walls have recessed double crosses

In Brechin I visited the cathedral. But I was more interested in the adjacent round tower. These are associated with Ireland and there are only two in Scotland. The tower dates to the early or late 11th century (depending on where you look) and their purpose seems not to be well understood. Old as it is…..

….this is older. The sculptured stones at Aberlamno are Pictish and about 1,200 years old. It is kind of amazing that these things are just at the side of the road and not in a museum.

I came across this pile in a pleasant setting. It's called Finavon Castle. It's not a castle, of course, but takes its name from the old ruined castle nearby.

Any excuse for a bridge photo

My next stop was Kirriemuir which has statues of two former residents. Firstly Bon Scott, the original singer in the band AC/DC….

….and a Peter Pan statue to commemorate JM Barrie

The river & Glen Clova from Gella Bridge. I'm now heading north towards the Grampian Mountains

From Gallows Knowe Bridge

The road ends a few miles from here so I called it a day

I hope you agree that whilst the river wasn't much the stuff around it was of some interest. This really is a beautiful area with nice towns, great scenery and fine biking roads. I'll be back soon. 


  1. Rivers usually accompany twisty roads too. Great scenery and bridges. I liked the statue of Bon Scott. Hubby and I have been fans of AC/DC for decades. Love the bagpipes in "Long Way to the Top."

    1. I was pleased to post these photos. This really is an beautiful & interesting area but one that I seldom visit. It's quick to get to on fast roads and there's a lot more to discover. I'll try to return soon.