Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Lunan Bay and the House of Dun

Wednesday 23rd May

Total distance: 5.5km; Negligible ascent; Sunny; with Isabel, Mum & Dad

After yesterday's day hill walking, today was spent enjoying a couple of short strolls with Isabel and my parents in the Montrose area.  With low tide late morning and another day of fine weather in store we decided to head for Lunan Bay, which is where I finished my last TGO challenge back in 2010.

Lunan Bay beach
We set off walking from the car park at around 10:45am, with me carrying Isabel in her rucksack carrier.  The sand was warm underfoot as we made our way through the dunes and down onto the beach itself, which was almost deserted with only a handful of other people around.  There were some interesting trails in the sand and we also spotted a jellyfish.

Patterns in the sand at Lunan Bay
Jellyfish at Lunan Bay
We continued northward up the long beach to reach some fishing nets set up on the beach, presumably to trap fish at high tide.  Eventually we reached the rocks at the far end of the beach, where there was a natural arch in the cliffs, and Isabel had fun running around the rocks and playing with the sand.  We then headed back the car, with a detour to take Isabel down to the sea.

Fishing nets at Lunan Bay
Lunan Bay
We headed to the House of Dun for a spot of lunch in the cafe before heading off for a wander around the grounds with Isabel in her ATP.  Initially we wandered along a grassy path through the woods to the east and north of the house.  There were good views to the Montrose Basin from the NE corner of the woods.

Carpet of white flowers in House of Dun woods
We continued on through the woods, which were complete with a white carpet of wild flowers that I was unable to identify.  We then headed into the gardens, which were apparently a rabbit control area; although I'm not too convinced that this simple gate was going to stop them!
 
Rabbit control area!
After wandering around a small valley covered in a wide array of plants, we climbed up the small slope on the far side to reach the walled garden.  Here we found the only remains of the original Dun Castle: an archway standing alone on one side of the garden.  Soon afterwards we came across the remains of the old parish church of Dun.

Archway is all that remains of the original Dun Castle
Old parish church of Dun
We descended back down into the small valley, passing the ice house on route, to cross the river on a bridge high above the valley floor.  After a brief wander through Lady Augusta's rockery we reached the formal gardens outside the house itself, before heading back to the tea room for tea and cake and a pleasant couple of short strolls.

In the gardens of the House of Dun
The House of Dun

N.B. 30/10/12 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 23/05/12, (from 30/05/12)

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