Wednesday, 6 May 2015

TGOC 2014 - Day 14: North Water Bridge to Montrose

Thursday 22nd May 2014

A morning walk to Montrose trying to stay off the road as much as possible 

Distance: 15km; Ascent: 120m; Overcast with rain on the coast; Solo

It was forecast to be a wet end to this year's challenge, with rain due to arrive from around 11am.  Therefore I resolved to make an earlier start than usual and set off walking at around quarter past eight this morning, although others had left much earlier than me.

North Water Bridge campsite
Looking up the River North Esk from North Water Bridge
It was grey and overcast as I followed the main road east towards Marykirk.  However, rather than crossing the River North Esk and heading for St Cyrus, I instead picked up a footpath.  I had planned my route from here to the coast to have as little road walking as possible by studying the Angus Council Core Paths Plan.  Using this useful resource, I had plotted a route to Montrose beach along various core paths, with only around 2-3km of road walking from this point onwards.

Signpost for the path to Logie
The River North Esk at Craigo
Path from Craigo to Logie
Path through the fields to Logie
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Core Paths were actually signposted, which made route finding significantly easier.  I had brought printouts of the Core Paths overlaid onto 1:25000 maps from the council website in case I needed them to locate the paths; however these weren't needed in the end.  The path from Craigo to Logie was pleasant enough, with a section through some woodland followed by a bit through some fields.  From Logie I had a bit of road walking to reach the start of my next Core Path of the day.

Signpost for the path to Hillside
The track to Hillside
Entering the Rosemount Estate
In the Rosemount Estate
Good woodland tracks led me to the pleasant Rosemount Estate, after which I emerged onto the road again in Hillside.  Again a few hundred metres of road walking led me onwards to my next Core Path, this time from Hillside to Borrowfield.  This path ended in the middle of a housing estate on the northwestern edge of Montrose, from where I picked up the cycle path that I followed virtually all the way to the sea.

The track from Hillside to Borrowfield
Small lochan on the edge of Montrose
I rejoined the road a short distance from the sea, near to the golf club, at a road junction with a handy signpost for the Seafront Splash play area where I was due to meet Lynsey and the kids.  It was now getting a bit windy in addition to the threatening sky so I continued quickly towards the beach.  On the way there I met Lynsey, Isabel and Olivia and walked to the beach with them :-).

Nearly there!
Montrose beach
Finished!
Due to storm damaged paths, we were unable to get the pushchair down to the beach itself so I nipped down to the sea to dip my feet in the sea on my own.  It was now shortly after 11am and I'd finished the 2014 TGO Challenge :-).  I then spent an enjoyable half hour playing at the Seafront Splash play area with the kids, before rain stopped play!

We headed into town to get a spot of lunch somewhere indoors, before moving on to the Park Hotel for me to officially finish, which is also where we were staying this evening.  It was good to catch up with John, Ali, Gayle and Mick on control.  I spent a leisurely afternoon in Montrose with the family, before it was time for the enjoyable celebration evening meal in the hotel.  Lynsey joined me after the meal and it was good to catch up with so many other challengers :-).  Although it was sad to think that it was all over for another year.  It would be Lynsey's turn to do the TGOC next year, so it would be 2016 at the earliest before I'm next setting out from the west coast to walk eastwards for two weeks!

Not sure what Andy & Alan are so surprised about!
At the Park Hotel

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