The Angus Westminster Constituency comprises the area of Angus Council, with the exception of Carnoustie, Monifieth and the Sidlaws. The main towns are Arbroath, Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Montrose.
The town holds a pivotal place in the history of Scotland, and the development of democratic ideals throughout the world. On 6th April 1320 the first Declaration of Scottish Independence was signed at the town’s Abbey. The ideas contained in the document went on to influence those seeking liberty throughout the world, including most famously the draftees of the Declaration of American Independence. The magnificent remains of the Abbey and its very modern visitor centre are well worth a visit.
Arbroath was once a thriving fishing post and although sadly that industry has declined the town remains world famous for the Arbroath Smokie, a smoked haddock delicacy that has been awarded PGI status by the EU. In recent years Arbroath Harbour had re-invented itself as a busy and successful marina attracting boats from across northern Europe.
Off the coast from Arbroath stands the spectacular Bell Rock lighthouse. The magnificent cliff stretch from the town along the coast to the ancient fishing village of Auchmithie. Just along the coast there is also the beautiful beach at Lunan Bay.
A cathedral city sitting on the banks of the river South Esk, Brechin has many charms. In addition to the cathedral itself, the Round Tower is a rare example of early Celtic Christian defence works in Scotland. The history of the city is told in the Town House Museum.
The city once sat at the centre of the ancient kingdom of Pictland and the Pictavia Centre interprets the history and culture of the Picts. Spectacular examples of Pictish carved stones can also be seen in the nearby village of Aberlemno. There are also fine examples of Iron Age hill forts at the Brown and White Caterthuns at Menmuir, from which on a clear day there are spectacular views across Angus.
It is worth making the short journey from Brechin to the beautiful village of Edzell and up Glen Esk.
The administrative centre of Angus, Forfar houses the headquarters of the local council. It is a bustling town that has, thankfully, managed to retain many of its traditional businesses.
A particular attraction of Forfar is the loch, a haven for wildlife and a popular venue for water sports. The Meffan Museum and Art Gallery in the town centre holds an interesting collection, alongside regular exhibitions of local and national artists.
The town is also, of course, famous for its “Bridie” and visitors cannot possible pass by without sampling this delicacy at a local baker.
Close to Forfar, visitors can find the picturesque villages of Glamis, with its renowned castle, and Letham, near to which was fought the battle of Dunnichen in which the Picts stopped the northward advance of the Northumbrians and ensured the continuation of an independent northern kingdom that became Scotland.
Kirriemuir is the gateway to the beautiful Angus Glens. Its main claim to fame is as the birthplace J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, a statue of whom adorns the town square. Others might argue that this has been surpassed by Bon Scott of AC/DC!
The town itself has retained much of its character, especially the red stone of the town centre buildings. Within the town is the Barrie Birthplace Museum, the Gateway to the Glens Museum, and the Camera Obscura, all of which are well worth a visit.
The nearby glens, parts of which are in the Cairngorms National Park, are a mecca for walkers and the Loch of Lintrathen Bird Reserve is draw to birdwatchers from all over.
The town sits at the mouth of the River South Esk, in a spectacular location between the North Sea and the Montrose Basin, which is one of the most important centres for migrating birds in the country. A visit to the Wildlife Centre is a must.
Montrose is architecturally renowned for the “gable ends” of its old buildings, reputedly based on the design of Flemish towns. Locals, and the football team, are known as Gable Enders.
The William Lamb Studio shows examples of the sculptor’s work and there are several of his statues around the town. The local paper, The Montrose Review, was once edited by the great Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid.
The town has a busy harbour and a substantial oil-related business. It has high hopes of taking advantage of offshore wind farms to provide a substantial jobs boost to the whole of the Angus economy. The town is also home to an important GSK pharmaceutical facility.