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Montrose to the Forth Road Bridge

I'm looking for ideas for walking Montrose to South Queensferry, that don't involve much tarmac (or a lot of up and down). The best I've come up with is to stick to the coast even though it's quite a long way round. I did Dundee - Arbroath in a previous Challenge and enjoyed it and the Fife Path looks quite appealing, but wondered if anyone had anything else to suggest?

You don't need to read the rather long explanation that follows, unless you're curious as to why I'm asking.

I'm trying to merge my planned JOGLE for 2021 with the Challenge because otherwise I can see some of my long-term plans slipping away from me. Firstly I can only do a JOGLE during a non-lambing year, which is every 4 years, because we change our tup after 3 years. I had planned it for 2017 but my daughter decided to get married in June in Dover and there was no way I could fit it round that.

The northern part to Shiel Bridge is not a problem (at least to plan!) because I know most of it pretty well, and I've got the route over the Pentlands south. It will be a very straightforward "trade route" Challenge. I'm just looking for ideas for that one bit.

The wish to combine them comes from meeting long term goals of doing JOGLE before I'm 70 and doing my 10th TGOC with husband and 2 kids on our Golden Wedding year. I've only done 7 Challenges, having failed to complete 2 and missing this year, so time is tight for 2023 and 2024.

Re: Montrose to the Forth Road Bridge

Leaving Montrose you need to cross over to Ferryden,you can then either use the coastal path out past the lighthouse (and TGOC cairn) and follow the coastal route to Usan, or take the more direct route by road from Ferryden to Usan using National Cycle Route 1 https://tinyurl.com/yaq46lrv. Following the coast between Usan and Lunan Bay isn't really recommended, I would stick with route 1. There are great facilities at Lunan bay, a bunkhouse, a guesthouse, a great wee cafe, an official campsite and also wild camping opportunities https://www.lunanbaystays.scot/about If wild camping I would recommend the southern end of the bay. Note that the creek crossing the beach below Red Castle isn't normally easily forded. You can weave your way down to Auchmithie using the clifftops and backroads but it would be a very convoluted process in places, I would again consider using Route 1.

Re: Montrose to the Forth Road Bridge

Thank you very much, Brian. It confirms what I suspected, that there would have to be some road walking heading out of Montrose and it's good to know that I need to plan to stay on the road till near Auchmithie. I finished at Lunan Bay a few years ago but had not realised how much there was there.

Re: Montrose to the Forth Road Bridge

A lot of the clifftop/beach bits are passable and good fun for a days dog walk but the route often depends on crops, livestock and tide, there isn't a defined waymarked route the whole way. I wouldn't bank on a through route carrying a full pack and a tight schedule. The network of little backroads are very quiet though; Google Streetview will give you an idea of what they are like. Auchmithie to Arbroath is a good clifftop walk along a defined path and Arbroath to Dundee via Carnoustie and Monifeith, as you already know is straightforward. Carnoustie to Broughty Ferry is almost exclusively along the edge of the various golf courses. Once you are in Fife, the coastal path is a whole different well defined and waymarked story. I've never done any of it but an alternative to the Fife Coastal Path is The Pilgrim Way https://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/walks/fife-pilgrim-way/