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Things to do in Brechin and beyond

The city of Brechin is nestled on the banks of the River South Esk in rural Angus. The popular area is just 40 miles south of Aberdeen and 27 miles north of Dundee, making it perfect for working couples or young families who enjoy a more quaint environment with ease of travel to key hubs along the A90.

The quiet community offers an assortment of activities ideal for children, with Brechin Castle Centre a particular favourite. The country park provides entertainment for all ages with a café and garden centre on-site and a play park, which includes swings, tic tac toe and jumping pillows. The aviary is perfect for any bird enthusiast with birds of prey including a snowy owl, eagle and Harris hawks on display.

For those who enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere, Brechin golf course, which stretches over 42 acres, offers high-quality parkland with breathtaking views of the Grampians. The golf club also boasts a modern and well-equipped restaurant for those who like to admire the views with a bite to eat.

Shopping Local

Brechin provides all the essential amenities for family life and boasts a number of popular supermarkets and independent convenience stores.

A wide range of locally-owned stores including toy and bike shops make it the perfect place for leisurely shopping at the weekend before heading to one of the local pubs, which offer a range of traditional ales and delicious food.

A Little History

For those who enjoy taking in the history of Brechin, the cathedral is a must see. Dating back to the 13th century, the iconic round tower standing at 25m high is one of only two such towers in Scotland.

Edzell Castle located five miles north of Brechin is a ruined 16th century building steeped in Scottish history. Once occupied by English troops during an invasion in 1651, it is now run by Historic Scotland and open to visitors.

A Wee Dram

Established in 1825 outside the former Royal Burgh of Brechin, Glencadam is the only remaining distillery in Angus and home to more than six multi-award winning whiskies. Glencadam single malt is a premium whisky for blending and is highly sought-after for some of the world’s most prestigious blends.

The distillery is open to visitors by appointment only, where small groups can take an intimate tour of the facility – and you can even buy your favourite bottle from the gift shop on your way out.

Favourable Food

For the foodies amongst us the Brechin area has much to offer.

Renowned for its jams and preserves Mackays is located in nearby Arbroath.You can pop into the visitor shop to pick up the perfect topping for your toast or scone.

If you prefer a cosy café, House of Farnell is a Danish style gift shop and teashop located just outside the town, offering traditional wares and food from the region.

Looking for local produce? Balmakewan House, near Laurencekirk, is also worth a visit to the farm shop and tearoom.

The City Lights

For those who enjoy a night on the town, Brechin residents have both Aberdeen and Dundee within their reach and both are less than 50 miles away. Aberdeen’s popular Union Square offers a wide range of restaurants, where you can sample cuisine from around the world.

Dundee’s thriving Overgate centre is perfect for shopaholics with stores including Debenhams, French Connection, H&M and Next and a variety of eating establishments.

Full Steam Ahead

The local treasure of Brechin is the award-winning Caledonian Railway. A great day out for the whole family, the railway regularly runs events including live music appearances and murder mystery evenings.

Throughout the summer, visitors can take a journey through the Angus countryside by both diesel and steam trains every Saturday. For the little ones, a day out with Thomas is fitting for any Thomas the Tank Engine fans. After an exciting train journey, you can recharge in the station’s buffet area, which serves hot and cold food as well as other refreshments.

The highlight of each week is Steam Sunday which sees locomotives run between Victorian Brechin Station and nearby Bridge of Dun – a fantastic experience for all ages.

For real train enthusiasts looking to take things a step further, driver experience days are available during summer months for anyone looking to try their hand at being a train driver for a day. 

On The Nature Trail

Nature lovers needn’t look further than Brechin with a number of paths open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders, meaning that anyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery the area has to offer.

The Brechin nature trail, part of the nationwide Angus Millennium Forest is a particularly popular route with locals. The 54 new woodlands are a mixture of existing and newly planted and restored areas. The forest is complemented by existing and recently created semi-natural habitats such as wildflower meadows.

The Brechin Town, Leuchland, Trinity and Burghill circuits all offer stunning views of Brechin and the surrounding countryside. With each walk varying in length and difficulty, there is something for the most inexperienced to the most seasoned walker or cyclist. 

The Leuchland path is an extensive network of tracks to the north and east of Brechin making it easy to explore the surrounding countryside with stunning panoramic views over the city and the Angus Glens farmland. For experienced walkers or cyclists looking for something more challenging, the Trinity circuit extends across seven miles weaving through extensive woodland areas.