By Lorraine Flood
Get outdoors and experience the brilliant range of sport on offer in Dundee, Angus and Perthshire.
Waves and waterfalls
With the football grounds of its two teams only 100m apart in the same street, Dundee is unique in footballing terms. Dundee FC (Dens Park) and Dundee United FC (Tannadice Park) have both had their glory days and support is spread fairly equally throughout the city. Another “local derby” involves St Johnstone, who play at McDiarmid Park in Perth. The name comes from the ancient name of Perth, which is St John’s Toun.
It has to be said that this area is probably better known for other pursuits, some would say more gentlemanly activities. This is what they call Carnoustie Country, 32 golf courses in Angus, Perthshire, Dundee and extending to North Fife, where there’s a fine little course at St Andrews called The Old Course – you may have heard of it!
With Angus facing the North Sea, there are many possibilities for sailing and sea kayaking along the coast. There are smugglers’ caves in Arbroath’s cliffs, not too far from the slipways and marina at Arbroath Harbour. There are also facilities for sailing at the Montrose Basin and Forfar Loch. For those who like to (try to) stay upright, the conditions in Angus can be excellent for windsurfing, which is also available inland on the loch at Crombie Country Park near Dundee. Walking in the Angus glens is one of life’s great pleasures too, with trails to suit all abilities. Visit the ranger centre at Glen Doll to plan the day.
Perthshire is renowned as a centre for extreme sports but gentler water-based activities are available, such as canoeing and kayaking, pushing off from the picturesque village of Aberfeldy. Thrill-seekers can choose canyoning, where a day can involve swimming through rapids, cliff jumping into deep pools and even abseiling through waterfalls. There is also white-water rafting, which provides the perfect combination of adrenalin rush and peaceful moments to enjoy the scenery.
With Angus facing the North Sea, there are many possibilities for sailing and sea kayaking along the coast.
This is an area with a pedigree in country pursuits. The small airport at Dundee regularly sees famous faces arriving to spend weekends shooting and fishing in Perthshire and Angus. With gamekeepers and ghillies on the country estates, anyone can get to know the land quickly, whether it’s deer stalking or salmon fishing on some of the best beats in the country. There are also many opportunities for clay pigeon shooting and archery, sometimes in association with 4×4 off-road driving days. Gaining control of these bruisers of vehicles through the forest tracks and through rivers and streams is a fantastic sense of achievement.
During the winter months, snowsports enthusiasts have a treat on the doorstep at Glenshee. On the Perthshire/Aberdeenshire border, this is the UK’s most extensive ski area with the largest ski lift system over four mountains and three valleys. There are 38 runs for all levels of ability and a chance to tackle the 2km run, which starts high up on Glas Maol, one of several mountains in the area.
Of course, there are opportunities to be a little more sedate (and much drier) with a day at the races. Perth Races has reputation for not only great racing but also an atmosphere of hospitality. No top hats required, but a chance to see some top sportsmen at work – and that can be rather tiring, too!
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