Arbroath strives for summer tourism top spot once again

Kevin Smith (L) and son Cameron Smith (R) at Arbroath Beach

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WITH developments in tourist experiences and new proposed Sea Pool Project set to make waves, Visit Angus is on a quest to reposition Arbroath once again as one of Scotland’s favourite and most popular destinations for seaside holidays.

Thanks to the increase in variety of outdoor adventure and family experiences on the popular tourism route, The Angus Tour, the area’s appeal has dramatically increased over recent years and is set to attract even more visitors as major plans have been put forward to build a sea pool. 

The historic outdoor commonwealth pool and travelling carnivals saw Arbroath host vast numbers of visitors from the central belt for their summer holidays between the 1930s and 1960s, famously including Scottish comedian and legend Billy Connolly.

The 1960s and 1970s growing national trend of holidaying abroad saw the decline of visits to Arbroath and other British seaside towns and today, travel uncertainty is at a high with Google Analytics showing questions about how to cancel flights have doubled since last year. Increased airport delays and flight cancellations, has seen many cancel their overseas holidays and plan staycations instead, once again putting Arbroath on the map as Scotland’s leading holiday seaside spot.

A central point on the Angus coastline, Arbroath, which is home to a recently developed crazy golf and a swing park at West Links, both wheelchair accessible, is an ideal steppingstone to the rest of the area’s attractions. Centering around sustainable and responsible tourism, The Angus Tour highlights the outstanding beauty of the area, inspiring people to explore the often unknown delights awaiting around the rest of Angus.

Angus Council Communities Convenor Councillor Mark McDonald said: “Angus Council continues to support the tourism and hospitality sector through its economic recovery. We are delighted to see that there are new open water swimming opportunities being developed to support the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors. The Angus Tour shines a light on Arbroath, and Angus, as a holiday destination that is accessible to all visitors.”

The future holds yet more appeal for Arbroath’s visitors as a Sea Pool project has been proposed to be built in the coming years at Inchcape park beach. It aims to be a free facility, open to the general public for years to come. Easily accessible on the beach, the pool will be unreliant on tides and filled by the tide twice a day, allowing swimming at any time for locals and visitors alike.

Chairperson Claire Pullar, an open water swimmer, and Kevin Smith, a former Deep Sea Heavy Construction and Welding Diver, set up a committee to oversee the project. Once built, the pool will be virtually maintenance free and future proof. Funds are being raised through lotteries, local councils, grant applications and donations. The first annual general meeting took place in April, with fundraising set to commence 2022 and construction in 2024.

For the more daring visitors, Arbroath Cliff Tours, founded by Visit Angus Ambassador, outdoor enthusiast and Kevin’s son, Cameron Smith, provides breath-taking kayak tours of Arbroath’s incredible sea caves and rock formations.

Cameron Smith said: “Arbroath has it all when it comes to adventure and demonstrates the very best of Scottish landscapes and scenery, making it the ultimate holiday destination.  We’re a county of thrill seekers that enjoy watersports, hiking and cold-water swimming, all of which can be found here. We’ve found people are finding us as they take part in the The Angus Tour, coming from as far afield as Manchester and Liverpool.”

Caroline Warburton, Visit Scotland Regional Leadership Director said: “One of Scotland’s sunniest towns, home to long sandy beaches, a picturesque harbour, fascinating history and fantastic food and drink, Arbroath has everything you could want from a seaside holiday destination.”

“The development of new tourism experiences in recent years such as the Arbroath smokie trail, West Links Fun Park and upcoming sea pool development all strengthen this appeal, putting Arbroath firmly back on the map for visitors.”

 “The town is also a fantastic base for exploring the wider Angus region with the help of The Angus Tour. From outdoor adventures to history and culture and food and drink, the best of Scotland is right here on our doorstep.” 

Kevin Smith, said: “Arbroath is a beautiful seaside town with brilliant facilities. The Arbroath Sea Pool Project (ASPP) aims to compliment Angus’ already vast appeal, adding a new exciting activity to The Angus Tour, which encourages people to head off the main roads and routes from Dundee to Aberdeen, following themed itineraries, which I hope one day will incorporate the sea pool. The sea pool will allow the community and tourists alike to enjoy Arbroath’s sandy beach all year round. One of our main focuses is safety and giving more vulnerable people and children access to cold water thrills but in a safer environment, with a shallow end and soft sand.”

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