Things to Do

Arbroath Sports Centre

Swimming Pools in Arbroath


Swimming in Arbroath

If you are quite hardy and can swim in the North Sea, then you are definitely a strong hearted person. However, for those of us who prefer the water a little warmer then Arbroath has two swimming pools you can take advantage of during your stay in Arbroath.

Arbroath Sports CentreArbroath Sports Centre

Firstly, the Arbroath Sports Centre has a lovely large swimming pool. The schedule for the pool times can be found here.

The phone number for the Arbroath Sports Centre is 01241 872999.

The Seafront Leisure Centre

The other swimming pool officially opened in 2007. This comprises a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room. There are other facilities as well. This centre is part of the Red Lion Caravan Park.

Passes for the Leisure Centre are £10/day per person.

bellrock blues festival Arbroath

Bell Rock Blues Festival in Arbroath

Bellrock blues festival in Arbroath

Bad Luck & Trouble perform at the Millgate Bar during the 2015 Bellrock Blues Festival in Arbroath.

Come and sing the Blues!

Back again in August for some amazing Blues and Rock in local venues! If you are looking for some music events in Arbroath this coming August then look no further!

26, 27 & 28th August 2016 are the dates for this year’s Bellrock Blues Festival Arbroath. There are FREE entries to concerts all over Arbroath during this time.

The website for the festival doesn’t have the line up for this year at the time of writing, but the Facebook page is and you could contact the festival organisers through there, or through the contact page on their website:

The Declaration Band – live at The Pageant, 2014, in Arbroath

Bands in 2015 included:

Al Hughes

Baby Isaac

Bad Luck’n’Trouble

Blues Train


Dirt Road Blues

Eden Delta

George Shovlin and the Radars

Hot Tin Roof


Mathers & Wares

Meet Mr Callaghan

Robin Robertson Band

Sandy Tweeddale


If you need a place to stay for the weekend of Blues, contact Harbour Nights Guest House on 01241 434343 to book your room! Or check the rooms online at .

I’m sure the Bellrock Blues Festival Arbroath will be just as rocking this August!

lunan bay

Lunan Bay – Gorgeous Beach


lunan bayBeach at Lunan Bay

Lunan Bay is a gorgeous secluded beach just north of Arbroath, about a 15 minute drive away. The beautiful sandy beach and high dunes make for a great day out from Arbroath. It really feels like you are in another world, with the wide curving beach, the Red Castle on the hill, and the windy wooden path leading you through the dunes from the car park!

One of my favourite things in Scotland is to walk along that wooden slatted pathway, un the slope, and the moment of anticipation as the view opens up and you see the white sandy beach, the North Sea open up all around you, and stand at the top, wind blowing in your face and just take the whole scene in!

In younger years I would then take a running jump down the dunes, enjoying that moment of flying before landing softly on the sand and sliding down!

Often you’ll get a treat and see some horses being ridden at the edge of the Sea, and seals and even dolphins are a possibility! Bring your binoculars!

Lunan Bay is a wonderful place for a picnic, or a beach BBQ. It can be a bit exposed, so expect a bit of wind – block the wind if you prefer a sand free sandwich. 🙂

Contact Harbour Nights Guest House to book your stay, and ask Bill and Sunita for directions to Lunan Bay. 


Arbroath Abbey



Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey Image © Anne Burgess

The Arbroath Abbey visitor centre is a lovely place to visit when you come to Arbroath. As well as a great timeline showing the history of the abbey, there are dress up outfits, interactive displays, and really helpful staff who are friendly and willing to answer any questions you may have. There is also a nice gift shop with all manner of books and gifts with something for everyone’s budget.

Current prices and opening hours can be viewed here.

The Arbroath Abbey has a lovely little chapel hidden away in the grounds. The acoustics are wonderful, and perfect if you have a few singers with you to sing a bit of harmony or hymns.

Some of the best photos around Arbroath can be taken at the abbey, with wonderful light shining through the “Round O” of the abbey, old gravestones and beautiful red stone of Arbroath forming arches and towering views. Why not send us some of your photos of the abbey, and we’ll add them to our photo gallery!

Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey

Located in the immediate north of the centre of Arbroath, the Arbroath Abbey enjoyed the status of being one the grandest monasteries in Scotland for over 400 years. Arbroath town is situated about 17 miles east of Dundee on the coast.

Arbroath Abbey stands as a proud testament of the integration of piety and politics by Scotland’s medieval monarchs. Founded in 1178 by King William I, this outstanding beautiful legacy building is most famously associated with the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, also known as the “oath of Arbroath”, an assertion of independence of Scotland from England. King William I had originally built ‘the Lion’ to commemorate the memory of the martyr Thomas Becket.

Today, even though the building has suffered much damage, it still stands proud as an important symbol and landmark. The first glimpse of the site takes any visitor by surprise owing to its urban setting. One almost forgets that eight centuries exist between the abbey and the town developed on the harbour. While any modern tourists can readily miss Arbroath Abbey, despite numerous tourist signs, it certainly cannot be overlooked.

A captivating abbey ruins in Arbroath Scotland, it offers ample sightseeing and things to do. It has a superb visitor centre which takes you through the entire story of the abbey along with new display, relating how the Stone of Destiny landed in abbey in 1951. It’s a worthwhile cultural experience for any tourist to feel and enjoy. 

There is a lovely gallery of photos of Arbroath abbey on this page.

Arbroath Abbey Timeline

1178 – Arbroath Abbey founded by King William the Lion of Scotland.

1272 – Famine hits Scotland. A large storm hits the abbey, and the bells slightly melt!

1320 – The Declaration of Arbroath was written by Robert the Bruce and the nobles of Scotland.

1350 – The abbey is attacked by English sea-raiders.

1380 – ‘The Devil’s Fire’ damaged the abbey. This was the name given to this horrific fire.

1446 – A battle between those loyal to the Ogilvy and Crawford families for the right to be the judge of the abbey’s court was fought outside the abbey gates. Six hundred people were killed.

1561 – The abbey falls into decline and disrepair after The Reformation of 1560.

1815 – Steps to preserve the abbey are taken, asking the exchequer for funds.

1924 – The state takes ownership of the abbey, and further steps are taken to preserve the abbey.

2008 – The public campaign begins to have the abbey recognised as a World Heritage site.

The Declaration of Arbroath Text – 1320

declaration-of-arbroathTO THE most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Steward of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lor

Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown.

They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous.

Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today.

The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since.

In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.

The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith.

Nor would He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles – by calling, though second or third in rank – the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter’s brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron forever.

The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter’s brother.

Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy.

The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert.

He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully.

Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to or laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King.

To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose Vice-Regent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privation brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God.

May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own.

We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness’s memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive.

Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours.

The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance.

Declaration of Arbroath text

The reenactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 during Tartan Week in Arbroath

But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.

But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.

May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.

Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.

Come see for yourself!

Arbroath Abbey is a treasure of Scottish history, well worth a visit. Harbour Nights Guest House is located less than half a mile from the abbey, in fact you can see the abbey from the rooms located at the rear of this Arbroath guest house. 🙂 Contact Harbour Nights on 01241 434343 to book YOUR next visit to Arbroath, and make sure you give yourself enough time to visit the Arbroath Abbey!




Kerr's Miniature Railway

Kerr’s Miniature Railway

Beside the east coast main line railway to Aberdeen is Kerr’s Miniature Railway, a 260 mm gauge railway, in West Links Park, Arbroath. It is actually the oldest miniature railway in Scotland, which first opened  in 1935. The Kerr family still  own the business, which has 6 engines, including two steam engines, and runs for half a  mile along Arbroath’s seafront starting in West Links park.

As Arbroath has had a long standing reputation as a holiday destination, this wonderful feature has not lost its appeal for children and adults alike.

Visit Kerr’s Miniature Railway website for more information, prices, and some cool photos!



Arbroath is situated right on the north-east coast of Scotland, right on the North Sea. When you come to visit, and fancy some fresh air and good walk then walk along the cliff trail from Arbroath. Arbroath cliffs are unusual rock formations made from red sandstone, and they are quite unique and special. It’s a great walk, with the breeze coming off the North Sea. Of course when I say “breeze” sometimes it is “bracing”!

The Arbroath Cliffs have some great rock formations, each with their own name such as Needle’s E’e, Seaman’s Grave, Mermaid’s Kirk and Deil’s Heid. The Arbroath Cliffs are known as the Seaton Cliffs, and as you walk along the cliff path you will go through the Seaton Wildlife Reserve.

Arbroath cliffs

Yottanesia, via Wikimedia Commons

The Arbroath Cliff Walk starts at the east end of Victoria Park, where the path winds up above the Arbroath cliffs and levels out to provide a path along the coastline. On one side are open fields, and on the other the open sea! The path is quite close to the edge of the cliffs at times, so be careful.

As you walk along the cliffpath you might see some beautiful seabirds including herring gulls, fulmars, Arctic Tern and more. The Scottish Willdlife Trust says on their website that if you want to see Seabirds, Butterflies and wildflowers the best time is May to July. However, locals will tell you that there are always seabirds around! Watch out for seals bobbing their heads up and down, and Bottlenose Dolphins can be seen soaring out of the water if you are lucky! Dolphins can be seen any time of year so keep your eyes peeled! In 2013 a Killer Whale was spotted off the coast of Arbroath!

After about half a mile you’ll see the Needle E’e (Needle’s Eye), which is a rock with a hole cut through it. Not far from there is Dickmont’s Den, a deep, narrow inlet where the sea froths and bubbles. Keep on going and the path reunites with the clifftop.

Other landmarks to watch out for include the Deil’s Heid (Devil’s Head), which is an impressive sea stack. The path curves round the headland here and in half a mile it reaches The Flairs (Carlingheugh Bay). You can drop down to go throw some stones into the sea here from the pebble beach. Why not explore the sea arch at the south end and caves at the north end? Stop for a picnic, get your flask out and find a comfy rock to sit on!

The walk along the Arbroath Cliffs (Seaton Cliffs) is definitely a nature highlight if you come to Arbroath. If you stay at the Harbour Nights Guest House ask Bill for directions, and I’m sure he will fill your flask for you too!

Harbour Nights Guest House is located on the shore of the Arbroath Marina, and you can walk along the front to the Arbroath Cliffs (Seaton Cliffs), or take the short drive along to the car park through Victoria Park to the foot of the cliffs.

Contact Harbour Nights Guest House on 01241 434343 to stay at a wonderful local Arbroath Guest House.