Angus locals are inviting like minded cold-water swimmers and dookers to enjoy some of the most beautiful salt and freshwater spots on The Angus Tour.
The Angus Tour Dookers Facebook group has been created as a tool to plan meets, share tips and build a community for those keen to dook in Angus but unsure about the area’s hidden gems, such as the beautiful Arbirlot Falls, a spectacular 23 foot waterfall, two miles west of Arbroath.
Cameron Smith, Visit Angus ambassador and avid dooker, hopes a community of like minded cold-water enthusiasts will be created, encouraging visitors from all over the UK to enjoy Angus’ sandy beaches and beautiful rivers as they take part in the Angus Tour.
Launched in November and created with input from locals, The Angus Tour stretches along the east coast from south Aberdeenshire to Dundee, and inland to Kirriemuir. Centering around sustainable and responsible tourism, the tour showcases the best of Scotland, inspiring people to design their own adventure, whilst also offering suggested three-day long itineraries. People are encouraged to head off the main roads and routes to Dundee and Aberdeen and take in the plethora of vast sandy beaches, historic castles, stunning Angus Glens, local delicacies and green experiences.
Convener of communities and finance, Councillor Mark Salmond said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions reduced tourism across Scotland and created an abundance of economic challenges for the Angus community. We are striving towards recovery and encouraging people to enjoy Angus’ outstanding beauty once again.
‘The Angus Tour’s array of fantastic activities, historic landmarks and beautiful landscapes are undoubtedly appealing for tourists. Wild swimming is a growing trend across the country and Angus offers an array of lochs, rivers and coastlines with amazing backdrops to take a dip responsibly. This has the potential to attract and increase visitors coming to the local area, supporting our fantastic businesses, including restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes.’
Cameron Smith, founder of Arbroath Cliff Tours, an adventure tourism business providing breath-taking kayak tours of Arbroath’s incredible sea caves and rock formations, plans to shine a light on the invigorating swimming offerings on the Angus Tour and encourage both new and existing swimming groups to Visit Angus.
Cameron said: ‘We are extremely lucky in Angus to have so many incredible freshwater spots and beaches, such as The Westlinks in Arbroath and Corbie. We were regularly dooking during the first lockdown and before long, through onlookers’ curiosity and word of mouth, we had a huge community braving the cold with us, all year round. For us, it gave back a sense of socialising and community that we lost during the lockdowns. It gives us something to look forward to as it’s such a great buzz and we always enjoy a hot drink, a blether, and a bite to eat afterwards.’
Centrally located, Angus is accessible to many who wish to take a day trip from all over Scotland and beyond. Drawn in by the picturesque beaches, waterfalls and rivers it has to offer, travellers can also experience rich history and heritage, whilst enjoying delicious Angus delicacies, such as the famous Arbroath smokie. The area offers a variety of restaurants and takeaways serving fresh, locally sourced food. For those wishing to extend their trip, from luxury hotels to glamping, there’s accommodation to suit all on The Angus Tour.
Wim Hof, a Dutch motivational speaker and extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures, made cold therapy mainstream by advocating the cascade of health benefits. The pandemic also encouraged people to look closer to home to exercise and enjoy the elements. Today, wild, cold-water swimming and plunging has never been more popular.
Fiona McKinnon, CEO and founder of wellness and mindfulness Moment Company, said: ‘When I’m in the water, I go into a meditative state. From improvements in circulation, inflammation, and digestive systems to boosting collagen production, the mental and physiological benefits seem endless. It’s the ultimate mood booster. When I plunge, I feel like I have been plugged into the mains!’
Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director said: ‘Our research has shown the positive influence water can have on wellbeing and over the past year we have seen an increase in popularity of activities embracing this such as wild swimming. Angus with its coastline, lochs and rivers is well-placed to capitalise on this trend which will bring people to the area and help support the recovery of local tourism and hospitality businesses. Whilst our coast and waters offer plenty of opportunities, it is important to remind water users to remain safe and we recommend not entering the water alone, making sure swimmers have the necessary safety equipment and before trying any new activity, that swimmers book a session with an experienced operator.’
Visitors are reminded to follow FACTS while travelling around Scotland. It is the swimmers’ responsibility to ensure that waters are safe and precautions are taken to avoid any risks before entering the waters.
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