The town of Arbroath in the Angus and Dundee region is a very popular tourist destination. It is the largest town in the area with a population of about 23,000 people. It is located about 12 miles northeast of Dundee and 51 miles south of Aberdeen.
At one time it was known as Aberbrothock, meaning "mouth of the Brothock Burn" It was later shortened to its current name of Arbroath. The town enjoys a long history dating back to the time of the Picts, but its recorded history only dates back to the 12th
century when William the Lion establishes an abbey here. Monks of the Tironesian order from Kelso Abbey came here and the church was dedicated in 1197 to Saint Thomas a Beckett. William was buried here when he died in 1214.
The ruins of the Arbroath Abbey are on the itinerary of all visitors to Arbroath. This abbey is also famous as the place where the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320, with which the Scottish nobility issued their statement of independence. Even though the abbey is now in ruins, a pageant has been held on the grounds to tell the story of the events leading up to this signing. However, the pageant is not an annual event.
When you come to Arbroath, you just have to try the Smokies. This is a specialty unique to this town and is made by salting haddock and then leaving them to dry. When the fish are dried, they are hung in a hardwood barrel and smoked for an hour. Then they are ready to eat. It is a cottage industry in the town located in the harbour area.
Arbroath is a traditional fishing town and it is proud of its connection with the sea. Seafest is an annual festival held in August and features such things as boat races, demonstrations by the Royal Lifeboat Association and performances by Scottish pipe bands.
Arbroath is a popular base for exploring the surrounding countryside and for playing golf on the courses in the area. In nearby Carnoustie, golf was first played in 1527 and this area has a long golfing heritage. Take a walk along the cliffs of Auchmithie, only three miles away and see the curious shapes of the caves and indentations in the rocks. See the Pictish stones at the church in St. Vigeans, only a mile away, some of which feature clergy reading and scenes from the Bible. You can also see more of these stones in a cottage that has been converted into a museum.
Visit the Signal Tower, which was built in 1813 as a shore station and the living quarters for the family manning the Bell Rock Lighthouse. This is another tourist attraction in Arbroath that you can see from the harbour. There is no lack of accommodations or restaurants where you can get a good meal. Everything about your visit will be so pleasant; you will want to return.