In January, I set goals for the year and developing a portfolio of travel writing was one of them. By the end of the month I’d made a good start with a visit to Angus. Gradually through the pandemic the fruits of January’s trip were published – mostly in print so probably not read by as many people as we had expected.

In early April, there was a trio of articles based around Arbroath’s celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

On the January trip, I had visited a small but truly fascinating museum. It was the Signal Tower Museum which chronicles the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse and the lives of its keepers. It was the spur for an absorbing bit of research into Robert Stevenson, the visionary who saw that a lighthouse was required on this treacherous Angus coast and who saw that it was possible to construct a lasting structure on rocks regularly submerged by the sea. As the sun shone in the early pandemic lockdown, I read widely and talked to the experts – and enjoyed it in a way I’d rarely had time for in pre-pandemic working life.

The resulting article appeared in Scotland Magazine – available in June in the still quite shops but delivered by subscription internationally, so I could imagine readers having extra time to read it and enjoy it.

Now the next issue of Scotland Magazine is available, the editor has put some of my Stevenson article up on the website here

If you want to catch up on the Arbroath articles – and find inspiration for a trip to Angus (gin is involved) – the links are:

The Scotsman Magazine
Adventure in Angus: Water, whisky and wildlife put time into perspective in Angus ahead of the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. Read the article here

i online
Arbroath – the birthplace of Scottish independence: Seven hundred years ago, the monks of Arbroath Abbey were entrusted with producing a document which is one of the most important in Scotland’s history. Read the article here

Scotland on Sunday
Do Not Disturb: Hotel review – Brucefield B&B: The anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath is a good excuse for planning a weekend visit to the Angus town and when you can book into a luxury B&B just a few minutes’ walk from the Abbey where the declaration was prepared by the monks, it’s a no-brainer. Read the article here

Thanks to VisitScotland for arranging the trip.