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24 Things About Angus That Will Seriously Surprise You

Who needs to go to Florida? We've got dolphins in the silvery Tay.

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1. You can get up close and personal with bears in Dundee.

Instagram: @andymcbeth

Camperdown Wildlife Centre is home to two European brown bears. If you book a "zookeeper for the day" course for £150, you can meet and help feed them.

2. Or befriend donkeys at Mountains Animal Sanctuary.

Instagram: @sbrownphoto

This rescue centre in Forfar (an offshoot of Redwings Sanctuary) is home to dozens of horses and donkeys. You'll be able to visit the sanctuary from March 2016.

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3. You can have dinner on the boat that took Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic in 1901.

Instagram: @katie_farquhar_

The RRS Discovery in Dundee was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in Britain. You can dine in the Officer's Wardroom for £95 per person.

4. Or visit an art exhibition on board a 1800s frigate.

Instagram: @dinoboy89

The H.M. Unicorn is a 46-gun Royal Navy frigate launched in 1824. It's now used as a floating event space and gallery. You can also hire it as a wedding venue.

5. There's a mobile tearoom that travels round the Angus countryside in a vintage Citroen H-Van.

Instagram: @ailsaartisana

Serving up luscious, ambitious creations like this Oreo cookies and cream cake, and this unbelievable banana, pecan, and salted caramel buttercream stack.

6. And a non-mobile tearoom in Broughty Ferry that sells incredible cakes like this.

Instagram: @jessieskitchen

As well as this French Fancy cake, Jessie's Kitchen also make Creme Egg cheesecakes, Caramac cakes, and spectacular sweetie-topped sponges.

7. You can go tank driving in Auchterhouse.

Instagram: @stevereidesq

Auchterhouse Country Sports near Dundee have a range of tanks and offer driving experiences for £89.99 per person. You don't get to fire the cannons though (sadly).

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8. There's an annual metal festival in the tiny town of Kirriemuir.

Instagram: @lgladden5

AC/DC's lead singer Bon Scott was born in the village, so every April the smallest town in Angus hosts a kickass heavy metal festival called Bonfest in his honour.

9. Or, if you don't like metal, you can visit J.M. Barrie's birthplace.

Instagram: @rebecca_janet

The Peter Pan author was also born in Kirriemuir in 1860. His house is now a museum, with rooms restored to look exactly like they did when Barrie lived there.

10. You can visit one of the most haunted castles in Britain.

Instagram: @glamiscastlescotland

Glamis Castle dates back to 1034 and was the childhood home of the Queen Mother, as well as the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth. It's allegedly haunted by four ghosts: A "Grey Lady", an evil Earl, a servant boy, and a mutilated woman.

11. You can go rock or ice climbing in Glen Clova.

Instagram: @shelleymcbride

Glen Clova is a gorgeous outpost of the Grampians not far from Dundee. You can climb up these rocky crags, or test your winter climbing skills on the icy Coire Fee.

12. Or learn to fly at Tayside Aviation in Dundee.

Instagram: @fatboyphotography

You can get a private pilot's license, or take a degree in piloting. They also have an open day each year where you can use a professional flight simulator for free.

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13. You can watch a movie in an historic jute mill.

Instagram: @photojennic

Verdant Works is a textile museum housed in an impressive, atmospheric 19th-century jute mill in Dundee city centre. They show PG films every Sunday at 11am.

14. There are truly world-class gardens dotted all around.

Instagram: @raquel

This is Edzell Castle Garden in Brechin, which dates back to 1604. It's one of only a handful of original medieval gardens that survive in Europe, so it's pretty unique.

15. No, seriously. They're everywhere.

Instagram: @sarab_ab

The walled 18th century Pitmuies Garden near Forfar is a real hidden gem. It's full of long lawns and statues, and a carpet of flowers covers the whole place in spring.

16. There's a real Bash Street in Dundee, like the one in The Beano.

Instagram: @clampers

The Beano is published by Dundee-based media organisation D.C. Thomson. There's no Dennis the Menace street yet though (sadly).

17. You can go surfing in beautiful Lunan Bay.

Instagram: @swizzle78

Lunan Bay is famous for its pretty rose-coloured sand, as well as its impressive waves. Momentum Surf School offer lessons there and throughout Scotland.

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18. Or, if you're extra tough, what about a spot of coasteering?

Instagram: @circleonesurfco

Highway 2 Adventure in Forfar run coasteering sessions, where you climb along the coastline, swim along the shore and splash through sea caves. It's great fun.

19. You can go to outdoor gigs at an observatory.

Instagram: @jenireid

Mills Observatory in Dundee is Britain's first purpose-built observatory. They run planetarium shows, talks, and even host the occasional science-themed concert.

20. You can learn Bear Grylls-style survival skills with Glentrek.

Instagram: @claire_jayne

This Forfar company take people up into the Cairngorm mountains and test their winter endurance to the limit. Some of the conditions are similar to the Antarctic.

21. There are some truly ancient Pictish stones at Aberlemno.

Instagram: @ethiergui

This little village near Brechin is famous for its elaborately-carved, mysterious stones that date back to the 7th century, although it's thought that some were reused by the Picts and actually date back to the stone age.

22. You can watch smokies being made at Arbroath Harbour.

Instagram: @freshfoodexpress

A smokie is a kind of flavour-packed smoked haddock traditionally made in Arbroath. The fish are salted and then hung over a burning barrel: It's pretty fun to watch. There's even an Arbroath smokie trail you can follow around the town.

23. You can take a seal-watching sea safari from Arbroath.

Instagram: @iamgexrgia

For £25, a speedboat will whisk you from Arbroath Harbour around the Angus coastline, finishing at the famous Bell Rock Lighthouse 11 miles offshore.

24. Or just hang out with friendly dolphins in Dundee.

Instagram: @bilybrannan

Bottlenose dolphins are regular visitors to the Tay River; and nautical charity Taymara run dolphin watching trips. Who needs to go to Florida? We've got Angus.

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