The awe-inspiring scene of crystal-clear water sheltered by centuries-old cave formations would usually bring to mind an image of an obscure exotic island on the other side of the globe.
But an Arbroath man with a strong passion for kayaking has proven not all natural wonders are thousands of miles away – with an array of mesmerising hidden gems situated “right on our doorstep” in Scotland.
Having always been drawn to water and the beauty of nature, George Ramsay dedicates most of his free time to “exploring the unexplored” within his local area and beyond.
The 50-year-old took up kayaking eight years ago, initially on a “naive whim”, and has since been unable to let go of the thrill of voyaging through the cliffs and caves of Scotland’s coastlines.
Exploring the natural wonders of Scotland
Over the years, Mr Ramsay, who is a blacksmith by trade and a professional boxing coach, has uncovered many natural treasures – from the hidden side of stunning cliffs to the deep tunnels of centuries-old stalactite caves.
And although he has ventured many different places across the country – including the West coast and the lochs in the Highlands and Islands – he admits the ones at his hometown have no match.
“I’ve always been really drawn to the water and the cliffs at Arbroath are just spectacular,” he said.
“I’ve kayaked in many different places and explored many coastlines in Scotland, but by far, the cliffs and caves in Arbroath are the best.
“My partner Carol shares the same enthusiasm for it as well, so we are quite lucky to have this magnificent hidden gem right here on our doorstep.
“There is nothing better than having the experience of being in caves that you know not many people have been in before.”
Mr Ramsay and his partner Carol Cargill, 52, have been sharing all of their adventures on social media – giving hundreds of people an insight into Scotland’s hidden gems.
‘It’s a magical experience you will never forget’
He added: “To anybody who has never done this before, I can only say that it’s an experience you will never forget.
“It gives you a sense of freedom and I’d say it’s a humble experience – when you’re in these caves you just feel insignificant before the wonders of nature.
“When you are there, it’s really all about admiring the beauty of nature – all the colours, the rock formations, how deep the tunnels go and the thrill of exploring the unexplored.
“Whether it’s walking along the top, kayaking into the caves or walking along the bottom of the cliffs at a low tide – there is just so much to explore, you’ll never get tired of it.
“It’s such a fascinating place and it’s so unbelievably beautiful, I’m always in awe of how magical nature can be.”
Conquering all hidden gems yet to be discovered
Having conquered a number of obscure locations in Scotland, Mr Ramsay has now set his eyes on a destination that has remained out of reach for hundreds of years.
His biggest dream is to find a legendary secret tunnel between Arbroath Abbey and the cliffs, which is believed to have been created by monarchs more than 700 years ago – but is yet to be discovered.
But although he may have not fulfilled this long-held dream of his, Mr Ramsay has plenty of other highlights he holds dear to his heart.
One of those moments is taking Caledonian cowboy Johnny Gold into the Piper cave where he filled the void of the deep tunnel with the “heart-warming sound of pipes”.
He said: “Hearing Johnny play his pipes in the Piper cave was one of those unbelievable moments in life you never forget.
“It was a special place for it as well, because there are tales of an 18th century ghostly piper, who mysteriously vanished in the cave. However, legend has it that his bagpipes can still be heard from miles away.
“And when Johnny started playing, it was like bringing the legend to life – it was just an amazing experience.”