Dundee Visitor Guide
by David Wheater
My Guide to Visiting Dundee in Scotland
Introduction to Dundee
Dundee is so often overlooked by tourists, which is a great shame, as the city has lots to offer the day tripper.
A day in Dundee discovering Captain Scott’s ship RRS Discovery, the wonderful McManus Gallery & Museum and the Verdant Works is really hard to beat. Not to mention the brand new V&A Museum which opened on Dundee's waterfront on Saturday 15th September 2018.
Dundee is Scotland’s sunniest city which is appropriate for such a warm and welcoming city.
Although Dundee has just as long a history as other Scottish cities, it’s often overlooked simply because much of its medieval past remains hidden. This is a great shame because Dundee is a vibrant, cosmopolitan University city with a long, fascinating history and much to explore.
Over the last twenty years Dundee has pulled away from its industrial past to reinvent itself as the ‘city of discovery’. Dundee is now a world centre for medical research and digital media and its universities are some of the best in the UK. In fact, Dundee University is so popular that its students account for 1 in 7 of the population of Dundee!
A surprise to many, Dundee is one of the most important places in the world for digital games development. Some of the biggest digital games in the world have come from design studios in Dundee, including Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings. Abertay University is now the top university in Europe for game development courses. In recognition of its innovative and pioneering outlook, the city became the first in the UK to be awarded a UNESCO City of Design.
There is plenty to discover in Dundee and surrounding areas. No visit to Dundee would be complete, however, without visiting The Verdant Works to learn about Dundee’s former Jute Industry and Captain Scott’s ship RRS Discovery. Another ‘must see’ is a trip up to the top of Dundee Law, for one of the best views in Scotland across the Sidlaw Hills and the distant peaks of the Cairngorm Mountains.
The county of Angus is often overlooked by tourists, which is a missed opportunity to see some of the north east’s greatest scenery. From the heather clad hills and tumbling rivers of the Angus Glens, to the long sandy beaches and secret bays of the coast – Angus is a rewarding county to explore.
Please do put aside any preconceptions you may have about Dundee and visit with fresh eyes – you’ll be really pleased you did.
Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland with a population of around 142,000. It is situated on the north bank of the river or Firth of Tay which flows into the North Sea and, being south facing, attracts a better than average amount of sunshine for a Scottish City!
Dundee’s fortunes as a city have been inextricably linked with the sea and many of its past industries, including textiles, whaling and ship building have relied upon it. In fact, Dundee used to be called the city of “jam, jute and journalism” all of which thrived in Dundee and supported many jobs. The city used to be the jute capital of the world with a large number of textile mills in the 19th Century where imported jute was woven and then exported all around the world. The production and export of Keiller’s marmalade also became a big employer in the city too. The publishers, D.C. Thomson & Co still successfully publish magazines and newspapers today.
Nowadays, however, Dundee is rightly promoted as the “City of Discovery” in recognition of its pioneering contribution to science and technology and also to honour Captain Scott’s ship the “RSS Discovery”, built in Dundee over 100 years ago, and now berthed in the City at Discovery Point. Due to its geographical location in a natural harbour and its links with maritime trading, Dundee was once an important ship building city during the 19th Century, but sadly this industry no longer exists.
With the decline of the traditional industries, the city has reinvented itself and now employs a significant number of people in biotechnology and the biomedical science industry and also in digital and software development. Dundee is now very much at the pioneering end of these industries and “discovery” therefore continues to be an important theme for this City and its future. The city was, in fact, the first place to manufacture the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the 1980’s and more recently is home to the company that produced the Grand Theft Auto series of computer games and now has a very healthy software development industry.
Over the last twenty years, Dundee has successfully pulled away from its industrial past to reinvent itself as the ‘city of discovery’. Dundee is now a world centre for medical research and digital media and its university is one of the best in the UK. In fact, Dundee University is so popular that its students account for 1 in 7 of the population of Dundee!
The city is a very popular university town with two main universities, the University of Abertay and the University of Dundee. The former is particularly recognised for its work in the fields of computing and technology, whereas the latter is strong in the fields of biomedical science and biotechnology.
With a student population of around 20%, it is a young, vibrant city, with a nightlife to match.
The New V&A Museum and Dundee Waterfront Project
Dundee’s waterfront is currently undergoing extensive redevelopment in an exciting project lasting 30 years (2001-2031). The project is one of the biggest in Europe and encompasses a huge 240 hectares of waterfront land stretching for 8km along the River Tay. Work is at the halfway point and the latest part to open will be the V&A’s £45 million design museum next to Discovery Point. This will be the first V&A museum to be built outside London and is scheduled to be opened on Saturday 15th September, 2018.
Transport in Dundee
Dundee Domestic Airport
Dundee is a very small domestic airport, just a couple of miles and 5 minutes drive from the city centre. Currently it only operates services to and from London Stansted and Jersey (please check airport website for destination updates). The airport is the closest in Scotland to St Andrews.
The bus station in Dundee is called ‘Seagate Bus Station’ and is located around a 5 minute walk from the city centre. Buses link to many Scottish towns and cities and as far afield as London and other English cities.
Dundee is mainly served locally by National Express Dundee. More information including journey planners and bus route maps can be found from dundeetravelinfo.com. If you are travelling elsewhere in Scotland try First Group, National Express or Scottish Citylink.
If you need help planning a journey please visit the Traveline Scotland website or telephone 0871 200 22 33.
Dundee railway station is located near the city centre at South Union Street. The city centre is just a few minutes walk away. It’s currently being redeveloped to make way for a new station as part of the Waterfront development project. There is a small branch of WHSmith and a bar & cafe. There is a taxi rank just outside the station.
There are frequent services running to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Services also run to London King’s Cross, Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth (please check for updates).
Dundee Taxis & Hire Cars
Hiring a car Hiring a car in Scotland is easy and you may like to try the following car hire companies with offices in Dundee:
Arnold Clark Car Hire East Dock Street, Dundee DD1 3HB Tel. (01382) 225 382
Enterprise Rent A Car 131 Seagate, Dundee DD1 2HW Tel. (01382) 205 040
Europcar 45-53 Gellatly Street, Dundee DD1 3DY Tel. (0371) 384 3452
Tele-Taxis Tel. (01382) 825 825 Dundee Taxis Tel. (01382) 500 555
Dundee Visitor Attractions
Dundee has some excellent attractions for visitors. If you only have a few hours in the city, top of your list must be Discovery Point and The McManus Art Gallery & Museum. Don't forget that the new V&A Dundee Museum open on 15th September 2018.
V&A DUNDEE MUSEUM https://www.vandadundee.org/ Tel. (01382) 305 665 The fabulous V&A Dundee Museum will be Scotland's first design museum and the first to open outside London. It will be free to visit and very easy to access being right opposite Dundee's main train station. The new Scottish Design Galleries will bring together hundreds of historically significant objects from the renowned V&A collections, alongside prominent loans from across Scotland and around the world. The museum will be open 7 days a week from 10am and will have a cafe with stunning views of the waterfront for visitors to enjoy.
DISCOVERY POINT & RRS DISCOVERY
http://www.rrsdiscovery.com Tel. (01382) 309 060 Located near the city centre, Discovery Point is a fascinating visitor centre that narrates the story of the impressive RRS Discovery (moored alongside) and Captain Robert Falcon Scott. You can climb on board the ship itself and explore the interactive multimedia displays to discover what life was really like for these courageous and intrepid Antarctic explorers.
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/mills Tel. (01382) 435 967 Mills Observatory is located in Balgay Park and is the UK’s only full-time public observatory. It was built in 1935 and has a distinctive 7-metre dome made from paper mache which houses the Victorian refracting Telescope. Admission is free to the Observatory and displays (planetarium shows attract a small charge.)
DUNDEE SCIENCE CENTRE
http://www.sensation.org.uk Tel. (01382) 228 800 Opened in 2000, Dundee Science Centre is dedicated to inspiring youngsters to learn more about science and technology. Based on the five senses, there are interactive exhibits including the sight & perception zone and the brain zone and science demonstrations throughout the day. Terrific for getting children excited about science!
THE MCMANUS ART GALLERY & MUSEUM
http://www.themcmanus.co.uk Tel. (01382) 307 200 Dating back to 1867, the McManus has recently undergone extensive refurbishment. The Museum contains the city’s extensive collection of artefacts and paintings charting the city’s development from a small settlement to the city it is today. There are 8 different galleries covering all aspects of the city, it’s landscape, history and people and is a must see for anyone visiting Dundee.
BROUGHTY CASTLE MUSEUM
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/broughtycastle Broughty Castle was built in 1496 and sits at the mouth of the River Tay. It has seen plenty of action over the years due to it strategic position on the River Tay. The museum houses interesting exhibits on the history of Broughty Ferry and its people and offers some fantastic views over the River.
THE VERDANT WORKS
http://www.rrsdiscovery.com Tel. (01382) 309 060 The Verdant Works tells the story of the Jute industry in Dundee and is a fascinating insight into a bygone industry that used to employ tens of thousands of people in Dundee. The mill dates back to 1833 and has been lovingly and authentically restored with multimedia technology and interactive displays bringing the mill and the life of its workers back to life.
DUNDEE CONTEMPORARY ARTS
http://www.dca.org.uk Tel. (01382) 909 900 DCA opened in 1999 and is Dundee’s visual art centre housing a cinema, two contemporary art galleries, a print studio, visual research centre, shop and a cafe bar. The DCA is very much one of Dundee’s social and cultural hubs and hosts numerous exhibitions, workshops, talks, events and film festivals throughout the year.
CAMPERDOWN WILDLIFE CENTRE
http://www.camperdownwildlifecentre.com Tel. (01382) 431 811 Situated just 15 minutes from Dundee, the wildlife centre is located within the lovely Camperdown Country Park. The centre is not only a place for enjoying the animals but also has a serious role to play in research, education and conservation of our most endangered species.
http://www.glamis-castle.co.uk Tel. (01307) 840 393 Located near Forfar in the Strathmore valley, Glamis Castle dates back to the 14th century, although much of the present building is 17th century. The Castle is home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Tours of the garden and the castle are a must for visitors.
http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk Tel. (01241) 878 756 Arbroath Abbey was founded in 1178 by King William the Lion for monks of the Tironensian order. It is perhaps most famous for the Declaration of Arbroath in which Scottish nobles asserted their freedom and independence from the English. Today it is largely a ruin and has been for several hundred years, but the excellent visitor centre does a great job of bringing this historic abbey back to life.
HMS FRIGATE UNICORN
http://www.frigateunicorn.org Tel. (01382) 200900 The Frigate Unicorn is a magnificent warship dating back to 1824 and is the oldest British-built ship still afloat. She is unusual in that she has spent all her working life in Dundee and even predates many of the buildings in the city centre. If you’re visiting RSS Discovery please make sure you also visit this amazing ship and help ensure its future.
Spending a Day in Dundee
At first, Dundee may not appear to be the best looking Scottish city, but delve a little deeper and you will find a young at heart, dynamic city that is successfully evolving from its industrial past.
Famously known for its primary industries of Jam, Jute & Journalism which have all but disappeared, the city has risen to become an internationally important centre for computer gaming software, cancer research and biotechnology.
Dundee is a fairly small city and the city centre, being heavily pedestrianised, is a pleasure to get around on foot.
The city airport is located a short taxi drive from the city centre from which there are regular domestic flights to other parts of the UK. The bus station is also centrally located and there are good regular services to the popular, outlying suburbs of Broughty Ferry and Monifieth,
Most of Dundee’s tourist attractions can be easily visited in a day (longer may be required!) and the first on your list should be the wonderful McManus Art Gallery & Museum in the city centre. This Gothic Revival style building contains the city’s main collections and has just undergone total refurbishment. The exhibitions will particularly appeal to art and history lovers young and old and best of all it’s free to get in. The McManus Cafe is a great place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat and has a super outside landscaped terrace which is great on a sunny day.
The next on your list should be the fascinating Verdant Works at West Henderson’s Wynd which brings back to life the rise and fall of Dundee’s Jute industry. Dundee was once christened “Juteopolis” such was its reliance on this incredibly useful material. During the 19th and 20th century its versatility made it indispensable and it was used in everything from rope to parachutes and electric cable. The museum is located in a former Jute Mill and there’s even the opportunity to see jute weavers in action. There’s a good cafe here and it’s a great place to take the kids.
Moving to the waterfront the next must-see attraction in Dundee is the impressive Discovery Point which is just a short walk from the city centre. Here you’ll find a terrific visitor centre dedicated to Captain Scott and his research ship RRS Discovery which has been beautifully restored and now lies permanently berthed next to the visitor centre. Audiovisual shows, actual polar artefacts and exhibitions bring to life the very real hardships that Captain Scott and his crew had to endure for years on their polar expeditions. There’s also a good shop and cafe here for visitors to enjoy.
Another impressive ship to visit after RSS Discovery is the HMS frigate Unicorn, which is the oldest British warship still afloat today and the 6th oldest ship in the world. Launched in 1824, she is considered to be the best preserved wooden warship in the world and is well worth a visit.
For children, no visit to Dundee would be complete without a visit to the superb Dundee Science Centre Sensation which brings to life science through the five human senses. There are some terrific interactive exhibitions and demonstrations here that will both entertain and educate children and adults alike. There’s also a good coffee shop here which serves snacks and light lunches.
If you’re a lover of contemporary art & culture, a visit to the DCA – Dundee Contemporary Arts complex, just a short walk from the city centre, is a must. The DCA hosts a variety of fantastic films, exhibitions, workshops, talks and events throughout the whole year, all centred around the development of contemporary arts and culture. It’s a real social hub for the city and the light and airy DCA Jute Cafe Bar is a great place to meet friends and family.
If you are fortunate enough to have a clear, sunny day in Dundee, it’s very worthwhile heading north of the city centre to the extinct volcanic plug that is Dundee Law. From here there are fantastic views across the city to Fife, Perthshire and the Sidlaw Hills from a stylishly constructed observation point. It’s also a good place to munch on a picnic while you admire the view. While there, it’s also worth considering visiting the Mills Observatorywhich is close by at Balgay Hill park. This is the UK’s only full-time public observatory with the sole aim to encourage public interest in astronomy and science. The Planetarium shows are particularly worth booking when observatory staff will talk you through the night sky and explain the mysteries of our galaxy.
No visit to Dundee would be complete without a visit to Broughty Ferry, a popular seaside suburb located about 4 miles east of the city centre.
This seaside suburb is a very pleasant place to while away a few hours with many excellent gift shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs to enjoy. The beach is also a great place to enjoy a picnic with the family and enjoy the sea air. While you’re there a walk around the small enclosed harbour & esplanade and a visit to Broughty Castle & Museum is well worthwhile. The Castle museum tell the story of the origins of Broughty Ferry along with some interesting local and military exhibitions.
In the evening, the best places for eating and drinking are to be found in the West End of Dundee and Broughty Ferry. The city has some very good pubs, bars and restaurants as does Broughty Ferry which can get busy in the summer months.
For something to do on an evening in Dundee, the Dundee Repertory Theatre and the Caird Hall are both excellent venues for theatrical and musical shows and productions.
Dundee is a superb city to visit and stay and has a lot to offer visitors.
Dundee Restaurants & Cafes
Dundee, Scotland’s sunniest city, has greatly improved in recent years in the variety of restaurants and good quality cafes and bistros available.
Whether you’re simply after a coffee and a sandwich in the Overgate Centre, or looking for some fine dining in the evening with the best of seasonal ingredients, Dundee caters for all tastes and budgets. Dundee’s forward looking and pioneering outlook as the “city of discovery” is very much reflected in it’s cosmopolitan offering of cafes and restaurants throughout the city including Indian, French, Thai, Chinese, Turkish, Mexican and Italian restaurants!
As with most coastal cities and towns in Scotland, Dundee is no different in offering great Scottish seafood in its fine restaurants, but even the humble fish n’ chips is special in Dundee and a trip to the fabulous fish & chip shop, The Deep Sea, in the Nethergate is an absolute must!
Dundee has a large student population and a wide variety of student friendly cafes and restaurants have grown up around the main campuses to cater for their needs. The West End of Dundee and Perth Road are worth heading for first if you’re looking for a quality place to eat and the city centre also has a reasonable number of quality restaurants. Broughty Ferry, a few miles east of the city centre, is also a great place to find lots of good restaurants and cafes.
Below are some of our favourite restaurants, cafes and bistros in Dundee. We have tried to include a wide range of types of cuisine and places to suit all pockets. We hope you enjoy dining in them too!
The Ship Inn 121 Fisher Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2BR http://www.theshipinn-broughtyferry.co.uk Tel. (01382) 779 176 Authentic Scottish seaside Inn on the waterfront with great picture window overlooking the River Tay. Good food and great ambience.
The Playwright 11 Tay Square, Dundee DD1 1PB http://www.theplaywright.co.uk Tel. (01382) 223 113 Contemporary upstairs bistro serving great seasonal Scottish dishes.
Jute Cafe Bar at Dundee Contemporary Arts 152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY http://www.dca.org.uk Tel. (01382) 909 246 Great for lunch or a quick coffee, but don’t forget the great dishes served in the restaurant.
Agacan 113 Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4JB Tel. (01382) 644 227 A great little Turkish restaurant with lots of character. Quirky, authentic and excellent. Book ahead.
Chiang-Mai Thai 10 Maule Street, Monifieth, Dundee DD5 4JN Tel. (01382) 530 500 A friendly and unassuming Thai restaurant in Monifieth serving an excellent choice of tasty dishes.
The Tapas Bar 27 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2BH Tel. (01382) 776 941 A small, cosy tapas bar offering some of the best tapas in Scotland. Fresh flavoursome dishes using the highest quality ingredients.
T Ann Cake 27 Exchange Street, Dundee DD1 3DJ http://www.t-ann-cake.blogspot.co.uk Tel. (01382) 203 950 No better place in Dundee for a coffee n’cake. Home made cakes and all savouries baked & cooked on the premises. Great to see an independent do so well and deservedly popular.
Cafe Sicilia 123 Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4JD Tel. (01382) 665 454 Small, friendly Italian restaurant offering high quality Italian dishes.
The Blue Marlin Camperdown Street, City Quay, Dundee DD1 3JA http://www.thebluemarlin.co.uk Tel. (01382) 534 001 A really good Scottish seafood restaurant based at City Quay. Non fish lovers are also well catered for.
Luigi’s Pizzeria 17-21 Strathmartine Road, Dundee DD3 7RL http://www.luigis-pizza.co.uk Tel. (01382) 814 041 Not a restaurant – but a great authentic pizza takeaway that’s hard to beat. If you’re hungry and need something fast then head here.
Bars & Pubs in Dundee
Dundee has some truly great bars and pubs. With an increasingly cosmopolitan population and outlook, thanks to its pioneering industries in science and technology and well-regarded universities, Dundee has a lot to offer those looking for an exciting social life.
Dundee is well endowed with lots of traditional pubs, all over the city, which locals have been enjoying many since Victorian times (many have splendid interiors). The city has, however, also enjoyed a rise in the number of new modern bars and clubs which are popular with students and professionals. With the development of Dundee’s waterfront, locals can expect the rise in new fashionable wine & cocktail bars to gather pace.
Dundee has a large student population who are well catered for. There are a large number of student-friendly bars and clubs around the university campuses, particularly in the West End. The West End is also, however, seeing an increasing number of up market, sophisticated bars trying to bring in more professionals to this popular area.
Perth Road and the Nethergate have a really good mix of bars and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets and likewise, there are a good number of independent, themed and traditional pubs and bars dotted around the city centre. A couple of popular nightclubs in the city are Fat Sams and Liquidboth in South Ward Road in the city centre.
If you fancy a more sedate and relaxed place to eat and drink then a great alternative is Broughty Ferry located a few miles east of the city centre. As well as a lovely beach, you’ll find a good variety of pubs and old inns offering great Scottish ales and great pub grub.
Below are some of our favourite pubs and bars in Dundee. We’ve tried to include a variety as inevitably they can’t all appeal to everyone. Enjoy!
http://www.brewdog.com/bars/uk/dundee Chamber Building, Panmure Street, Dundee DD1 1ED
TRADES HOUSE BAR
40 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4ET http://www.tradeshouse-dundee.co.uk
CLARKS ON LINDSAY STREET
80 North Lindsay Street, Dundee DD1 1PS http://www.facebook.com/clarksonlindsaystreet
THE SPEEDWELL BAR
165-167 Perth Road, Dundee DD2 1AS http://speedwell-bar.co.uk/
13 Brown Street, Dundee DD1 5EG http://www.dukescorner.co.uk
MALBAR AT MALMAISON
44 Whitehall Crescent, Dundee DD1 4AY http://www.malmaison.com/locations/dundee/malbar/
JUTE BAR AT DCA
152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY http://www.jutecafebar.co.uk
THE WEST HOUSE
2 West Port, Dundee DD1 5EP http://bar.thewesthouse.co.uk
142 Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4JW http://www.drouthysdundee.co.uk
140 Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4JW http://www.facebook.com/artbar.dundee
8 Roseangle, Dundee DD1 4LR http://www.laings-dundee.co.uk
103 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DH http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phoenix/160967597251969
Shopping in Dundee
Dundee has some excellent shopping bringing in shoppers from all over Fife and Angus. One of the great things about Dundee is that it’s compact and largely pedestrianised and therefore it’s very easy to get around on foot to shop!
Dundee has two main shopping centres: the Wellgate Shopping Centre and the Overgate Shopping Centre which are linked together by the High Street, with most national well-known chains having a high street presence here.
There are also a good number of independent shops which are often located down side streets and not so obvious, but well worth discovering. The city centre is a nice place to be, with bronze sculptures depicting famous comic characters dotted here and there and most shops within easy walking distance of each other. Overall, Dundee is an easy and accessible place to shop on foot and should satisfy most retail cravings! Here’s a few of Dundee’s most popular shops:
Retrospect retro vintage 5 Exchange Street, (01382) 221092 A great vintage clothing shop for something a little more unique!
Mona Liza (ML) 63 Reform Street, (01382) 205 015 A fantastic range of designer brands for men & women including Boss, Armani, Y3 & Barbour.
Manifesto 78 Commercial Street, (01382) 201 527 A great selection of quality designer clothes for men and women.
Ozzys 59 Gellatly Street, (01382) 200 085 A terrific fusion of street/skate fashion and high street fashion for men, women & children.
Effective Edge 212a Perth Road, (01382) 221155 An excellent range of sporting goods.
Modista 96-98 Commercial Street, (01382) 224 553 A well regarded mens fashion retailer.
The Cheesery 9 Exchange Street, (01382) 202 160 A fantastic range of regional & continental cheeses – cheese heaven!
Tiger Lily Boutique 226 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry Lots of fabulous & quirky women’s fashion. Well worth a visit for something different.
Craftymermaids 79 Meadowside, (01382) 224 224 A lovely jewellery & fashion boutique.
Sutherlands The Tartan Shop 88-90 Nethergate, (01382) 224 709 This is a great gift shop with a Scottish theme.
Keillers China Shop 7 Castle Street, (01382) 221 995 A highly regarded gift and jewellery shop that’s been going for nearly 50 years. Good website too.
J.A. Braithwaite 6 Castle Street, (01382) 322 693 A wonderful range of coffees and teas (beans roasted on site!)
The Westport Gallery 48 West Port, (01382) 221 751 A great selection of furniture & accessories for the home.
Groucho’s Record Store 132 Nethergate, (01382) 228 496 One of the best independent second hand music stores in Scotland.
Lorraine Law 40 Commercial Street, (01382) 206 829 A superb contemporary jewellers offering a bespoke design service.
Popular Shopping Centres & Streets in Dundee
The Wellgate Centre, Dundee http://www.wellgatedundee.co.uk
The Wellgate Shopping Centre is conveniently located in the city centre and is the oldest of the two shopping centres. It’s also the biggest of the two with over 30 major retailing shops located over 3 levels. The centre is also home to Dundee Central Library.
Stores include Claire’s Accessories, New Look, BHS, B&M, Holland & Barrett, Poundland, Home Bargains, and The Works . There are also a few independent shops.
The Centre has a food court with various outlets offering a range of meals and snacks including a Subway, McDonalds and Burger King.
(There are currently some very welcome plans to redevelop The Wellgate Centre to include an eight screen cinema, family restaurants, cafes and a leisure club. Watch this space!)
There are 600 parking spaces. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm and 11am-5pm on a Sunday.
The Overgate Centre, Dundee http://www.overgate.co.uk
The Overgate Shopping Centre is also centrally located and the newer and more stylish of the two centres.
It has now become the main indoor shopping centre in Dundee with plenty of top high street chains like Boots, Debenhams, French Connection, Next, Superdry, River Island, Primark, H&M, Oasis, Superdry, WH Smith, Topshop and New Look.
There’s also plenty of places to catch a bite to eat including Burger King, Subway, Greggs and a Starbucks and Costa Coffee for coffee lovers.
The centre is generally open from 9am – 6pm Monday to Sat with later opening on a Thursday to 7.30pm and 11am to 5pm on a Sunday.
There are 700 car parking spaces nearby in Bank Street and 300 spaces at West Marketgait.
High Street, Dundee The High Street runs between the Overgate and Wellgate shopping centres and is largely pedestrianised which makes shopping a much more pleasant experience.
The Murraygate has the majority of shops including a Tesco Metro, Marks & Spencer, Thorntons, Clarks Shoe Shop and a Disney Store.
Just off the High Street you find Commercial Street and The Seagate which offer a smaller selection of stores including Blacks Outdoors and Waterstones Bookshop.
Also worth a look are Castle Street, Reform Street, and Union Street which have more independent retailers and places to eat.
For visitors looking for souvenirs Sutherlands Scottish Shop (near the Overgate Centre) has all things Scottish and Keillers China Shop in Castle Street is also worth a visit. While in Castle Street coffee lovers will love the old fashioned J.A. Braithwaite Ltd who sell all kinds of coffee beans.
Dundee Markets Dundee holds a Farmers Market on the third Saturday of every month all year round. Located in the High Street there is a wide range of locally farmed produce for sale including organic vegetables, eggs, beef and delicious baking.
Also worth a look is the interesting Den’s Road Market which is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The market sells everything from furniture to antiques and everything in between!
If you’re looking for a special gift for someone it’s well worth a visit to the DCA arts centre (Dundee Contemporary Arts) whose shop sells lots of locally handmade crafts and jewellery.
Annual Festivals in Dundee
For a small city, Dundee has a surprising number of high-quality festivals running throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Dundee:
The Dundee Beer Festival (June) http://thedundeebeerfestival.co.uk/
Blue Skies – Dundee’s Festival of Kite flying & Stargazing (Aug) http://www.dundeeblueskies.co.uk
Dare Protoplay Games Festival (Aug) http://www.daretobedigital.com/212_Dare-ProtoPlay-.html
Discovery Film Festival (Oct/Nov) http://www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk/
The Dundee Blues Bonanza http://www.dundeebluesbonanza.co.uk/index.html
Dundee Literary Festival (Oct) http://www.dundee.ac.uk/literarydundee/
Dundee Flower & Food Festival (Sept) http://www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com/
Dundee Jazz Festival (Nov) http://www.jazzdundee.co.uk
Dundee Mountain Film Festival (Nov) http://www.dundeemountainfilm.org.uk
Dundee Rotary Oktoberfest (Oct) http://www.dundeerotaryoktoberfest.co.uk/
Dundee Science Festival (Oct/Nov) http://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/contents/dundee_science_festival.html
Dundee Woman’s Festival (Mar) http://www.dundeewomensfestival.org.uk/
Dundee Leisure Activities
Dundee city council publishes a city cycle map which is updated annually. There is a green circular route of 27 miles around the city which is becoming increasingly popular. There are also new cycle routes to Dundee University and Ninewells Hospital. For more information on cycling and the facilities available to cyclists within the city please visit dundeetravelinfo.com.
Below are listed some of the most popular cycling routes in and about the city of Dundee.
Ports of Tay Leuchars to Dundee 13 miles long; 1hr 34min to cycle National cycle network route number: 1 This route starts south of Dundee at Leuchars and generally follows traffic free paths and lanes that are tarmaced or gravelled. There are lots of highlights on this route including Tentsmuir Forest and national nature reserve, which is lovely to cycle through.
Salmon Run Dundee to Pitlochry 54 miles long; 6hrs 30min to cycle National cycle network route number: 77 This is a really fabulous route starting in Dundee and following the course of the River Tay upstream. There are some spectacular viewpoints along the way which generally involves fairly quiet country roads and paths.
Up the Tay Perth to Dunkeld 18 miles long; 2hrs 13min to cycle National cycle network route number: 77 A beautiful route with lots to see including Scone Palace and Birnam Wood. The approach road to the Dunkeld Hilton along the River Tay is lovely.
Carnoustie, Championship Course http://www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk Tel. (01241) 802 270 18 Holes, Par 72, Links, Length 6941 A small journey from Dundee (about 10 miles) , this is a golfing must and a stern test of golfing ability! Tiger Woods considers this course to be one of the best in the wold. The other two courses, Burnside and Buddon Links are also worth a look and combination tickets are available.
Gleneagles King’s, Queen’s and PGA Centenary http://www.gleneagles.com Tel. (01764) 662 231 PGA Centenary: 18 Holes, Par 72, Heathland, Length 6559 The King’s, Queen’s and PGA Centenary courses at Gleneagles are all famously world class championship courses. The PGA Centenary course hosts the Johnnie Walker Championship and will be host to the 40th Ryder Cup Matches in 2014. Although about 30 miles south west of Dundee, Gleneagles is a golfer’s paradise and cannot be missed!
Downfield http://www.downfieldgolf.co.uk Tel. (01382) 825 595 18 Holes, Par 73, Inland, Length 6822 Located in wonderful parkland on the outskirts of Dundee, this is a great course you will not be disappointed with.
Caird Park http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/golf Tel. (01382) 438 871 18 Holes, Par 72, Inland, Length 6280 Not quite a ‘Gleneagles” or a ‘Carnoustie’ admittedly! but nevertheless a great Pay and Play course belonging to the city council.
Camperdown http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/golf Tel. (01382) 431 820 18 Holes, Par 71, Inland, Length 6548 Again belonging to the local council, this is actually a very good championship course. Camperdown country park is a good venue for all the family and not just the golfers.
Popular Dundee Hotels
Dundee is a vibrant and pioneering city with plenty of accommodation on offer for both tourists and those visiting on business. There are lots of great hotels, guest houses and B&B’s to choose from, which are popular with all those visiting and working in the science and technology industries, which Dundee is now renowned for.
With hotels and guest houses to suit all pockets, from the grandeur and period elegance of the Taychreggan Hotel & Restaurant, to the fabulous Duntrune Guest House set in magnificent gardens, there’s something to suit everyone.
Whether you prefer to stay in a hotel, or in bed & breakfast accommodation, it’s always worth looking out for one that offers a room with a fabulous view of the river Tay! Here’s a few of Dundee’s most popular hotels:
Taychreggan Hotel & Restaurant (3 star) 4 Ellieslea Road, Dundee DD5 1JG http://www.taychreggan-hotel.co.uk Tel. (01382) 778 626
Taychreggan is situated in the conservation area of West Ferry which lies about half way between the city itself and Broughty Ferry. This very handsome Victorian mansion was built in 1876 and retains many fine period features (oak panelling, cornices & chandeliers). The rooms are well decorated and furnished and some even have panoramic views of the river Tay. All have either an ensuite bath or shower (check when booking), TV, tea/coffee facilities and WiFi. The gardens are delightful and the sun terrace great for relaxing in in the summer. The restaurant is excellent offering classic and modern cuisine using fresh quality local produce. The bar is award winning and offers over 450 whiskies. You may even be invited to get involved in an ad hoc tasting! This is a quality establishment offering excellent dining – well worth visiting.
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa (4 star) 1 West Victoria Dock Road, DD1 3JP http://www.apexhotels.co.uk Tel. 0845 365 0000
The Apex City Quay is a big hotel, centrally located, only 5-10 mins walk from the city centre and it’s shops, bars and restaurants (very convenient). The rooms are modern and comfortable, but the best feature of many of them, is the fantastic views of the river Tay and the waterfront itself. The rooms all have TV’s, power showers & baths, free Wi-Fi and 24hr room service. The hotel has an excellent gym and spa including an ozone pool, sauna, hot-tubs and treatment rooms. The Alchemy restaurant (awarded 2AA rosettes) offers fine dining and the Brasserie and bar are also very good. You should be very comfortable here, but the main reason we like it is those great views!
Premier Inn Dundee (City Centre) (3 star) Discovery Quay, Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4XA 3 Star. http://www.premierinn.com Tel. 0871 527 8318
This centrally located Premier Inn has everything you’d expect, comfy beds, well equipped rooms and an on site restaurant serving great value food in a family friendly environment. This one is very well located opposite the train station and next door to the Discovery visitor centre. It’s also located next to the River Tay – so please make sure you ask for a room overlooking the river. The river Tay promenade runs right past the hotel and is well worth a stroll to enjoy the spectacular estuary views. Parking is free for guests and city centre shops and attractions are just a five minute walk away – so all in all a great location. Monifieth and Broughty ferry Villages are within easy reach by car and both have superb sea-side walks. Whilst not luxury accommodation, it is certainly of a high standard and very good value.
Hilton Dundee Hotel (4 star) Earl Grey Place, Dundee DD1 4DE www1.hilton.com Tel. (01382) 229 271
The Hilton in Dundee is set on the banks of the River Tay in Dundee’s City Centre. All the comfortable rooms have a state of the art entertainment system and high speed Internet access. The Riverfront Bar and Grill offer fresh local and international cuisine with an extensive wine list and ice-cold beer on tap. The swimming pool and sauna at their LivingWell Health and Fitness Club are open to guests and Caffe Cino serves fresh Costa coffee, home made pastries and freshly made sandwiches. There are 9 meeting and conference rooms and all the public areas have high speed wireless Internet access.
The Landmark Dundee (4 star) Kingsway West, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5JT http://www.thelandmarkdundee.co.uk Tel. (01382) 641 122
The Landmark Hotel is one of Dundee’s newest and most exciting 4 star hotels and is just a short drive from the city itself. Each of the Landmark’s spacious bedrooms have been fully refurbished to the highest standard with a choice of Standard, Executive, Club Rooms and Suites. All rooms offer a plasma screen TV with satellite channels, a radio, high speed internet access, power showers, complimentary toiletries and 24 hour room service. Guests can also take advantage of the Health and Fitness Club which has a fully equipped gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
Best Western Woodlands Hotel (3 star) 13 Panmure Terrace, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 2QL http://www.bw-woodlandshotel.co.uk Tel. (01382) 480 033
The Best Western Woodlands Hotel is located in mature wooded gardens, close to the seaside village of Broughty Ferry. The hotel has an indoor leisure club and fitness suite featuring a large swimming pool, spa, gym and steam room, with the added attraction of an in-house complimentary therapist. For golfers, the Woodlands is located close to a number of good championship golf courses including Carnoustie. The head chef at the restaurant makes good use of the great variety of local produce in the area and the lounge bar is an ideal and comfortable retreat to relax before dinner.
The Shaftesbury Hotel (3 star) 1 Hyndford Street, Dundee, DD2 1HQ http://www.shaftesburyhotel.net Tel. (01382) 669 216
The Shaftesbury Hotel is situated in the quiet and popular west-end of Dundee. It is conveniently located, close to the city centre, the university, Ninewells hospital, Dundee airport, Dundee Botanic Gardens and the Riverside Technology Park. The spacious bedrooms at the Shaftesbury are individually designed and combine a perfect blend of original antiques and architectural features, with understated elegance and modern amenities. There is free WiFi and use of the hotel’s computer if you don’t have your own. There is also a very nice guest bar Lounge and free on street parking. The hotels’ garden is also a great place to relax and unwind.
Fisherman’s Tavern Hotel (4 star) 10-16 Fort Street, Broughty Ferry DD5 2AD http://www.fishermanstavern.co.uk Tel. (01382) 775 941
The Fisherman’s Tavern Hotel is located in lovely Broughty Ferry, just a 10-15 minutes drive from the centre of Dundee. Dating back to 1827, the tavern is located near the Tay estuary in a charming terrace of seaside cottages. The tavern is a traditional inn with a pub and restaurant on the ground floor and modern, contemporary bedrooms above. The pub itself is small and cosy with a warm, friendly atmosphere and outstanding staff. The restaurant serves lovely home made pub grub with the Arbroath Smokie Pie a particular favourite. Beer and Real Ale drinkers won’t be disappointed with a great selection on tap. This is a charming place to stay, close to lovely walks along the seafront and within easy reach of other coastal villages.
The Hotel Broughty Ferry (4 star) 16 West Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, DD5 1AR http://www.hotelbroughtyferry.co.uk Tel (01382) 480 027
Located just three miles from Dundee City Centre in the seaside fshing village of Broughty Ferry and handy for all the fantastic golf courses in and around St Andrews (most within half an hour or so). This is a high quality, family run hotel with a great reputation. There are 16 ensuite rooms which are well decorated and equipped and a very well regarded restaurant serving Asian and European dishes which may be taken in the bar or a la carte in the formal dining room. There’s also the added bonus of a heated indoor pool, a small gym and a sauna. The Tay estuary is just a short walk down the road as are the charming cafes and shops of Broughty Ferry. Parking is available and the hotel run a pick up and drop off service from the city centre (enquire in advance). A very well run hotel with excellent customer care that won’t disappoint.
Dundee Bed & Breakfast
Dundee is lucky to have some excellent Bed & Breakfasts with plenty of choice. The Dundee B&B’s listed below offer high quality accommodation that should exceed expectations.
Duntrune House **** Duntrune, Dundee DD4 0PJ http://www.duntrunehouse.co.uk Tel. (01382) 350 239 4 Star Gold. Evening meal. Detox/spa breaks. 6 Rooms.
Duntrune is a true gem amongst B&B’s. The guest house is a very attractive country mansion (1826) with lovely gardens & woodland (8 acres) that is a real escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although it’s located about 5 miles north of Dundee, it’s an easy trip into town via car or taxi. Most rooms are south facing and have lovely views over the Tay estuary. As well as breakfast, evening meals are also available. For those staying more than 2 nights there is free laundry facilities which we like. The gardens and woodland are delightful and wonderful whatever the season. Detox and spa breaks are available – you can even learn belly dancing! Overall – wonderful location and actually very good value.
Balmuirfield House Harestane Road, Dundee DD3 0NU http://www.balmuirfieldhouse.com Tel. (01382) 819 655 Wi-Fi. Evening meal on request.
Located on the northern fringes of the city, Balmuirfield has undergone recent refurbishment and now provides luxury B&B accommodation in an elegant, listed house that still retains many delightful original features (stained glass, wood panelling, lovely fireplaces). The rooms are tastefully decorated and comfortable and you can see a great deal of work has gone into creating them. The gardens are similarly lovely and there’s even a resident peacock. All rooms have a flat screen TV, tea/coffee facilities and WiFi is available throughout. All have ensuite or private bathrooms with baths and showers. There is a lovely sitting room for guests to relax in and we particularly like the real log fire. Breakfast is a cooked one and evening meals can be provided. This is a very luxurious B&B with high standards.
Ashlea Manor Guest House **** 2 Victoria Street, Monifieth, Dundee DD5 4HP http://www.ashleamanor.co.uk Tel. (01382) 530 015 4 Star. Free Wi-Fi. 5 Rooms & self-catering cottage.
Ashlea Manor is an elegant and well-appointed Victorian manor house in Monifieth with spacious and beautifully decorated rooms. It overlooks the Firth of Tay and has extensive views beyond to Fife. It’s an ideal place to stay when visiting the Dundee area with easy access to Carnoustie, Monifieth and St Andrews golf courses. It’s ideally placed for keen golfers as it’s close to the two famous golf links – Monifieth golf course and Carnoustie golf course (only 3 miles away along the coast road). St Andrews with its golf course is just a 30 minutes drive away into Fife. There is also a self-contained, self-catering holiday cottage available. Evening meals are available by prior arrangement.
Balgowan House **** 510 Perth Road, Dundee DD2 1LW http://www.balgowanhouse.co.uk Tel. (01382) 200 262 4 Star. Wi-Fi. 6 Rooms.
Balgowan is a beautiful mansion house set in Dundee’s prime West End next to the Botanical Gardens. Built around 1900, the house has many period features and has recently been sympathetically modernized. All the rooms have solid wood dressing tables, arm chairs, flat screen TV’s with DVD players, hot drink making facilities and private or en-suite bathroooms. Some rooms even have 180 degree panoramic views over the botanical gardens and the River Tay. The single/twin rooms have deluxe single beds and the double rooms have deluxe king-size beds. There is private parking within the grounds.
Aberlaw Guest House *** 230 Broughty Ferry Road, Dundee DD4 7JP http://www.aberlaw.co.uk Tel. (01382) 456 929 3 Star. Free Wi-Fi. 5 Rooms.
Aberlaw is an impressive Victorian villa that has been tastefully refurbished with modern facilities. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities and the guest house has lovely views over the the River Tay. There is a private car park to the rear of the property and the local bus stops outside the door giving guests access to the local bus services throughout the area.
Redwood Guest House **** 89 Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2SB http://www.redwoodguesthouse.com Tel. (01382) 736 550 4 Star. Wi-Fi. 3 Rooms.
Redwood is situated half a mile from the old fishing village of Broughty Ferry and four miles east of Dundee. Broughty Ferry is a lovely seaside town with a fine array of restaurants, pubs and cafes which provide a friendly, warm and inviting atmosphere. Redwood itself is a lovely, semi-detached Victorian villa with panoramic views over the Silvery Tay. Accommodation comprises two family en-suites with double and single beds and a double en-suite with a double bed. The rooms have a TV, hospitality trays, toiletries and hairdryers and pets are welcome by prior arrangement. Wi-Fi is also available to guests. In 2008, Redwood was winner of the “City of Dundee Best Garden”.
Errolbank Guest House *** 9 Dalgleish Road, Dundee DD4 7JN http://www.errolbank-guesthouse.com Tel. (01382) 462 118 3 Star. Wi-Fi.
The Errolbank Guest House is 5km from Dundee city centre and is decorated in bright neutral colours giving the house a bright and cheery feel. There are 6 spacious, light & airy rooms, three of which have lovely views of the River Tay and all have en-suite facilities. There is an established garden which guests are welcome to enjoy. (a single room is available which has a washbasin and private shower room).
Abertay Guest House *** 65 Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2RW http://www.abertayguesthouse.co.uk Tel. (01382) 730 381 3 Star. Wi-Fi. 7 Rooms.
Abertay Guest House is situated close to Broughty Ferry town centre, approximately 5 miles from Dundee itself. There are five en-suite rooms and one twin/single which has a private shower & toilet. All the rooms have a TV, CD/ DVD player, alarm clock, tea/coffee with biscuits, designer toiletries and good quality linen throughout. Sky TV and Wifi are available in the guest lounge and CDs, DVDs and Books are available to borrow. There is even a games room with a full size Pool table, darts, a card/gaming table and Game Boy and a Barbeque area for sunny days. A set Dinner is available on request (3 hour notice required) at a cost of approx £15.00 for 3 courses. This is a B&B with great facilities!
The Grampian Guest House *** 295 Perth Road, Dundee DD2 1JS http://www.grampianhotel.com Tel. (01382) 667 785 3 Star. Free Wi-Fi. 6 Rooms.
The Grampian Hotel is a small and welcoming boutique style hotel, set in a restored Victorian town house with six spacious bedrooms. All rooms are en-suite and only a five minute walk from the lively west end of Dundee. The restored town house is conveniently located in the University conservation area and just one mile from all city centre amenities. The rooms are well decorated and furnished and have en-suite shower rooms, free wireless internet, TV’s, tea & coffee facilities. With free parking and just a 15 minute walk to the centre this is a very convenient B&B for the city.
West Adamston Farmhouse **** West Adamston, Muirhead, Dundee DD2 5QX http://www.west-adamston-farmhouse.com Tel. (01382) 580 215 4 Star. 2 Rooms.
West Adamston Farmhouse is a stone built farmhouse, situated in peaceful rural surroundings on a working farm, just 7 miles from the centre of Dundee. Accommodation comprises of two en-suite rooms (a double and a twin which is convertible to a super-king). Two peaceful lounges are available for guests to unwind in at the end of a busy day. A full Scottish breakfast is made from local produce with homemade jam and preserves, and to end your day some good old-fashioned home-baking. There are over 20 golf courses within an hour’s drive and fishing is available locally. If you don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of the city, this may be the B&B for you.
Hogmanay Parties in Dundee
Dundee hosts a number of annual Hogmanay parties. The venues below normally put on some kind of Hogmanay party every year – but please check with the venue first before making any plans.
Best Western Queen’s Hotel – Hogmanay Gala Dinner & Dance 31st December
The Queen’s Hotel normally offers a great dinner and dance package with entertainment from local bands . There’s usually a pipe band on arrival, a 4 course dinner, a glass of the sparkly stuff and pipes & drums to herald in the new year.
The hotel has also been hosting a fabulous Family Hogmanay Party in the Evening. This years (2015) includes Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer with a magician, children’s show, hot and cold buffet and a disco until midnight. Always popular with families so book ahead!
Jute Cafe Bar (DCA) – Hogmanay Party circa 31st December
The Jute normally lays on a 3 course meal with plenty of entertainment to ensure you bring in the new year with a bang! Lots of great music including local bands, a piper to bring in the bells and a DJ to dance the night away.
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa – Gala Ball 31st December
The Apex normally holds an excellent Hogmanay gala with arrival drinks & canapes usually followed by a five course tasting menu and wine. A piper brings in the New Year and there’s always plenty of entertainment and dancing.
Malmaison 31st December
The Malmaison hotel normally holds a popular Hogmanay dinner including a band, piper at midnight, a glass of bubbly and a wee dram to welcome the bells.
Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort – Hogmanay Gala Dinner 31st December
Always popular, Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort at Fowlis, just outside Dundee, hold a wonderful Hogmanay Gala Dinner with a 3 course dinner, a live band and a glass of Prosecco on arrival.
Invercarse Hotel – Hogmanay Party 31st December
The Best Western Invercarse Hotel in Dundee host a popular Hogmanay Party with a 3 course meal, a glass of the fizzy stuff at the bells and piper to see in the new year.
Popular Districts of Dundee
If you’re moving to Dundee and unfamiliar with the city, here’s the lowdown on some of the city’s most popular districts and satellite towns.
Balgay in Dundee is a popular residential suburb located around 2km west of Dundee city centre. It is quite distinct from the more arty West End in its quiet and suburban character. The name “Balgay” is thought to derive from the Gaelic for “stead of the marsh”.
The Balgay area is defined by its two green public spaces; Victoria Park and Balgay Park, situated on Balgay Hill (see photo). Notable for its scenic walks through the forest and panoramic views across the Tay, Balgay Park is also home to the Mills Observatory, the only full time public facility of its kind in the UK.
This area is desirable not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because of Balgay’s proximity to some of Dundee’s foremost employers which has ensured a strong demand among professionals for property in the area. The Royal Victoria Hospital, Ninewells Hospital and the Dundee Technology Park all lie on Balgay’s doorstep.
Balgay’s traditional villas, ample gardens, ease of access to the nearby city centre and local schools, (Harris Academy and Ancrum Road Primary) have all helped to make this a popular area with families.
Local Schools: Ancrum Road Primary School Blackness Primary School Harris Academy Secondary School
Broughty Ferry, Dundee
Broughty Ferry lies about 4 miles east of Dundee city centre on the mouth of the River Tay with terrific views to Fife. Originally a small fishing village dating back to the 15th Century, it is now a charming seaside suburb of Dundee with a distinct character and feel all of its own.
Once home to the 19th century jute barons who had their factories in Dundee, Broughty Ferry was once regarded as “the richest square mile in Europe”! It’s seafront esplanades and sandy beaches make it a very popular destination for visitors and, in its heyday, visitors piled off trains from all over Scotland during the summer earning it the nickname “the Brighton of Scotland”.
Historic Broughty Ferry’s prosperous roots are still very much evident in the lifestyle and properties available in this eastern suburb of Dundee. Many of the highly desirable 19th century residences built by the city’s moneyed jute barons still exist and make for superb family homes.
Equally attractive cottages and smaller homes, owing more to the area’s former fishing and whaling economy, also exist. A quaint maritime charm has been retained around Broughty Ferry’s harbour, two beaches and castle. A beach-front park comes alive in the summer months with crazy golf, go-karts and hungry swans; all a stone’s throw away from numerous independent cafes, shops and restaurants. In the evening these same restaurants and the area’s many trendy bars transform “the Ferry” into an all-together more grown-up night out.
Today Broughty Ferry has a wide range of property types including modest 1 and 2 bedroom flats, terraced villas, detached bungalows, 3 and 4 bedroom executive type villas and both new build and traditional prestigious 5 and 6 bedroom detached villas.
Shoppers will find individual boutiques and art galleries, fine eateries, pavement cafes, stylish bars, coffee shops and all the essential stores and services you could wish for.
Sport in Broughty Ferry is currently encouraged by fantastic facilities at Dawson Park (including an all-weather flood-lit pitch), football and rugby clubs, an army cadet force, a martial arts centre and the Factory Skate Park in nearby Douglas. The area also benefits from regular 15-minute bus journeys into Dundee, a useful but somewhat limited train service, the Odeon cinema and an Asda superstore at the nearby Kingsway East Retail Park.
There are three primary schools in Broughty Ferry and a secondary, Grove Academy. Recreational facilities include Dawson Park which has 5 football pitches, a rugby field and other athletic facilities. The three local primary schools and a good secondary school are a major lure of this part of Dundee. Renovation of Grove Academy under a £90 million scheme for improvement of education in the city is now complete and includes a purpose-built swimming pool.
Broughty Ferry is, overall, a highly coveted family environment and though new-builds and flats do exist alongside older properties, the price of property is generally high.
Local schools: Barnhill Primary School Forthill Primary School Eastern Primary School Grove Academy Secondary School (no website) (subject to catchment areas)
Dundee City Centre
Residents of Dundee City Centre are truly well-placed to take advantage of all that the city and the surrounding area has to offer. Regular services to London take only 5 hours by train from the central train station, and a journey to Glasgow or Edinburgh from the Seagate Bus Station is possible in a matter of hours.
Dundee and its city centre facilities now rival Scotland’s major cities and none more so than the award-winning Overgate Shopping Centre, an architectural and economic triumph currently undergoing work to quadruple its size, creating 600 new jobs by 2014. In fact, all Dundee’s major employers and universities lie within an easy commute of the city centre.
Other facilities include Dundee’s Caird Hall, the city’s primary concert venue; the Wellgate Shopping Centre and Library and the Olympia Leisure Centre with its waterslides, wave machine, dive and training pools and gym.
Numerous supermarkets (including a nearby Tesco – 24 hours) serve day to day needs, while the newly renovated McManus Art Gallery and Museum and good bus links to the city’s cinemas and retail parks provide entertainment for adults and children alike, educational or otherwise.
Rather surprisingly, City Centre living in Dundee has not become inherently costly as is so often the case in other Scottish cities. Rents are typically higher than in most of the city, but there are many affordable flats to be found in the area’s predominantly Victorian buildings and tenements, though parking can be a bit of a problem in common with many other city centres.
Local Schools: Park Place Primary School St Joseph’s R.C. Primary School Rosebank Primary School High School of Dundee (Fee Paying)
City Quay, Dundee
Dundee City Council is currently in the process of “reuniting the city with its waterfront” and the City Quay’s role in this reunion, along with the unique nature of the accommodation, deserve a special mention.
The properties for rent here truly reflect the aspirations of a £250 million project to redevelop Dundee’s waterfront for the fast-modernizing city. Open plan kitchens, dining rooms and lounges in spacious, frequently split-level flats offer contemporary accommodation and the illusion of detached living. Many properties have access to a private or communal garden and secure entry and parking comes as standard.
South facing flats enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the River Tay from balconies that lie mere metres from the water’s edge, while properties facing North are greeted by what could be described as a metaphor for the current mood of the city; the contrast of old and new in the form of the Frigate Unicorn, the oldest British-built ship still afloat, moored in the harbour just feet from the City Quay Development.
The city centre and its amenities lie on this development’s doorstep so expect to pay more for the modern facilities and, as with most waterside properties, the views. Prices for a one bedroom flat are much higher than for the equivalent in the city centre, but cheaper lets do exist if you are prepared to compromise on the views.
City Quay has also been developed to include retail, leisure and hotel facilities. The City Quay Designer Outlet has factory outlets offering designer labels at more affordable prices and the Apex Hotel at the Quay offers a Spa, Gym, Brasserie & Bar and facilities for meetings and conferences.
Local Schools: Glebelands Primary School Our Lady’s R.C. Primary School Rosebank Primary School High School of Dundee
Clepington in Dundee is a popular residential suburb lying around 2km north of Dundee city centre.
Property in Clepington mainly comprises of reasonably priced flats in Dundee’s typical stone tenement buildings and good transport links mean this is a popular area for students and young professionals. Ninewells Hospital and Dundee’s business, industrial and technology centres are all easily accessible via the A90 Kingsway Dual Carriageway and the city centre and universities are reached by a fast and regular bus service.
Clepington is served by good local amenities and every day corner shops, but is primarily desirable for its affordable prices and proximity to facilities in neighbouring parts of Dundee (being in the centre of a triangle made up of the Kingsway East and West Retail Parks and the city centre).
The large Kingsway Retail Park is easily accessible by car along the Clepington Road where you kind find the likes of Homebase, Halfords, Currys, Toys R Us, Dreams, Harveys, Staples and lots of other high street names.
Property in the area varies from traditional 4 bed detached villa’s to 2 & 3 bed, upper and lower, stone built villas with period features and the more traditional Victorian stone tenements offering 1 and 2 bedroom flats.
Football enthusiasts are very well provided for in the area. Dens Park and Tannadice Park, home to city rivals Dundee FC and Dundee United, respectively, sit on opposite sides of the same street in Clepington; the only such clubs to do so in the UK!
Clepington is a particularly handy district to stay in for those attending Dundee College and also for those working at Kings Cross Hospital which is also nearby.
Local Schools: Dens Road Primary School Clepington Primary School St Peter & Paul R.C. Primary School (no website) Our Lady’s R.C. Primary School Morgan Academy Secondary School
Downfield in Dundee is a popular residential suburb located around 3km north west of Dundee city centre.
Though affordable and comfortable flats are found predominantly in and around the southern end of Strathmartine Road in Downfield, this popular residential suburb is comprised mainly of attractive, traditional stone, detached and semi-detached houses, bungalows and pretty gardens with off-street parking. There are also more modern 3/4 bedroom homes to be found, especially along Camperdown Road.
The area is largely favoured by families for its schools, including numerous primaries, the Baldragon Academy Secondary School and Kingspark School for children with special needs. The Kingsway Campus of Dundee College is also located in the district.
Local shopping and healthcare facilities are supplemented by an Asda supermarket in nearby Kirkton and easy access to the Kingsway West Retail Park, as well as an excellent bus service into Dundee City Centre.
The neighbourhood also benefits from the Downfield Golf Club and its proximity to Dundee’s largest park, Camperdown Country Park. Open year-round, the park includes a zoo, walking trails in Templeton Woods and summer water sports at the Clatto Reservoir. The adjacent Camperdown Leisure Complex provides Downfield’s residents with entertainment in the form of the Dundee Ice Arena, CineWorld and several family-friendly restaurants.
Although nowhere in Dundee is a lengthy commute, Downfield is particularly well-placed to take advantage of all the city’s major employers due to its split location over the Kingsway Dual Carriageway (A90) and the circular access it gives to the rest of Dundee.
Local Schools: Downfield Primary School St Andrew’s R.C. Primary School MacAlpine Primary School (no website) St Margaret’s R.C. Primary School (no website) Baldragon Academy Secondary School Lawside R.C. Academy Kingspark School
Dundee Law lies approximately 1.5 Km north west of the city centre and is located near the summit of Dundee’s Law Hill – the extinct volcano on the slopes of which the city lies.
Dominated by 1930’s to 1960’s two storey ‘upper and lower villa’ buildings (3 or 4 bedroom flats) the quiet streets and cul-de-sacs in which these properties are located are lined with well-tended gardens following the typical layout whereby the ground floor apartment owns the front garden and the top floor the back. However, handsome detached villas, complete with large gardens and driveways, can also be found on the southern and western sides of the Hill in particular.
Properties on the south side of Dundee Law often benefit from fabulous views across the River Tay and those on the north side to the Sidlaw Hills. But the absolute summit of the hill, easily accessible by car, bicycle or foot and crested by the Law War Memorial, affords the most spectacular view in Dundee; a magnificent 360 degree vista of the surrounding country, from Fife and the River Tay estuary to the northern Grampian Mountains and Lothian’s Southern Uplands.
Dundee Law is not only famous for it’s great views, but also for it’s Allotment Gardens which can be found all around the hill. Regular flower and vegetable competitions are held throughout the year for the green fingered in the neighbourhood.
The Dundee Law district is served by local schools, shops and sport and leisure facilities and enjoys the usual easy access to Dundee’s hospitals and the town centre. This is a particularly popular area for Dundee’s older residents and younger families due to the peaceful nature of the community.
Local Schools: Rosebank Primary School St Peter and Paul RC School (no website) High School of Dundee (fee paying) St John’s R.C. High School
Hilltown in Dundee is a mainly residential district about 1km north of Dundee city centre.
It is one of the oldest districts of Dundee and used to provide many industrial jobs for local people, particularly in the jute industry. The remnants of the local mills and empty industrial land can still be seen here and there throughout the district. With the demise of industry and jobs in the area the district has seen harder times, but the future for Hilltown looks rosier with a planned regeneration project and the demolition of tower blocks.
Accommodation in the area is mostly comprised of flats in traditional 3 & 4 storey tenement buildings and in larger tower blocks which, despite occasionally less attractive surroundings, still affords spectacular views across the city and the River Tay. Hilltown may be due for renovation, but its inner city location and low prices make for a practical and convenient renters’ option.
Improvements have and are being made in the area however and the neighbourhood benefits from the Hilltown Park, a health centre and such institutes as the Mark Henderson Centre, a facility used by the community for functions ranging from youth and theatre clubs to mother and toddler groups.
Although local shops do exist, being sited on the very northern edge of the city centre allows for easy use of all Dundee’s amenities to be made, thus the deterioration of Hilltown’s own shopping facilities is not a huge inconvenience for residents, rather it is to be sadly expected. It is hoped that local shopping in the area will fight back against the larger shopping centres as the regeneration of the district gathers pace.
Local Schools: St Peter and Paul R.C. Primary School Rosebank Primary School Dens Road Primary School Our Lady’s R.C. Primary School
Monifieth is a satellite town lying some 6 miles east of Dundee and has historically depended on the city economically, with much of its wealth a derivative of the once booming jute industry in the region.
Nowadays, a large proportion of Monifieth’s working population make the easy daily commute by car or train from this relaxed and picturesque town to work in Dundee.
However, a tourist industry has developed quite independently of Dundee in recent years. Visitors are attracted by the area’s golfing history, its own two link’s courses (The Medal & Ashludie) and proximity to both Carnoustie and St Andrews. As a result there now exists a wide range of restaurants and bars in the area to meet the burgeoning demand from locals and visitors alike. Local or visiting bird-watchers make use of the surrounding estuary region and anglers, horse-riders and ‘adrenaline junkies’ are well catered for by Kingennie Fisheries, Rowanlea Riding School and Monikie and Crombie Country Parks.
This affluent “Burgh” has expanded rapidly in the last 40 years, particularly with new housing in the north of the town. Monifieth’s variety of independent shops was supplemented in 2004 by the Angus Gateway shopping complex and the community now enjoys a new medical centre and the Blue Seaway picnic and park area. The majority of housing in the area is best suited to and most sought after by families with a larger budget, owing not least to esteemed Monifieth High School and two well-regarded primary schools.
Accommodation in the area is generally very family orientated and includes inter alia 2/3 bed bungalows, traditional stone terraced & semi-detached villas, lovely stone built detached villas with 3/4 bedrooms and large modern family houses. There are also some 1 & 2 bed flats available in modern and traditional blocks of flats.
The area is well served by local shops in the town centre including a Tesco Superstore, Post Office, Opticians and other small independents. In addition there is a small retail park to the north at Ethiebeaton Park offering a Dobbies Garden Centre, a David Lloyd Leisure centre and the Angus Gateway retail outlet and visitor centre.
Monifieths lovely sandy beaches make it a very popular destination all year round. The Blue Seaway centre on the seafront is very popular offering an adventure playground, tennis courts, putting and a skating park.
Monifieth is a super place to live and it’s close proximity to next door Broughty Ferry is the icing on the cake.
Local Schools: Seaview Primary School Grange Primary School (no website) Monifieth High School
Newport-on-Tay, despite lying on the opposite bank of the River Tay in Fife, is very much an affluent commuter suburb of Dundee and accessible within minutes by car or bus across the Tay Bridge.
The existence of Newport-on-Tay today, really lies in it’s popularity with wealthy industrialists in the 1800’s as a place across the water to escape the smoke and pollutants their own factories and mills were producing in Dundee itself. The opening of Telford’s steam boats in the early 1800’s and the subsequent arrival of the railways later that century resulted in the many handsome Victorian villas found in Newport-on-Tay today.
Newport-on-Tay is well placed to make use of both Dundee and Fife’s amenities and, owing to the fact that only a single primary school exists in the town, this is exactly what it does; those of secondary school age commute, like so many of their parents, and enroll in schools in St Andrews, Cupar or Dundee High in the City Centre.
Otherwise, Newport-on-Tay is very well provided for by it’s own facilities. The standard variety of local shops are augmented by an array of small local businesses, from farm shops and childminders to landscape gardeners and professional photographers. Sport is encouraged by local tennis, bowling, badminton and gymnastics clubs, and the Waterstone Crook Sports Centre satisfies most sporting requirements, including school holiday schemes for children.
Property in the area consists mainly of traditional cottages, some of which have been converted into flats and stone Victorian or early 1900’s houses, full of character, period features and large gardens.
The position of the town on the sloping south bank of the River Tay affords many properties a panoramic view of the Tay and Dundee and the town’s scenic harbour makes Newport-on-Tay a very desirable place to live indeed.
Local Schools: Newport Primary School
Stobswell in Dundee lies around 1.5km north east of the city centre of Dundee and is now a primarily residential area.
The area used to be a small village in it’s own right but was absorbed into the city as Dundee’s industry strengthened and grew during the 18th century. The Jute Barons in particular built a lot of tenements in the area during the 19th century for factory workers, but with the decline in industry many were demolished, although a great many Victorian tenements have stood the test of time.
Stobswell has proven a consistently popular choice for Dundee’s renters, not least owing to the value for money that properties in this area represent. Less than ten minutes by bus and easily within walking distance of Dundee city centre, prices in this eastern district of Dundee are typically cheaper than most of the inner city areas.
Stobswell’s real advantage, however, is that these less expensive, mainly tenemental properties do not compromise on the quality of accommodation, owing greatly to the effects of the Stobswell Regeneration Project, a movement to “demonstrate the long term viability” of Stobswell as a desirable and practical place to live.
Indicative of the success of the project is the area’s Baxter Park, holder of the 2007 “Scottish Award for Quality Planning and Design”. Residents can take full advantage of the beautiful, leafy park and its views, around which larger family homes and traditional villas replace Stobswell’s typical flats.
Other features of the area include several primary schools and Morgan Academy Secondary School, whose pupils have use of the neighbourhood’s Dundee International Sports Centre (D.I.S.C.). The Melrose Campus of Dundee College is also situated in the area.
In terms of entertainment and amenities, Stobswell is served by local shops and a small supermarket and pharmacy, though easy access into the town centre and onto the A90 allows good use of facilities at the Kingsway East Retail Park and the Odeon cinema in nearby Douglas to be made.
Local Schools: Glebelands Primary School (no website) Clepington Primary School (no website) Morgan Academy Secondary School
West End Dundee
The West End of Dundee is located immediately west of the city centre. It is a relatively affluent and sought after area with excellent facilities and transport links.
Assuming you would want to leave Dundee’s newly emerged “Cultural Quarter”, the City Centre and all its facilities are available to residents in no more than a 15 minute walk from most parts of the West End. However, being so well provided for by local bars, restaurants and small speciality shops, the West End has developed a character somewhat unique from the rest of Dundee, taking on a distinct and independent village-like feel in particular surrounding its main street, Perth Road.
The West End is, most significantly, home to the University of Dundee Campus which supports around 20,000 students, many of whom rent in the nearby vicinity. The University College of Life Sciences at Hawkhill incorporates the Sir James W. Black Centre, the Wellcome Trust Biocentre, the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit and the Wellcome Trust Biocentre. With so much academic and international research taking place, the West End of Dundee has very much a cosmopolitan and vibrant feel.
The West End is also the cultural heart of the city and home to theatres such as the Dundee Repertory Theatre and the Whitehall Theatre and also the Dundee Contemporary arts theatre and the excellent Sensation Science Centre.
The West End is served by an award winning acting company at the Dundee Repertory Theatre and at Dundee Contemporary Arts you can browse the gallery, take a class, be wined and dined or catch a movie at the in-house cinema. The beautiful Magdalen Green borders the West End to the South and provides grassy open space, sporting facilities and a lovely view over the River Tay and to neighbouring Fife. More mundanely, the area benefits from two local 24-hour supermarkets and the Blackness Library.
Apart from the University, some light industrial activity at Hawkhill and the retailers along Perth Road and Blackness Road, the West End remains largely residential in nature. The area has some of the largest and most prestigious property in Dundee with more Edwardian style stone built villas than the usual traditional tenements found throughout the rest of the city.
Though a traditionally affluent district of Dundee, accommodation in the West End exists to suit most budgets and tastes. Spacious flats within traditional Victorian tenement buildings, many with views over the River Tay, prove consistently popular with younger renters, whereas large Edwardian villas further west come with the rooms, gardens and parking spaces required of larger families.
The West End is leading the way in the re-generation of Dundee with a large number of new build apartments, penthouses and townhouses. Anyone wishing to buy a new build property here is spoilt for choice. Older buildings, such as the Listed Clock Tower warehouse located on Dundee’s waterfront since 1877, are also being refurbished into wonderful contemporary apartments, often with fantastic views of the city and river.
There are a good selection of everyday shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in the West End, especially along the Perth Road which is the main focus of retail and commercial activity in the area. The West End is also blessed with some excellent parks, including Balgay and Victoria Parks which is home to the Mills Observatory (open to visitors).
The University also has a terrific Botanical Garden here which is also worth a visit. The “Magdalen Green” park to the south has some great views of the River Tay and also a lovely restored bandstand where several concerts are staged throughout the summer (see photo).
It’s not far to get to Dundee airport from the West End which currently has daily flights to London City Airport (please check availability!). Dundee railway station is also not far away.
Being home to the main campus of the University of Dundee and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and the proximity to Ninewells Hospital and Dundee’s other forefront medical and digital employers has rendered the West End a desirable location for artists, students and young professionals.
Local Schools: Blackness Primary School Springfield School (no website) St Joseph’s RC Primary School (no website) Park Place Primary School (no website) High School of Dundee