Blessed with one of the finest shorelines in Scotland, Dundee can offer visitors an inspiring landcape of natural beauty, as well as an exciting cultural and business scene.
A compact city located on the northern shore of the Firth of Tay, Dundee rewards those keen to see more of Scotland than the main tourist sights. There are some appealing places to stay – the 91-room Malmaison Dundee (44 Whitehall Crescent) sits just 100m from the riverfront and combines a heritage feel with modern touches, while the 151-room Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa (1 West Victoria Dock Road) has a Japanese-themed spa and spacious guestrooms. A little out of town, the Best Western Invercarse Hotel (371 Perth Road) is a solid choice for those on a budget.
The presence of publisher DC Thomson & Co in the city means Dundee’s best-known exports are The Beano and The Dandy (there are even statues of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx in the city centre), and you can find various related souvenirs around town. For standard shopping needs, the Overgate Shopping Centre is home to Debenhams, Gap and the like, and Wellgate Shopping Centre offers further alternatives. City Square hosts a Farmers Market on the third Saturday of the month, which makes for an enjoyable browse – there are various craft items on sale, as well as local delicacies.
There are some great places to eat in and around the city. Hugely popular is the Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar (27 Gray Street) in the suburb of Broughty Ferry – it’s small, so reservations are near-essential. Also in Broughty Ferry is Collinsons Restaurant (122-124 Brown Street), which opened in late 2012 and serves quality local produce. The wider Dundee and Angus region is well known for ‘Arbroath smokies’ – a type of smoked haddock – and The Blue Marlin (Camperdown Street) is a seafood restaurant with menu items that include fresh Scottish mussels, rock oysters and grilled king scallops.
Angus Glens Walking Festival
The Angus region is home to some breathtaking outdoor scenery, and this four-day walking festival encourages nature lovers to come and appreciate the landscapes and wildlife that make it so special. Walks are guided by experienced mountain leaders, and evening events include a ceilidh.
Arbroath Sea Fest
Taking place on the seafront at nearby Arbroath, this annual celebration has been running since 1997 and includes traditional music, fairground rides, craft stalls and – naturally – plenty of local seafood. There’s a focus on the area’s long maritime heritage, and the event is held each year across a weekend in August.
Dundee Flower and Food Festival
As its name suggests, this annual event spotlights the region’s produce in its various forms, most prominently its food – numerous chefs make appearances while other entertainment comes courtesy of highland dance competitions, instrumental bands, rock choirs and children’s performances. It lasts for three days and takes place in Camperdown Country Park.
Dundee Science Festival
A two-week-long celebration of all things scientific, the Dundee Science Festival incorporates talks, exhibitions, family fun days, shows and even comedy into a fortnight of action. It takes place across the city and welcomes contributions of creative ideas and inspiring science themes.
Dundee Jazz Festival
The Gardyne Theatre at Dundee College is at the heart of this event, which offers five days of jazz music for lovers of the genre. It’s a well-established festival which, while not huge, attracts a mixture of local Scottish musicians and talented performers from further afield.
This is a summer only destination