Dundee Mini Guide
Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and has an interesting history being more than 800 years old. Located on the east coast of Scotland and built on the banks of the River Tay, the area where the city of Dundee now stands has in fact been continually occupied since the Mesolithic area.
It grew in strength as a port town on the back of its wool trade, but then the main trade transferred to jute after it became easier to produce linen instead of wool. Today about 150,000 people live in Dundee and a great number of them are students who attend the University of Dundee.
Dundee has gained a reputation for being a centre for journalism and also a production hub for jam. It is thought that marmalade was first made in Dundee while the DC comics and the Dandy and Beano children’s publications come from Dundee. When you are in Dundee, a good starting point for a tour of the city is at the RSS Discovery warship in the dockyard as this is also in Discovery Quay where the tourist information office is located.
If you want to explore other parts of Scotland as well as seeing Dundee then car hire is the best way to do so. It is a long way from Dundee to the other major cities of Aberdeen
(an hour and a quarter away), Edinburgh
(an hour and a half away to the south) and Glasgow
(two hours travelling distance).
However you can pick up your hire car from these other cities too. Dundee has it own airport which does flights to the other Scottish cities and some locations in England such as London City Airport
and Birmingham Airport
. Be aware that the accent is very thick in Dundee and many colloquialisms are used so English speakers may at times struggle to understand what is meant.
Start learning about Dundee’s history with a visit to The Howff, a strangely named cemetery in the city. There, an hour or two wandering the gravestones gives the visitor a real feel for Dundee life through the lives of the departed.
Next, use your hire car to get to the McManus Galleries, the most prestigious museum and art gallery in the city with a comprehensive fine art collection and a superb natural history section. The Mills Observatory is another fascinating destination, open to the public, it has a dome made of papier mache, one wonders how it survives the Scottish weather!