Dundee: Scotland’s secret escape

Date Posted: 05/09/2013

Dundee

Pictured: Dundee combines a striking coast line, vast countryside and a vibrant, cultural city life, offering plenty to fill a group holiday.

Group travel organisers looking for an alternative break can opt to explore Dundee in Scotland.

Found in the county of Angus, a group trip to Dundee combines a striking coast line, vast countryside and a vibrant, cultural city life, plus quirky history that includes being the home of the famous Dandy & Beano comics.

Climb aboard a historic vessel

Dundee’s motto One City, Many Discoveries came about due to the scientific findings that occurred in the area, and there’s a great choice of museums and historical buildings to explore if you’re taking a group holiday there.

Discovery Quay is home to the RSS Discovery ship, a royal research ship that launched in 1901 and was the last traditional three-mast ship to be built in Britain. Visitors can climb aboard and discover what life was like on a polar expedition for Captain Scott and his crew.

Another naval attraction, the HMS Unicorn, is located at Victoria Dock and is a fully preserved war ship. It is open to the public for visits from Wednesday to Sunday during the autumn and winter months.

Scottish culture and panoramic views

Another cultural attraction is The McManus, Dundee’s popular art gallery and museum.

Pivotal to Dundee’s culture since it opened in 1867, The McManus has eight different galleries and regularly hosts exhibitions of locally inspired photography, music and art for groups to enjoy.

You can also visit Broughty Castle, which is up the coast from Dundee city, and boasts a scenic location overlooking the mouth of the river Tay.

Built near the end of the 15th century, groups can enjoy free entry to the castle to soak up some great Scottish views.

Arbroath

Pictured: You can head to Arbroath to soak up the air at Carnoustie Beach.

Shopping, marmalade and seafood

If it’s some retail therapy you’re after, head to Overgate and Wellgate, home to many high-street brands and restaurants. There are also independent shops and boutiques around Dundee’s High Street where you can pick up a traditional jar of Dundee Marmalade and other Scottish souvenirs.

While in Dundee, don’t forget to try some traditional Scottish fare, including fresh fish and seafood dishes. From the humble fish ‘n’ chips to steaming bowls of mussels and scallops at the bistros and restaurants along the seafront and up the river towards Broughty Ferry, Dundee offers a great choice of fresh seafood restaurants.

In the evening, group travel organisers can find entertainment at one of the city’s many venues, including His Majesty’s Theatre which presents anything from family-friendly shows to camp classics, whilst The Lemon Tree offers alternative entertainment with music acts and comedians.

Coast & Countryside

Walking groups can experience Dundee’s natural surroundings; from the views of Broughty Castle to long walks on the shore, there are plenty of ways to uncover the beauty of Scotland’s east coast.

North-west of the city sits Camperdown Country Park and Templeton Woods. Filled with woodland paths, grasslands and nature trails, this area is great for a relaxing walk, taking in Camperdown House, the tall beech trees and local wildlife.

Backmuir Wood is another great spot for walks north of Dundee, with routes covering between one and three miles through the diverse woodland.

From Highlands to Lowlands

The region’s countryside shows the transition between Scotland’s Highlands and Lowlands, offering walks through mature farmland, fruit orchards, and the Sidlaw Hills highland.

Groups combing a trip to Fife, which is next to Dundee, can explore on foot to see old houses, hidden ruins and long stretches of mature woodland and farmland. Fife’s coastal path stretches to 175-kilometres between Newburgh and Kincardine.

St Andrews

Pictured: Visitors are welcome to play the seven courses at St Andrews.

Clearly marked, the path is an easy way to discover the best of Scotland’s impressive cliff-top views, charming fishing villages and impressive architecture, from castles to bridges. Pack your hiking boots and discover for yourself why everyone makes such a fuss about Scotland’s impressive scenery.

Blue Flag beaches and locally smoked haddock

There are also plenty of picturesque beaches to explore around Dundee. Take a stroll along the sandy shores of Broughty Ferry Beach; awarded a Blue Flag in 2012, this beach is a popular destination for locals and visitors with golden sands and bright clear waters. 

You can also head to Arbroath to soak up the air at Carnoustie Beach and try the locally smoked haddock, or visit Montrose to find one of Scotland’s prettiest beaches, Lunan Bay, on the Angus coastline.

A round of golf

Keen golfers can stop for a round of golf at Dundee’s well-known course, St Andrews.

Home to one of the oldest golf courses in the world and host of the St Andrews Link Trophy tournament and The Open Championship in 2015, visitors are welcome to play the seven courses at St. Andrews.

The Old Course is popular so bookings are made via a ballot but the other six can be booked in advance, although it’s possible to turn up and play the Balgove Course without any prior booking.

For those who prefer to soak up the atmosphere without having to pick up a putter, the Old Course Hotel will suit group members looking for a relaxed lunch, afternoon tea or time to spend at the luxury spa centre.

Group travel organisers can visit the official tourist board website, www.dundee.com, for further advice on planning a group visit to any of the featured sites and attractions.

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