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Scotland’s fourth-largest city is often overlooked by tourists, but it is full of hidden gems. From its historic origins and beautiful waterfront to the city’s traditions of science, discovery and the arts, Dundee is well worth a visit. Here are the top must-dos in the eclectic city of Dundee.
Ever eaten a bagel with a rainbow pattern on it? No? Want to? Then head to the unique and wondrous Flame Tree Cafe, just down from Telford Beacon. Aside from the famous rainbow bagels, it offers a wide selection of locally sourced dishes as well as coffees and juices, cementing its reputation as one of the best cafés in Dundee.
Dundee is home to not one, but two fully explorable dry-docked ships. Where the Discovery has been heavily renovated, the HMS Unicorn is one of the six oldest intact ships in the world, and much has been done to retain the look and feel it had when it launched in 1824. You can learn all about her wartime exploits and see what it was like to live on board, including many letters and documents written and received by former crew members throughout the frigate’s life.
Among the most well-known brewers in Scotland, Innis & Gunn has three taprooms around the country – Edinburgh, Glasgow and, of course, Dundee. As well as trying fresh pours of all of their beers, including a few rarities not available anywhere else, you can learn about their cask-ageing techniques and try some great food.
Walking tours are all well and good, but how about riding in a luxuriously upholstered vintage bus which has been christened Henry by the tour company? Available for private bookings, Henry will take you all over the city, stopping off at key points like the Law and Broughty Castle. The host driver will teach you plenty about Dundee along the way, and who doesn’t want to sink into an armchair whilst being ferried past such interesting and beautiful scenery? Nobody, that’s who.
No city is complete without a good garden, and Dundee’s 9.5-hectare (23-acre) Botanic Garden fills the requirement nicely. It sits right on the bank of the River Tay, and is home to a wide-ranging collection of plants from all across the planet. Included are a tropical glasshouse, evolution garden and Australasian garden. The entire garden is also rich with conifers and other large trees, and guided tours lasting around 90 minutes are available daily.
Additional reporting by Callum Davies.