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Stay at home: Dundee

With a V&A set to join its already impressive clutch of arts centres, restaurants and hotels, there's never been a better time to visit the Scottish coastal city

By Jo Fletcher Cross
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:21 BST, Updated 12 Jul 2021, 11:21 BST
Dundee, Scotland

Dundee, Scotland

Photograph by Getty Images

What to do

Dundee Rep Theatre is famous for its productions (many in collaboration with leading UK theatre producers), and also houses Scotland's national contemporary dance company Scottish Dance Theatre. It's one of only 22 cities in the world to be named a UNESCO City of Design, and is soon to be home to Scotland's first dedicated design museum, the V&A Museum of Design Dundee. Its other artistic offerings include Dundee Contemporary Arts — a great place to take the family: home to a pair of art galleries, cinema, print studio and visual research centre.

Where to eat

Just minutes from the University of Dundee campus, The D'Arcy Thompson serves modern Scottish cuisine. The restaurant's interior is inspired by biologist and mathematician D'Arcy Wentworth. Elsewhere, Gallery 48 serves fantastic tapas in a gallery space that also boasts a gin bar, while The Bach, a cafe set in a former flour mill, is a great spot for breakfast, with particularly good coffee.

Where to stay

Dundee has some great, well-priced chain hotels, the best of which are the super-central Malmaison Dundee and the stylish Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa. A little way out of town, Taypark House offers a boutiquey feel, with huge bathrooms and beautiful gardens, plus a gin bar and cafe.

Don't miss

Set in a basement down a cobbled alley off Nethergate, Draffens Bar is a speakeasy-style spot with an intimate atmosphere. Recommended are the killer cocktails, and lager from local brewer 71 Brewing.

We like

While Dundee offers a cool urban experience, it only takes minutes to get out into the wild. Pirate Boats offers sightseeing trips from Broughty Ferry — see dolphins leaping alongside the boat in the Tay Estuary from May-September.

Follow @glitterjo

Published in the October 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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