Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Dundee, Scotland
Dundee View slideshowThe fourth-largest city in Scotland spreads along the north bank of the Firth of Tay at the foot of Balgary Hill (480ft/145m) and Law (571ft/174m). Jute, jam and journalism were the three trades that for many years brought prosperity to the town.
The jute factories and weaving mills have now closed (and also many of the shipyards), most of the printing presses have disappeared and production of the highly-prized jam has declined. Their places have been taken by service industries. Modern technology parks and a host of small and medium-sized companies working in synthetic fibers, biotechnology, precision engineering and instrument making are testimony to how Dundee has adapted to a new post-industrial economic structure.One aspect of the publishing industry does remain: "Oor Wullie", "Desperate Dan", the "Beano" and "Lord Snooty" are just some of the legendary Scottish comic heroes who are still very much alive and the artwork that accompanies these stories comes from the pens of Dundee designers.From the architectural point of view Dundee has undergone a period of renewal in recent years. The "Waterfront" has been renovated and new office blocks and leisure facilities have been built, with the Discovery Museum complex and Captain Scott's "Discovery", a new symbol for Dundee, as the focal points.Domestic flights for Manchester and Aberdeen leave daily from the airport in Riverside Drive. Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow are served both by buses from Seagate Bus Station and trains from Taybridge Station, South Union Street (contact Scotrail for times).
With the aid of special effects and audio-visual presentations, the new Discovery Point Visitor Center (1993) documents the history of the sailing ship the R.R.S. Discovery and also vividly illustrates the natural wilderness and awe-inspiring beauty of the polar regions.
HM Frigate Unicorn
Address: Victoria Dock, Dundee DD1 3BP, Scotland
St Mary's Tower
With Dundee the center of many conflicts, few historic buildings have survived. The only witness to the city's medieval past is the 155ft/47m high St Mary's Tower (15th century). It was rebuilt after suffering damage during World War II.
On the south side of the church (1630) stands a replica of the medieval market cross, formerly in Seagate.
Situated opposite the Barrack Street Museum, Dundee's 300-year-old graveyard used to be a garden in Grayfriars monastery, which was a gift to the town by Mary Stuart. Up until 1778 the Howff was the meeting place for the town's nine craft guilds and the tradesmen's marks and symbols can be seen on many of the gravestones.
Just a few yards further east from the Howff lies Albert Square which is dominated by a grand Victorian building designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1867. Inside, the McManus Galleries keep a collection of works by 19th and 20th century European masters and local painters (including art nouveau by George Dutch Davidson) and also local history exhibits from prehistoric times to the present day. The archaeological department contains some particularly interesting artifacts from ancient Egypt.Dundee's natural history collection, once in the Barrack Street Museum, is now in the MacManus. The collection concentrates on the wildlife of the Lowlands and Highlands. The exhibitions explore the enviornmental and nature themes.
Address: Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DA, Scotland
St Andrew's Church
Follow Dundee's busy pedestrianized Panmure Street eastward to King Street. On the left stands St Andrew's Church. Designed by Samuel Bell in 1772, much of the finance for it came from the guilds and their coats-of-arms appear in the stained glass windows.
St Paul's Cathedral
The tall tower (213ft/65m) of the Neo-Gothic St Paul's Cathedral stands proudly over the city and is visible from many miles away. The cathedral, to the south-west of St Andrew's in Castlehill, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and was completed in 1853. A retable by the Venetian Salviati adorns the altar.
Address: 1 High Street, Dundee DD1 1TD, Scotland
High Street leads on to City Square (pedestrianized zone), the busy heart of the city. It is overlooked by the town hall, Caird Hall, a concert and conference hall with seating for 2,500 (1923), and the tourist information office. City Square is a good place to start a tour of the shops. The main stores are located in High Street, Commercial Street and Panmure Street.
The museum (Verdant Works) in this renovated jute factory situated to the west of the city by West Henderson's Wynd documents the heyday of Dundee's textile industry during the 19th century.
Address: West Hendertson's Wynd, Dundee DD1 5BT, Scotland
Dudhope Park & Castle
Dudhope Park with a 16th C castle (not open to the public) is situated 1mi/1.6km northwest of Dundee city center. It was originally the seat of the Scrymgeor family but in 1683 it passed to the Graham family. In the mid-18th C the castle became a wool factory and later a barracks. It has been fully restored and is used by the city council for official functions.
The Mills Observatory (1935) stands on Balgary Hill about 2mi/3km west of the city center of Dundee.
Address: Glamis Road, Balgay Park, Dundee DD2 2UB, Scotland
University of Dundee Botanic Gardens
Follow Riverside Drive west from the Tay Road Bridge for about 3mi/5km. The Botanic Gardens of Dundee University were laid out in 1971 and are noted for their varied species of conifers, aquatic plants and herbs.
Address: Riverside Drive, Dundee DD2 1QH, Scotland
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
Camperdown Park, 4mi/6km northwest of Dundee city center, is devoted to preserving wildlife. Visitors to the park can observe red deer, brown bears, wolves, lynx, pine martens, polar foxes, pheasants and golden eagles.
Address: Camperdown Country Park, Coupar Angus Road, Dundee DD2 4TF, Scotland
The A92 passes through the residential district at the east end of Dundee before the rambling towers of Claypotts Castle come into view. This grand Z-plan tower house was built for the Strachan family between 1569 and 1588.
Address: Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ, Scotland
Sensation Dundee has over 60 hands-on exhibits that bring science to life. Visitors can sit inside an eyeball, sniff out pheromones or try keyhole surgery.
Address: Greenmarket, Dundee DD1 4QB, Scotland
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