Along the fringe of the northern shoreline along the firth of Tay is the Scottish gem of Dundee. The fourth largest city in Scotland combines the beauty of the highlands, the seams of history within the city itself and the allure of the North Sea. It was the city that first produced jam, the tough material jute for ropes and sacks and the founder of newspaper companies that pioneered journalism as a career (thank goodness!).
The phrase ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ is commonly echoed wherever Dundee is concerned for the concrete presence of the RRS Discovery. The ship that carried Robert Falcon on his first highly successful trip to the Atlantic proudly crowns Dundee Harbour as ‘Discovery Point’. This can add the flavour of adventure to a historical trip as the RSS Discovery holds a tale of its daring voyage and the stories of its crew braving the icy conditions through a self-paced museum. If you enjoy delving into stories of the past, set sail for Dundee harbour.
If you don’t have the sea legs for The Discovery, then the rich slopes of the Highlands offer a particularly inviting alternative. If trekking through the curvature of Scotland’s natural beauty sounds appealing, then tours of eight to nine hours in duration are available to join. Travel through the surrounding scenery in Dukeland and Cathedral straddling the banks of the river Tay, dine at the oldest Inn in Scotland and enjoy trickles of authentic Scottish whiskey available for tasting at a local distillery.
If Scottish cuisine is something that entices you, then Dundee’s first Michelin star restaurant Castlehill is a worthy visit. The menu encompasses a wide range of culinary Scottish excellence, from rich slivers of Angus lamb, to Perthshire pork and seasoned Shetland scallops. It provides a pleasant change from the pasta, pot noodles, and cereal diet we students know so well.
In essence, though Dundee may not be the conventional trip to recommend to students given the wide plethora of throbbing disco and tequila themed excursions out there, it does provide a tranquillity that helped bring it to sixth place on the Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit. The chance to roam freely around the highlands and sink into a city soaked in a history of spearheading new ideas and discoveries may be a completely unique and refreshing change. You may even make a few new discoveries of your own.