Electric City Insider: DundeeJun 1, 2023
While not as popular a destination as Edinburgh or Glasgow, Dundee is an up-and-coming destination thanks to its increasingly trendy crowd and a massive waterfront redevelopment project stretching 8km alongside the River Tay.
Dundee’s place in the world of design was cemented when UNESCO named it a city of design in 2014. The latest landmark structure to prove worthy of this title is undoubtedly the only Victoria and Albert Museum outside of London - V&A Dundee. Opened at the city waterfront in 2018, the museum is housed in a stunning building designed by Japanese architect Kengo Puma, who is also the mastermind behind Tokyo’s new national stadium. Through its permanent display and changing exhibitions, V&A Dundee is now the symbol that represents the city’s longstanding heritage of design and creativity.
Just 5 minutes from V&A Dundee is another of the city’s icon - the Tay Bridge. Connecting Dundee to Newport on Tay, you will find independent shops, restaurants and cafes, and most of all the best view of Dundee from across River Tay. What you might not know is, if you take the time to walk beneath the bridge, a piece of striking street art will unveil before your eyes. These seemly random murals, when viewed from the right angle, will reveal the words “North” and “South”. You can also get a copy of the trail map of the Open/Close Dundee project where some 40 doors are covered in colourful street art, waiting to be photographed and discovered by curious minds.
There are many walking tours available but if you have an iOS device, we highly recommend a slightly unconventional and potentially spooky way to explore Dundee through a game called Other. You will follow instructions and an interactive map to solve puzzles and collect stories as you walk the streets of Dundee and experience the city in a completely different way. Mind you, it’s not a walk for the faint-hearted - do it at night at your own risk!
Vintage car fans will have a great time at the Dundee Museum of Transport, which will soon move from its current location on Market Street to its permanent location at the Maryfield Tram Depot. From Dundee’s tram network, railway to its marine history, the museum is worth spending a half day especially for travellers with kids in tow.
Angus Coastal Route (Dundee - Arbroath - Monrose - Stonehaven - Aberdeen: 109km)
One of the highlights of travelling to Dundee is the picturesque coastal road along Scotland eastern coastline that takes you all the way north to Aberdeen. While part of Scotland’s charm lies in its misty, moody highlands, along the Angus Coastal Route is where you will have the best chance of encountering nice and dry weather (both Dundee and Aberdeen have laid claims to the title of the sunniest city of Scotland).
The route is littered with friendly small towns, castles with interesting pasts, and many opportunities to embrace nature. Your first stop out of town will be a castle - the historic 15th-century Broughty Ferry Castle, home to Victorian art collection the Orchar. The meandering coastal road will then take you further to Arbroath, where you can pick up the seaside town’s famous smoke haddock, and Montrose, a heaven for bird watchers. The next castle on the route is near Stonehaven, standing tall on a narrow strip of headland on the sea cliff. Dunnottar Castle, famous for holding out against William Wallace to safeguard the Scottish crown jewels, is a must-see, if just for the commanding sea views. Finally, you reach the city of Aberdeen, home to a cluster of unique historic architecture built in granite that sparkles in the sunshine.
Aberdeen is the door to the greater Aberdeenshire where some of the most famous names in Scottish whiskey are to be found. For whiskey enthusiasts, it is the beginning of another great Scottish road waiting to be trod on.
An Electric Road Trip
Scotland is leading the way in the UK for greener driving, with a generous Plug-in Car Grant, interest-free EV loan and home charge point funding to encourage drivers to switch to EVs. That also means finding a public charging station is relatively easy - the Angus Coastal Route isn’t particularly long and can be covered by a car with reasonable range in one charge. But if you somehow forget to charge before you leave Dundee, rest assured that charging points are available in all the major stops along the way.