Despite the ongoing regeneration and praise from some of the world’s most respected publications, Dundee has found itself labelled the “least popular city in Scotland”.
The YouGov poll – which advocates of the city were quick to condemn – ranked Dundee 45th in a table of the UK’s most-liked cities, just 12 places from the bottom.
Only 53% of the people quizzed said they were fans of Dundee, making it the worst performer north of the border.
City development convener Lynne Short claimed that the “unreliable” poll was voted for by people who had never visited Dundee, or hadn’t done so for years; while VisitScotland said “opinion will change in the near future”.
We decided it was worth compiling a list of the things which make Dundee worth shouting about…
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better view in any city in Scotland than the one you get from The Law, a 572ft extinct volcano standing sentinel over Dundee. From its peak you can take in everything from the hills of Fife, to Angus and Perthshire.
Add to that the views you get across the city of the silvery Tay, a spectacular sight when viewed from Invergowrie Bay, Riverside Drive or Broughty Ferry. You can even get tours of the river if you want to get closer to its wildlife, or travel up-stream to Perth.
The amazing regeneration of the city’s waterfront
The regeneration of the Dundee waterfront in the past few years has been nothing short of amazing. The Kengo Kuma-designed V&A (which opens on September 15) sits impressively next to the RRS Discovery, the new railway station, and a new and improved road layout.
Then there’s the outdoor music venue, Slessor Gardens, which has attracted the likes of Rita Ora and Olly Murs in recent times.
The hip, bustling bars of Dock Street are just a short walk away from all of this.
The waterfront is also the home of a new watersports centre in Foxlake Dundee.
Abertay and Dundee universities are at the very heart of what makes the city great.
Frequently named among the best in the UK, and top in student satisfaction surveys, they are hotbeds of academic and creative talent – leading the way in everything from forensic science to design and gaming.
The cultural scene
The DCA hosts an art gallery, independent cinema, restaurant, bar, print studio and art shop all under the one roof. Just up the road from it there’s the Dundee Rep.
There’s also thriving record stores in the shape of Assai, Groucho’s, Le Freak and This Way Up.
Some of the coolest barbers and tattoo parlours around are also based in Dundee, and the Reading Rooms nightclub is the stuff of legend.
Additionally, Dundee was Unesco’s first UK City of Design and was even named “Scotland’s coolest city” by the Wall Street Journal. It has also been praised by Vogue, Lonely Planet, Bloomberg, CNN and The Guardian.
Hidden speakeasies and waterfront cocktail bars complement the likes of Trades, Dukes, the Taybridge Bar and the George Orwell. The Dundee pub scene is thriving and the list of amazing places to go for a drink in the city is ever growing.
Dundonians are friendly, down-to-earth and up for a laugh. You’ll always get great craic from shopkeepers, bartenders, waiting staff and people on the street.
While Dundee has its fair share of historic statues paying tribute to local and national icons, it’s the city’s comic strip heroes immortalised in bronze that visitors and residents love the most.
Oor Wullie, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx and even the lemmings give the sculptural landscape of the city a vibe like no other (plus there’s an actual Bash Street).
It’s perfectly placed for everything
Brilliant hill walking is a stone’s throw away in Angus, Perthshire and Fife. The suburb of Broughty Ferry, recently named one of Scotland’s most beautiful towns, is a few miles from the city centre and is home to a great beach, a castle and a bustling high street.
Perth and its many attractions are only 20 minutes away on the train, and St Andrews is just a short drive off.
Then there’s the amazing golf courses within putting distance of the city, one of which just hosted the 2018 Open…
It’s always sunny in Dundee…
We brag about this a lot, but Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland. As the country’s only south facing city, locals are said to soak up more rays than most. It has been the focus of the 2018 summer’s #SunnyDundee campaign.
One of the world’s great water slides.