| Home | Europe | Scotland | Dundee |
| Main Menu |  

Jute, jam and journalism characterised Dundee during the 19th and 20th centuries, being an important processing centre for Indian imports, producer of preserves and dominion of DC Thomson of "The Beano" fame. Like many industrial cities in the UK during the latter part of the last century, Dundee's success and importance declined, but it is now working hard to promote itself and its other attractions to the modern visitor.

Being a Scottish east-coaster as I am, I frequently pass through Dundee in addition to my visits to see family members from time to time. It's taken me a long time to actually get round to photographing some of the city, and there remains more that I want to include, but for now please enjoy this small taste of Scotland's fourth city.

RRS Discovery

The RRS Discovery gives her name to Dundee's tagline "City of Discovery", as she sits in her museum berth on the River Tay. The Discovery took Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica on a reconnaisance trip and scientific voyage in 1901, as a precursor to both explorers' later polar expeditions.

Desperate Dan stands proud in the centre of Dundee, flanked by Minnie the Minx, one of his compadres from "The Dandy" comic published by DC Thomson. Like its sister publication "The Beano", the comic kicked off in the 1930s and saw enduring popularity for well over fifty years.

Desperate Dan

Dundee Parish Church (St Mary's)

Dundee Parish Church is now surrounded by the new Overgate shopping centre. It is otherwise known as St Mary's or the Auld Steeple.

Little penguins hop along the wall outside Dundee Parish Church.

Penguin statues

Caird Hall

Dundee's Caird Hall was built in the early 1920s by one of the city's jute barons, and remains one of the top venues of choice for visiting pop and rock acts.

Dundee City Square is flanked by the Caird Hall to the south, and the City Chambers as pictured here.

Dundee City Square

Tay Road Bridge

Connecting Dundee to Fife in the south, the Tay Road Bridge is almost a mile and a half long and opened in 1966. The bridge slopes from the Fife end towards the city, leading to the unofficial slogan "it's all downhill to Dundee".

The Tay Bridge itself carries the East Coast mainline, and was built to replace the original bridge which famously collapsed in a storm in 1879. At the time the original bridge's designer was at work on the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh - he was swiftly dismissed as public confidence required a much more overbuilt design, resulting in the cantilever structure of 1890 which remains today.

Tay Bridge

Old Tay Bridge foundations

The foundations of the original Tay Bridge remain to this day, and can be seen as the train rounds the curve towards the main straight of the new bridge. Parts of the old bridge were used in the construction of the new, and the old foundations serve as breakwaters.

Dundee is built around The Law, an extinct volcanic remnant a sprightly 400 million years young. I am informed by a knowledgable geologist that it is a volcanic sill, as opposed to a plug or neck. There is a war memorial on top, and panoramic views across the city and over the Tay to Fife. Edinburgh is also built around an extinct volcano.

The Law

Jack-up drilling rig

A giant jack-up rig sits in Dundee harbour for servicing. Although in the shadow of Aberdeen as the European centre of the oil industry, Dundee still has a part to play in the modern North Sea oil industry.

From the top of The Law there are great views all over the city. From this angle the Tay Bridge appears almost vertical, and Tayside House is slowly being eaten away floor by floor on the right.

Tay Road Bridge from The Law

Sweeping curve of the Tay Bridge

The sweeping curve of the Tay Bridge is very clear from the top of The Law.

Dundee built its fair share of multis in the 1960s, during the Glasgow-centred council housing craze. Now in the 21st century, the mistakes of the past are being swept away, these towers are being stripped and loaded with TNT.

Multis waiting for demolition

Glamis Castle

A little outside of Dundee stands Glamis Castle (pronounced "Glamz"), famously the most haunted castle in all of Scotland.

Highland cows populate the grounds of Glamis Castle, to amaze and amuse the casual visitor. With their large horns and floppy fringes, they are distinctly Scottish, not least because they are usually ginger and don't tan very well.

Highland cows

The Horn

If following the A90 from Dundee to Perth, you'd have the opportunity to stop at The Horn, Tayside's premier roadside café and greasy spoon. Bacon and egg rolls with half a piglet inside are the order of the day, in couthy surroundings. Highland Cow not served.

Top of page

Copyright © Ross Wattie 2012-2014