Going Ashore: V&A Dundee

© Louise Farquhar

Dundee, located on the north bank of the famous River Tay estuary on Scotland’s eastern coast, is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. With a £1 billion redevelopment of the waterfront underway, the city has been named by National Geographic Traveller magazine as one of the coolest destinations for 2019. This accolade is only one of many, with Lonely Planet also highlighting the city as a global must-visit hotspot.

© Louise Farquhar

The port is a natural harbour, dating back 800 years, with spectacular views of the magnificent rail and road bridges spanning this broad river. As well as hosting cruise ships, the port handles much of Scotland’s agricultural produce and is an important centre for the oil and gas industry.

Dundee is benefiting from the rise in popularity for Northern European cruise itineraries, often being included as part of a British Isles tour or an expedition trip to Norway or Iceland. Cruise ships berth right in the heart of the city, with a free shuttle bus making the short trip to the main attractions. Originally known as the home of marmalade and The Beano, there are now two more jewels in Dundee’s crown; the V&A museum and Captain Scott’s Antarctic research vessel, RRS Discovery.

© Louise Farquhar

The V&A opened in September 2018 and is the first outpost of this world-leading museum outside of London. It is also Scotland’s first design museum. Created by the Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, the imposing concrete building has a distinct maritime theme, jutting out over the river like the bow of a ship. Home to the permanent and free Scottish Design Galleries, there is also an impressive exhibition space featuring a rotating programme of events which charges an entry fee.

In keeping with the high standards of the V&A museum generally, the shop has an upmarket selection of carefully curated items to buy and the upstairs Tatha Bar & Kitchen is fantastic for breakfast and lunch (booking essential, especially at weekends).

Click here for a direct link to the V&A website.

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