Dundee is a great city, but not exactly a major tourist hub. This has its advantages for locals and visitors alike however, as there are still so many unexplored and unpretentious nooks and crannies in the city where you can take time out to relax in peace and quiet. Dundee, for me, is a really special city, but to save me waxing lyrical about my hometown again, you can see why I think so in my previous post here. This time, I thought I would give you my top 5 places with a view to visit in the city. Whether you are a local looking to find new perspectives of the city or visiting for the first time, Dundee has so many thinking spaces to offer! Here are some of my favourite places with a view in Dundee:
- The observation platform on Marine Parade
This unassuming triangular platform with its winding, metal staircase is the perfect place to stop and take in views of the Tay and see the Tay road bridge up close. Settled in front of the riverfront apartments on the waterfront, it is not a landmark, or POI, but the small platform is quiet and just enough out of the city centre that you can really enjoy a few moments of peace, watching the lights reflecting on the water.
- Clatto reservoir
Just past Dryburgh, on the outskirts of Dundee, is Clatto Country Park. Nestled between Templeton Forest and Camperdown Park, it’s already easy to think you could be far away from the city centre, especially when you reach the reservoir and look beyond out to the Sidlaws. Best to go on a summer’s evening; the sunsets over the water are really beautiful. From here you can continue walks around the forest or beyond to the hills.
- Law Hill
The Law hill, which looms up over the rest of the city, is the perfect spot for a panoramic view across the best of what Tayside (and Fife too, if you want to be pedantic) has to offer. From the top of the Law you get a great view over the whole of our wonderful city, across the Tay, out to the beaches of St. Andrews in one direction and the rolling Sidlaw hills in the other. Go for an early morning clamber up the Law and watch a brilliant sunrise over the valley below.
- Dudhope Park
Dudhope Park stretches upwards towards the Law, overlooking the city centre. You can walk around the garden of Dudhope Castle, a pretty medieval tower house, take a trip to the skate park or just find a space to sit and look out over the city. It’s as pretty in spring when daffodils line the pathways, as it is in autumn when the fallen brown leaves match the rust red of the old Dudhope Infirmary adjacent. The park is really open, which for me is the best way to describe the spaces in Dundee. Unassuming but wholly welcoming.
- Train journey to Perth
A little more obscure, but hear me out. One of my favourite views of Dundee is the view from the train coming into and leaving the city along the river. On the way in, the first glances of the silver stags, the Tay bridge, Magdalen Green, reminds me I am home. On the train out of Dundee, going towards Perth and Glasgow, make sure you sit on the left hand side of the carriage if you can. There is one point just as the train pulls past Invergowrie where the land drops away from your vision and you just get a brilliant view over the Tay and the Riverside Nature Park. You could really feel like you were out in the middle of the countryside already, and you’re only 2 minutes away from the station. A walk around the Riverside Nature Park is worthwhile too. Opening in 2011, what used to be an old landfill site is now home to an abundance of plant and animal life. With great views over the Tay estuary, you can watch birds flying in over the river or wander through the wildflowers. It is a place of tranquillity and nature in an urban environment.
(This might be a 6th entry, but it’s a worthy addition, and not quite in Dundee itself so let’s let this one slide.) Last but not least, if you want to get a view of the entire Dundee skyline, you’ll need to leave the city and walk to the other side of the bridge, into Newport-on-Tay. Turn right off the bridge and walk through the village; there is a small bandstand in a park from which you get a great view of bonnie Dundee.
[Featured Image: Clatto Reservoir at sunset. All photos my own.]