Scotland’s fourth-largest city, Dundee, sits near the mouth of the country’s longest river – the mighty Tay. Immediately to the north lies the county of Angus. Both are inextricably linked and boast fine landscapes and a rich history. These include strong connections to Scott of the Antarctic’s failed expedition to reach the South Pole in 1912, and indelible links to the world-famous tale of Peter Pan.
Indeed, the area’s history may surprise you – for instance, few people are aware that an area of the city was once the ‘richest’ spot on Earth. One square mile (2.6 sq km) was home to no fewer than 33 millionaires back in 1861 – the highest concentration anywhere on the planet at that time. Fact fans may also be surprised to learn that the Grand Theft Auto gaming franchise has its roots in the city. Of course the past is not the only fascinating aspect to the area. From world-famous golf courses to stunning mountains and spectacular castles, the Dundee and Angus area have the lot.
1. Camperdown Park
At 400 acres (162 hectares) in size, Camperdown Country Park is the largest public park in the city of Dundee. A wildlife centre within the grounds is home to 50 different animal species, including two brown bears, and is a popular attraction among visitors and locals alike. Other notable species range from lemurs to the large flightless rhea. Golf lovers will be interested to know that the park is also home to an 18-hole golf course, while fans of architecture will be intrigued by the A-listed 19th century Greek Revival-style manor. After a visit, those looking for further entertainment will be interested to know that an ice rink, cinema, restaurant, and bar are located just outside the main entrance to the park.
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
Address: Camperdown Country Park, Coupar Angus Road, Dundee DD2 4TF
Price: Adult 5 GBP (6.60 USD); Children (age 3 to 17) and concessions 4 GBP (5.28 USD); Children (age 3 and under) 1 GBP (1.32 USD); Family (up to two adults and three children) 17 GBP (22.43 USD)
Contact: +44 1382 431811 or [email protected]
Website: Camperdown Wildlife Centre
2. V&A Museum and RRS Discovery
The V&A Museum and RRS Discovery are two truly iconic attractions within Dundee. The RRS Discovery is a historic ship inextricably linked to cutting edge Antarctic expeditions of the early 20th century involving not just Robert Falcon Scott but Ernest Shackleton – two of the most famous explorers of the time. Right next to the vessel’s permanent dry dock home is the cutting edge V&A Museum of Design. This iconic new landmark on the banks of the Tay is due to open to the public in 2018 and is expected to pull in visitors from across the world. In the meantime, visitors can marvel at the building’s striking, futuristic design.
Address: Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee, DD1 4XA
Price: Adult 9.25 GBP (12.20 USD); Child 5.50 GBP (7.26 USD); Concession 7.25 GBP (9.56 USD); Family 27 GBP (36.62 USD)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm (6 pm in summer). Opens at 11 am on Sundays.
Contact: +44 1382 309060 or email [email protected]
Website: RRS Discovery
3. J M Barrie's Birthplace
A visit to Angus is not complete without a visit to the childhood home of the man behind one of the world’s most beloved children’s tales – Peter Pan. The author JM Barrie was born and raised in a humble home in the small town of Kirriemuir, and the site – known as Barrie’s Birthplace – is today owned by the National Trust for Scotland, which runs a museum within its walls. The town square also contains a statue of Peter in homage to Barrie, while other places of interest connected to the author include the cricket pavilion and camera obscura he funded, as well as his burial plot.
J M Barrie's Birthplace
Address: 9 Brechin Road, Kirriemuir, Angus, DD8 4BX
Price: Adult 6.50 GBP (8.57 USD); Concession 5 GBP (6.60 USD); Family 16.50 GBP (21.77 USD)
Opening Hours: Open from early April to late September (hours vary)
Contact: +44 1575 572646
Website: J M Barrie’s Birthplace
4. Corrie Fee and Jock's Road
The beautiful and tranquil glens of Angus are among its greatest charms – many of which have no through-road – with such isolation being part of the attraction. Hikers will enjoy the terrain, which boasts some fine mountain walks and picturesque lochs such as Brandy and Wharral. One popular hike is Jock’s Road, one of the oldest rights-of-way in Scotland, which winds its way for 14 miles (22.5 km) between Glen Doll and Auchallater near Braemar. Another popular spot is Corrie Fee – a beautiful alpine corrie which can be reached from Glen Doll via a low level route suitable for families.
Glen Doll car park
Address: Located at postcode DD8 4RD (map grid reference NO 284 761)
Price: 2 GBP for all day (2.64 USD)
5. Caledonian Railway and the House of Dun
The age of steam comes to life at The Caledonian Railway, a preserved heritage railway line once used by Queen Victoria. It starts in the picturesque Angus cathedral ‘city’ of Brechin, in reality the size of a small town, and extends to the National Trust for Scotland property of the House of Dun, near Montrose on the county’s coast. The presence of an attraction at either end makes for a good option for a day out. The railway also operates a number of special event trains, including a steam train mocked up to look like Thomas the Tank Engine – perfect for young families.
The Caledonian Railway
Address: Caledonian Railway, The Station, Park Road, Brechin, Angus, DD9 7AF
Opening Hours: Varies. Check website for details
Contact: +44 1356 622992 or email [email protected]
Website: The Caledonian Railway
Angus – and Fife on the other side of the River Tay – are a golfer’s dream. These two historic counties are the spiritual home of the sport, whether it be the Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife or the hallowed fairways of Carnoustie in Angus. Carnoustie Golf Links is home to not one but three different courses – including the famous Championship Course which has played host to numerous Opens and will do so again in 2018. The courses are open to the public every day.
Carnoustie Golf Links
Address: Carnoustie Golf Centre, Links Parade, Carnoustie, Angus, DD7 7JE
Contact: +44 1241 802270 or email [email protected]
Website: Carnoustie Golf Links
7. Lunan Bay
A stunning bay located roughly four miles (6.4 km) south of Montrose, the quiet sands of Lunan Bay are a perfect place to take the family for a day at the seaside. The beach itself has no facilities although the nearby Lunan Bay Diner is available for refreshments. The bay is also home to the ruin of Red Castle – a fortification first built more than 800 years ago to repel Viking raiders. Although there are no rail stops near the bay, those taking the train between Aberdeen and Edinburgh will enjoy a beautiful view of the bay as their carriage whizzes by.
Website: Lunan Bay on Visit Scotland
8. Glamis Castle
One of the most famous castles in Britain, Glamis Castle is a true Scottish icon. Not only does its image appear on the back of Royal Bank of Scotland’s 10 GBP (13.13 USD) banknotes the site was also the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. This impressive castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 1300s, and is still the seat of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. However it is also open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction, with visitors drawn to it by the Royal links, stunning building, extensive grounds, rich past, and ghostly tales.
Address: Glamis Castle, Glamis, Angus, DD8 1RJ
Price: Adult 12.50 GBP (16.49 USD); Over 60s 10.50 GBP (13.85 USD); Children (age five to 16) 9 GBP (11.87 USD); Students 10.50 GBP (13.85 USD)
Opening Hours: Vary. Check the website for details.
Contact: +44 1307 840393 or email [email protected]
Website: Glamis Castle
9. Broughty Castle
A beautiful castle located in Broughty Ferry near the mouth of the Firth of Tay, it has a long and fascinating history. Dating back to the late 1400s it was involved in more than one conflict during the centuries, including the Anglo-Scottish Wars, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and more recently had a key role as a look-out position in World War II. The castle, which is run by Dundee City Council, has operated as a museum for nearly 50 years and is free to visit, making it a beautiful and affordable destination during your stay in the area.
Address: Broughty Castle Museum, Castle Approach, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 2TF
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm; Sundays 12.30 pm to 4 pm. Closed on Mondays from October to March (inclusive).
Contact: +44 1382 436916 or email [email protected]
Website: Broughty Castle
10. Monikie Country Park
Fans of watersports will love the Monikie Country Park at Monikie in Angus. Centred around two former reservoirs, the park features a 50 acre (20 hectare) watersports area that caters to everything from kayaking and windsurfing to rowing and dinghy sailing. What’s more, it will cater to all abilities, so you’ll be welcome whether you’re an experienced sailor or enthusiastic amateur. On-site instructors and taster sessions will provide a great introduction for those just starting out. The park is also home to a host of walks and trails as well as an adventure play park for the youngsters in your family. And keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife, with the area proving popular for birds in particular.
Monikie Country Park
Address: Ranger Centre, Monikie Country Park, Monikie, Angus, DD5 3QN
Opening Hours: Ranger Centre is open 9 am to 4.30 pm daily (longer hours during summer)
Contact: +44 1382 370202 or email [email protected]
Website: Monikie Country Park
11. Arbroath Abbey
The striking ruin of Arbroath Abbey is a must see attraction for history fans. Not only are the physical ruins, which loom large over the Angus town of Arbroath, an impressive sight in themselves, but this former religious site was at the heart of a key moment in history. The Declaration of Arbroath – which declared Scottish independence from England in 1320 – is thought to have been drawn up within its walls by the then Abbot, Bernard of Kilwinning, who was also the Chancellor of Scotland. Concepts contained within the document, which was sealed by dozens of nobles, are also believed to have been influential during the creation of the US Declaration of Independence more than 400 years later.
Address: Abbey Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1EG
Price: Adult 6 GBP (7.91 USD); Child (age 5 to 15) 3.60 GBP (4.75 USD); Under fives go free; Concessions 4.80 GBP (6.33 USD)
Opening Hours: Vary. Check website for details.
Contact: +44 1241 878 756
Website: Arbroath Abbey
So much to see and do
Whether it’s beautiful landscapes, fascinating history, wonderful wildlife, or action-packed outdoor fun, Angus and Dundee have much to offer those who make the trip.
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