A friendly, down-to-earth place with a fascinating industrial heritage, Dundee made its mark after the Industrial Revolution with textile manufacturing, especially jute. Historically, this imported fibre came to be associated with the city because of its even earlier involvement in whaling. That whale oil was used to soften the jute for processing is just one of many facts to be learned at the city’s Verdant Works, a preserved former jute mill.
Today, most of the mills have long gone. The city’s very literal flagship, RRS Discovery, floats by the quayside as part of the Discovery Point complex, telling another tale of the city’s heritage – this time of how whale-ship building expertise was linked to polar exploration and derring-do in Antarctica. Dundee Contemporary Arts plus the fine civic collections in the McManus Galleries further contribute to the mix of attractions all within a few minutes’ walk of each other – all of which justify Dundee’s label as ‘City of Discovery’.
Good city-centre shopping malls and a general air of bustle by the river estuary all broaden the appeal of one of Scotland’s most surprising cities.