On the banks of the river Tay, situated in the East Coast of Scotland, Dundee is a small city in comparison to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Yet, the city has so much to offer and one really becomes a part of it, proudly enough that only you would be allowed to rant on about the silent lifestyle but when someone else does it, you would guard its honor with your life. I arrived by train to this lovely city on August 22nd. It was a cold saturday morning, like most Scottish mornings. When I left India, I had read that Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland, but maybe I expected too much of sun. But in the city’s defense, the city is quite sunny with temperatures in mid 20 until it hits the winter. From then on, I felt the wrath of the wind. Here is a picture from my flat, that shows why this BBC Program kinda looking set is a nightmare in the winter.
The temperature in winter is usually between -5 and 8. Although, these are the recorded temperatures.. the way it actually feels is about -3 than the recorded temperature. Therefore, I would refrain from stepping out of the warm heated rooms unless it was really necessary.
Regardless of contrary belief, I was smart enough to use up the warm days at my disposal, prior to winter settling in. There are quite a few sights that one could visit in Dundee and I made it a point to explore as much as I could before the winter dawned itself on me. This post covers two of my favorite spots in Dundee.
The Law. No, I am not talking about the justice system. The Law, is the name of the hill, from which one can overlook the city. A short trek of 30 minutes or a taxi ride of £7, pick your damage and get to the peak. Guaranteed, there is not a better view of this city even from an airplane. I would recommend the short trek, honestly it just feels like walking, excluding the short forest trail, plus there are multiple pathways you could explore to get to the top – BEWARE of the junkies though, because #justdundeethings.
Coming back to the law, this is the #1 spot to see in Dundee. There is no time that is not perfect to visit it. One could do morning breakfast’s at the Law Hill. You would be blessed with eating a nice piece of pb&jam toast, sipping a warm cup of tea, having a very British dandy outlook to life, when the sun decides to kiss you with the rarity of its heat. But to be fair, not most of us are morning people, let alone walk 30 minutes up hill, with a picnic basket, in the Scottish cold.. so you could go for a nice walk of solitude up the hill post lunch on a lazy sunday afternoon as well. Popular spot for dog walkers, the city has a portfolio of old aged men and young students, who one would encounter en-route to the top, greeting you with a slight nod or sometimes a wee smile and time to play with the doggos. Great way to socialise with the locals.
But my favorite times to visit are early and late evening. My first visit to the Law came in the first week of September. It was a lovely sunny evening and this was just post my gym session. A few friends decided to go up the Law hill. I was fascinated by the idea and took up their invite to take the short walk up. 30 minutes of complaining and boom.
We reached the top and what a sight. Could not get enough and the next half hour would be filled with enjoying this view and regretting the idea of going back down to the monotonous reality.
The Tower at the Law Hill, overlooking the train bridge that connects Angus with Fife, upon the River Tay, I can’t stop imagining how well protected the city must have been from invaders, thanks to this tower as a look out spot. But if memory does serve me correctly, this tower is relatively new.
The second most favorite time for me to visit this is at late evening. I realised this during Guy Fawkes’s day. Yes, the V for Vendetta stuff. It was November 5th. There was going to be no shortage of fireworks come 7 PM. The whole city gathered around at the Law Hill to witness the spectacle that would follow. Unfortunately for me and many of you who would expect a picture to see it, it was too cold and I did not want my hands to fall off, hence I kept the phones inside and took mental captures of the spectacle.
But the spectacle was not why I want to visit this place in the late evening. It was what followed. Of course, with Dundee’s reputation for a drug base and substance abuse, it is definitely not the safest time to travel up the hill – a hotspot for junkies. But once you’re up there, lying on the grass, staring at the starry sky above and the cityscape and night lights below, one experiences peace of an inexplicable kind. It made me lose myself that I wanted to stay the night over – but I would be crazy to do that and would have deffo died of hypothermia. So I walked back down, got home, cooked meself some soup and bread, returned to my cocoon aka – the best place on this planet, MY BED.
Soon, I will follow up with more such adventures and places, for both the sunny days and the cold nights, if at all one decides to visit the not so mainstream locales in Scotland – Live it the Scottish way, perhaps? Not sure if I am doing it myself, but maybe my posts would inspire you to do it. Until next time, cheerio!