A family break to Dundee – can you have it all? Yes you can! 

When building a weekend break with young children in tow, it can be a daunting prospect. How on earth are you going to get some all-important relaxation, culture and exceptional food with toddlers? Well, these fabulous influencers made it look easy, from pampers to pampering. 

Meet Paula Gaughan, @montessoriplaying and Steph Andonovic @the_a_family_x. Both are mummy Instagrammers with young kids who visited Dundee recently with their families. 

For each of their visits, the team here at VisitDundee made it our mission to showcase how families can have the best of both worlds, making the area a must-visit for families.

Soaking up the city

For both families, the location of their accommodation meant they could marvel at the city. For Steph and her husband, Mark, staying at the Invercarse Hotel was a real nostalgic trip. “Mark and I used to live in Dundee,” said Steph. “So, when VisitDundee invited us back for a weekend with the boys, we jumped at the chance to go back and show them where Mummy & Daddy met!”

A Family Break to Dundee at the Invercarse Hotel

The Greenstar Apartments is at the very epicentre of the city at Westport and proved the perfect spot to watch the world go by for Paula and her family. “The views from the apartment were amazing and the proximity to the city centre was a definite highlight.”

Space to breathe

The sheer size of the Greenstar Apartment was a hit with Paula who said she’d consider returning with her extended family including parents and grandparents. “Serviced accommodation is definitely easier with a little one as we made of the most of the living space to enjoy wine and cheese in the evenings,” said Paula. 

A Cheese and Charcuterie Box from We Love Platters was delivered to Paula and her partner to snack on in the evenings once her little girl, Stella, had gone to bed. “The grazing board was nibbled on all throughout the weekend and was unreal!”

For the Andonovic family, they found the best of both worlds. “The Invercarse Hotel had the best family room I’ve ever seen,” said Steph. “Being in the same hotel room, but having a separate bedroom was brilliant. I’ve had a lot of people say that more hotels need to do these kinds of rooms.”

Building in some pampering

While Daddy and Stella explored the V&A and RRS Discovery, Paula squeezed in some much appreciated ‘me time’. Now, parents reading this will know how special this can be – and Paula was delighted to have the most relaxing morning at The Sunflower Room. Also known as the ‘Stress Tonic’, Paula was treated to a facial, head and neck massage. “It was lovely to have a little bit of time off from ‘Mum Life’ before meeting up with the rest of the family again feeling refreshed.”

Sights that cater for all ages

Is there a more universally thrilling sight in Dundee than the looming presence of RRS Discovery? It’s a place of wonder for children and, let’s face it, adults too. It certainly gets you thinking about travelling to far flung ends of the earth and our influencers had a ball exploring Discovery Point. 

Steph’s son Jack was in his element at the wheel of the ship. “He may have kept calling it a pirate ship,” laughs Steph. “I’m sure Captain Scott and his crew would have found that funny. There’s a fantastic Kids Area below deck as well which was very unexpected.”

a family break to dundee
Credit: @the_a_family_x

A trip out of the city was on the cards for Paul to take Stella to feed the animals at Newton Farm near Forfar. A working farm, Stella was “buzzing” after getting up close to the animals. A welcome change of pace in the idyllic Angus countryside.

Speaking of animals, Steph’s brood built in a trip to Camperdown Wildlife Centre. Jack and his little brother Luke loved the monkeys and Steph’s personal favourite was the wolves. The “giant playpark” was a hit too where the family worked up an appetite for a hearty local favourite.

Delicious food with a warm welcome

The Andonovic’s followed up their trip to Camperdown with a visit to the nearby Birkhill Inn where they experienced the restaurant’s award-winning steak pie. Sitting just north of Dundee, the ‘Birkie’ is famous for its warm hospitality and delectable pies. “We ate our body weight in incredible food,” said Steph.

Tailend Dundee, originally a fish and chip shop that ‘swam’ across the Tay to open another restaurant in Dundee, was thoroughly enjoyed by Paula and her family. Paula was very excited about the visit admitting she had been “drooling over the menu all week.” She wasn’t disappointed. “It was the best meal out I’ve had in some time! I absolutely love sea food and the Thai Red Curry was to die for! I’d return to Dundee for this meal alone”

a family break to dundee
Credit: @montessoriplaying. A Family Break to Dundee

A perfect balance

While on quite different trips, both families proved that Dundee can provide families with a balance of activities, flexible accommodation, some ‘me time’ and food that everyone can fall in love with – no matter the age. 

It’s a city that never fails to surprise people. “Definitely visit if you can,” said Steph. “There’s a lot of Dundee that people don’t know about and it’s a vibrant city with lots to do!” 

We can’t argue with that. And mums know best.

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