Meet the talented team from DD Tours bringing Dundee’s amazing history to life through gore and giggles 

Dundee is a city brimming with stories, and, in Scotland’s Year of Stories, Louise Murphy and Stewart Heaton, the brains behind Dundee walking tour company DD Tours, are flying the city’s vibrant flag, eager to put the untold stories of this old town on everyone’s map. 

“Where do we go on our tours in Dundee?” Stewart asks? “The short answer is where don’t we go!”

Spending time with Louise and Stewart is a pretty solid indication of what a cocktail of pure enthusiasm and dry wit would taste like. Their exceptionally knowledgeable, hilarious and gritty tours delve deep behind the nooks and crannies of the city in a way that gets to the heart of what Dundee is all about. 

The duo started DD Tours after their website, Dark Dundee, a treasure trove of stories about the city and its many characters, developed a huge fan following. After giving up their far less theatrical day jobs, they’ve never looked back and are having a ball sharing dark and fascinating stories during their walking tours. 

“We try and tell the stories that are all about the people of Dundee and events that really shaped the town and made it into the place it is today,” explains Louise. “Most of our tours are about the dark side of history – wars, battles, murders, riots, that type of thing. But we try and tell the stories in a really entertaining way. 

“We want to draw people in and make them imagine what it was like to be there and live in those times. It can be quite dark sometimes, but we do like to inject a lot of humour into what we do and have laughs along the way as well.”

dd-tours, fannies-and-belters
DD Tours – Scotland’s Year of Stories

Having created a number of different walking tours, a lot of what Louise and Stewart do is outdoors on the streets of the city, going from location to location, often buildings, statues and plaques, with lots of story-telling along the way. 

“Whatever they expect, it will not be what they expect,” says Stewart. “We have a tour at the moment called ‘Fannies and Belters’ and it’s absolutely packed with hysteria where conversely, we also have murder tours which are packed with nothing but death and gore – so be very careful what you book in for!”

“A favourite of mine is the siege of 1651,” Stewart adds. “The walls of Dundee came tumbling down under the orders of Oliver Cromwell’s men. The town was occupied for nine years and it was a devastating time. It’s a personal favourite because there’s a lot of drama, a lot of death and a lot of pivotal moments that happened from a historical perspective. Also, it has something people always love to hear about – a good old-fashioned witch burning!”

DD-Tours
DD Tours – Dundee’s History

For Louise, one of her favourites is the underground vaults tours. “People love getting underground and seeing the old streets of Dundee from the 1600s that are now under the street level.”

The pair’s love for their city shines through when they talk about their tours. “There’s a huge variety of people that come on our tours,” says Louise. “Everything from aged 5 – 105. It’s always great when we meet people on a tour who’ve lived in Dundee all their lives and we’ll tell them about something they didn’t know had happened and it motivates them to go and find out more themselves.”

“And, with people who’ve never been to Dundee before, it’s really heart-warming to hear people say such nice things about the city and how welcoming everyone is. I think a lot of visitors who come to Dundee don’t realise how much there is to offer here.”

“You get all the buzz of a big city, but with all the warmth and connection of a small town,” says Stewart. “So there’s loads of things to do here, but they’re not particularly spread out. There are lots of people here, but not too many people, so you’ve got a perfect blend. And, we’re also the sunniest city in Scotland, so what’s not to love.”

When Louise and Stewart first got involved with the tourism sector they didn’t know what to expect. “We’re quite a small business and there’s just the two of us at DD Tours, but everyone we’ve worked with has been so helpful,” says Stewart. 

“There’s a real spirit in Dundee of everyone working together for the greater cause to bring people into Dundee to show what we have to offer,” adds Louise. “There’s such a mixture of history, culture, art and food to experience here and just being able to be involved in that and work with so many amazing people has been great.”

To find out more and book one of their tours in Dundee, visit www.ddtours.co.uk 

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