Every year VisitScotland create a theme to help celebrate Scotland’s unique culture, land and people. 2020’s theme has continued in to 2021 with the ‘Year of Coasts and Waters’.
As an island nation we’re blessed with amazing coastline, beautiful rivers and serene lochs. In Scotland, the furthest you can be from the sea is about 50 miles, so our culture has always been closely linked to our relationship with the seas. Dundee sits proudly on the bank of the silvery River Tay as it flows through its estuary and into the North Sea.
There are many exciting and invigorating ways to immerse yourself in the aquatic environment (which we’ll cover in future blogs). But for most locals the very thought of plunging oneself or even dipping a toe into the bracing waters of the Tay in January is not top on their list of ways to experience their city.
We should all try to remain at home as much as possible but we also need our daily exercise, so why not grab your big coat, that bobble hat you got for Christmas and your sunglasses and head out for some fresh air on a walk that shows off some of the city’s best assets; the River Tay and the Road and Rail bridges.
There is plenty space along the 3km walk that runs from the riverside nature reserve all the way to Discovery Point and V&A Dundee on the south facing bank of the river. The route is great for walkers of all abilities as it’s perfectly flat with seating at various point along the way. It forms part of the National Cycle Network so you can bring your bike. Whether you’re walking the dog, taking the family out or just enjoying a quiet moment to yourself, the riverside walk is a great way to get outdoors and get some vital exercise.
But, remember to observe all social distancing practises and wrap up warmly so that you can view some of Dundee’s best looking assets without freezing yours off.
Top Tip – stop off at the Bridgeview Station along the way to refuel with a takeaway coffee or sweet treat.
Ok, it’s a tenuous link but where do fish come from? Exactly. So we’ll go with it. What better way to celebrate just about anything, especially on a winters day, than with a good fish supper.
Dundee lays claim to being the first place in Scotland to sell fish and chips, when back in 1870 an astute Belgian gentleman by the name of Edwars De Gernier set up shop in the Greenmarket.
There are now plenty of ‘Chippers’ that offer delivery across the city from Tailend in the town centre to De Niro’s in Ardler to Murray’s in Broughty. We’ve all got our favourite shop, which one’s yours?
Top Tip – order some ‘Tattie Fritters’ and try a Dundee speciality.
The two obvious examples with direct links to Dundee’s seafaring history are the RRS Discovery and HMS Unicorn. Both have equally fascinating stories to tell.
Its location made it a key shipping port for trade with Europe and for hundreds of years many of the cities key industries such as jute and whaling flourished because of it.
Top Tip – You can find out so much more about Dundee’s maritime heritage via the Friends of Dundee City Archives
Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland so we’ve got to have a beach to go along with that. Broughty Ferry might not be the Copa Cabana at this time of year, but add in a castle, a historic fishing village and lots of independent shops and cafes and what more do you need? A walk along the beach to blow away those winter blues is just what you need just now and can be part of the permitted daily exercise that’ll help keep you healthy and sane during these difficult times.
Top Tip – pick up a hot chocolate at Iced Gems for your walk along the shore and remember to wave/shout encouragement to any intrepid souls who are brave enough for a dip in the sea.
The human body is made up of 70% water and we need to make sure we keep ourselves hydrated at all times.
That’s not a problem in Scotland as we have one of the highest quality drinking water supplies of anywhere in the world. We can drink top class H2O straight from the tap, but we also love to turn it into whisky, gin, beer and other glorious concoctions. That being said, we’re most likely to use it to make our most popular beverages of tea or coffee.
Whatever your tipple of choice you can refresh yourself and raise a glass, cup or mug to the ‘Year of Coast and Waters’.
Top Tip – try some of the inventively named beers from Dundee’s 71 Brewing.