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Hi everyone. Following the full of fun weekend we had in Glasgow last August I thought it would be a good idea to plan a meet on the east coast of Scotland and posted a little bit on my about me a couple of months back to see if anyone would be interested in meeting up in Dundee on the weekend of 30th June. I'm pleased to say that I've had quite a few people get back to me with very positive comments and thought it was about time to formally announce it.
Dundee - City Square at 11.00am on Saturday 30th June, 2007
This time may of course change as times goes on so check back for any updates.
Now I wasn't really sure what most people would like to do and I'm open for suggestions so don't be afraid to leave me comments and I will update this review as we get nearer the time, but what I will say is that I will try to give some details on here of how to get to Dundee, where to stay, places to eat and what there is to do in the area, as I'm sure some people will want to see some of the surrounding attractions if they are coming up for a few days break.
I'll start with the whereabouts.
Dundee is on the East Coast of Scotland and is easily accessible by train, coach or car. It also has a small airport, which has flights running to London City Airport on a daily basis so those further afield might fancy this option. The airport, train station and bus depot are all within a 10-minute walk from the city centre.
Trains connect from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh so if you can get to one of those cities then you are only a stone's throw away. A lot of trains coming by Edinburgh go straight on to Dundee without any changes but at Glasgow you will have to walk from Central Station to Queen Street Station if you are travelling from the south.
Coaches come through Dundee from all the main cities as far as I've been made aware so that shouldn't be too much of a problem either.
If you are coming by car, and I know this is a popular thing to do so you can do a bit of sight seeing in the area, then it's very easy to get to Dundee City Centre, as there are easy signs to follow, no matter which way you are coming in.
***Places To Stay***
There are a number of hotels/travel lodges etc to stay in Dundee or on the outskirts, as well as some smaller places too. I haven't stayed in any of them personally so I can't say what they will be like but most can be found on www.yell.com under Hotels in Dundee.
The ones near the centre are:-
Apex City Quay Hotel Best
Pictures of Proposed Ciao Meets
Western Queens Hotel Premier Travel Inn at Discovery Quay The Hilton Hotel Travellodge Central
The beauty of these ones is that they are all within minutes of the town centre and they all have car parking on site.
There are lots of other Hotels and B&B's in the surrounding area whose details are all at the above site but I didn't want to give a huge list and confuse everyone. It is reasonable to consider staying in Monifieth or Broughty Ferry, both are just north of Dundee or at Invergowrie, which is just south of the city. For those who fancy staying up the coast a little bit there is also Carnoustie and my hometown, Arbroath. If anyone wants details of accommodation in these areas then send me your email address in my Private Guestbook and I'll send a list of b&b's with phone numbers as I don't want to bore you too much here.
There are quite a few good pubs in the city centre of Dundee that do reasonably priced meals for all the family. Huxters on Reform Street is very good and I should really do a review on them soon but they are refurbishing at the moment and I want to check out the new area before I do. They sell reasonably priced food that tastes delicious and has an upstairs area, which is quite a quiet area to sit and chat.
There is also The Counting House Wetherspoons, also on Reform Street, which I have reviewed in the past but although it was cheap the food wasn't the hottest. This is however, one of the spots that I think might be good for meeting up as it has a good area of comfy sofas to sit at.
The other one that is part of the Wetherspoons Group is The Capitol on Seagate. This is right next to a Yates Wine Lodge but much nicer and is probably the quieter one of the two so this is another option for meeting for a nice chat.
If you like a bit of a Chinese buffet then Jimmy Chung's is the place to go on Whitehall Street. This is another one that I really should review, as I have had many a fine selection of food there. The good thing is that it's a set price and then you can eat as much as you want but leave room for the Mr Whippy style ice cream at the end to go with the assortment of gateaux that they bring out.
Rancho Pancho's is the place to go if you like a bit of Mexican food and it's just down from Jimmy Chung's. I've never eaten there as I'm not a fan of spicy food but my bloke says it's fantastic and has been there quite a few times in the past.
There are lots of other small restaurants or larger pubs to eat in as well as all the usual McDonalds, KFC type places too.
***Places To Go In Dundee***
There are quite a few things to do in Dundee itself. If you want a bit of history then the obvious choice is down at Discovery Quay where you can get on board the famous ship and see what Scott and the other explorers had to deal with on their trip to the Antarctic many years ago.
Verdant Works is the UK's only jute museum and you can see the machinery that made this fabric. This was a major source of industry in Dundee in days of old, so again if history is your thing then this is the place to go.
For those with kids who like a bit of hands on Science, then take yourself down to Sensation at Nethergate. We've been there and the kids loved it - I'm including my bloke and myself in that category too. Again, I really ought to get a review done on this fantastic place to go. It features exhibits that work round the senses and they often have special exhibitions at various times throughout the year. The Predators one last summer was excellent.
Slightly further out is the fantastic Camperdown Park. This area can be found at the Perth end of the Kingsway in Dundee and is the park where Radio 1 held their Big Weekend last summer. It also has a wildlife centre, a boating lake and extensive play areas for the kids to play on. It's a really good day out on a sunny day and there is no admission fee for the park area although there are charges for the wildlife centre - again expect a review on that soon too, as we were there the other day for my son's birthday day out.
Near Camperdown Park there is also an ice rink and a cinema.
If you are looking for things to do in the nearby area then Arbroath is quite nice with a lovely harbour area and the Abbey that you can walk round. The famous Declaration of Arbroath was signed there to give the Scots freedom from the English so it's steeped in patriotic history. Now, that I have done a review on if you're interested. There is also a great play area down at the beach, which is usually pretty clean so if you are thinking of bringing kids then this is a good day out with Pleasureland at one end with dodgems and the waltzers in it. There is also an indoor play area for the kids called Jumping Joeys and this is good if the weather isn't so good.
If you like venturing up into the hills then you don't really have to go too far in a car to get there from Dundee. About 20 miles up the A90 you will find a town called Kirriemuir, which leads you to quite a few different Glens including Glen Clova, which then leads to Glen Doll. These are beautiful areas in the summer and if you have the time and you're not used to being in such gorgeous scenery then it's well worth the visit. Further north on the A90 is Brechin and just after that you can see signs for Edzell, which is where the largest American listening Base on British soil used to be. It's all closed down now but Edzell is the gateway to another Glen called Glen Esk. There is parking up there and if you like walking then take your boots with you for a beautiful trek to Loch Lee. The views are spectacular. Edzell is around 35 miles from Dundee.
South of Dundee and over the Tay Bridge you have the beautiful area of Fife. There are many lovely towns you can visit along the coastal route including St Andrews, which of course is famous now for where Prince William went to University. On the way there you can see signs for Craigtoun Country Park and this is another great place to spend the day on boating lakes and the putting green as well as there being a bowling green and adventure play areas for kids. There are some beautiful walks round this park and I've been there many times in the past with my own children.
Nearer Perth you can find Scone Palace where the kings of Scotland were crowned. It also used to have the Stone of Destiny and a lot of people think that it should be returned back to it's rightful home. When some students stole the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950, it was actually found hidden in Arbroath Abbey so there is a bit of a connection between the sites. You can see round the palace and the grounds and although I haven't as yet visited, I have heard many good reports about it.
As I previously stated I'm open to options as to what you might like to do for the meet although ideas such as ice skating might not be agreeable to everyone so bear this in mind when leaving comments. If anyone needs any information about anything to do with the meet then leave me your email addresses or phone numbers in my PGB and I promise to try to help you out as best I can. Also, please let me know if you are interested in coming so I can add you to the list. Family are welcome too or if you don't want to turn up alone then bring a mate. The more the merrier.
At the moment I have me, my bloke and my daughter and I want to meet new people too, lol. So go on - treat yourself to a fun weekend in Dundee.
Being Ciao's resident Dundonian, I can also thoroughly recommend the Phoenix as Dundee's best pub - it's at the town end of Perth Road, and does rather splendid bar food. Anything you need to know, just ask! Ricky.
nickyct 14.06.2007 15:26
Nice idea.... I have literally just booked flights to Bristol that weekend to see a friend. But I hope you all have a fabulous time. It would be bizarre to meet people I imagine... Anyway enjoy. Nicky xx