Talk to me about.. living in Dundee

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  • Talk to me about.. living in Dundee
  • I recently had a job interview and might be offered a job in Dundee, but what’s life like up there?

    The city looked okay-ish from my brief drive around, the Tay and surrounding hills are impressive, and the nearby rural countryside and coastline looked fairly nice. But I really haven’t a clue about what live is like there and whether I could manage to live there happily!

    What’s the riding like nearby? I popped into Glentress (88 miles away) on the way home and was – distinctly unimpressed. It felt like Cannock Chase with bigger hills.

    I’m a southern softie originally, now living in Aberystwyth, and so have probably become a bit of a Welsh trail-centre drone over the last few years. I like mountains and things and am not afraid of rain. So I think Dundee could be good, but I guess I’m a bit lost about the other types of off road riding available locally there (I saw LOTS of people on road bikes) – and the general ‘atmosphere’ of this city I know nothing about!


    dundee – imo(grew up near by and went to uni there) is one of the most underrated citys in scotland

    it has its bad areas – but what city doesnt.

    Its central to all the trailcentres but has a fully stocked larder of natural trails near by starting with the sidlaws and further afield angus glens -followed by the southern cairngorms.

    then the town – actually seems to have some soul. i know everyone was up in arms when they pedestrianised the main shopping street but honestly it was the best thing they ever did. aberdeen could learn alot from dundee

    Premier Icon tomd

    I haven’t lived there myself, but my sister has lived there for years so have visited regularly.

    I would definitely live there. City is decent and improving, although it has some rough areas. Cheap housing, reasonable arts and social scene and great access to the country and good parks in the city. The uni is a big influence on the town and improves the place no end.

    Riding wise, there is lots nearby. Apart from local stuff, you can access fantastic riding around. To name a few wthin an hour:
    Perthshire – probably my favourite place to mtb in Scotland. very varied from mountains to river valleys and woodland.
    Angus Glens (Glen Clova) – Souther edge of Cairngornms, proper big mountain riding.
    Lomond Hills – Rolling hills with good tracks and some hidden gnarly stuff
    Fife Coastal Path – fun coasta riding with ice cream stops and great views.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    I live just north of Perth, but like Dundee. It has got some pretty rough bits, but the sun shines, its on the sea and it has a decent social scene. Plenty of riding there or thereabouts, just not really from the door step.
    I’d look to live in Broughty Ferry (Dundee’s Milngavie / Brearsden) or west of the city.


    IMHO there are two Dundees; Dundee in the summer – pleasant enough city, nice surrounding countryside and; Dundee in the winter – dark, cold, bitter wind, dark when you get up, dark when you go home, dark grey and miserable, short days, lack of sunlight, really, really, bl**dy dark.

    Maybe I’m a southern softie, but I really did not enjoy Dundee in winter.

    Dundee is like many Scottish Cities the rougher parts and the nicer parts are never to far away from each other. There is quite a lively culture to the city and The Caird Hall gets decent bands, it is improving with better hotels on the waterfront and some good bars in
    Riding in the Angus Glens is good, very natural and accessible.
    There is quite a vibrant cycling scene on Tayside.

    Perth is probably a nicer place IMO more central and not too far away with choice riding from your doorstep, if you don’t mind the commute or even St Andrews just across the Tay Bridge.


    sorry people actually live in st andrews ?

    the mrs went to uni there – looked like hell on earth to live in…..coupled with prices that were sky high.

    i do like perth – and all the little villages in between – my issue with perth is – the city centres just lacking something. being at the bottom of the a9 opens up alot of day trips though :d

    “IMHO there are two Dundees scotlands ; Dundee scotland in the summer – pleasant enough city, nice surrounding countryside and; Dundee in the winter – dark, cold, bitter wind, dark when you get up, dark when you go home, dark grey and miserable, short days, lack of sunlight, really, really, bl**dy dark.

    Maybe I’m a southern softie, but I really did not enjoy Dundee scotland in winter. ”


    I live there (here) and like it, 8 years so far and that was after relocating from San Francisco (long story). So if I can take the culture shock of this move I am sure a move from Aberystwyth will be a breeze.

    The only thing wrong with Dundee is Dundonians being down on Dundee. I think its a great city with lots going for it. Moreso now the V&A museum is arriving, new posh restaurants, hotels, flourishing arts and music scene etc.

    yes its dark in winter but so is everywhere in Scotland, in fact dundee is actually the Sunniest city in Scotland.

    Its is a lot livelier during university term time fromt he 2 main universities and you get a good mix of arty types from Dundee uni and geek/gamers from Abertay.

    let me know if you have any specific questions, oh and I am English too and never had any bother, well I am half Scottish but brought up in England.

    edit; perth IMO is a lot rougher than Dundee, dont like it myself

    Premier Icon tommytowtruck

    We lived in Dundee for about 4 years, moved up there for my first job after University and enjoyed living there. As said, it has rough bits and nice bits much like any other city. We bought a place in Broughty Ferry (at the time property prices were very cheap – not sure what they are like there) which is quite a nice place, a few decent pubs and places to eat. Good riding in the Sidlaws and over the water in pitmedden forest.


    I am an Edinburgh boy ,so I have high standards 😉
    but moving to Dundee after 10 years in London was (literally )a breath of fresh air.
    As said above ,it has access to some fantastic areas and is very underrated .
    I like the way it doesn’t feel like living in a city while at the same time being close enough to Edinburgh and Glasgow if you feel the need for more choice.
    It is going through a lot of change just now and all for the best.
    Moving to any new place,the bottom line will always be ,life’s what you make it.
    I am proud to call it our home,it’s been good to us .


    Premier Icon althepal

    The points about Dundee/Scotland are true.. lived in Dundee a fair while back then moved to Perth for a bit afterwards. Perth is a bit smaller, bit more of a village mentality and prob quite a high impression of itself but it has its shitty bits like everywhere else. Dundee was a bit crazy when I lived there 20 years ago but even thenit had some great pubs and a good music scene.. been back a fair few times over the years and the city centre seems a much nicer place to be. A lot of good changes happening although apparently the Jimmy Shand pub closed a few years ago! Gutted.


    worth a look to see whats going on developmentwise:


    IMHO there are two Dundees; Dundee in the summer – pleasant enough city, nice surrounding countryside and; Dundee in the winter – dark, cold, bitter wind, dark when you get up, dark when you go home, dark grey and miserable, short days, lack of sunlight, really, really, bl**dy dark.

    Maybe I’m a southern softie, but I really did not enjoy Dundee in winter.

    Rubbish you soft ****** southern shandy.

    For that 2hr or so it’s light. Its quite often clear sunny skies with deep blue all round.


    I’ve been living in Fundee since 2010.

    It’s all right, you can pass a Cairngorms NPA sign in around 45 minutes. Win.

    As far as Scotland goes, the weather is pretty decent. Scotland’s sunniest city apparently.

    I don’t ride with folk from town. As I don’t like other people. But the ones I have met have been sound lads, and that was through the Thistle Club.

    You’ll want to visit The Speedwell Tavern, tis a nice bar with some good Whisky. Shopping facilities are reasonable. All though I’ve been underwhelmed by the bike shops. Edinburgh is not really that far away either.

    Location wise, i’d be inclined to either live in the West or the East end of town.

    Premier Icon duckman

    Dundee; jewel of the Tay. T-R sums it up, visit Grouchos,Mennies, Sensations,the Balaka. Althepal, you were in the old abertay halls up by my old school and I claim my £10 😀

    For that 2hr or so it’s light. Its quite often clear sunny skies with deep blue all round.



    Glentress was a bit like that riding yesterday afternoon – it was like all of a sudden someone up there checked the watch and turned the lights out, which re-introduced me to my former fave riding style – after dark mincing with no lights and a dash of optimism.

    And it’s only October..

    Been here about 25 years now and can’t rate the place highly enough. Yes, the city isn’t perfect; no-where is. I think it’s a very friendly place to live and work, very open. There’s plenty spoken above about arts and culture, so will only add that there’s a great wee art-house cinema in the DCA, right in the city centre and a plan for a second one at the site of the original Steps Theatre. Climate is relatively dry and really not that cold. Get a house with a fireplace, it helps. Loads of nice places to live, in the city and outside in the surrounding villages and county towns. Cycle commuting is reasonably accessible, with an outer circular route around the city and good connections to arterial routes, cycle lanes, paths etc outside the city. I commute over the Sidlaws from near Glamis, January to September (cattle on the hill in the autumn make a right mess). Local riding in Tentsmuir, Camperdown etc on the edges of town; then the Sidlaws for a range of riding, from mellow to fun/silly. Slightly further away- Pitmedden, the Lomonds in Fife and its Coastal path, as mentioned above. Glamis estate has a substantial network of woodland fun, best introduced by a local and great fun for night rides. Kinnoul hill at Perth, then the real stuff close by, up in the mountains. Cairngorms, especially Braemar for epic mountain routes. Perthshire: Dunkeld for some very silly downhilling at Craigvinean and gentle moorland trails, the Trossachs and especially the Angus Glens with dozens of good rides all within easy day trip distance. Masses of riding under the open access legislation, a whole lifetime’s worth. Further afield- Torridon, Speyside, Kinlochleven, Ft Bill, Skye; all easy to get to and fantastic weekend destinations. As someone else also mentioned, there’s a strong road scene, especially just across the water in Fife. The range of other sports available nearby is mind-expanding. Sea Kayaking, rafting, canoe touring; playboats in rivers and surf. Anything with waves, beaches and wind. Skiing, especially touring; Boarding… This could take an age, so to sum up I’ll just say that Dundee or Angus is one of the best places to live in the best wee country in the world. Do it.

    Cheers – thanks for all the info! Most useful… 😀

    The only thing wrong with Dundee is Dundonians being down on Dundee.

    Another resident.
    the quote above is pretty true, but there’s a reason. About 20 years ago this really was shithole, no jobs and not much of anything. I left. came back about 10 years ago and it’s a different much better place. Decent pubs, a handful of decent restaurants, and go 20 minutes in any direction, you’ll be someplace nice. Riding nearby ranges from ok to awesome and there are a handful of bikeable munroes if that’s your thing. Over a dozen mountains in easy to get to, up and back in a not too strenuous day (most not bikeable) but you can’t have everything. Perth is not too far away, but coming in in the morning is a pain as you hit all the other traffic at the fierst roundabout. Fife, pain also as you have to cross the bridge and that can close or or the approaches get gridlocked. I’d be looking for east end or the Ferry to live, and being a west end boy, that’d be (and is) my choice 9worked in Mennies/Speedwell many, many years ago, when The Hun Atthe till was there. or you could look at some of the surrounding villages, Birkhill has some decent enough trails dotted about is 5 minutes from the town but has a bit more villagey feel. Also is on the green circular so you can get into the town centre with virtually no time on roads.


    As most folk have commented Dundee is a pretty
    decent place to stay if you have outdoor hobbies
    Close to coastline and hills it’s a great mix

    Lots of like minded bikers / skiers etc
    I like it here


    Some words from the late great Micheal Marra – Dundee Legend!


    If Dundee was Africa
    And Fife was Antarctica
    If Arbroath was India
    And Perth was Peru
    In that darkest of continents
    How happy I’d be
    Cause that would mean Aberdeen
    Was deep in the Mediterranean Sea
    And a’body would agree
    That’s a no bad place for Aberdeen tae be

    If Dudhope was Zambia
    And the Hulltoon was Gambia
    If Fintry was Egypt
    And The Stobbie was Chad
    If the Ferry was Mozambique
    The Ferry would mebbe seem no bad

    I’d wheel my wheelbarrow up Kilimanjaro
    What a braw view there would be
    A’ they icebergs in Tayport
    When it’s bilin’ in Dundee

    If Dundee was Africa
    South is where the Tay flows to the sea
    In the east it’s the Blackscraft
    In the west it’s the Sinderins
    And Erchie
    As any fool can see
    Tak’ it fae me
    North Africa’s Lochee


    Dunno about living there, but they have the best swimming pool I’ve ever been to…HTH


    look at some of the surrounding villages, Birkhill has some decent enough trails dotted about is 5 minutes from the town but has a bit more villagey feel


    Didn’t realise there were so many locals on here.

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    I moved up 6 months ago and really like it. It is a great place for people who don’t like big cities but still has many of the amenities associated with them. Life is certainly more relaxed here too, rush hour last 20 minutes and is laughably quiet, all the locals I’ve met have been nice and didn’t seem to care that I was noticeably english (unlike when I’ve been in Edinburgh or Glasgow).

    Riding wise there is plenty to go at from gentle seal spotting rides through Tentsmuir forest, XC in Pitmedden, short sharp rides in the Sidlaws, DH trails at Dunkeld and Abernyte, and all day big mountain rides in the Cairngorms. I can do some of these from my door while the Cairngorms take all of an hour.

    Given the number of locals on here maybe we should go for a ride and swap trails?


    Shackleton I would be up for that.

    I’ve just moved up a month ago and live in leuchars just outside St Andrews. It looks as though there is lots of riding around the area but I don’t know where to start!!

    Premier Icon althepal

    Once my Pinkie heals Id be happy driving up from Glasgow for a ride, esp in the Cairngorms.. only done a wee bit around Aviemore.
    Duckman.. close but no tenner! Abertay?? We werent that posh in those days, although it wasnt long in coming. Was a Ninewells man for a bit till I moved to Murray Royal in Perth. Sigh.

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    Renton – I’ve not ridden south of the Tay, most of mine has been in the Sidlaws or up in the Cairngorms. More than happy to go for an XC ride in the Sidlaws if you want a look around as they are where I know best. Now I just need to find a free weekend!

    All these words and no-one’s mentioned – the observatory, and that Dundee is (IIRC) the only council with a City Astronomer on the books

    Jeeeezuz… looks like quite a remarkable place.. 😯

    oh yes, positively jumping


    XC in Pitmedden

    As the clocks have gone back, that’s now Pitmudden.


    Also in the process of moving to Perth so would be up for meeting some folk and exploring / being shown around too!!


    That’s I’m moving to Dundee!

    The cooncil ought to hire some you guys – Highlandman – for The Visit Dundee campaign.

    EDIT – Si, I’m in Stirling if you’re stuck but I’m sure there’s a few Perthians on here somewhere..

    Premier Icon duckman

    Well allthepal, the bayview is gone as well now, Charlie bar FTW!

    Premier Icon althepal

    Ffs. Not The View as well?? (Happier memories of the Jimmy Shand if im being honest..)


    as i’m going out in dundee this very night i can only echo the above. the point about dundonians being down on dundee is well made which is a shame as there’s loads going on there at the moment. i am very excited about the v&a thing. plus perthshire and angus are god’s country for road cycling.

    si, i’m in perth and will happily give you a wee tour of the surrounds. age is not being kind to me at the moment so don’t be expecting heroics!

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