Dundee (Dun Daigh) had an Iron Age settlement on the Law Hill (Duntaw – the hill on the Tay) and it was also an ancient settlement of the Romans.
Ports were built to provide the facility to trade with Baltic Ports and these ports had a reputation for shipbuilding, whaling, flax and linen industries. The whale oil was used in the softening process in the jute industry. The Jute industry which the town is well known for sadly went into decline when India decided to manufacture themselves but also with the invention of plastic sacks and rubber backed carpets for the backing of linoleum which was produced in nearby Kirkcaldy, jute was no longer required. Verdant Works Jute Mill has been set up again as a working jute mill and is a fascinating award winning museum.
There are many innovators credited to Dundee some of the everyday things are as follows – Aspirin and X-ray technology was developed in Dundee Royal Infirmary; others are the adhesive postage stamp; first visible electric light and wireless telegraphy through water; a radar pioneer; the first person to measure the distance between earth and a star; the man who did the sound effects and voice-overs for Disney; and of course Keiller Marmalade being but a few.
Dundee in 19thC became a popular stopping place for tourists travelling to the Highlands – made famous by Queen Victoria coming to stay at her Scottish residence Balmoral Castle and the invention of train travel as Dundee sits on the main line from London to Aberdeen which crosses The Tay Bridge built in 1878 but sadly famous for the Tay Bridge disaster however, rebuilt and still stands well today along with the Tay Road Bridge built in the 1960’s.
Broughty Ferry the next town has a 15thC Castle overlooking the harbour, faced many siege’s and battles. There are many other famous castles around the area, Edzel, Dunottar and Glamis, the childhood home of the Queen Mother. West Ferry part of Broughty Ferry is said to have been the richest half mile in Britain when it was occupied by “Jute Barons” The enormous houses, now flatted are still evident today.
Arbroath where our Arbroath Smokies for breakfasts come from has a famous 12thC Abbey where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where The Stone of Destiny was secretly brought back to in 1950’s from Westminster Abbey.
There are many Pictish Stones around the area and Montrose Basin is worth a visit to the large bird and wildlife centre.
Carnoustie apart from the famous Golf Course, the town was once known as “The Brighton of the North” probably from the influx of tourists in Queen Victoria’s time.
Across the Tay Road Bridge to Fife there is another famous Golf Course – St. Andrews, and the “home of golf” and that leads down the coast to The East Neuk where there are a number of beautiful fishing harbours.