Student blog post

Exploring Broughty Ferry

Today I am taking you on a trip to one of my favourite parts of Dundee – Broughty Ferry.

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While Broughty Ferry itself is not unknown, many students seem to pass on taking a trip out to this edge of Dundee. If this includes you, you are missing out.

'The Ferry' (as locals call it) is pretty easy to reach, one stop on the train heading east and various bus lines will take you there. My favourite route has to be the walking and cycling path though, around 7 km from the city centre, flat and including some lovely views.

Starting at City Quay, the path leads along the edge of the port, then joining the shoreline, opening up to the first views of the former fishing village. In summer you can find an abundance of brambles along this path if you fancy a snack. After passing the boathouses the route joins the road. From here, keep following the shore and after passing the lifeboat station and the first pier, turn to your left up Gray Street for our first stop.

The train station is just up this road and buses stop just beyond the tracks, we are however stopping before getting that far. To your right, you will find Visocchi’s Cafe, serving some of my favourite ice cream in Dundee, they have various more unusual flavours too, constantly changing them. Along this street, there are a bunch of small shops and food places worth stopping at too, just across the road, you will find Potty Ferry where you can paint your own pottery.

With our ice creams, we will head back to the waterfront and towards the castle, to the right, you can see the harbour. Every year on January 1st a New Year’s swim takes place here, with people swimming between the piers in fancy dress. Even having to break the ice with pick axes in the past has not stopped the swimmers.

Our next stop is the castle. Here you will find a lovely museum covering local history and wildlife across a few floors. The top floor has been turned into a viewing platform, and with dolphins frequently visiting the Ferry you may get lucky.

Castle standing in front of sea

Broughty Ferry Castle, near Dundee. Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

After visiting the castle we are continuing along the side of it, passing Castle Green to the left and heading straight to the beach. You can swim here, it may sound a little crazy just now but in Summer there are lifeguards around and you can frequently see people in the water. It is also a lovely place for a walk, with dunes further up the beach and views over to Tentsmuir. 

Since the beach is facing east it makes for nice sunrises, at the moment you would not even need to wake up too early. As for wildlife, there are plenty of birds around and signs to tell you about them, and of course, dolphins again if you get lucky. Another thing to watch from here is the oil rigs being pulled into the port, at least to me, who had never lived by the sea before, watching an oil rig from a beach for the first time was pretty cool. If you follow the Esplanade you will also find the local nature reserve and rock garden to your left.

Broughty Ferry Beach

Next, we will be heading north up Claypotts Road, to find Claypotts Castle and its gardens. The signs outside give you plenty of information although visiting inside is by appointment.

And finally, out last stop is almost just behind the castle, Dawson Park, probably the loveliest place to see cherry blossoms in Dundee in Spring.

Heading through the park and then continuing back westwards towards the city centre, we finally reach the end of the trip. It is of course possible to shorten it considerably by hopping on the train or bus. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this and will consider taking a trip out to the Ferry if you have not yet been.

Kira Samide

Environmental Science student from Switzerland

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Student voice category Dundee, Places to visit