Located on the north bank of the Firth of Tay on Scotland’s east coast, 60 miles north of Edinburgh and 20 miles east of Perth, Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland. The city’s initial growth came about thanks to its ports, but during the Industrial Revolution Dundee grew further due to the local expertise in the manufacture of jute.
During the 20th Century, the city has remained prominent thanks to its roles in scientific discovery and exploration, as well as for printing and journalism: DC Thomson publishing, founded in the city in 1905, gave the world both The Beano and Dandy comics amongst other notable successes.
With the River Tay to the south and with the Cairngorm National Park just 50 miles to the north, Dundee is an excellent place for you and your dog to spend some holiday time.
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Dog Friendly Dundee Must Sees
Dundee Museum of Transport
Transportation has played a major role in the story of the city of Dundee, where today the waterfront is home to both notable road and rail bridges, a railway station and an airport. The Dundee Museum of Transport, located in Market Street (not far from the Victoria Docks in Dundee Harbour) is dedicated to celebrating this heritage. Better yet, your dog is welcome to join you provided that, as their website states, “they don’t try to drive the cars”.
Escape Rooms of Scotland
If your dog feels that they have been excluded from enjoying the Escape Room craze, we have some great news: Escape Rooms of Scotland offer a variety of puzzle rooms that allow dogs to join their owners in trying to find the clues and make it to the exit. You’ll find them in Balgray Street, in the north of the city.
There’s much to find and explore on the north bank of the River Tay. In addition to an array of great walking opportunities for both you and your furry friend, you will find plenty of local historical importance.
In addition to the 19th Century frigate HMS Unicorn, perhaps the most notable landmark is the RRS Discovery, the ship which took Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their pioneering voyage to the South Pole in 1901. The Discovery was built in Dundee and is one of the last ever examples of a masted, all-wooden ship built to such a size.
It’s also the best place to see both the River Tay Road Bridges and the Tay Bridge. At 1.4 miles in length, the Road Bridge (which connects central Dundee to Newport on Tay) is one of the longest in Europe and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.
Meanwhile, the 2.75 mile Tay Bridge carries railway traffic between Wormit and Dundee. It opened in 1887 as a replacement for the first Tay Bridge. This stood between 1878 and 1879 when, on 28th December, it collapsed during high winds. Poor engineering was found to be to blame for the disaster, which cost the lives of at least 60 people.
See the Dundee statues
Like most notable and historical cities in the UK, Dundee is full of statues and monuments. However, alongside the more traditional subjects for monumental masonry in Dundee you will also find a selection of quirkier and more modern bronzes, representing some of the city’s more notable recent achievements.
So in addition to Queen Victoria, Robert Burns, social reformer George Kinloch and a memorial to the victims of the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879 – all of which you would probably have been expecting – make sure you and your pooch keep your eyes peeled for DC Thomson characters Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx and Oor Wullie.
There are also a series of penguins, a dragon and some clambering Lemmings from the computer game of the same name. The latter were originally created by DMA Design, a video game studio founded in Dundee which subsequently became Rockstar Games, makers of modern-day classics such as the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption series.
One for fans of football trivia, this. In an otherwise completely normal suburban street about a mile to the north of the city centre you will find both Tannadice Park (home of Dundee United) and Dens Park (home of their implaccable local rivals, Dundee). Separated by just 183 metres, these are the most geographically close football stadia in the UK (and the second-closest in the world), in such tight proximity that each casts shadows on the other.
The Best Dog Friendly Walks in Dundee
Balgay, Victoria and Lochee Parks
The largest green space in central Dundee sees three parks in one encircling the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital. It may well prove to be a fairly hilly walk, with the area ranging from 141 metres below sea level to the tops of peaks which offer great views across the city and the Firth of Tay. However, there are plenty of open spaces, gardens, paths and wooded areas for your furry friend to investigate.
The Law Hill
Another walk ideal for energetic dogs (and owners), The Law Hill is locally referred to as “the volcano” but it is in fact a volcanic sill – a protruding sheet of rock formed by ancient volcanic activity. It can be a bit of a challenging hike to get to the top, but Dundee’s highest point will reward you with stunning views of the entire local area.
A 38 acre park, situated in the Stobswell area to the east of the city centre, which was originally gifted to the people of Dundee in 1863 by the local philanthropist and flax mill owner Sir David Baxter. It is laid out in classical Victorian style, with a mixture of formal gardens, grand buildings, open spaces and wooded areas – lots for your hairy pal to explore, in other words.
Tay Estuary beaches
Although Dundee’s coastline is the result of the River Tay estuary, rather than the North Sea, the beaches are many, varied and not to be underestimated! In the city centre near the airport you will find the Riverside Nature Reserve, but we recommend heading out to the east for a proper day at the beach.
At the nearby town of Broughty Ferry, four miles east of Dundee city centre, the eastern beach is open to dogs all year round (although the main beach is out-of-bounds between April and September). However, at Monifieth, just over two-and-a-half miles east of Broughty Ferry, beach access is unrestricted.
Both locations are easy to get to by road or by rail: Broughty Ferry has its own railway station, while the beach at Monifieth is served by the next halt along the line at Balliemossie.
A large green park about 2.5 miles northeast of Dundee city centre, Finlathen Park stands out from many of Dundee’s other green spaces due to Dighty Burn, which flows its way throughout its entire length. There’s also a Victoria-era aqueduct and a skate park, if your dog has remembered to bring their board.
Tay Road Bridge
With regular traffic in close proximity, the walk across the Tay Road Bridge is perhaps not the most picturesque or peaceful in the area. However, with the views across the river and the countryside of Fife waiting for you on the other side, it is definitely one of the most spectacular.
Dog-friendly Cafés and Restaurants in Dundee
31 Meadowside, DD1 1DJ
If you’re looking for a dog-friendly cafe, restaurant or pub in Dundee, chances are it won’t be long until you will be recommended The Bach. This New Zealand-themed cafe and taphouse is situated in the city centre and offers a wide variety of brunch items, sandwiches and global cuisines as well as coffee or alcoholic drinks.
The Giddy Goose
2 Perth Road, DD1 4LN
Located just to the south of the University of Dundee’s city centre campus, the relaxed Giddy Goose is a wine bar which specialises in homemade pizza, as well as burgers. If the Dundee weather is on your side, there’s even a garden terrace.
Blend Coffee Lounge
63 Reform Street, DD1 1SP
Found in the city centre, not far from the headquarters of DC Thomson, Blend are a coffee house that also offers a range of light bites – including good options for vegetarians and vegans.
Pacamara Food & Drink
302 Perth Road, DD2 1AU
Located at the heart of Dundee’s West End, close to the park at Magdalen Green, Pacamara is one of the city’s most popular and successful eating spots. It’s a great place for breakfast, brunch or lunch, with small plates or light bites also available. There are also plenty of options for people with special dietary requirements.
327A Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, DD5 2DS
An ideal stop-off if you’ve decided on a day at the beach, the Sweetpea Cafe is based just around the corner from Broughty Ferry railway station. They offer coffee and hearty meals in a friendly and relaxed environment. Their artisanal baked goods are of particular note.
75 Perth Road, DD1 4HY
Bringing a Swedish-style coffee shop experience to the west end of Dundee, FIKA can be found just to the west of the University of Dundee campus.
Dog Friendly Pubs in Dundee
141 Nethergate, DD1 4DP
A modern cafe/bar, located not far from Dundee station. Tonic’s particular speciality are their towering burgers, but it’s an equally good place to get a coffee or a beer in lively surroundings.
The Wine Press
16 Shore Terrace, DD1 3DN
A cosy and welcoming wine bar in the town centre with a good drinks menu and a thoughtfully selected array of small plates to accompany it.
44 Whitehall Crescent, DD1 4AY
The bar at the Malmaison Hotel is one of Dundee’s best spots for cocktails. It also has a food menu, courtesy of the hotel’s restaurant. You can find it close to the railway station in the town centre, just up from the Dundee V&A.
11-13 Old Hawkhill, DD1 5EU
Situated in the centre of town not far from the University, The Tinsmith is something of a community hub thanks to its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and also the outstanding value for money on its menu.
The West House
2 West Port, DD1 5EP
A bar and restaurant in the city centre, The West House is a favourite pre-theatre stop for Dundee’s culture vultures. However, in addition to fine cocktails for lovers of the dramatic arts, The West House is also open throughout the day offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
14-18 Perth Road, DD1 4LN
A rustic-styled bare stone and wood real ale pub in the town centre, close to the University. The Braes pride themselves on their selection of craft beer, but there are also plenty of alternatives – including freshly made cakes – on the menu.
42 Union Street, DD1 4BE
Located in the city centre, Dynamo Dundee is dedicated to craft beer and real ale. The current owners are dog lovers, with a number of dogs of their own likely to be somewhere in and around the premises.
Dog Friendly Shops in Dundee
Unfortunately, there are not a wealth of independently-owned boutiques that allow dogs in Dundee. However, all is not lost: remember to check out our article on some of the UK’s favourite high street stores which (usually) do, many of which you will be able to find in Dundee.
Dog-friendly Dundee: Where to Stay
If you’re looking to stay in a dog friendly hotel in Dundee, here’s our recommendations:
Staybridge Suites Dundee
Lower Dens Mill, Dens Street, DD4 6AD
Set in a converted jute mill, Staybridge Suites offers 85 studio apartments which offer your dog a home away from home. Dogs will be charged £25 per night, a fee you’re likely to have to pay yourself unless your pet is independently wealthy. There may be size restrictions too, so be sure to ask in advance.
44 Whitehall Crescent, DD1 4AY
A four star hotel just around the corner from the central railway station. Dogs of all sizes are welcome at Malmaison for £20 per dog per night, and your four-legged friend is also welcome to dine at the hotel bar.
296A Strathmore Avenue, DD3 6SH
Travelodge allows pets to stay in many of their hotels, including one in Dundee. While this budget two-star premises is a mile or so north of the city centre, it is nevertheless very handily situated for those keen to explore Law Hill. There are also several other local parks in its vicinity.
Dogs stay for a fee of £20 per dog per night, with a maximum of two pets allowed per booking.
Ibis Budget Camperdown
Kingsway W, West Gourdie Industrial Estate, DD2 4DT
Located to the north of the city, very near the Camperdown Wildlife Centre. While dogs are not allowed in the zoo portion of this facility, they are able to have a good run around in the country park that surrounds it.
Dogs stay for £20 per night: a bit disappointing considering that the fee for a human guest is not considerably higher.
Longforgan Coaching Inn
56 Main Street, Longforgan, DD2 5EU
Located in Longforgan, a town 8 miles to the west of Dundee city centre, the characterful Longforgan Coaching Inn has been converted and modernised from its 17th Century equivalent.
While the location is rather isolated compared with some of the other choices in this list, a major positive is that dogs are permitted to stay with no additional fees.
Dog Friendly Dundee FAQs
Is the V&A Dundee Dog Friendly?
Unfortunately unless your dog is a recognised assistance dog (including guide dogs and hearing dogs), the V&A Dundee is not dog friendly.