Posted : 21 May 2018

Lonely Planet praises ‘thriving, creative Dundee’ in pick of most exciting European destinations to visit this year

 Dundee in Lonely Planet's best destinations list

Travel authority Lonely Planet today revealed its selection of the best European destinations to visit this summer, with Scotland’s fourth largest city praised for its ‘head-turning’ urban redevelopment, and ranked alongside Italy’s food heartland of Emilia-Romagna, Greece’s Small Cyclades islands and the Northern Spanish region of Cantabria.


Dundee was lauded for its growing cultural scene and the exciting transformation of the city’s historic waterfront; a development spearheaded by the opening of the newest branch of the V&A this September. Describing the city, Lonely Planet’s writers praised a creative scene that “increasingly attracts some of the UK’s most visionary talent”, building on its selection by Unesco as the UK’s first City of Design in 2014.


The recognition forms part of Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2018, compiled annually by the travel company’s European experts to reveal their pick of the most exciting and underrated destinations to visit across the continent. This year’ list highlights some of the best lesser-visited regions, alternative city breaks and hidden gems that in-the-know travellers should be planning their next trips around.



Lonely Planet’s spokesperson and Editorial Director, Tom Hall, said: “For those looking to beat the crowds in Europe this summer, Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe reveals our hotlist of destinations that provide a great alternative to traditional favourites. Our travel experts have crossed the continent to discover Europe’s most outstanding, underrated and overlooked places that are worth exploring right now.”


Referencing the selection of Dundee, Mr Hall said: “While visitors have always been assured of a friendly welcome, Dundee has often been overlooked by travellers to Scotland, but that should be set to change. The opening of V&A Dundee is a really exciting moment that marks the city out as well worth a visit, but throw in nationally important museums and attractions, and its dynamic, creative spirit, and travellers will find a city boasting plenty to discover.”


Lonely Planet’s writers have explored the globe for 45 years in search of hidden gems and amazing new travel experiences. Best in Europe 2018 is the sixth iteration of the agenda-setting list, which picks out Europe’s hottest up-and-coming countries, regions and cities.




Dundee is thriving at the moment and everyone is excited about the V & A opening in September. I am absolutely delighted to hear that we have been picked to be in the Lonely Planet top 10 places to visit in Europe.


Dundee offers food, drink and service that can rival anywhere in the world. There is a real buzz about food in the city and the passion of local and independent operators can be seen in everything from food trucks to fine dining, and everything in between. We have a great choice of cafes, bars and restaurants ready to cater to all the needs of the visitors to the city and I look forward to welcoming them into my establishments. 


Grant Avery, owner of Más and Avery & Co


“Lonely Planet featuring Dundee in its top 10 places to visit in Europe is wonderful news. It shows Dundee’s ability to provide high quality experiences during every interaction tourists encounter when visiting the city.


It further cements our decision to open our new Foxlake site at the water front of this growing vibrant city! We are extremely proud to part of this achievement and look forward to welcoming the travellers that Lonely Planet’s listing will attract to Dundee.”


Zak Hegarty



"We're delighted to see something we've always known being recognised on an international scale: that Dundee is a fantastic city to visit, with a thriving cultural life and incredible creative energy. I hope this latest accolade for the city will encourage even more people to plan a trip here, and we at DCA look forward to welcoming them when they do."


Beth Bate , Director DCA



"This is a fantastic boon for the city as well as for Scotland's Tay Country region by extension. This level of global recognition is very special because Dundee is the sole representative of the UK on this list. 


The hard work and efforts of the city are really paying off and we are proud to be working with so many like minded people who have strived to give Dundee her rightfully deserved place as a world class destination."


Louise Murphy , Dark Dundee


The bright future’s giving us all a glow in ‘sunny’ Dundee!  Oure renaissance city of Design, Discovery and Dennis! This summer, the free ‘Bash Street’s Back at McMenace’ exhibition at the renamed McManus Galleries, will remind everyone Dundee is the World capital of Comics. To me, Dundee is, was and always will be the inspiration behind Beanotown: you can’t get any cooler than that!


Mike Stirling ,  City Ambassador, Editor Beano



Posted : 25 October 2017

An empty shop in Dundee’s city centre is being transformed into a temporary exhibition and design related workshop space.

The team behind Dundee Design Festival have taken over the space in Reform Street as part of the city’s first Dundee Design Month.

It’s hoped that by bringing design activity to a vacant city-centre space it will have the same positive effect the two previous Design Festivals brought to West Ward Works, an empty factory space that’s now being considered as a permanent cultural space for the city.

The 240sq ft space will open to the public on Friday 18th May with a new exhibition, ‘Factory Shop’ and play host to design related events and workshops for one week during Dundee Design Month running between 4 May to 3 June.

‘Factory Shop’ is an exhibition of prototypes and products made by designers in factories and marks the culmination of the first Dundee Design Festival ‘Factory Residency Programme’ which launched last year.

“The Factory Residency Programme offered three designers work placements with Scotland-based manufacturers to develop ideas, improvise with materials and experiment with different industrial techniques. The results are really impressive,” said Siôn Parkinson, Curator and Producer of the Factory Shop exhibition. 

“One of the designers, Florence Dwyer, who was paired with Turnberry Rugs in Ayrshire, ended up working with them every week for a year to make a series of hand-tufted tapestries and rug designs. Ceramicist Dawn Youll used her residency with the Glassblowing Workshop in Glasgow to learn how to make complex scientific glassware which she’s combined with new ceramic pieces for the exhibition. And Tommy Perman and Simon Kirby have been working with Tayport-based manufacturers FifeX as well as Old School Fabrications in Edinburgh to make a series of sculptural sound devices. For the Factory Shop exhibition, they’ve used what they’ve learned to turn the shopfront window into a giant speaker that responds to the changing light of the day.”   

Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Scotland said: “The work of the design community in Dundee continues to impact on the reformation of the city - from last year’s Factory Floor celebration to opening the Factory Shop in 2018. Taking design in a smart, inclusive way into the heart of the city this will certainly be unlike any other shop in this street of reform.”

“One of the successes of the two previous Dundee Design Festivals was how the event used design to reignite the vast former factory at West ward Works into a potentially more sustainable cultural venue for the city. UNESCO City of Design Dundee aims to repeat some of this success by taking over a vacant high-street property in the city-centre.” said Anna Day, Project Manager UNESCO City of Design Dundee.


The subject of creating creative places will be the focus of a two day workshop during Dundee Design Month. ‘Places of Potential’, hosted by Districts of Creativity Network will take place over 23-24 May.

The vacant unit owned by Dundee City Council has been leased to UNESCO Dundee City of Design for one month.

Factory Shop is produced by Tilde Arts in partnership with UNESCO City of Design Dundee and supported by Creative Scotland.

Photo caption: Siôn Parkinson, Curator and Producer of the Factory Shop exhibition in Reform Street, Dundee.

A video documenting Dundee Design Festival’s Factory Residency Programme can be seen here :

Full event details can be found at and via @DesignDundee on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook at

Posted : 12 July 2017

The work of Stewart Carmichael, one of Dundee’s great champions of art, is to be featured in a new exhibition at the University of Dundee, the first major retrospective since his death in 1950.


Carmichael, who was born 150 years ago, played a leading role in developing the `Celtic Revival’ art movement in Dundee. The `Stewart Carmichael: Celtic Visions’ exhibition displays his own work and also points to the great influence he had in Dundee’s cultural development.


Curator Matthew Jarron said, "Carmichael was arguably the most important champion of art that Dundee had over half a century ago, yet his work has never received the attention it deserves. As well as his significant talents as a painter and illustrator, he was also a tireless campaigner for the role of art in the city.


"He created murals for churches and other public buildings, and played an important role in the development of early art collectives such as Dundee Art Society and the first shared artists’ studios in the city. He was also a vocal supporter of art education, including what is now Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design."


The exhibition will open in the University’s Lamb Gallery on Saturday, 15th July 2017. It has been created in partnership with The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum which is also celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. It also features material on loan from other local collections.


‘Stewart Carmichael: Celtic Visions’ will run until Saturday, 30th September 2017.


For more information contact or 01382 384310.

Posted : 12 July 2016

Urban planning is like "real-life SimCity" to the man who is spearheading Dundee’s waterfront development

Like so many students in Dundee, Mike Galloway immediately left town after earning his degree from Dundee University. His next 18 years as an urban planner included various stints in Glasgow, London and Manchester before eventually returning to Dundee, where he is now working to create a community that will encourage more of today’s graduates to stay put.

Homes for young professionals are currently among the top priorities for Mike, who has been spearheading Dundee’s massive £1 billion waterfront redevelopment since its inception in 1997. With anchor projects such as the V&A design museum and a new railway station now coming out of the ground, he wants to channel further investment into offices, creative space, hotels and housing.

"We need flats for young professionals filling the growing number and variety of jobs available, so they don’t feel they have to leave to pursue their career or have the lifestyle they desire," he says.

"I got all of that out of my system, but I would like to make the decision easier for today’s graduates to either come back or even stay in Dundee."

Raised in Glasgow’s east end, his family later moved to Perth, he says he had no particular ambitions at school, but was eventually drawn to town planning because it’s like "real-life SimCity".

Ironically, he prefers the series to Minecraft, whose local connections include Dundee tech entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl’s 4J Studios, which worked on console editions of the outrageously popular 3D cuboid game. Last year, 4J Studios also released a Minecraft version of what Dundee’s waterfront will look like when the regeneration project is complete.

"I don’t actually rate Minecraft, but of course the links to Dundee, and what they’ve done with the waterfront project, are fantastic."

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