SCOT­TISH SO­JOURN

DestinAsian - - GOOD TO GO | NEXT STOP - —James Louie

“Dundee’s set­ting is prob­a­bly more ex­tra­or­di­nary than any other city in the U.K. It is about as ideal—lu­di­crously ideal—as any set­ting could be.” So said co­me­dian and ac­tor Stephen Fry, who once spent six years as a univer­sity rec­tor in the Scot­tish port city. Perched on the flanks of an ex­tinct vol­cano be­side the broad, sil­very wa­ters of the Firth of Tay, Dundee has been qui­etly rein­vent­ing it­self since its in­dus­trial hey­day as the cen­ter of the global jute in­dus­try. For­mer tex­tile mills now host young en­trepreneurs and de­sign col­lec­tives, while the his­toric wa­ter­front is be­ing trans­formed to the tune of US$1.3 bil­lion. Re­cent ad­di­tions here in­clude Slessor Gar­dens and Ja­panese ar­chi­tect Kengo Kuma’s out­post of the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum, V&A

Dundee ( van­dadundee.org), whose an­gu­lar shape and lou­vered fa­cade were in­spired by the cliffs of Scot­land’s north­east coast. Open­ing on Septem­ber 15, it will be the first U.K. de­sign mu­seum out­side of Lon­don.

Get­ting There Dundee is roughly 90 min­utes by train from both Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh, which are served by reg­u­lar flights from Lon­don aboard Bri­tish Air­ways ( britishair­ways.com).

Where to Stay Just 100 me­ters from the river­front, Mal­mai­son Dundee ( 44-1382/339-715; mal­mai­son.com; dou­bles from US$92) has 91 rooms and suites—along with a chic brasserie— in­side a re­fur­bished her­itage build­ing.

What Else? For an in­sight into the darker side of lo­cal his­tory, join the hour­long walk­ing tours with Dark Dundee ( dd­tours.co.uk), which cover top­ics rang­ing from Vik­ing raids and body snatch­ing to lo­cal leg­ends and crimes of pas­sion.

The cliff-in­spired V&A Dundee juts out into the Firth of Tay from re­claimed land.

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