People flocking to enjoy Dark Dundee tours of 350-yearold vaults.
Residents and visitors snap up chance to go below and explore life in city in 17th Century
It has been really popular with locals mostly but we have had tourists looking to book-in all the way into December. LOUISE MURPHY
More than a thousand people have been taken on recently launched tours of Dundee’s incredible 350-year-old vaults.
The activity, which sparked a huge amount of interest when it was launched in August, sees groups taken 14ft below Exchange Street to Packhouse Square, which was built in 1644.
Discovered purely by accident by workers digging up the street 18 years ago, the vaults were explored and cleared out by the council before Dark Dundee were allowed to begin tours.
The hour-long tours were booked-out within weeks of being launched and have to date given around 1,300 people the chance to explore city life in the 17th Century.
Passionate Dark Dundee Tours duo Louise Murphy and Stewart Heaton say they have been taken aback by the response and have struggled to keep up with demand.
Louise, 37, said: “We only launched the tours in August so it has been crazy.
“It has been really amazing. People seem to love it.
“It’s not really surprising though in the sense that so many people were interested in it after we did the initial test tours.
“We knew people wanted it.”
The area was originally used in the 1600s as an enormous storage area for goods coming through the city’s ports.
The tunnels are believed to have once run all the way to the River Tay.
The vaults were closed around 250 years ago and thereafter replaced when the city’s shoreline was raised.
Following Christmas, tours will not run again until early February to allow the pair to take a break and organise the business, with free vaults tour slots available again from then until May.
Louise added that many tourists visiting for the V&A museum had contacted them looking to book in for a tour.
She said: “It has been really popular with locals mostly but we have had tourists looking to book-in all the way into December.
“It has been unfortunate because all the dates were booked up within two weeks, I think, when it was first launched.
“Hopefully more tourists will be able to take the tours next year.”
The duo’s tours, which also include Discover Dundee, are one of the highest rated activities on TripAdvisor in the city.
All 185 people to have rated it on the website have given it a full five stars with most of the recent reviews coming from those who have been on a tour of the vaults.
Louise Murphy and Stewart Heaton, of Dark Dundee Tours, in the vaults.