Lorraine Kelly: At last, the world has found out that Dundee is a cool place – now it deserves to be culture capital of Europe

RRS Discovery (Kris Miller)
RRS Discovery (Kris Miller)

NO ONE who lives in Dundee was surprised to discover this week that it has been voted one of the coolest cities in the world.

The esteemed Wall Street Journal has declared Dundee is one of the hottest destinations for 2018 alongside the likes of Shanghai, Madagascar and Montenegro.

The soon to be completed V&A Museum has made the rest of the world sit up and take notice of a city that has so much to offer.

I’ve so enjoyed seeing the progress being made since the idea of a Dundee V&A was first mooted and plans were put forward by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

It has transformed the waterfront and will bring lots of visitors to the city who will then be able to enjoy all the other attractions.

I’ve been banging on about what a brilliant place Dundee is ever since I first moved there in the ’80s and I have seen remarkable improvements over the past decades.

The glorious location is obviously a massive plus and there’s so much to see and do.

Scotland’s coolest city: Wall Street Journal lists Dundee as one of the top ten places to travel to in 2018

The RSS Discovery now has the V&A as a dramatic backdrop, and as someone who is fascinated by anything to do with polar exploration, the chance to regularly visit the vessel that took both Scott and Shackleton on journeys to Antarctica is always a joy.

I had my 50th birthday party on board the ship and it was a really special night. Discovery Point is obviously a must see, but there’s also the McManus Galleries, the Verdant Works, The DCA, HMS Unicorn, The Mills Observatory, Camperdown Wildlife Centre – the list just goes on.

You will also find a brilliant selection of restaurants, pubs and bars to suit all pockets.

Blow the cobwebs away at the top of The Law and enjoy the views, go for a bracing walk on Broughty Ferry beach where you might spot seals and dolphins.

And that’s just scraping the surface.

It really is so encouraging that Dundee is finally being recognised as a fantastic place to visit after being “the poor relation” for far too long.

The heart was ripped out of the city in the ’60s when so much splendid architecture and heritage was bulldozed to be replaced by hideous shopping malls, but Dundee has managed to fight back, and that’s such a tribute to the resilience of the people of this fine city.

I was really chuffed to be elected rector of Dundee university back in 2004 following in the footsteps of the likes Sir Peter Ustinov and Stephen Fry. I was also delighted to be given an honorary degree in 2008 and I’m very proud of being an adopted Dundonian.

Dundee was robbed of being crowned the EU Capital of Culture culture last time round, and the powers that be have just submitted a bid to win the crown in 2023.

Surely it now has to be in the bag.

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