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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bringing Myself to Broughty Ferry

Just a few miles east of Dundee, along the north shore of the Firth of Tay, lies the charming settlement of Broughty Ferry. This old fishing and whaling village was once the home of moneyed jute barons who sought to escape the hubbub of Dundee for quieter locales to plant their luxury compounds, though today it’s a bedroom community of, and technically part of, Dundee. It’s also a neat and lively little place with a stout castle overlooking the firth.

I took the bus to Broughty Ferry on a gorgeously sunny day after visiting Dundee Law. Hustling down Broughty Ferry’s quiet, mid-morning streets beneath the cool North Sea wind I gathered a taste for Dundee’s quirky little brother. Clean streets and parti-colored building fronts joined with inviting pubs like the The Ship Inn and the Fisherman’s Tavern Hotel to create a convivial atmosphere. The etymology of Scottish places is at once interesting and comical; the Scots are usually quite practical in their choice of names. Such is the case with Broughty, which is an Anglicization of the Gaelic Bruach Tatha, meaning ‘Taybank.’ Check.

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Despite the relatively early hour I felt it my duty to explore a pub or two, take a break from the blinding chill, and get a taste of Broughty Ferry in the harsh light of day. I slipped into the Ship Inn and ordered a dram of Shackleton’s Whisky, which seemed only appropriate given Dundee’s strong maritime connections and, well, the name of this fine pub. I sipped and listened to pair of salty Dundonians (Ferryians?) jovially anticipate the upcoming British Open just up the way at Carnoustie.

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Dram secured and corpus fortified, I ventured out to the tower house castle that is Broughty Castle. The castle was completed in 1495 and, due its position, saw more than a few engagements over the ensuring few hundred years. Broughty Castle was ostensibly built to repel the growing English navy. Unfortunately, the castle was taken by the English with nary a shot fired in 1547, and fell again into English hands in 1651.

Broughty Castle, Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Castle, Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

By the close of the 18th Century Broughty Castle was a ruin, but in 1855 it was bought by the War Office to serve as a defensive bastion at the prospect of invading Russians(!) following the Crimean War. Broughty Castle was again fortified during both World Wars in response to German aggression.

Today there are some large cannons in Broughty Castle’s courtyard, and a wonderful little museum inside the castle with fantastic views of the Firth of Tay, Dundee, and the Kingdom of Fife.

Broughty Castle, Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Broughty Castle, Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland

Dundee is quite lucky to have a village as attractive and interesting as Broughty Ferry just down the road. There’s a upbeat quirkiness to the town that mixes well with the village’s fishing and military history, and if golf is your passion then Carnoustie links are just a bit further east.

A day exploring Broughty Ferry ought to be considered when planning in and around Dundee.

The post Bringing Myself to Broughty Ferry appeared first on Traveling Savage.

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