Dundee Photo Diary

Dundee is where I am originally from and where my parents moved back to after my dad retired from the Army, my entire family live there – apart from me. So going back to visit is always lovely. Dundee has changed so much in the past 10 years, especially, with the opening of the V&A and the development of the waterfront. It is looking very modern & has become a very vibrant and fun city.

Victoria and Albert Museum Dundee

The opening of the V&A a couple of years ago has completely transformed the river front with so much investment in the outside spaces down there too. The gardens and promenade are lovely and are a great place to sit with a coffee to watch the world go by and take in the beautiful view across the river Tay to Tayport/Newport. I haven’t made time to visit the V&A yet, but my dad said it’s good, and it has a nice café inside ( I do love a good museum café and gift shop).

The building itself is quite imposing, and I wonder why it is so dark and large, especially as it blocks out a big section of the view. There is no denying that it is unusual and looks different from every angle. I will see if it grows on me as the trees and gardens around the building mature.

V&A Gallery Dundee
Dundee Scotland
Another classic visitor attraction are both ships, the first one is the RSS Discovery which is docked right next to the V&A. It was the vessel Captain Scott took to Antarctica (Scott of the Antarctic) back in 1901. Well worth a visit, the ship, and the exhibition inside the main Discovery point are very good.

The other vessel you need to visit is HMS Unicorn (photographed below), first launched in 1824, it the oldest ship left in Scotland, as well as one of the six oldest ships in the world. It is just a short walk from the V&A along Riverside Drive, it is a pretty walk along the river, especially on a sunny day.

Unicorn Dundee

Riverside Dundee
The Birchwood was such a lovely café in the centre of Dundee, serving a wide selection of Vegan options, including the best Vegan Breakfast Bap, but unfortunately it seems to have closed down, let’s hope it is just temporarily.

I can also recommend The Bach (great vegan options) The Little Things Café (fantastic coffee and cupcakes) and Serendipities (a non profit café who, train, work with and give opportunities to adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health barriers). It is a lovely positive space and the food is AMAZING, I highly recommend going here for lunch. Their menu is 100% Vegan, which is incredible.

Birchwood Cafe Dundee
Historical Dundee

You can’t go to Dundee and not take a walk along the river all the way to the Tay Rail Bridge, it is such an impressive sight rising up from the water. This bridge has a tale to tell. The Tay Rail Bridge disaster took place on the stormy night of 28 December 1879. The central navigation spans of the Tay bridge collapsed into the Firth of Tay at Dundee, taking with them a train, 6 carriages and 75 souls to their fate.  The bridge was rebuilt in 1887 and is still in use to this day.

My grandad used to always point out the old foundations that are still in the water alongside the new structure.

Tay Rail Bridge Dundee

Who could forget one of Dundee’s most loved and famous characters – Desperate Dan, they were first written & illustrated back in 1937, and I just love the statue that stands in his honour in the City centre. There is Desperate Dan, his dog and Minnie The Minx, they are great fun.

Desperate Dan Beano Dundee

Dundee is quite a fun place to spend a couple of days, with lots to explore. There are so many great cafe’s, bars and places to eat as well as museums, galleries, and lots of outside spaces to visit and enjoy. Let me know if you have ever been and what you enjoyed most.

St Andrews Photo Diary

Pretty St Andrews Fife

Each time I make the trip from Cornwall to Scotland to see my family, I always have to visit St Andrews. It is only a 20-minute drive from where they live, and it is such a pretty town, so much to see. With a beautiful beach, historical University, Castle, lots of cafés, restaurants and shops it is easy to spend the whole day here and never run out of things to see and do. I have been numerous times and I never grow tired of exploring the cottage lined backstreets and walking along the coastal path. If you visit you HAVE to stop (no matter what the weather) and get an Ice Cream from Jannettas Gelateria, they serve the most delicious gelato! So many flavours, the Vegan ones are sooooooo good.

St Andrews Book Shop

Here are a few snaps of my most recent trips, one back in August 2021 and more recently this year in March. It was a lot more sunny in March and a lot less crowded too. The town has a massive university population, so if you are looking to go be warned that at lunch time the cafés get very busy with students!

St Andrews Scotland
The St Andrew’s Brewery Bar is a great place to get a pint and something to eat, you can’t get a more locally brewed beer!
Pretty Cottages St Andrews
Historical St Andrews

If you get a dry day, you must walk down the harbour and along the beach, Scotland is famous for its beautiful coastline and wild beaches and St Andrews beach is lovely. Grab a takeaway coffee and enjoy the sound of the sea, and the seagulls!

Golf Shop St Andrews
Scotland St Andrews
There might only be 4 main streets in the town, but they have lots of my favourite shops like Oliver Bonas, Jo Malone, Jack Wills, H&M and Paperchase, but they also have so many wonderful independent shops too. Lots of shops selling Scottish handmade products, as well as THE best bottle shop, selling so many gins and whiskey’s. I challenge you to pop in and not come out with at least one bottle of Edinburgh Gin!

Classic Cars in St Andrews
Hatch Cafe St Andrews
Mitchell Cafe St Andrews
Spoiled Life Home Shop and CoffeeThere are so many historical buildings and amazing architecture in St Andrews, it is all so well maintained, I love nothing more than wandering up and down taking photos and learning all out their rich history.

Architecture St Andrews
St Andrews Brewing Company
There is no shortage of lovely home wear shops and Spoiled Life is my favourite, it is quite new and is well worth a browse if you ever visit. Best of all is it also has a small café inside too, so you can shop and have coffee at the same time.
Explore St Andrews
Jannetta's GelateriaJannetta’s Gelateria – I always get either pistachio, lemon, hazelnut, or mint choc chip. All vegan flavours and delicious. Best gelato in Scotland.
Pretty Shop Fronts St Andrews
I really like all the fun classic cars that are dotted around the town, up the small cobbled streets, I always have to snap them & my dream car is a Nissan Figaro. They are the perfect car for narrow streets and town driving, adorable and nibble. Pretty Front Doors St Andrews

Where do you love to revisit, what small town or village makes you want to sell up, change jobs and move there? I always daydream about winning the lottery and moving to St Andrews, it is just such a quaint small town, but with a lot going on. It is super friendly, and I love that it is right on the coast, I currently live on the coast in Cornwall and have to say being by the sea is great for your soul!

Vic St Andrews

A Day Trip To Padstow

Despite Cornwall being SUPER busy with tourists & people trying to get a holiday in without travelling abroad, we have been trying to get out & about to enjoy what is on our doorstep. We have lived in Cornwall for almost 6 years now and have never visited Padstow, which is crazy because it is so close to us and is STUNNING. Everyone said it was beautiful and that it is jammed packed full of shops, restaurants and pretty scenery as well as having a very busy and bustling harbour. We spent the day exploring, relaxing and enjoying all the delights that Padstow has to offer. We landed lucky with the weather and decided to walk the 3 miles from Wadebridge to Padstow (and back) along the famous Camel Trail. Most people cycle this route, but we decided to take our time and walk. It was peaceful, and you had some incredible views across the river.

Here are a few of my favourite photos from the day, I took hundreds, and it was hard to narrow it down to the ones I am sharing. There was something pretty to take a photo of at every turn, the views, cottages, streets and businesses are all so quaint and photo worthy. I will 100% be popping back for a second visit – if only for another ice cream.

Padstow Harbour Cornwall

Fowey Cornwall – Goodbye Summer

We are well into October now & the weather has turned colder. Autumn is in full swing, I look forward to this time of year, it is my birthday month (always a plus) and I love the changing colours and the cosy darker evenings. That being said I am sad to say goodbye to Summer. 2020 has been an odd year to say the least and this Summer has felt up and down. I didn’t do very much at all, staying very close to home. I am lucky to call Cornwall home and although it has been so much busier this year with people holidaying in Britain & doing their staycation, I still managed to get out and enjoy what is essentially my own backyard. Nothing like a pandemic to force you into being a tourist in your local area.

I have been browsing through the photos I took over the past few months, April – Sept and thought I would share them almost like a photo diary of some beautiful places we visited. Cornwall did not let us down, the weather was exceptionally warm this year, and I am so thankful for that. The sunshine made such a positive impact on my mood and helped me feel less isolated and cooped up.

Make sure you head off the beaten track a little, the high street is of course worth a visit but the small, pedestrianised backstreets are quiet and beautiful. Winding streets are everywhere, lined with classic Cornish cottages which are often painted in lovely pastel colours & will make you daydream about packing in the 9-5 and moving to the peace and quiet.

Also, Fowey river is a popular place to kayak, sail and enjoy the water. They have guided boat tours or you can hire a small boat or kayak and explore the river yourself, or head out around the coast.

One of our favourite places to stop in Fowey, is Readymoney. It is a beautiful sandy cove and if you time it right it can feel like your own private beach. The beach shop is incredible too, you can get a coffee and treat yourself to a slice of cake, ice cream or even a locally made sausage roll. They have a number of vegan options, which is always fantastic to see. They also have a lot of lovely gift ideas and mementoes, mostly locally made. The beach & shop are well worth the short walk from the village, along the river. I always have to get a tub of the vegan ice cream.

Fowey is a charming, small harbour town and over the past 5 years we have seen a number of quality restaurants and independent shops and cafés open. Less classic seaside beach tat and more locally made, handcrafted quality goods and wonderful food. Fitzroy, Bufala Pizzeria and Brown Sugar are amongst our top places to get food. Although if you want something quick and Cornish, Fowey has quite a few Bakeries, so you will be spoilt for choice.

Have you been a tourist in your local area? Let me know if you have ever visited Fowey, or where your favourite destinations are in Cornwall.