Glasgow to Dundee to Newcastle

Our second week in Scotland was spent in Dundee, specifically Broughty Ferry, the little seaside village where we lived when Lillian was born.

Lil in front of the flat (top windows) we lived in when she was born

Lil in front of the flat (top windows) we lived in when she was born.

We decided to hire a car for the week and drive up from Glasgow. Rhino Car Hire were by far the cheapest and we paid 110 pounds for the whole week with a one way car hire picked up in Glasgow and dropped off in Newcastle. When I made the booking I also requested two car seats for the kids. They were going to charge GBP 77 for Edward’s and GBP 42 for Lil’s seat for the week but we worked out we could buy two new car seats from Argos for GBP 45 total so I cancelled the seat request. When we dropped the car off (a story to come below) we just left the seats in the car.

view from the top

View from the top of the Wallace Monument

It was strange but fun to be in a car again and under our own steam after almost five months of taxis, tuk tuks, trains and buses. On the way to Dundee we stopped off at the Wallace Monument just outside Stirling. It was a windy day but the views were amazing from up the top.

going back down

Spiral staircase in the Wallace Monument

In Broughty Ferry we stayed at The Ferry Flat which was in a great location and very cosy. It actually reminded us a lot of our old flat in Broughty Ferry which was of the same era and even had the same colour carpet. It was also a bit of a bargain at GBP 250 for the whole six nights.

Cosy Broughty Ferry Flat

Cosy Broughty Ferry Flat

fiery sunset

Sunset view from our bedroom

We didn’t do many touristy things here at all, aside from a drive up to the Law lookout and a visit to the (free) Broughty Castle. The castle is actually a great place to warm up and has a room set up for kids with activities, colouring pages and soft animal toys.


View from the Law over Dundee and the River Tay

The rest of our days were spent catching up with old friends, playing in the great (but freezing) park by the castle, and revisiting old favourite eateries such as The Ship Inn and Visocchi’s for lunch.

Castle Green Park

Broughty Castle and Castle Green Park

On the day we were leaving our alarm went off at 7:30am and…we stayed in bed for another hour. Then we got ready and packed and finally got away at 11:20. We got in the car and I fired up google maps which told me it would take 3.5 hours to drive to Newcastle. For some reason I had had it in my head that it only took 2.5 hours so suddenly we lost another hour in the schedule and would now be arriving right on car drop-off time. There was no time to get lunch on the way besides a quick toilet stop at McDonalds and eating in the car. The kids got their first ever happy meals.

Finally we arrived in Newcastle, only a little after car drop-off time. We just had to fill up with petrol and find the car place which I thought was right near central train station where we would get the bus to our ferry to The Netherlands. All good in theory except we could not find a petrol station. Or the car place. We ended up on the wrong side of the river. Then back again. Then google told us it was back over the bridge. Argh! Time was ticking, my phone died. Back over the bridge we went and finally found the car hire place who told us they do have an office by the train station after all.

We ended up having to pay the crazy car hire prices for a tank of petrol AND get a taxi to the ferry port. Check-in for the ferry closed at 4:15pm and our taxi pulled in at 4:25. We raced in to the totally empty terminal and up to the counters where they thankfully let us through. I think we were last on the boat but we made it! That was the most stressful travel day of the whole trip and I’m quite happy to be back to modes of transport where any delays are not my fault.

More on the ferry trip and Amsterdam next post.


4 Responses to “Glasgow to Dundee to Newcastle”

  1. 1 Our Global Adventure December 12, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Isn’t it funny how in Australia, if the outlook is grey then everyone is down, but if you’re in Scotland then ‘grey’ is positively gorgeous! It just seems to work with the beautiful old castles and streets.

  2. 2 andthreetogo December 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Sounds like a great trip! We have had experiences like your car rent situation and it’s funny how they are so stressful at the time but always seem to work out. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read about Amsterdam, that’s on my short list.

  3. 3 sgourlay1 December 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Oh wow I would have been so stressed out if that happened to me!! At least there is a happy ending πŸ™‚

  1. 1 A Ferry to Amsterdam | The places we go Trackback on December 21, 2013 at 6:10 am

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