What To Do In Dundee By Train

Scotrail

Do you ever get bored of driving to different places with the kids?  Sometimes it’s nice to have a family day out where you can all enjoy the journey.  I suppose you could call it more ‘relaxing’, but you will still have the kids so who am I kidding?!

Dundee is an hour North of where we live, but we don’t know it well and rarely visit.  So we were pleased when ScotRail asked us if we would like to go a family adventure to Dundee by train.

Train Spotting

kids go free train ticket

The first part of any train journey is spotting the train arriving, which brought shouts of excitement from our two!  We always travel South to visit places, but forget that there are some pretty great family attractions North too.  So it was doubly exciting as a normal train journey as we hadn’t been North on the train before!

kids go free

Once aboard the train our two happily pointed out all the different places in our town before we headed out into open countryside.  Then it was tractor spotting (daddy) and animal spotting (mummy).  However, anyone who has kids will know that within 5 minutes of a journey the kids will tell you they are hungry.  It always happens, no matter how much they had for their last meal or even if they snack JUST before they left.  As hunger was inevitable, I had packed the bag with plenty of snacks and a few treats.  It was the Easter weekend after all!

Scotrail

ScotRail also sent this gorgeous Biscuiteers train shaped biscuit, which was a lovely surprise.  I just needed to fend the children off long enough to take a photo and break some off for us to eat!

kids go free

We arrived in Dundee surprisingly quickly, train journeys always go by so fast!  As always the ScotRail trains were on time and so easy to just jump on and sit together as a family.  Train is definitely a lot more fun than getting stressed at road users!

Kids Go Free

If you are travelling in Scotland on the train with children then I would recommend using the ScotRail ‘Kids Go Free’ ticket.  This ticket allows two children (with one adult ticket) to travel off peak anywhere in Scotland on any day of the week for free.

kids go free

Even better than free travel is that using the ‘Kids Go Free‘ ticket, you can also get one free child entry at a whole host of attractions around Scotland.  We obviously were going to take advantage of this and had a great day out at two of Dundee’s attractions.  You can buy the ‘Kids Go Free’ ticket online, at vending machines or from any staffed station.

RSS Discovery

discovery point Dundee

The first attraction we visited at Dundee was to visit RSS Discovery, the ship that Shackleton and Scott took on their first voyage to Antarctica.  The boys loved it at Discovery Point.  There were so many interactive parts to the exhibition and a treasure map to get them looking for different items in the display cases.

dundee discovery

The films were definitely interesting for us adults and it seems that our five year old took quite a lot in too.  Our three year old told us afterward about how Antarctica is cold, windy and that there are penguins.  At least he is on the right track!

discovery dundee

The RSS Discovery itself was impressive.  We had a look around the top deck, taking turns ‘steering’ the ship and peering through various parts and ringing the bell.

discovery dundee

Downstairs was the engine room with a realistic noise that completely confused our three year old!  We had quite a few questions about what the noise was.  We spotted the ship’s cat Blackwall in the galley, enjoying heat from the stove (a good place to be when it’s freezing outside).

Discovery Dundee

The mens bed area was fairly basic.  But past the Officers dining room and into the Officer’s area we found that each Officer had their own ‘bedroom’ of sorts.  Inside each ‘bedroom’ was a short bed, desk, drawers, chair and in some there is a sink.  The stove must have helped warm up the rooms a little, but it was apparently still freezing inside.

It must have been difficult living in such a small space for a long time, but it’s inspirational that they risked everything for a trip into the unknown.

Dundee

We had a delicious lunch at the cafe here and was impressed at how reasonably priced it was, considering the huge portions!

Dundee Science Centre

Our next stop was just round the corner, behind the station, Dundee Science Centre.  The building looks fairly small from the outside, but packs a lot into a small space!

construction site

The first area we arrived in was an interactive area perfect for younger kids.  The boys had a quick play in the construction site, but what held their interest most was the iSandBox.  Using augmented reality the iSandBox allows you to play several game modes.  Our favourites were the topography mode and the volcano mode.  In topography mode you can see the topography of the landscape change as you move the sand around the box, we made islands, huge hills, canyons and more.  In volcano mode you can make volcanos, which then spew lava and smoke from the top, directing the lava down valleys in the sand (all computer generated images of course!).

dundee science centre

Around the corner from this area was a human senses exhibition.  A giant human head had been turned into a climbing frame and slide that allowed you to go into the nose.  Our eldest loved it, but when our youngest went through he got quite scared of the huge head when he got to the top of the slide (you can see the moment he got upset in the photo below).  Maybe it was the eyes, but he seemed to be the only child who was unsure of it!

dundee science centre

There were various other interactive exhibits including a mini beast area, the ‘Magic Mirror’, which only shows moving people and lots of other exhibits to keep the kids thinking.

dundee science centre

We also had the chance to try some animal handling.  Our eldest loved this and had a great time holding a Python, a Giant Land Snail and touching a Bearded Dragon.  I love snakes and it was great to get hold to one again, they are lovely animals.

After washing hands we had another little play on the activities around the building before heading back to the station for our train home.  We had a brilliant day out and would definitely recommend a day out in Dundee if you are in Scotland.

dundee trip

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scotrail Dundee

* This is a collaborative post.

Plutonium Sox

7 Comments

  1. April 18, 2017 / 9:20 am

    My toddler loves travelling by train. And the Science Centre looks right up her street – we will have to visit if we are in the area #familytraveltips

  2. April 18, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I love travelling by train with the kids, it does seem slightly more relaxing (with 3 I can’t believe I have used the term relaxing !ha) Looks like you had a lovely day out, and I like the idea of ‘kidsgofree” means a lot when searching for family days out that don’t cost the earth.

  3. April 18, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Travelling by train together as a family is something that we have never done. I know my girls would love this – it’s like a real adventure! #familytraveltips

  4. April 19, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Oh that looks like it was an amazing day out. I giggled when I saw the python photo. We have wild ones in our backyard (we are on a few acres in Australia). We actually had to relocate one on the weekend because it was too close to the house for my liking. #familytraveltips

  5. April 20, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Train travel’s great for kids. And Dundee looks fun – I especially like the sound of the Science Museum. Not sure if I could cope with holding a snake, though!

  6. April 21, 2017 / 11:33 am

    Not sure what happened to my last comment but I adore this! Perfect day out and I love how you were given a train cookie too. It is so handy if you can snag the table on a long train journey for all those travel activities to keep boredom at bay. #familytraveltips

  7. April 23, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Wow, what a brilliant day out. Trains, a ship and a science centre. Literally my girls’ perfect day. I love that train biscuit too! Thanks so much for joining in with #FamilyTravelTips
    Nat.x

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