If you’re reading this in Douglas, the West End or the Ferry then congratulations – you’re reading it in the best place to live in Scotland.
Dundee has been named as the finest place to call home in the whole of the country by The Sunday Times newspaper – beating out scenic isles and areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Judges on the Sunday Times Best Places To Live panel noted that the city has undergone a “dramatic transformation”.
And Tim Palmer, Sunday Times property writer and panel judge, said the city had begun an “exciting” new chapter.
He told the Tele: “Obviously the opening of V&A Dundee has played a part – that really put the city to the top of the agenda but it’s not the only thing.
“It’s tempting to see the V&A as the end of the story but it feels like the next chapter, like getting to the next level in a videogame.
“But it will help more people to notice that it has always been a really exciting and creative place. It’s the best place in the country for people doing interesting things.”
The property expert added that Dundonians’ collective pride in their city had played a part in the panel’s decision.
“The waterfront is the other huge change from since I first visited about 25 years ago. It’s just so much fun to visit now,” Mr Palmer continued.
“It seems very local and there is a real sense of pride which is one of the things we always look for. It’s a place people are proud to live in and that extends beyond the city centre and the ring road.
“We also don’t know exactly where Dundee is going, which is one of the most exciting things.”
Among the highlights of the full report – published in this weekend’s Sunday Times – are attractions like the DCA, McManus, Dundee Rep and, of course, the V&A Dundee.
However, local businesses such as butchers Scott Brothers, 71 Brewing and Spex Pistols have been held in high esteem – as have the city’s universities.
Dundee beat out places such as Glasgow’s trendy Finneston district, Port Appin in Argyll, the isle of Mull and the former Edinburgh port of Leith to be named top dog.
The judging panel, which also included Sunday Times Home editor Helen Davies and Sunday Times Magazine editor Eleanor Mills, used elements such as house prices, employment rates, schools and broadband speeds to pick their favourites.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said the award was “further recognition that Dundee is a thriving and exciting city.”
Mr Alexander added: “The council and its partners are well aware that the city and its people face a number of challenges, but this latest accolade shows how much the perception of Dundee is changing. This latest award is most welcome.”
This is why Dundee tops the list
Ten locations in Scotland have been named among the Best Places to Live in the UK by The Sunday Times. In addition, the guide has named Dundee as the Best Place to Live in Scotland.
The accolade comes ahead of the full reveal of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, including the overall winner, which is published on Sunday, April 14.
The supplement assesses a wide range of factors, from employment, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops, in order to compile the definitive top locations to live.
The methodology uses robust statistics, including exclusive, up to date house prices provided by Habito and TwentyCi, but also the knowledge of The Sunday Times’s expert panel. The judges combine the hard data with their own on-the-ground experience and insight to ensure the chosen locations truly are places where everyone can thrive.
Scotland’s sunniest city, Dundee, has made it to the top spot for the nation this year. Along with North Berwick, it is one of two locations within Scotland that return from last year’s The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.
According to judges, over the last couple of years Dundee has seen a dramatic transformation into a vibrant, creative city, bursting with arts and culture, crowned with arrival of the V&A Museum last September which has reconnected the city with its waterfront.
There are new routes for cyclists and joggers, who stand a good chance of spotting seals or porpoises in the River Tay. Dundee has some great schools and a highly-ranked university and is only an hour’s train ride from Edinburgh.
The capital proves a popular spot in its own right. It has two locations on this year’s list. Leith, Edinburgh’s old port, has been recognised for its cutting-edge creativity and culinary scene (with Michelin starts and a surfeit of sourdough). Stockbridge, on the fringe of the New Town, is praised for its beautiful properties and village atmosphere, and pretty walks along the Water of Leith.
In the Highlands, Port Appin, in Argyll, features thanks to breathtaking scenery that provided fabulous opportunities for walking, cycling and sailing, and welcoming community spirit. The scenery is even more breathtaking on Mull, the only island on this year’s list. Best known as the setting for children’s TV favourite Balamory, the judges described it as the perfect Goldilocks option: not too remote, not too busy, and perfectly Scottish from its white-sand beaches to its gorse-covered slopes and Munro-sized peak, Ben More.
Other selected locations include Glasgow’s trendy Finnieston district, as well as the attractive commuter towns of Kilmacolm and Killearn. Last year’s winner, Melrose, narrowly misses out, its place taken by its Borders neighbour St Boswells, home of the award-winning bookshop and deli Mainstreet Trading.
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in the UK covers the following regions and nations: North and Northeast, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Southeast, Wales, Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest. It also reveals the overall best place to live in the UK.
Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor said: “Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health. Wherever you are on the property ladder The Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK, and crowned one lucky winner, that we think is a great place to make a home.
“This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture. There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one.”
For longer entries, more on air quality, broadband, transport links, comprehensive listings of good schools and lifelong learning opportunities, local voices and property prices you can go online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/bestplacestolive.