For a journey through robotics past and future don’t miss the excellent “Hello Robot” exhibition in the modern architectural masterpiece that is the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum. It’s on until Sunday 9 February 2020 (tickets £6-£12, save £1 by buying in advance online or by phone).
The first room in the Hello Robot exhibition showcases retro robots and if you’re a Star Wars fans like me you’ll be wowed by seeing the original R2-D2 (from 1977, on loan from George Lucas)! For me it was a real highlight of the exhibition.
Moving into the other rooms things get much more high tech and there’s plenty here to enthral and educate visitors young and old. The exhibits cleverly explore the fascinating, complex and evolving relationship between human and machine present and future. Our little one was particularly captivated by the use of video throughout the exhibition and the chance to create your own “robots” in the separate kids workshop room afterwards.
To re-charge your batteries post exhibition you can choose from the V&A Dundee’s The Living Room cafe (ground floor) or Tatha Bar and Kitchen restaurant (1st floor). Both provide the perfect opportunity to marvel at the magnificence of the museum‘s architecture (created by renowned architect Kengo Kuma as a “living room for the city”) and its riverside location. We were lucky enough to nab a window seat in the cafe for a spectacular River Tay view!
Despite the high quality of the museum’s exhibits for most visitors it’s the V&A Dundee building itself that impresses the most. Perched right by the river, does the museum’s remarkable design remind you of waves, the hull of a ship, Scottish sea-cliffs or, as my daughter says, a pile of pancakes?! One thing’s for sure, it’s a spectacular sight, inside and outside, which is definitely worth a day trip from the East Neuk!
The museum shop (ground floor) also delights with its unique range of cool and unusual products celebrating national and international design.
Other V&A Dundee exhibitions I’m really looking forward to this year are “Mary Quant” from 4 April to 6 September 2020 for some 1960s fashion nostalgia and then “Night Fever: Designing Club Culture” from 31 October 2020 to 14 February 2021.
Or if the exhibitions don’t push your buttons you can visit the V&A Dundee’s permanent Scottish Design Galleries any time for free. There are around 300 exhibits drawn from the V&A’s world-famous collection of art, design and performance as well as museums, private collections and designers across Scotland and the world. Highlights for us were building your own virtual Hunter wellies, being dazzled by a gorgeous 1935 Cartier tiara with diamond wings and stepping inside the Oak Room, a restored and reconstructed Charles Rennie Mackintosh tea-room interior from 1940s Glasgow.
For more information about V&A Dundee see: https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/. Tel: +44 (0)1382 411611.
You can also extend your sight-seeing trip to Dundee by popping next door to explore the RRS Discovery, the ship which Scott and Shackleton sailed to Antarctica. Another great option is to check out the nearby Dundee Science Centre, a family favourite in our house.
Copyright Sara @ Rose Cottage East Neuk, 2020
Visitors to the East Neuk of Fife have long benefited from a pretty fabulous day trip by boat to the Isle of May, in the middle of the Firth of Forth (read all about it in my blog). However it wasn’t possible, unless you chartered your own boat, to get all the way across to the other side of the Forth by boat. Well now you can! Summer boat trips are now running from Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife to North Berwick in East Lothian, linking two great coastal towns on either side of the Forth. The maiden voyage sailed on Friday 7 August 2015 and seems to have been a great success.
As Seafari Adventures Forth, who run the service, say, the route follows the centuries old Pilgrims route for worshippers heading to and from St Andrews. It also links together two of Scotland’s greatest golfing locations, the home of golf in St Andrews and the ‘Golf Coast’ in East Lothian.
Here are the details:
- Website: www.seafari-edinburgh.co.uk
- Journey time: approximately 45 minutes
- Boat: the catamaran ‘Seafari Explorer’ which is licensed to carry 55 passengers. More about the boat
- Luggage: Bike racks are being fitted on board so the boat can carry bicycles for those wishing to complete a great ’round forth’ day trip, or for those heading on longer routes North or South. Bikes and golf clubs are carried free of charge.
- Sailing times: these differ slightly each day due to the tides but generally the outbound trip from North Berwick departs at 09:30 and then departs Anstruther at 10:30. The return trips are at 18:00 (North Berwick) and 19:00 (Anstruther) This means that passengers have the whole day to explore ‘the other side of the river’ before returning home again. Timetable
- Cost: £25 return for adults, £20 concession, £15 child (free for under 3s) Book online
On the voyage you may see all manner of wildlife from puffins, diving gannets, eider ducks and seals to more elusive whales and dolphins. Keep your eyes peeled, with the help of the crew! Landmarks to enjoy on the way include the Isle of May and its numerous lighthouses, Bass Rock, Berwick Law and lots to see further afield if visibility is good such as Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat.
When you get to North Berwick you can enjoy the lovely beach, golf courses, harbour, Scottish Seabird Centre (with cameras to view the wildlife on Bass Rock, the Isle of May etc.), Museum of Flight and excellent boutique shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. More tourist information
Visitors coming the other way to Anstruther will be able to enjoy the harbour, beach and quaint village, Scottish Fisheries Museum, award-winning fish and chips, gift shops, cafes and restaurants, golf courses and walking the Fife Coastal Path e.g. to Pittenweem or Crail.
All aboard me hearties!