In picturesque Broughty Ferry, The Bell Tree in glorious Dundee & Angus countryside, is a charming stone-built pub. Serving traditional pub delights, including seasonal specials and delectable desserts, this pub restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy a refreshing glass of fine wine after exploring the impressive Broughty Castle.
The Bell Tree is a handsome stone-built pub, surrounded by the beautiful waters and sandy beach of Broughty Ferry, and conveniently close to the historic sights of Dundee. Broughty Ferry shows evidence of prehistoric settlement, but its most famous site is the stunning Broughty Castle, an imposing 15th century fort, which now houses a museum, on the north bank of the River Tay. Broughty Ferry has a distinct maritime air. Once christened the ‘Brighton of the North’ for its attractive seafront and century-old pier, the Tay is banked by traditional fishermens cottages lining pretty Fisher Street. Broughty Ferry houses a stunning array of attractive art at the stylish Eduard Allesandro Studios gallery, much of it depicting local scenes. Just down the road in the neighbouring West Ferry area lies Claypotts Castle, a fascinating and immaculately preserved 16th-century ‘Z-plan’ house tower house.
Whatever your reason for visiting the area, The Bell Tree offers delicious pub food, cask ales and fine wines, in an historic setting.Read more...
Though the Bell Tree is a fairly recent build, Broughty Ferry and Dundee possess long and rich histories. Broughty Ferry has intriguing evidence of prehistoric settlement, but this beautiful area is better known for its medieval treasures. The area grew up around the 15th century Broughty Castle, as a fishing port. The grand style of many of the buildings on ‘the Ferry’s’ promenade reflect the wave of wealthy Dundonian “Jute Barons” who moved to the area to escape the smog of industrial central Dundee.
Just off the A92/Arbroath Road, this handsome pub is nestled within the beauty of the Broughty Ferry area, 5 miles from the centre of historic maritime Dundee, and less than 10 minutes by car from historic Monifieth, the town where five spectacular pictish stones were discovered.
With the picturesque fishing town of Arbroath just 11 miles north, and the historic golfing hub of St Andrews just 35 minutes to the south, The Bell Tree is perfectly located for exploring the history and grand scenery of the region. Within Dundee itself, there are excellent opportunities for walking and picturesque scenery. Dundee Law, an extinct volcano, has fantastic views from the top - with the choice of driving up, or working up an appetite by walking to the summit. For a more extensive walk, head along the coastline from Arbroath, taking in the red sandstone cliffs at Dickmont’s Den and the dramatic rock stack of The Deil’s Head.
The Jute Barons were also a prominent part of Dundee’s seafaring legacy. Though Dundee’s maritime heritage goes back many centuries, by 1872 the city had become Britain’s premier whaling port, largely because of the jute industry’s demand for whale oil, to use in processing cloth. Over 2,000 ships were constructed in Dundee between 1871-1881. The port’s most famous contribution to the seas, however, is that Captain Scott’s ship RRS Discovery was constructed in Dundee in 1900. It set sail for Antarctica in August of the following year, and despite the ship being locked in ice in McMurdo Sound for two years, the expedition managed to determine that Antarctica was indeed a continent. This incredible, historic vessel can be visited at Discovery Point, Dundee, where it is docked.
A few miles west along the A92, slightly north of Dundee’s city centre lies Dundee Law. An extinct volcano, dating back around 400 million years, the Law provides an invigorating walk with spectacular views. A war memorial at the Law’s summit commemorates those lost in both world wars, and a large flame atop it lights up this historic site on days of military significance. Another evocative site is Baxter Park and Pavilion. A gift from the Baxter family, powerful flax mill owners, to the public, it was opened in 1863. Designed by renowned architect Sir Joseph Paxton, who created London’s grand Crystal Palace, Baxter Park is considered Scotland’s pre-eminent Victoria park.
Baxter Park stretches across the Stobwell area of the city – where the indomitable Chalmers Street Cricket Club played, reputedly going 17 years without defeat until the team lost their cricket bat. The Baxters who inspired the name were a local family of radical dissenters, with whom Mary Shelley resided for a time in Broughty Ferry. The area is believed to have inspired several scenes from her seminal novel Frankenstein.
The grandness of those homes is matched by the area’s religious architecture. St Stephen’s Church, for example, dates from 1871, and inside its handsome red-brick façade lies a pristine example of Edward Burne-Jones stained glass windows – considered to be possibly Scotland’s most impressive example of pre-Raphaelite art.
Two miles south, in the direction of the Tay Road Bridge, St Mary’s Church has undergone a varied and tumultuous history. A church has been in this spot since the 12th century, when David, brother of King William (the Lion) had become filled with religious fervour after surviving a storm at sea, whilst returning from the Third Crusade to the Holy Land. St. Mary’s Church was constructed in the mid- 1460s, the church was severely burnt in 1547 when an English force captured Dundee. St Mary’s again had to deal with English forces a century later – and the lock on the door leading from the ground floor entrance hall to the stair is the same one which helped keep out Cromwell’s army in 1651. The Old Steeple of St Mary’s, itself a 16th century creation, is still intact, and evokes the muted grandeur of that period’s architecture.
The Bell Tree is nestled amidst the inviting seaside and attractive Victorian architecture of Broughty Ferry, yet convenient for those traveling by road or rail (or perhaps by foot, for local visitors). This pub restaurant serves delightful traditional cuisine throughout the day, seven days a week, and offers a selection of fine wines and cask ales. Whether visiting the historic heart of Dundee, taking exploring the architectural treasures of Broughty Ferry, or discovering the rich heritage of nearby Arbroath or St Andrews, this handsome and conveniently located pub, is a perfect place to stop for an invigorating pub lunch and a smooth cask ale.