Ship in Dundee, Scotland.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

HMS Unicorn


Dundee's second floating tourist attraction – unlike the polished and much-restored RRS Discovery – retains the authentic atmosphere of a salty old sailing ship. Built in 1824, the 46-gun Unicorn is the oldest British-built ship still afloat – she was mothballed soon after launching and never saw action. Wandering around below deck gives you an excellent impression of what it must have been like for the crew forced to live in such cramped conditions.

By the mid-19th century sailing ships were outclassed by steam and the Unicorn served as a gunpowder store, then later as a training vessel. When it was proposed to break up the ship for scrap in the 1960s, a preservation society was formed. The ship is berthed in Victoria Dock, just northeast of the Tay Road Bridge. The entry price includes a self-guided tour (also available in French and German).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dundee attractions

1. V&A Dundee

0.41 MILES

The centrepiece of Dundee's revitalised waterfront is this stunning building designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Opened in late 2018, it houses an…

2. City Square

0.43 MILES

The heart of Dundee is City Sq, flanked to the south by the 1930s facade of Caird Hall, which was gifted to the city by a textile magnate and is now home…

3. McManus Galleries

0.49 MILES

Housed in a solid Victorian Gothic building designed by Gilbert Scott in 1867, the McManus Galleries are a city museum on a human scale – you can see…

4. Discovery Point

0.51 MILES

The three masts of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's famous polar expedition vessel the RRS Discovery provide a historic counterpoint to the modern…

5. St Mary's Church

0.54 MILES

Pedestrianised High St leads west into Nethergate, flanked to the north by St Mary's Church. Most of the church dates from the 19th century, but the Old…

6. Dundee Contemporary Arts

0.68 MILES

Pioneering the development of the city's Cultural Quarter from its opening in 1999, Dundee Contemporary Arts is a centre for modern art, design and cinema…

7. Verdant Works

0.93 MILES

One of the fi­nest industrial museums in Europe, the Verdant Works explores the history of Dundee's jute industry. Housed in a restored jute mill,…

8. Dundee Law

1.29 MILES

It's worth making the climb up Dundee Law (174m) for great views of the city, the two Tay bridges and across to Fife. The Tay Rail Bridge – at just over 2…