A charming city on the eastern coast of Scotland, which is home to the oldest and most prestigious University in Scotland. The city is best known as the home of golf. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club was founded in 1754, and the famed Old Course and Club has been host to many British Open Golf Championships.
St Andrews was named for Saint Andrew the Apostle, and the cities history is filled with religious strife and turmoil.
Be sure to visit the fantastic St Andrews city website for additional details and links to the top things to do and see on your visit.
Things To See & Do:
1) St Andrews Castle*
The castle was originally built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century. The castle was home to the bishops (and archbishops) and was the location of many historical events that shaped Scottish history.
2) St Andrews Cathedral & St Rules Tower*
The impressive remains of the St Andrews Cathedral stand out on the coastal point of the town. Set amongst a vast graveyard, the Cathedral was built / re-built on 3 different occasions. During the Scottish Reformation, the impressive church was destroyed and appeared much as it does today. Free admission to explore the church grounds. Worth the price of admission to climb to the top of St Rules Tower for the great views over St Andrews. St Rules Tower, pre-dates the cathedral as the first church built in town.
3) British Golf Museum
A couple hour detour that provides the detailed history and evolution of golf. Outlines the initiation of golf in Scotland in the 16th century, the evolution of clubs/balls, and the spread of golf beyond Scotland in the late 19th century. Be sure to print a 2 for 1 admissions coupon from the museum’s website.
4) West Sands Beach
A three mile sandy beach near the Old Course that is best know as the filming location of the running on the beach scene in Chariots of Fire.
5) West Port Gate
The surviving city gate that was rebuilt in 1589. The gate is at the entrance of the city on South Street (at Bridge Street).
6) Blackfriars Chapel
Located on South Street, this is a small bit of remains of a chapel from the 16th century.
7) Fife Coastal Path
A paved path that stretches the length of the Fife coast. Exploration can be made from St Andrews via the path. The path follows along the coast, and within the city limits will take you from the West Sands Beach on the north (across from the Old Course), by the British Golf Museum, St Andrews University, The Castle, and The Cathedral.
8) Himalayas Putting Green
For a nominal fee (~2 GBP) one can play a round of miniature golf on the St Andrews Ladies Putting Green, which is located next to the Old Course. Unfortunately, due to the Women’s British Open being hosted at the Old Course during our stay, the greens were closed.
9) St Andrews Botanical Gardens
*Be sure to check out the Scotland Explorer Pass. Covers admission costs to a number of sights across Scotland. Comes in 3 day pass (within 5 days) and a 7 day (within 14 days). Might save you a few GBP!
1) Glass House
Serves up a two course lunch (until 5p) and early dinner (5-7) for a fixed price. Lovely location on North Street, featuring modern Italian fare.
2) Doll House
Serves up a two course lunch (until 5p) and early dinner (5-7) for a fixed price. Located on Church Street, the restaurant specializes in Scottish and French fare. We had a delicious meal followed by a sticky toffee pudding (with vanilla ice cream) that was absolutely scrumptious.
St Andrews is home to a host of different bed and breakfasts. Visit the St Andrews B&B website to view local B&Bs.
Approximately 3 miles outside of St Andrews, makes a good location exploring the area as long as you have a car. The town has a handful of B&Bs and is home to the Strathkennis Tavern. We had a nice 3 night stay at the Hawthorne House on Main Street.