Where: St. Andrews, Scotland
What better way to experience Scotland than to go spend some time in a charmingly quaint and historic town? Many know it as the "home of golf" and have spent several Sunday afternoons laying on the couch witnessing it's scenery in the background of the tube as the great golf icons of the day battle it out for the Claret Jug. For those of you who feel completely lost right about now do not fret because there are plenty of non golf related sights to go around in this picturesque small town in the Kingdom of Fife.
When: July 17 (SUNDAY) -18, 2016
The middle of summer turned out to be a great time to visit this area. The weather stayed fairly dry for us and was cool and cloudy. The crowds were almost non-existant apart from a few groups of people congregating around the iconic Swilcan Bridge for a photo op.
If you happen to be a golf enthusiast on a non golfing trip to Scotland then this will be a great tip for planning your own trip to St. Andrews. Make sure to go ON A SUNDAY! Upon your visit on this magical day of the week you will find that the ENTIRE old course is FREE for anyone to walk on as long as you refrain from actually playing golf, walking on the greens, or messing about in the infamous pot bunkers.
How to Get There:
Getting to St Andrews is a scenic ride either by bus or by train. Taking the bus (depending on the train ticket prices) will take slightly more time than the train but you get to go through the heart of several small towns along the way which for us is always an added bonus.
Bus - St. Andrews is connected to the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh by a service from Stagecoach Bus. From Glasgow the journey time is around 2.5 hours and a single ticket will set you back about 15 pounds. From Edinburgh it will take around 2 hours and a single ticket will be about 10 pounds. Keep in mind these ticket prices are subject to change as are the route offerings so be sure to check the website accordingly.
*For our journey we elected to take the bus from Edinburgh because it was slightly cheaper than taking the train. Also, during our visit it just so happened that the workers for the section of railway servicing St. Andrews were participating in a strike so trains were delayed (be sure to stay tuned in for any possible railway strikes - this could upsettingly delay your adventure).
Train - Traveling to St. Andrews by rail will involve an additional step since the town itself is not serviced directly by the railway system. The nearest rail station is in the town of Leuchars which is connected to St. Andrews via a 15 minute bus ride serviced by Stagecoach Bus (which can be automatically included on your rail ticket if purchased from National Rail) . Train ticket prices will vary so be sure to check before booking. Generally speaking a ticket from Edinburgh will cost you 20 pounds and one from Glasgow for 25 pounds.
Car - Private car is certainly a valid option to get to St. Andrews and will take around 1.5 hours from either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
How to Get Around:
Once you get into town you can get almost anywhere you need to go just by walking. The Old Course is within 1 mile from Market Street, the Cathedral ruins, the University, and even the Castle. However, there is a local bus service available if you prefer rolling transit.
What to Do:
The Old Course at St. Andrews
Tom Morris Golf Shop
St. Andrews Cathedral (Ruins) & Graveyard
MUSA (Museum of the University of St. Andrews)
St. Andrews Castle (and the surrounding sights)
Where to Dine:
Northpoint Cafe - A casual spot for good coffee and breakfast. It also happens to be the place where "Kate Met Wills" so if you sit in front of the window you just may find yourself in the perfect photobombing position for the occasional passerby (or in our case an entire bus of tourists) taking advantage of the photo op. This is not a place to hold back. Go big, with the whip cream and all! Definitely worth it!
Tailend - A great place on market street to get some fish and chips (endless fries might we add) with very reasonable prices.
Dining Bonus - If you are looking to save some money there are plenty of grab'n'go food options at the local Marks & Spencer or Aldi (a great option for those staying at the adjacent Premier Inn).
Where to Stay:
Premier Inn - Largo Rd, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 8NH.
Our recommendation for lodging lies slightly on the outskirts of town but it is an affordable option ( about 70 GBP) with great amenities and is an easy mile from market street.
Enjoy Your Trip To St. Andrews!
- and feel free to comment with any questions!
> Jo & Mo
We are the Best's! Jo and Mo. We have been immensely blessed with many opportunities to see various parts of the world. We live an average, working life in Raleigh, NC but through our many opportunities have developed a passion to see the world. Our goal is to share with other desiring travelers different tips and experiences from around the world as we begin to check them off our bucket list. If anything, we hope to provide a little sense of motivation and adventure to those wishing to embark on their own journey!
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