What does St Andrews Scotland conjure up in your mind? For most people, the first thing that they think about is golf. Others think of the famous university where Prince William studied.
But St Andrews is one of the loveliest places I know, and has so many things to see and do for every visitor.
I really enjoy a day out to St Andrews and I hope if you are visiting, you'll see that it is a place with so much more to offer than just golf. Of course, seeing the St Andrews Scotland "Royal and Ancient Golf Club" is a thrill for any golfer.
Before going any further, I suggest you also check out the Things to do in Fife pages. It may help you plan what to do in St Andrews, but also I'm sure you'll find plenty of things for the whole family in and around the Kingdom.
Even if you're not a golfer, a nice place to both to stay during your time in St Andrews, or indulge in afternoon tea is Rusacks Hotel overlooking the golf course. Their afternoon tea is a treat worth having, where you can enjoy some shortbread or scones with jam.
I always enjoy browsing around the shops, and whether you're looking for golf souvenirs, tartan or clan goods, cashmere, music or books, I'm sure you might find it in St Andrews.
There are some great places to Places to eat in and around St Andrews including some award-winning restaurants where you might be able to try the fish soup called Cullen Skink or the famous Haggis or even, Clootie Dumpling. There are also lots of coffee shops, some outside. So whether you're playing golf, finding out about the history, or doing some shopping, take some time out for a little refreshment and do one of my favourite occupations of 'people watching'.
By the way, if you are an American or Canadian and really like some of our food, you can buy it directly in USA from Caledonian Kitchen Med. Just place your order and they will ship it to you direct from the States.
However, back to St Andrews Scotland - if you have time have a look at the British Golf Museum, where you can find out how a golf ball is made as well as sharing the experience of the great golfers of the past; or look round the Preservation Trust Museum in North Street,this 17th century house with fascinating displays and reconstructions of St Andrews' past. The main St Andrew's Museum explores the rich heritage from medieval to modern times.
If you like gardens, then do visit The Botanic Gardens, which are renowned for their wonderful plants. But if it's art you like, then try the Crawford Arts Centre which is also on North Street. Here you'll find exhibitions of modern art and crafts.
However, if the Theatre is something you enjoy, check out what is on at The Byre Theatre, home to some excellent productions.
So, as you can see, St Andrews Scotland is more than just golf. There's something for everyone.
St Andrews Scotland Town
St Andrews Scotland is in north east Fife, and to get there you will have either come along the coastal route via the East Neuk, maybe stopping off for coffee or lunch at one of the lovely fishing villages such as Anstruther , or Pittenweem or Crail, having come round the coast from the Forth Bridges via the towns of Kirkcaldy and Leven.
Or perhaps you will have come from the North over the Tay Bridge and the delightful town of Tayport with all its sailing boats in the harbour. You might have even come from the north from the towns of Dundee or Perth where you might have heard of the real treasure of the
Of course, you may have travelled north from the Forth Bridge up past Dunfermline
up the M90 Motorway, coming off at Exit 8, and following the road eastwards to St Andrews; perhaps stopping off for that cuppa at Auchtermuchty , Falkland or Cupar.
But whatever way you got there, I'm sure the scenery would have been a joy. Have a look at the map below to get your bearings.
History and Heritage of St Andrews Scotland
St Andrews Scotland has a unique place in our history and heritage. Legend tells us that St Rule brought the apostle Andrew's remains to the town.
St Rule's Tower
Celtic monks build the church of St Mary on the Rock, and the remains stand near the harbour. Pilgrims from all around the world have visited the shrine of St Andrew, who became our Patron saint, and his saltire cross was adopted as our
St Rules Tower is all that remains of the first Church, but if you climb to the top you will be rewarded with wonderful views. When the great cathedral was first build in the 12th and 13th century, it was for a long time not only the largest building in Scotland, but the centre of the country's religious life.
St Andrews Cathedral
The Bishops built the castle for comfort and protection, but it has suffered from years of wars. A visit to the "Castle Visitor Centre" is fascinating, and you'll see an exhibition about the people in the Middle Ages, people who played great roles in both Church and state.
Later in the 16th century, during the Reformation, John Knox preached his first sermon in St Andrews. He was imprisoned for his Calvinistic beliefs, while other Protestant Reformers were burnt at the stake or executed. You'll see interesting commemorations of them around the town - the Martyrs Monument on The Scores, St Salvator's College, Market Street and the Castle.
The Castle at St Andrews Scotland
St Andrews Scotland has been a market town for centuries but in 1620 it was made a royal burgh. The layout of the town is still reminiscent of its time as a market town.
So much of the early St Andrews still survives. The early trader would bring their supplies through the gates, the West Port is the only fortified gateway to survive in Scotland and was rebuilt in 1592.
But it is Golf that makes St Andrews Scotland famous today! However, do take some time away from the course and explore the lovely streets and discover some of the town's hidden gems.
St Andrews Beach towards the town
St Andrews scotland has a wonderful coastline with its sweeping bays, its lovely sandy beaches, its river estuaries and its cliffs. It's a great place to see wildlife, from gannets to terns, or seals playing in the water, or even dolphins swimming offshore.
It used to have a large fishing fleet, but these days are long gone, and the sea is now used for leisure activities such as swimming and of course the pleasures of the sailing club.
In the film "Chariots of Fire", the story of Eric Liddell, the Olympic Medallist, some of the scenes were filmed on the beautiful West Sands Beach. So do make some time just to stroll along the beach.
Of course the other thing that makes St Andrew's famous is that it hosts the oldest university in Scotland.
St Andrews Scotland University
Of course during the 'term' time, you will often see the young students out and about, maybe sitting alongside one of the old walls, surrounded by history, doing their work on an up-to-date latptop.
Student studying at St Andrew's
By the way, if you are visiting St Andrews and can't bear to be away from internet access, please note that at the time of writing there is no Internet Cafe, but you can use the internet at the Library and the Tourist Information Office. However, the coffee shop Starbucks in Market Street has WiFi if you have your own laptop.
Anstruther - Explore this lovely fishing village and treat yourself to some delicious Fish and Chips. Auchtermuchty - This lovely place (my home) is also home to a great Festival every year in August. Bridges - See the lovely and even awesome bridges that might be your way into the Enchanting Kingdom for things to see and do in Scotland! Falkland - Let the enchanting Falkland Palace transport you back a few centuries. Go for a walk up the Lomond Hills and stop for a 'yummy' bit to eat in Falkland. Glenrothes - Visit this New Town with all its amazing modern sculptures, or pop into the Markinch Highland Games. Kirkcaldy - The 'Lang Toun', one of the largest towns in Fife. Pittenweem - Visit this scenic fishing village and home to Pittenweem Arts Festival. Dunfermline - The ancient capital of Scotland, a modern city, yet bulging with history of Kings and Queens, as well as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie.
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