St Andrews is a costal town in the Kingdom of Fife Scotland , I went there as a kid and have returned more recently as an adult , of course it is well known as the home of golf and has hosted the open competition , and again will do so this year at the old course , I would advise that unless you have a ticket for the open , when its on to avoid the place at all costs as the traffic is horrendous , and the town is very very busy
One of the most iconic places for a visit when I was a child was Jannettas ice cream shop on the high street , this often as a kid was a scottish equivalent to Willie Wonkas shops lol and had a vast array of ice cream flavors which on the rare days the sun shines in Scotland were delicious , I must however express my disappointment after being there yesterday , to find that whilst the name remains the shop has become a scaled down version of its former self , whilst they claim to still sell over 52 flavors of ice cream , the sweets , rock and other things I remember as a kid have now gone , of course the ice cream is a must try , especially the Irn Bru flavor ! or Scottish Tablet
Parking can be a bit of a hit and miss in the town , on street parking is available and requires a voucher which can be bought from most of the high street shops , there is also parking available at the west sands car park which is close to the open course , and gives access to the beach where chariots of fire was filmed , during the summer parking is always a problem so you really need to get here quite early
You can also travel to St Andrews by train , however the town its self does not have a rail station and as such you need to get of at Leuchars , which is a 5 minute taxi or bus ride away .
There is a great deal of historical buildings to be seen in St Andrews these include the Cathedral , and St Mary's on the rock , and of course the Scottish Golf Museum
A great experience is the sea life centre which is situated just behind the Golf Museum and has a wide range of marine life for young and old to look at
St Andrews has always been popular for as long as I remember , spending weeks there as a child and will , always hold a piece of my heart , without a doubt , popularity of the town increased through Prince William studying at the University , which its self is steeped in history
On my visit yesterday , I noticed that prices in some of the restaurants , which in my opinion were relatively mediocre , were offering lemonade style meals at champagne prices , whilst I understand that business must make some kind of profit , why should it be at the cost of the visitor or indeed the local?
South sands is another beach near the harbor and is also where you can find the mini golf course which is still fun for young and old , close by this beach is kinkel braes caravan park , where I spent my time as a child
Close by St Andrews is 'Scotlands Secret Bunker' which is on the road to Anstruther , it is a disused nuclear bunker which was used by the MOD and has now become a very interesting museum , I have visited this a few years ago , and found it both interesting and atmospheric ,
Anstruther its self is a very small fishing village which is home to the Scottish fishery museum and some of the most expensive fish and chips I have ever seen £10.00 for a fish supper ( fish and chips ) is a bit of a rip off if you ask me , In my opinion unless you want to be ripped off for some thing to eat , have a heart attack if your driving and meet a bus on the wrong side of the road it really is best to give it a body swerve
15 minutes to the North is Dundee which is a city and easy accessible if you have a car , by going across the Tay road bridge, to get there follow the A914 , it should be noted that getting to St Andrews , means traveling up the M90 and then following the costal route which is the A91 , there is no duel carriage way and this route takes you through some nice little villages such as Couper
St Andrews is always worth a visit even if its just for an ice cream , It has changed a lot since I was a kid but will remain a place I will often visit
St Andrews is probably one of the most famous towns in Scotland. It has something of an international reputation, perhaps mostly due to it being the location of one of the world's most famous golf courses, St Andrews Links Course. Yet, in my personal opinion, the association of St Andrews as a golfing location has had a rather negative impact on the attraction of the town, thwarting much more interesting natural features, sites of interest and things to do that don't cost the earth (in both ways!).
St Andrews and the Golf
Now, I know a lot of people enjoy golf. They enjoy a stroll through manufactured 'open space'. I understand that the golfing demographic is not all professionals and executives these days and that if it wasn't for golf courses there would be no green spaces and we would be surrounded with shopping malls and car parks instead. I also understand that irrigation has become more efficient and that fertiliser use is being limited. 'The rough' has a significant positive impact for wildlife species (though, of course, unless the green spaces were used as ACTUAL green spaces).
But, for all I am told, I still think the same. St Andrews is a prime example of where the country club scene has dominated other sites of interest, for which there are many.
I happen to think that golf courses, to put it politely, are rather monstrous creations wasting huge quantities of water, requiring large amounts of fertiliser and are mown to the extent that little or no wildlife could exist on these barren swathes of 'green' even if they wanted to. The stereotype of 'people who golf' is perhaps the most grotesque of social cliques: people who regard eating a heavy lunch at 'the club', drinking excess alcohol and getting driven around in laughable buggies as exercise (?!). Then, whilst in impeccable dress, claim that the game itself is not at all boring. I suggest that those guys (and ladies, of which they are so very few) go home and spend some time with their children rather than tiptoeing on their fake grass in polo shirts and chinos. But, I am entitled to my opinion and so are you, so be sure that if you love golf then I don't hold a grudge. More importantly, this review is about St Andrews as a place of interest and hence my indirect ramble just serves to quantify how much I think it has to offer besides golf! I think it gives St Andrews a one-dimensional appeal that neglects the more raw and real appeal of long beaches, historical sites of interest, coastal walks, quaint shops, cobbles and so on.
So, the golf course? I think it is elitist, wasteful and boring, but that's too bad! For those who enjoy, it offers one of the most famous golf courses in the world: the Old Course, which dates back to Medieval times. The Open Championship will return to the town in 2010, so I better be far away for that! Tiger Woods frequents the course, and according to Jack Nicklaus "If a golfer is going to be remembered, he must win at St Andrews". Since lots of celebrities like to play on the course, particularly at the Dunhill Links Championship that comes around every October, you tend to see quite a few of them walking about the town. I passed Samuel L Jackson outside of a pub during this time!
St Andrews Cathedral
Since the town grew out from the west of this cathedral, with the southern side of the Scores to the north and the Kinnessburn to the South, it seems like a good place to start. It was in use from its foundation in 1158 until it fell into disuse after the Reformation. It is currently ruined and in the custody of Historic Scotland. It is really quite a focal point of the town: one end wall that remains in place stands at an impressive height. St Rule's tower is located in the Cathedral grounds and predates the actual cathedral, but you can pay a fee to get up to the top in order to see an admirable view of the town, habour, sea and surrounding countryside. I think as a site it is quite expensive, since going up the tower costs at least £4 each or perhaps more cheaply as part of a "tour St Andrews" bundle. I think you get a good enough sense of the history of the place by walking around, breathing the air and reading the placards. That said, the view would probably be great. There is also a cathedral museum which contains a sarcophagus dating from the mid-8th century. Who needs Egypt! The museum also costs to enter- I visited the site but didn't go into the museum or up the tower because of the cost, so perhaps if you had children or were particularly interested then this would be a good way to enjoy a few hours.
St Andrews Castle
This a very picturesque 1200AD fort that now lies in ruins but is perched on the cliff face, clinging to rocks against a spectacular seascape. There is a visitor centre and you can poke around the ruins and perhaps climb down the steps below the castle to a sweet little shingle beach that boasts little rock pools and a glorious cosy feeling. Better than any visitor centre!
Alongside the golf course, on the sea edge, runs West Sands, a great stretch of soft, sandy beach that was captured in the movie "Chariots of Fire", giving some impression of its scale. Though this is Scotland and the weather variable and rarely 'hot', you do get crisp, beautiful days and somewhat mild winters and little rain that encourages many-a-stroll along the beach. The water is very cold, which I can tell you from personal experience of taking dips in both summer and winter. Not for the faint hearted! East Sands is a smaller beach in a more southerly position that is smaller but more British seaside town-like with ice cream vans and a promenade and so on. Lovely!
The Town itself
From September to May the town is largely dominated by a heavy student population and thus much of the amenities are geared towards the students. Thus there are a large number of bars and pubs, though no clubs as such. One bar has called the Lizard has recently extended its opening hours to 2am and is charging entry after 11pm thus trying to create a club atmosphere, though a little half-heartedly. Strict planning restrictions and high rents mean the shops and types of amenities are relatively static and then some cater also to the tourist trade. To list them all would be difficult but to give you a range there are knitwear/Scottish themed stores, a greengrocers, boots, Starbucks, delicatessens, an ice cream parlour, a stationary shop, chip shops, etc. Except for high market boutique style shops and a New Look, there are limited clothes shopping opportunities unless you are game for charity shopping or like Arran sweaters. Dundee is close though and you could always take a short bus trip there for a plethora of shops and services! There is something for everyone and this includes a huge variation in pub style, restaurant theme (ranging from premium sea food, to Indian, to cheap takeaways, Italian and so on) and bar style. Students have some regular haunts and tend to circulate these on nights out (perhaps avoid Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays if you aren't looking to be somewhere swamped by students). Drinks are not that cheap: Mackays bar is the cheapest if that is what you are looking for. You need to be in a city for cheap drinks deals- here they know students will buy them, pretty much whatever the price, within some degree of reason. May to September is golf season and tourist season, and the weather is better- so perhaps this is the better time to visit as it is more like a 'normal' town. You actually might see locals in the pubs this way too!
I go there so I'm not going to be able to be particularly unbiased, but league tables aside, University experience is largely positive and depends on the people you meet rather than the subject you are doing or how well it is taught (though in later years this is perhaps more of an issue). It can be claustrophobic as a small town with limited amenities and the repetitive nature of the nightlife and people can turn it into a weird amalgamation of social cliques that can support or neglect your overall experience. Most people I know love it! But you need to get out once in a while, and it is not a city university. It has a buzzing and internationally recognised academic record and everyone likes to beef up the subject they are doing and all its prowess. Take all with a pinch and salt and do what you love.
Try the Fife Coastal trail which you can go off in many directions from the St Andrews locality. There are cycle trails galore which you can look up online or pick up a leaflet from the tourist office. The walk down in the direction of Anstruther is just breathtaking. Just walking through the town on a quiet day is quite nice. As is Fife in general, which is characterised by luscious arable fields atypical of eastern Scottish lowlands.
The town is approximately 50 miles north-east of Edinburgh, 14 miles south east of Dundee, 78 miles south of Aberdeen, 82 miles east of Glasgow and 466 miles north of London! Air travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow is probably easiest followed by a car trip or bus trip. Rail services operate to Leuchars which is a fair few miles outside of St Andrews and thus a short bus ride or taxi from the station itself.
Overall, St Andrews is quaint and pretty but a bit overcrowded at times. Choose a good time to go and you will be able to enjoy clean, sea air and a great, relaxing taste of coastal Scotland.
St Andrews - one of the ancient capitals of Scotland better known as the home of golf is situated in the east neuk of fife.
Most well known for golf - it has eight courses ranging from a small 9 hole course to the championship courses of the Old Course and the Torrance and Devlin Courses at the Fairmont Hotel. There is a golf museum and numerous famous golf shops throughout the town such as Auchterlonies.
A popular holiday town even if you are not a golfer St.Andrews boasts two lovely beaches - the east and west sands. The east sands is where the opening scene from the film "Chariots of Fire was filmed with a lot of local residents being used as extras.
Things to do when on holiday include playing a round of putting on the Himilayas putting green - this putting green was built so that the ladies of the golfers would have somewhere to spend their time when their other halfs were on the golf course.
A visit to the castle and the cathedral are poplar too. The castle has an underground passageway that youcan walk down and the cathedral tower is open to those feeling fit enough to climb.
The Lammas Market visits the town in August. It is there for approx five days with the last day always being the Tuesday nearest the 11th
The town has a fairly good shopping centre (few streets) for its size both a mixture of independents and chain shops. Mellis cheese shop is interesting and can be smelt right along the street.
For eating there is a wide choice of restaurants and take aways - if you do visit the town be sure to get fish and chips from PMs chippy. Tha balaka indian restaurant is also a good choice as is Zizzis on South Street.
St.Andrews is also famous for its university - becoming even more popular after Prince William studied there.
The surrounding villages are good for lovely pubs serving quality home cooked meals.
I would recommend the town for a good family holiday.
St Andrews is a very, very beautiful part of Scotland that is mainly known for its amazing golf course and the old course hotel that sits on it. The old course hotel has seen some of the biggest named stars stay in its beautiful rooms, such as Jack Nicholson, Guy Ritchie and Robbie Williams amongst others.
Away from the golf course and the beautiful hotel though there is a lot more on offer in St Andrews, there are nice beaches should you get the good weather that is very rare in the area, a nice aquarium to visit with the kids, a very good golfing museum, some great shops and pubs and a very quaint old cinema.
There are some very, very nice B&B`s throughout St Andrews if you cannot afford the luxury offered by the old course hotel (which most cannot) so no need to worry about accommodation when you visit, although if you are coming for the St Andrews open golf tournament then book well in advance because there is not a spare room to be had when that is on and the stars are in town.
If you can muster up the cash then treat yourself to a night in the old course hotel because you will most probably never have experienced luxury like it. My hubby and I stayed one night in this amazing place at the mighty cost of £539 but it was worth every penny to live like a star for a night and I did not want to leave.
If you are visiting Scotland then add St Andrews to your list of places to see, you will not be disappointed.
St Andrews, best known perhaps to golfers the world over, is a beautiful, peaceful place for a holiday. I was lucky enough to go there for two weeks every Summer all through my childhood, since my grandparents lived there; their house was large and accommodated our family easily, giving a great base for trips out to the beach, shopping, explorations, and many other activities. * Climate * Situated in a bay on the East coast of Scotland, St Andrews has some of the loveliest stretches of beach in the country. The West Sands were the scene of the opening shots of the film "Chariots of Fire", with coastline stretching for miles, the water clear and inviting, the sand perfect for children to make sandcastles and channels to the sea. Being on the coast, the weather is temperate - it rarely freezes in winter, but equally the warmest summer days are cooled by a breeze, and the air can be bracing. It is not the place to go to guarantee a suntan, but during July and August there will probably be some days when you can lie on the beach and relax. * Passing reference to golf * Despite my grandparents' best intentions, I'm no golfer. Perhaps just as well, since this is not a cheap hobby! Casual visitors may be shocked by the price of a round of golf at the famous 'Old Course', although I'm told it's the equivalent to Mecca for a serious golfer. Bookings are already being taken for 2005. There are other golf courses in St Andrews, although in high season they can all be popular too and it's important to book in advance via the tourist office, or one of the many web-sites advertising golf. * Cathedral, castle and pier * For anyone even remotely interested in history, St Andrews has a superb ruined cathedral right on the coast. The immense size of the foundations of the original building never fail to leave me speechless for a few minutes, imagining the effort and d
edication involved in creating such a monument, back in the 12th century long before the advent of modern weight-moving equipment. The castle, just up the road from the cathedral, charges admission but has rather more remains, and frequently hosts summer entertainment. There is a gift shop and an interesting display explaining some of the history of the sites. Next to the cathedral, the harbour is small but usually full of a wide variety of boats. Fishermen can be seen at all times of day and even a novice can usually catch something! Many children scramble over the rocks to collect mussels as bait, and sit, precariously balanced, waiting for their first bite. The pier is unspoilt, with no entertainment other than a pleasant walk providing excellent views of the beaches and the town. * Scottish country dancing * Scottish country dancers, from complete beginners to experienced teachers, can have an energetic holiday at the St Andrews International Summer school, which usually takes place for two weeks in July. This is something I joined in as a non-resident (staying with my grandparents) for three or four years during my late teens. The University provides halls of residence, since people come from all over the world to this; classes are taught every morning in Church halls around the town. In the evenings there are social dances, and once a week there is a Ceilidh, with entertainment provided by the teachers and some of the students. Miss Jean Milligan, founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, presided over the Summer Schools for many years until her death. During Summer School weeks, people of all nationalities can be found in the streets of St Andrews, the men attired in kilts, no matter what the weather. * Craigtoun park * As a place for a family holiday, St Andrews offers plenty of entertainment for children. Apart from the excellent beaches, there is a park called Craigtoun Co
unt ry Park a few miles out, which has a steam train, rowing boats, crazy golf, a bouncing castle and an adventure playground. There's an admission fee in high season, but it's not high, and - like expensive theme parks - entrance to Craigtoun includes almost everything inside. As an afternoon's entertainment for children of any age it is excellent value. We used to clamour to go every year, and when I took my own children to stay in St Andrews a few years ago, they too were enchanted with this park. See http://www.visit-standrews.co.uk/pages/craigtoun.htm * Sea-life centre * The sea-life centre - or St Andrews aquarium, as it's now known - is a bit more expensive, but well worth a family visit on a wet day. For two adults and two children, expect to pay about £16.50. £5.50 for one adult, less for a child, concessions available. Exhibits show sea creatures from the local coastline, with an outdoor pool for seals. It looks out over the East Sands. The display in the entrance shows the length of a huge sea-snake once discovered on the beaches of St Andrews; fortunately such a discovery is not common! See http://www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk * Shopping * No visit to St Andrews is complete without at least one morning spent shopping. Even as children we enjoyed this. Exploring the town is straightforward - maps are easily available, but even someone as geographically challenged as me cannot easily get lost. There are three main streets which run parallel from East to West: North Street, Market Street and South Street. Several smaller roads link them. There are charity shops galore, supermarkets and well-known stores such as Woolworths, as well as old-fashioned hardware shops, and a plethora of tourist shops. The town manages to retain its old-world feel, with modern shops in old stone settings. The second-hand bookshops are particularly enjoyable, and there are many stores sel ling
tartans, although none to beat the Woollen Mill, which has a coffee shop as well as every imaginable colour and size of knitted and tartan clothes. My favourite shop was always the 'St Andrews Citizen', not unlike WH Smiths in what it sells (such as stationery, magazines, games, and books), but with a wonderful sense of history and plenty of time to browse without anyone minding. When the weather is good, it's also vital to visit Janetta's, possibly the best ice-cream shop in the world, with more flavours than more people could eat in a month. * Hotels and guest houses * While hotels can be expensive, particularly during the summer season, there are plenty of guest houses with friendly Scottish hospitality and home-cooked food. See http://www.4hotels.co.uk/uk/st-andrews.html or contact the St Andrews tourist board for further details - they will be delighted to help. They can let you know prices, and also times when the place will not be swarming with other tourists! * Conclusion * Whatever your interest, you should be able to find something to enjoy at St Andrews. The pace of life is somehow slower than that of much of the rest of the UK. While the weather isn't anything like the Mediterranean, the hospitality and relaxed atmosphere is reminiscent of small resorts in Greek islands. Even if it's pouring with rain, there are cinemas and theatres as well as the shops to enjoy. Nobody goes to St Andrews for the weather, after all, but many people go back, year after year, for a break in the middle of their busy lives. I don't know if it's the sea air, or the pace of life, or simply something that's unique to this town - but somehow every time I've been there, I return home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. * Sites with up-to-date information and prices * As with many tourist resorts, prices of hotels and various attractions d o va
ry somewhat from season t o season. It's always worth checking one of the online local information sites before making any plans. For instance: http://www.standrews.com/ - St Andrews net portal http://www.standrews.co.uk/ - Kingdom of Fife official tourist site http://www.saint-andrews.co.uk/ ** This review is part of the HOMETOWN challenge where members are asked to write about any aspect of their home town - or a town they'd like/not like to be their home town. You can find all the participants by going to: http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/internet/internet_sites/dooyoo_co_uk_in_general/_review/42 6988/
ST. ANDREWS is probably second only to Edinburgh as the most visited town in Scotland. Most come to visit The Home of Golf as it is the headquarters of the sport's governing body and the site of the world's most famous course, the Old Course.
There is much more to the town than golf. It is the seat of Scotland's oldest university and was once the ecclesiastical capital of the nation.
It is also a popular seaside resort.
St.Andrews is 13 miles south of Dundee and 55 miles north of Edinburgh. The nearest train station is at Leuchars, 5 miles away, on the main Edinburgh to Aberdeen line.
There are frequent bus services from Stirling, Dundee and Edinburgh.
If you are driving, parking can be difficult.
MAIN POINTS OF INTEREST
The Cathedral was founded in 1160 and was the largest ecclesiastical building ever built in Scotland, and the second largest in Britain. It is in ruins now but is still impressive. The Cathedral was not destroyed by the English (for a change), the Scots managed this one by themselves during the Reformation in the 16th century.
Nearby is St. Rule's Tower which affords excellent views although it is a bit of a climb.
St. Rule, legend has it, brought some of the bones of the apostle Andrew here in the 4th century and they were enshrined where the cathedral was built. This led to the town attracting pilgrims from far and wide.
The Castle was built in the 12th century as the stronghold of the bishop's of St. Andrews and has been the scene of many blood-stain
ed incidents. Not much of the castle remains but there is an excellent exhibition in the visitor centre which brings the history of the castle to life.
The University was founded in 1410 and is the third oldest in Britain after Oxford and Cambridge. Many of the buildings of the university date from the 15th and 16th century. Prince William, the future King, is currently a student here.
Three streets; North St., Market St. and South St. fan out from the Cathedral maintaining the medieval street plan. These are the main shopping streets and are linked by narrow alleyways, or "closes".
The best way to explore the town is by getting a map and a guide at the tourist office and simply wander around. There are interesting and historic sites around every corner.
EATING AND DRINKING
As you would expect from a town that is popular with tourists and has a large student population there is no shortage of restaurants, cafes and bars.
The best restaurant in the area, and indeed, one of the best in Britain, the Peat Inn is located 7 miles south of the town.It is VERY expensive but exceptionally good. More of that another day.
Many of the hotels have good restaurants and there are many cafes such as Brambles, The Merchant's House and The Victorian. These are good for lunches and light snacks.
Littlejohn's is good for steaks and burgers.
The New Balaka Bangladeshi is one of the best curry houses in Scotland.
The best pubs, particularly for bar meals, are; The central Bar, Featherie and Firkin, Ma Belle's and the Dunvegan. These pubs are always busy and have the best atmospheres.
My personal favourite is the 400 year old Castle Tavern. It is a traditional pub that is located between the castle and the cathedral. Cheap and cheerful, the regulars are very friendly and it's very welcoming. The food is mainly snacks so the ales, whiskies and atmosphere are the attractions here.
You cannot visit St. Andrews without sampling the delights on offer at Janetta's, a traditional, Italian ice cream shop. They have a multitude of different flavours including Irn Bru sorbet. Amazing!
St.Andrews has plenty of accommodation in all grades, from horrendously expensive luxury hotels to simple, inexpensive B&B's. The university rents rooms from June to September and there are also caravan parks and campsites. Holiday flats and houses are also available.
During the summer booking should be made in advance. If you plan to visit when the Open is on you may have to book YEARS in advance and prices go through the roof !
Check these websites for accommodation:
Most visitors come for the golf and it is possible for anyone to play on any of the six courses, including the Old Course.
The British Golf Museum is directly behind the clubhouse and has audio-visual displays which trace the history of the game and it's association with the town.
** Apr-Oct daily 0930-1730 Nov-Mar 1100-1500 £3.75 **
The Museum of St.Andrews Preservation Trust has some really good 19th century sh
op interiors among other things.
** May to Sept daily 1400-1630 free **
St.Andrews Museum charts the history of the town from the earliest times.
** daily all year free **
The Castle and Cathedral both have museums attached to them and a joint ticket will cost £3.50.
St.Andrews has two beaches, West Sands which is quieter and was where the opening sequence of the movie Chariots of Fire was filmed. East Sands has a leisure centre with water slides, swimming pools, squash courts and various other activities.
The Sea Life Centre is a very popular attraction with all manner of weird and wonderful creatures on display.
** daily all year 1000-1800 £3.25 **
The Byre Theatre and the Crawford Arts Centre stage live productions throughout the year. There is also a cinema.
Two miles west of the town is Craigton Country Park which has a Dutch Village and Italian Gardens surrounded by an ornamental lake and minature railway. Boats can be hired and there is a restaurant and picnic area.
The Lammas Fair is held every year in the beginning of August. This is Scotland's oldest surviving medieval market and is a lively affair. Showmen come from all over Britain and set up their stalls in the three main streets.
Although St.Andrews is a major tourist resort it still has the feel of a small town and is worth visiting even if you hate golf.
If you like golf, this is heaven. If you don't like golf there is still plenty to do.
When my partner, Dave, and I toured Scotland last year we decided to stop just outside St Andrews for a night, in a place called Boarhills. The bed and breakfast accommodation that we found was out of this world. It is called The Old Mill and that is exactly what it is, a lovingly restored 18th century water mill house and it is to die for! It has wooden floors, heavy wooden doors, exposed beams, sconces with candles, a beautiful galleried lounge and of course the sound of the millstream running by. The rooms are all furnished with antique wooden furniture. There are no televisions or tea making facilities in the rooms. Instead the television is in the large lounge and there is a small kitchenette for the use of the guests. Here you can make tea or coffee, everything you need is provided, and you’re encouraged to help yourself to drinks (wine, beer, lager etc) from the fridge and to make a donation towards the restocking. What a lovely idea, now that’s one I haven’t seen before or since! In the lounge there is also sherry and port available again for a donation. They have also kept a file of photographs showing what the place was like when they first bought it and through the various stages of its renovation to what it is like now. This is a real eye opener – the place was virtually derelict when they bought it! Our bathroom was as big as our bedroom is at home, with a corner bath, sink, toilet and bidet, together with a range of toiletries for our use. There were even candles in the bathroom, the effect in a beautiful old place like that was quite magical. The full Scottish breakfast was served in the big traditional kitchen and was delicious. If this isn't heaven on earth I don't know what is! I found the accommodation on www.smoothhound.co.uk and it’s worth a look just to see the photographs of the place. We spent a day in St Andrews having a look rou
nd the place. We walked over to the golf course, since that is the most famous of St Andrews’ attractions, and had a look around the gift shops. Golf has been played here since before 1552. The Society of St Andrews Golfers was founded in 1754 and was later to become the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, in 1834, when it also became the governing body of the game of golf. We didn’t have time to go for a walk across the course but it is something that I did many years ago, when I visited St Andrews with my golf mad ex husband and his friend. They played golf and left me pretty much to my own devices so I one day I went a walk along the public right of way across the course, which is known as Granny Clark’s Wynd. This is a lovely walk if you have the time to do it – you can see all the places that you see on television when you’re watching The Open! The castle, now a ruin, dates from the early 13th century and was originally built as the Bishop’s Palace. It still has the Bottle Dungeon, which has survived intact. This is so called because it is narrower at the top than the bottom or middle and no one ever escaped from it! The Cathedral Church of St Andrew is the biggest Scottish cathedral by a long way. It was founded in 1160 but not actually completed until 1318, with the style of architecture changing over the years as it was being built. It was ruined just after the Reformation and since 1888 has been excavated and partly restored. St Rule’s Tower still remains and there is apparently an excellent view of the town from the top, but we hadn’t got time to climb it on this occasion. There are many more examples of fine historic buildings here such as the Town Hall, St Leonard’s School and Madras College to name but three, but unfortunately we just didn’t have the time to explore the place fully in a day. We must return sometime and spend a few more days here, even if only so t
hat I can update this opinion again! St Andrews is also famous for it’s university which will have a somewhat famous new boy this year – Prince William for those of you who have been on another planet! I hope that the press give him a break and don’t spoil his enjoyment of his university years and everyone else’s enjoyment of this beautiful Scottish city.
St Andrews is a must-see destination for the golf tourist. I fail to see why coming to see the old course is so exciting (not being a fan of the game), but come what may - they visit in their droves. When I arrived in St Andrews the person in front of me in the queue in Tescos was American (I could tell by his tartan trousers) and failing in the simple task of opening a plastic bag, not a good omen. Having said that however, if you can visit in the summer (winters are bleak) and avoid a day plagued by the sea fog, St Andrews can be a nice place to be. The pubs are all open decent Scottish hours (usually until midnight or 1am) and there are a few good places for a bite to eat or supping a pint. If it doesn’t constitute advertising, The Westport is a nice place for a pint in the beer garden and better than average pub fair. The infamous cellar bar has a good range of beers but it does feel a bit like drinking in your student lounge. Ma Bells is nice for cocktails and is full of “yahs” and the rugby crowd in term time. There are no nightclubs though which limit the entertainment opportunities. St Andrews survives on golf in the summer and the university the rest of the year (half the inhabitants during term time are students). During term time, some mad undergraduates still walk around in their robes especially on Sundays (for chapel). They’re red and look a bit like dressing gowns but never mind. The way the gown is worn indicates the year of the student. On the shoulder means the student is a first year, one shoulder means second year etc. The Kate Kennedy parade in spring is meant to be something worth seeing but the Kate Kennedy Society itself is renowned for sexism and P.C. attitude to recruitment so some chose to stay away on principle. Raisin Weekend in November is worth avoiding unless you’re a student – the town descends into chaos. St Andrews has two beaches, the East Sands and West Sands. T
he West Sands are more impressive and you will frequently find people flying kites in the strong North Sea wind. If you intend to visit and use St Andrews as a base, other good places to visit further down the coast are Crail (for the fresh dressed crab and lobsters in the harbour), Elie (some lovely pubs and Sunday pub cricket matches on the beach) and Anstruther (for the best fish and chips).
Yes, that's right, after spending four years here, I have totally and utterly fallen in love with St Andrews. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of St Andrews is golf. After all, we had the Open 2000 here last year, and have several other minor golfing tournaments throughout the year which are played on the infamous golf course. This of course brings a lot of revenue into the town, particularly in the summer when the students are out of town. Although I am a student here, I live here all year round so have seen the town both in the depths of winter and at the height of summer (which admittedly never seems to be that warm - being on the coast we have very windy weather at times). But it's not the golf that made me fall in love with the town. There is so much more here apart from the golf and the university, which I intend to cover in another, specific, opinion. There is the history for a start (and yes, I'm a history buff!) There has been a settlement on the site of the city from at least 6th century A.D and for religious reasons (the cult of St Andrew) it was a particularly important centre in the middle ages. The buildings around the town give you excellent visual evidence of St Andrew's turbulent past, with a strong focus on reformation history. The cathedral for example was destroyed during the reformation, and the ruined castle, with the mine and counter-mine underneath it was where John Knox was once held prisoner. These sites are open to tourists, there is a small admission charge (£4 for the castle), which goes to historic scotland and will help to keep such places open. Both the cathedral and the castle have exhibitions, which are particularly well designed and are suitable for the whole family. At the cathedral, there is St Rule's Tower, which you can climb up and get an absolutely spectacular panoramic view of the whole city - remember your camera! Round the town, y
ou will also see many plaques and initials both on the historic buildings and on the pavement, where martyrs were burnt, or where famous people lived. Even outside my bedroom window there is a blue plaque, as a famous doctor (who performed the first tracheotomy)once lived in my house. The initials of Patrick Hamilton are on the ground near the university quadrangle, and apparently, for students, if you walk on them, it means you'll fail your exams (I do hope that won't come true!!) If you want somewhere free to visit, maybe when the weather turns bad, then St Andrews museum is ideal (and no, I'm not just plugging it because I work here!) There is a permament exhibition on the history of the town, and a changing exhibition which has covered such things as coal mining in the region, the Egyptian period, old photographs of the town and much more. At the moment, a local artist is showing some of his work - of landscapes and wildlife from the St Andrews area. Upstairs in the museum there is an activity room for children, and in the summer special events are put on for them. Last summer I remember helping out at an egyptian mummy day - the children turned themselves into mummies with the use of much toilet roll!! At other times of the year, lectures and concerts are held. The staff are always friendly and willing to chat (well, I am anyway!), and there is a coffee shop which serves excellent home made cakes at unbeatable prices. Outside the museum is a putting green, great fun to play on with a group of friends! The beach in St Andrews is also fantastic. As I write this, the weather is simply glorious, supposed to be getting up to 25 degrees later, and I may well find myself down there (with plenty of sunscreen of course!) We have got one of the cleanest beaches in the country, with a vast expanse of sand, ideal if the children need somewhere to play, although it can get exceedingly cold and windy at times. But the views along it are
magnificent. In the summer, special sandcastle competitions are held for children. Near the beach is also the sealife centre, which has all the usual features you would expect at a sealife centre and also seals in a pool outside. Again, this is suitable for the whole family, and there are sometimes special talks and feeding demonstrations there. So where can you eat and drink? Well, St Andrews has a good variety of pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. I won't go into details of them all here, but there is something to suit all tastes and all finances. There are upmarket restaurants such as the Vine Leaf, and more affordable family oriented places such as Bella Pasta, or Littlejohns. For cosy chats and coffee, then try Brambles. At night, whilst there is not much in the way of nightlife, only one small cinema, and no clubs, you will still find things to do. How about a ghost tour, or a walk round the floodlight cathedral? What about a stroll down to the harbour in those late summer evenings, or a moonlit walk across the golf courses and the beach? If that doesn't appeal, then you are sure to find a pub you enjoy. The Jigger, next to the Old Course Hotel may appeal to tourists, as students can't often be bothered to walk all the way out there! You might also get the chance to see some celebrities - Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas for example! Soon, the Byre Theatre is to open, so that will provide some further entertainment, and looks most promising. It used to be a theatre literally in a byre, but now it has been completely rebuilt, and I have to say, looks fantastic. Opening night is June 20th with Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" which I would like to attend...but it's graduation week then, so might not get chance. So - any disadvantages of St Andrews? Well, not really! Admittedly the range of shops is not too great for permanent residents, but Dundee is not too far away and buses run
regularly. Many shops here are aimed at tourists and golfers, but at least that generates income for the town. I suppose the weather is sometimes very cold and windy, (it's hard to imagine that at the moment!) but the sense of history and the magnificent views that you get make up for this. The seagulls can also be noisy in the summer!! I live on one of the main streets and they drive me mad. Overall though, a great place to come for the whole family, you are bound to find something that you will enjoy, and I can guarantee that you will want to return again and again and again....
St. Andrews is very well known, although it is only a very small town, just across the Tay Bridge, over river from Dundee, but actually in the small kingdom of Fife. St. Andrews has many attractions, for people of all ages, and also has a number of reasons why it is so well known. The most recent of course is that it is the place of choice for Prince William to come and study at the university next year. St Andrews is an attractive town, and close to the sea. This coupled with the reputation of the university is one of the main reasons why so many people flock to St Andrews to study, holiday, work and live. The university itself is very well known, being the oldest in Scotland, and the third oldest in the UK. Student life is thriving, and although there are many old traditions and high educational standards, the students seem to be much more easy going than at Oxbridge. It is one of the few universities where you will still see tutors walking around in gowns, and students happy to wear the university "colours" and scarf. Due to the massive population of students in St. Andrews, the town has a very "young" feel about it. However, in the summer, when most of the students disappear, St. Andrews becomes a peaceful retreat for many older/retired people who return every year for a holiday. If you're used to seeing the town at term time, you'll notice a considerable difference when the students are away. As well as the university, St. Andrews is also famous for its golf, particularly for holding the British open, and for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. If you're intersted in the history of the game, you can visit the British Golf Museum, and learn about over 500 years of golfing history through displays, touch screen videos and equipment from past to present. St. Andrews is extremely small, there is really no need for transport within the town - the beach is a five minute walk from the
centre of town. The beach itself is very pleasing to the eye. The sand is clean, and the picturesque medaeval castle sits on the edge of the beachfront, overlooking the sea. You can visit the castle - take about three hours to do this properly, and try to catch a guided tour where they take you down to see the terrifying bottle dungeon (you don't actually get to go down, but you really wouldn't want to!)and describe the history of the people and sieges from times past. St. Andrews Cathedral was once the largest cathedral in Scotland, which meant that St Andrews was a religious centre in Scotland at the time when it was in use. You can still climb up one of the remaining towers to get a grand view of the town and beyond. Unfortunately, this has also been the site of more than one suspected suicide by students, who climbed up after a night on the swally and fell/jumped/flew off. It is because of these and similar incidents which have given St Andrews a name for having a large number of suicides. Many of these have been students falling off high building when drunk. This is one of the sadder sides of the town, which is not well publicised, for obvious reasons. If you are interested in sealife, visit the Sea Life Aquarium down by the beach. This is especially good for children as you can touch as well as look. The botanic gardens are also worth a visit. At one time, there was a bicycle loaning system put in place by the council, where anyone could pick up a green council bicycle from the street, and then put it down wherever they were finished with it. Unsurprisingly, this scheme did not last terribly long, as people began to paint the bikes so they were no longer recognisable, and stopped dropping them off again, after they had picked them up... Many students and St. Andrews locals get around by bike - if you intend to do the same, make sure you have a strong chain, and that you don't take risks with leaving you
r bike outside a building unsecured. Shopping in St. Andrews is nice and easy - the simple structure of the roads means that they are very easy to navigate. There are three parallel shopping streets. The main one is Market Street and the ones on either side are North and South Street. The shops are adequate with the usual high street stores plus a few odd nick nack shops, and touristy golfing souvenir shops. Prices are aimed at students and very reasonable. There are many pubs and cafes in St Andrews - try the Tudor Bar, which is cosy, if a little "orange" - the lights are a kind of dim version of street lamps. The Central Bar is heaving during term time, or try Victoria's for the true student scene. There are virtually no clubs in St Andrews itself, so there's no staggered entrance and exit times as there are in places where students go clubbing. This means the streets are heaving at closing time as everyone staggers off to find a party. St. Andrews is cold - and I mean co-o-old! It rarely rains, surprisingly, which is partly to do with being situated on the coast, but it can be extremely windy and bitterly cold in the winter months. So wrap up warm! If you want to know more about St Andrews I recommend you try the University website, www.saint-andrews.co.uk This site has information about the town, surroundings attractions etc, and is useful for anyone, not just students.
I spent 4 very happy years as a student in St Andrews - I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, although it is probably fair to say that my opinion is coloured by the many friends I made and the relaxed lifestyle I was able to enjoy during my studies! St Andrews is by no means a big town, although it did expand in the time I was there. The town centre itself spreads over just 3 streets: North Street contains the old university buildings and not much else (the new science blocks have been constructed on the North Haugh, just outside the town as you come in on the A91), while Market Street and South Street have all the shops, restaurants and bars, bar a couple of outlying pubs that are not really student haunts in any case. There is a pretty good range of shopping for a small town, but if you are really planning a spree then you are better off heading to Dundee and the shopping centre there. This of course reveals one of the major weak points of the town, in that the public transport is poor. If you don't have a car, getting to Dundee is problematical and reaching any of the outlying coastal towns (Elie, Anstruther and so on) is nigh on impossible. As for entertainment, well St Andrews doesn't offer any clubs, there was on but that was closed by the police in 1994. For that, you need to head to Dundee again, but in its defence, the town boasts an inordinately large number of pubs and bars, the majority of which are of a high standard. Places such as The Central, The Links Hotel, Ogstons, The Cellar Bar and Lafferty's are particularly fine examples of the St Andrews boozer (and Robbie Coltrane was once spotted by this dooyoo member in Lafferty's!). In terms of scenery and history, it is difficult to beat St Andrews, with the beauty of the West Sands, the cathedral and castle ruins, and of course the golf courses if that is your thing! If you are interested in the history of the town, the University Admissions Service runs excellent guided tours
of all places of interest. Basically, although you won't find everything in St Andrews, you won't have any trouble having a good time. If you haven't sampled the pleasures of this corner of Fife, a visit is highly recommended.
When you hear the words "St Andrews" you straight away think of the home of golf. But St Andrews has much more to offer than just golf. St Andrews University is the 3rd oldest in Britain and the 1st oldest in Scotland. It offers a wide range of courses to students from all over the world as far as America and Japan. The town has a population of around 18000, of which around 7500 are either students or connected in some way to the university. The town is full of history. In the 13th century the largest structure in Scotland was comleted, The Great Cathedral. The Cathedral became the the country's religious and intellectual life. The ruins of the Cathedral still stand and are free to visit. With only 3 main streets, North, Market and South St Andrews is an easy place to get around in. You can get to most place by foot in around 15 minutes. There are plenty of places to eat, like Little Johns, and finding a pub will not be difficult as St Andrews has the most pubs per square mile than any other place in Britain. Enjoy St Andrews