• Krista the Explorer

Your Ultimate Guide to St Andrews

Updated: May 30, 2018

St Andrews has become my second home. I spent 5 years studying and working in this amazing town, and it was hard to say goodbye. Yes, it is the home of golf, but there's so much more to it than that. It may be small, but it boasts some incredible views, charming shops, and most importantly, perfect ice cream.

1. Walk on Top of the Pier Wall
If you’re lucky enough to be at the pier on Sunday morning, you’ll witness the procession of students in their red gowns walking from town to the pier. When you get to the end of the pier, and if you’re feeling brave enough, you can climb the ladder and walk back along the top of the pier wall.
2. Walk Along the Old Course on Sunday
If you’re like me and not really a golf connoisseur, walking along the old course is still an amazing experience. Although you can’t walk on it while people are golfing, there’s no golf on Sundays so feel free to roam wherever you want! Don’t miss the chance to take a photo on the famous Swilken Bridge or in front of the clubhouse!
3. Reenact Chariots of Fire on West Sands
Only a short walk from town, and running parallel with the Old Course, West Sands is perfect to walk along on a nice day. It’s also where the opening scene to Chariots of Fire was filmed, so feel free to reenact it if you want!
4. Cafe at the Museum
Directly behind the Old Course clubhouse is the golf museum. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to walk around the museum (although it is quite interesting) you can go upstairs and take in the views of the golf course and the sea from Café at the Museum, as well as indulging in some delicious hot chocolate.
5. Walk Along the Beach at Sunset
Beach? Sunset? What more can you ask for?
6. Explore the Ruins of St Andrews Castle
Although only a ruin now, St Andrews Castle is steeped in history and played a prominent role during the Reformation. It’s situated on top of a cliff so it provides amazing sea views. You can also venture into the mine and countermine underneath the castle. If you’re tall (like me) prepare to crawl though, and potentially get a little wet.
7. Walk Down to Castle Sands
Just below the castle is a small, less busy beach that’s very popular with students. When the tide is out you can climb along the rocks that begin to show and get some pretty nice photos, or have a little picnic on the beach.
8. Cross Over the PH Symbol & Enter the Quad
St Salvator’s Quad is the heart of the university and as well as many classes taking place within its walls, it’s also known for the famous Raisin Weekend foam fight. Upon entering it from North Street, you may notice the initials PH in the stone path. It’s considered bad luck for students to walk on it, so don’t be alarmed if someone suddenly jumps over it. If you aren’t a student you’re safe!
9. St Salvator's Chapel
While you’re in the Quad, don’t forget to pop in to see the beautiful chapel!
10. East Sands
Another beach? Why not! East Sands is situated along the Fife Coastal Path, and is just a short walk from the pier. It’s also the location for one of the university’s famous traditions, May Dip.
11. Fife Coastal Path
You can pick the Coastal Path up from East Sands. It’s a beautiful trail along the sea. I’ve walked along part of it and the views looking back at St Andrews are incredible.
12. St Andrews Cathedral
The cathedral was once the largest and most important in Scotland, and now sits as it ruin. Nevertheless, it’s still very impressive to walk around.
13. Climb St Rule's Tower
You can also climb up St Rule’s Tower and get incredible views of the cathedral, the town and the sea. If it’s a clear day, make sure you do this!
14. Grab an Ice Cream at Janetta's
Everyone’s favourite ice cream stop. If the sun is shining, expect a big queue, but it’s worth the wait!
15. Breakfast at Northpoint
There are many great breakfast locations in town, but Northpoint is a very popular spot at the far end of North Street.
16. Chill in The Rule & Check Out Their Beer Garden
The Rule has changed its theme more times than I can count, but you can always rely on their breakfast selection and cheap drinks menu. In the summer they open up their beer garden as well.
17. Hamish McHamish Statue
The town’s famous cat, Hamish McHamish. Yes it’s a statue for a cat. But I mean, it’s unique right? There’s even a book written about him.
18. The Best Fish & Chips in Town: Tailend
Fancy fish and chips? Tailend is centrally located and in my opinion is the best in town.
19. Explore the Cobbled Streets
There are plenty of shops and restaurants around town, but there are also a lot of charming side streets to walk along.
20. St Mary's Quad
Once you visit the main quad, make sure you walk over to South Street and stroll around St Mary’s Quad, home to the School of Divinity.
21. Hams Hame
A very popular spot for golfers, it’s located just across from the Old Course and serves amazing food in a modern pub setting.
22. St Salvatore's Hall
Take a look around the back of the quad and you’ll see St Salvatore’s Hall, in my opinion the prettiest of the student accommodations.
23. Younger Hall
The main concert venue in town, and is where the graduation ceremonies take place.
24. Sundae from Nardini's
Another great ice cream spot, Nardini’s is my favourite stop for sundaes.
25. Botanic Gardens
Just a short walk from town are the Botanic Gardens, which have been named one of Scotland’s “hidden gems”.
26. Balgove Steak Barn
Only open during the warmer months, it’s worth the 5 minute drive from town.
Check out these locations as well: The West Port, Gorgeous, The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews Aquarium, Dervish, The Adamson, Market Street shops, Craigtoun Park, The Duke's Golf Course, Allanhill Strawberry Farm


My name is Krista, and like many people I love to travel! I think it's important that people share their travel experiences, so I hope that mine help you in some way in your own travels, or inspire you to travel more! 

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© 2018 by Krista the Explorer