St Andrews is a stunning Scottish town located along the coast of Fife. It is well-known for its University (with alumni including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge). It also has a breathtaking coastline and golf links.
The architecture in this town is also worth a visit all in itself!
With this in mind, St Andrews appears to be a place in Scotland where each visit seems to be purpose-laden.
You may be going to attend someone’s graduation, or maybe visiting friends that live there. Many people only come to play on one of the beautiful golf courses.
10 Things You Should Know About Visiting The Scottish Town Of St Andrews
I have lived in St Andrews for a number of years which has allowed me to collect a list of things you should know before visiting St Andrews in Scotland.
#1 There Are No Direct Trains Into St Andrews
You can get to Leuchars Station, but from there you will need to catch a taxi or bus to get into town.
#2 St Andrews Is A University Town
This town is defined heavily by its University.
The population in the town just about doubles once the students start arriving back, so visiting outside of the term times or in term-times varies drastically when it comes to the population size.
#3 It Has A Lot Of History In Teaching
The University in St Andrews is the 3rd-oldest University in the English-speaking parts of the world. It is also the oldest university in Scotland.
It also ranks consistently among the top-rated in the UK, directly behind Cambridge and Oxford.
#4 Golf Is Very Important In St Andrews
Golf is really a big thing in this town!
St Andrews is regarded as “the home of golf” and it also features among the oldest of the golf championships worldwide. This is also what attracts many celebrities to this town.
#5 You Will Find It Hard To Find Big Clubs
There aren’t any “clubs” (as in disco or dance night) venues in St Andrews.
But what it is lacking when it comes to nightclubs, it definitely makes up for when it comes to cafes and bars.
#6 Avoid A Visit During The Graduation Ceremonies
June and November are not great times to visit due to graduation ceremonies (refer to the University website for the exact dates).
For around a week before or after these dates, you will find it very difficult to find affordable accommodation or a suitable venue to rent.
It takes around an hour to drive from Edinburgh to St Andrew’s, so you may want to plan your trip to include both towns. There are also buses that take around 2 hours or an hours train ride.
#8 Visit The Castle Free Of Charge
If you have planned your trip well, your visit should be on days when the monuments around Scotland are open completely to the public. It is also free. Visit the Scottish Civic Trust site for more information.
#9 There Is A Secret Tunnel To Discover
In St Andrews Castle, there is a tunnel that once linked to the town. This was one of the escape routes for the inhabitants of the castle.
Today it is still possible to walk through this tunnel, even though it no longer exists in the actual town, it is well worth the adventure. If you are claustrophobic, I recommend giving this a miss.
#10 You Can Explore The Town By Foot
St Andrews is a town that can be explored on foot, so save some money on not renting a car, and make sure you have a pair of good walking shoes.
The furthest parts of this town are not more than a 30-minute walk away, and that is for a slow walker like myself.