What To Do in St Andrews Scotland

  St Andrews

St Andrews Panorama

St Andrews is a former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, named after Saint Andrew the Apostle.  The city is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, the oldest in Scotland and one of Britain’s most prestigious.  The University is an integral part of the burgh, and during term time students make up approximately one third of the town’s population.  St Andrews has a population of 16,680, making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife.

Swilcan Bridge on Old Course at St AndrewsThere has been an important church in St Andrews since at least the 8th century, and a bishopric since at least the 11th century.  The settlement grew to the west of St Andrews cathedral with the southern side of the Scores to the north and the Kinness burn to the south. The burgh soon became the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, a position which was held until the Scottish Reformation. The famous cathedral, the largest in Scotland, now lies in ruins.

As you probably know, St Andrews is also known worldwide as the “home of golf“.  This is in part because the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide (except in the United States and Mexico), and also because the famous links (acquired by the town in 1894) is the most frequent venue for The Open Championship, the oldest of golf’s four major championships.  Visitors travel to St Andrews in great numbers for several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches and sightseeing.Royal and Ancient Golf Course of St Andrews

St Andrews The historic town is easily and best explored on foot where the shops, many interesting buildings, museums, bars and restaurants are all easily accessible.  Here’s a list of a few must-see’s the next time you visit St Andrews and have a break from the links.

Please enjoy the Google Earth Video at the bottom of the page navigated by Scottish-Native and PerryGolf’s President – Gordon Dalgleish – to get a better sense of the St Andrews area from golf and hotels to restaurants and places of interest!

Local Places of Interest and Activities

St.Andrews CathedralSt.Andrews Cathedral — Enjoy the dramatic setting of the ruins. The Cathedral was destroyed by a mob roused by the preaching of John Knox in the town during the Reformation – and the sense of history which attaches to what was once one of the most important religious sites in Europe. Owing to the presence of the relics of St Andrew, it was a place of pilgrimage for many thousands during the medieval period. The view from the top of St Rule’s Tower is breathtaking, and the visitor centre contains a number of artifacts and helps to set the history of the site into context. Golfers can pay a visit to the grave of Old Tom Morris and his son young Tom, who are buried in the Cathedral Grounds.

Local Coastal VillagesLocal Coastal Villages — Visit the quaint coastal fishing villages and Royal Burgh’s of Crail, Anstruther and Pittenweem with their distinctive buildings and picturesque harbours. The area was notorious for smuggling with wine, tobacco, cloth and sugar being smuggled in, and linen and coal smuggled out. The East Neuk was the capital of the Scottish Herring industry, until the shoals deserted the Forth during the Second World War. Today the boats which sail out from Crail and Anstruther mainly bring in shellfish, while Pittenweem remains the centre of the areas fishing industry where early in the morning the catches are sold at the new Fish Market. Fife Coastal Path — You may enjoy walking a stretch of the Fife Coastal Path from Crail to St.Monans. Visit the many picturesque towns with their narrow cobbled lanes leading to picturesque harbors.

Kellie Castle & GardenKellie Castle & Garden — Located near Anstruther a 20mins drive from St.Andrews, it contains magnificent plaster ceilings, painted panelling and furniture. The Gardens contain a fine layout of the organic walled garden is 17th-century with late Victorian additions and contains a fine collection of old-fashioned roses, fruit trees and herbaceous plants. Display in summer-house on history of walled garden.

Scottish Fisheries Museum, AnstrutherScottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther — This award-winning National Museum tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry from the earliest times to the present. With many model and actual boats, fishing gear, photographs, paintings and tableaux on display, as well as a new ‘Zulu’ gallery just open, a visit to the Museum makes for worthwhile visit.

St.Andrews ShoppingSt.Andrews Shopping — St Andrews is a town to explore and is refreshingly free of national outlets and chain stores. Instead, the town centre offers an excellent range of independent, family-run shops and businesses, where you are guaranteed to find a unique range of goods matched by personal service. Shopping in St Andrews is always a rewarding experience. The main shopping areas concentrated in Market Street and South Street, with Bell Street and Church Street connecting the two principal streets. There are Golf Stores throughout the town with the main stores of Auchterlonies, Old Tom Morris and Golf Scotland all located close to the 18th Green of the Old Course.

Falkland PalaceFalkland Palace — Falkland has been a royal palace since the days of the Stewarts. King James IV completed the main structure and King James V also added to the buildings there, transforming it into a sophisticated Renaissance palace. He was also responsible for adding the royal tennis court in 1539, which has survived to this day. James V died at Falkland Palace on December 14, 1542. His daughter, Mary Queen of Scots was a frequent visitor, enjoying the peace and tranquility of Falkland, away from the intrigues and politics of Edinburgh.

St.Andrews CastleSt.Andrews Castle — The Castle was the former Bishops’ Palace, the residence of the Archbishops of St Andrews. The first castle on this site probably dates from around 1200. Over the centuries, the Castle has witnessed many conflicts and deeds of infamy, among them the martyrdom of George Wishart and the murder of Cardinal Beaton. It was also besieged many times. Eventually destroyed during the Reformation, the Castle is now in ruins. A modern visitor centre houses exhibits about the Castle, and visitors can also explore the mines and the infamous bottle dungeon.

*Don’t have Google Earth? Watch this video tour of St Andrews on PerryGolf’s Youtube by clicking here.

Want to know the best place to find a cold pint in St Andrews? Click here.  Looking for one of many locals’ favorite places to eat? Find out here.

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WATCH! video below of a PerryGolf client holing out for eagle on hole 18 at the Old Course, St Andrews!


About the Author: Harrison Gould is the Social Media Marketing Manager of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. You can find him on Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest.


New 2014 Escorted Tour to Australia Combines World 100 Golf with Iconic Sightseeing

We know, this has to be good. It’s a long way to Australia.

Fair enough; have a look below at “The Best of Australia 2014 (Escorted)”. If you like your vacation golf chosen from the upper echelon of world 100 clubs, and combined with fully escorted luxury itinerary that includes an equally impressive schedule of sightseeing, wine touring and spectacular natural beauty, we suspect you’ll agree this experience stands out.

You’ll play two of Dr. Alister MacKenzie’s most important four layouts; Royal Melbourne which is GOLF Magazine’s world 13 and New South Wales ranked 34 (pictured left). You’ll play the club that put Tom Doak on the map, in Tasmanian, at Barnbougle Dunes ranked 41.  Next door at Barnbougle Lost Farm we’ve got world 82 by Coore & Crenshaw.  Royal Melbourne neighbor Yarra Yarra is a founding member of the famed Sandbelt clubs whose design was shaped heavily by Dr. MacKenzie. We’ll see Doak’s work again at St Andrews Beach found in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula’s Cups Country.

Our tour begins officially with the Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner on the day of arrival.  Sightseeing on Day 2 includes the famous Sydney Harbor Cruise (pictured top right) plus a guided tour of the spectacular Opera House.  Both are included in the price of the tour, along with four (4) additional sightseeing excursions.   Welcome and Farewell dinners plus six (6) additional “choice of menu” evening meals are included as well.  You’ll spend 11 nights in first class hotels like Tasmania’s The Lodge at Lost Farm, Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Hotel (pictured below), and Sydney’s Radisson Plaza Hotel.


About the Author: Harrison Gould is the Social Media Marketing Manager of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. You can find him on Google+


Buckingham Palace Open to Public

The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace commenced on the 27th of July, and this years’ exhibition runs until the 1st of October.  The theme is The Queens Year and is a collection of Her Majesty’s outfits and robes (including the Robe of State) on display to the public for the first time.

The Royal Collection

Some of the state rooms are also available to the public and it is a rare chance for visitors to walk around these magnificent rooms and admire the furniture and paintings, or to escape to the tranquillity of the palace gardens.  Walking amongst the flowers it is hard to imagine the busy city which is bustling on every side.

You will not catch a glimpse of the Queen, however, as at this time of year the Royal Family are cruising off Scotland before their summer vacation at Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside.

By Yvonne Shaw.  Yvonne has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.


The Colosseum

No trip to Rome would be complete without visiting the Colosseum – the most famous monument in the city also known as The Flavius Amphitheatre.  Opened in 80 A.D., it is one of the most impressive structures in the world, and standing aside the building truly gives the impression of a once imposing and enthralling historical event.

As it now stands, it is a disintegrated skeleton of its former self; as much as three-fifths of the outer, proximate walls are gone, but this doesn’t stop one from being able to visualize it in its glory days…completely white and swathed in travertine stone slabs.  The structure originally had four floors, with eighty arches in the first three levels and allowed for seventy thousand spectators.  The tiers of seats were arranged and positioned in order that, regardless of where one was seated, they would always have a clear view of the action.  All Roman citizens entered for free, but there were sectioned-off areas which would be allocated according to social class; the closer to the arena, the higher the social status.

The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome

A full price ticket is only around €8 and includes entrance to the Palatine, but if you don’t have time to explore the whole building, free tours operate around the outside; the guides entertain you with gory (occasionally questionable) details and will generally ask for a tip.  Those without licenses occasionally get picked up by the police, which could make your visit even more interesting!  Worth a visit while in Italy’s capital.


The Willow Tea Rooms – Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

If you have heard of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and recognise his style, then, like me, you will want to visit the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.  Sauchiehall is Gaelic for ‘Alley of Willows’ and is the inspiration behind the building.  The very distinctive patterns he incorporated into his designs are beautiful in their own right, but when you consider that he was born in the 1800’s, the clean, almost stark lines were way ahead of their time. 

The Willow Tea Rooms
The Willow Tea Rooms

The tea room was designed entirely by Mackintosh, including the building which houses it.  Every detail was included from the tables and chairs down to the teaspoons – and even the dresses worn by the waitresses were designed by him.  I found it hard to concentrate on the food surrounded by so much of this living art.  As it happens, the traditional Scottish cakes and tea were delicious too and the whole experience was a delight.

By Yvonne Shaw.  Yvonne has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.