The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland

The magic of St Andrews isn’t just the golf. St Andrews is complemented by the equally unique medieval town turned cultural and university center hotshot. It’s been a special place from the beginning. The “Auld Grey Toon” was established around 1160. What we have today is a charming, vibrant enclave of less than 20,000 people with ridiculous history along with more restaurants, shops and pubs than you could hope to visit in two trips. With so many options for what to see and do in St Andrews, this guide focuses on The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland.

The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland

Walking Tour

PerryGolf Co-Founder Colin Dalgleish knows a thing or two about the Home of Golf, as you’d imagine from a Scotsman who’s played the Old Course at St Andrews since he was 12 years old. Believe it or not however there is more to the Auld Grey Toon than her famous links which Colin explains in this part historical, part local knowledge HD video that covers a lot of (sacred) ground.

In addition to the abundance of local and regional golf, you’ll also learn about hotels and dining. You’ll visit the final resting place of Old Tom Morris’s son, Young Tom, along with the dramatic ruins of St Andrews Castle and Cathedral. The tour wraps up with a stroll down charming cobblestone street for a look the many shops, restaurants and pubs that keep this university and tourism town going strong. This HD video is enjoyed most when viewed full screen.

University of St Andrews

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews in 1410, and the University was formally constituted by the issue of a papal bull in 1413.

The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland | St Andrews Cathedral

St Andrews Castle & St Andrews Cathedral

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.

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.

The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland | Villages East Neuk of Fife via

Villages East Neuk of Fife

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.

The Best Top 5 Sightseeing in St Andrews, Scotland | British Golf Museum

British Golf Museum

The Museum is entering a new era in its history. After a long period of closure The R&A is pleased to welcome visitors to The R&A World Golf Museum. Re-named and re-branded to connect the Museum more visibly to the organisation of which it is part, namely The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and The R&A, the Museum offers a fresh and exciting approach to the display and interpretation of golf’s history.

There’s a lot to explore at this 5 star visitor experience. The new immersive galleries bring the Past, Present and Future of Golf to Life Around You. Thousands of fascinating objects, some on display for the first time and dating back over 400 years, bring to life hidden stories of the game and it’s personalities.

Step outside and you are just yards away from the 1st tee of the iconic Old Course. Welcome to St Andrews.

The Best Quick Tips for St Andrews, Scotland

About the Author: Gordon Dalgleish is the Co-Founding Director of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. View on LinkedIn.