I am back home in Scotland for a few weeks to my old town, so I thought I would write a wee article for those of you who might want to visit this historic place in the future. Situated on the east coast of Scotland, this seaside town has so much to offer tourists, students and those of you who may even be looking for a new place to live.
As I headed into town I took a quick detour to one of my favourite scenic views, a small place called Dunino. I just knew that it was going to look as wonderful as this during autumn.
Over the course of these past few weeks I have taken so many photos of St Andrews at various times of the day, so i’ve put them all together in this article. I have a little house a kilometre from east sands, one of the three beaches in town. Understandably, it is my favourite one. It sits on the east coast and has the most amazing views over the River Forth. It is very dog friendly and if you love dogs, your going to love this little haven. As you walk along the beach towards town you are greeted with views of the famous pier leading out from our gorgeous harbour and of course a multiple range of breeds of dogs!
After a brisk walk along the pier you can head towards the picturesque cottages on the harbour. It is a working harbour and I just love the sight of the creels stacked up alongside the sea wall. If you stay to the right of the houses, you will walk up a small hill which will take you to the cathedral and castle. Be sure to look back though, the view is breathtaking, especially at sunrise.
You will quickly notice how everything is within walking distance in St Andrews, so you don’t actually need a car. You can catch a train to our nearby station of Leuchars from any of the major cities, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dundee. You might even want to pop up for a weekend if you are in England. Step off the train and there are taxis and regular buses that will bring you the 5-10 min journey into town. During the summer months there is a bike hire shop on South Street if you want to go exploring. Car hire is also an option in town. There is also a few caravan parks to chose from as well as hotels, B&Bs and rental properties.
As a history teacher you will understand why my favourite place in St Andrews is the cathedral ruins. It was built in 1158 and was the centre of the Catholic Church in Scotland. When you are in the grounds of these Medieval ruins you are transported back in time. For me and my ancestors, who for generations have lived in St Andrews and the surrounding area, I feel a sense of belonging to this sacred place. Once covid restrictions pass you can visit the little shop in the cathedral ground and climb St Rule’s town to view St Andrews from over 30m. It is a spectacular view, especially on a sunny day.
A quick minute walk to your right when you exit the cathedral you will come on to North Street. You can stop at the famous Northpoint Cafe, where our future King, Prince William met Kate when he studied at our university. Northpoint make a mean breakfast and have a delicious selection of cakes.
Straight in front of Northpoint cafe you have Castle Street. A short walk down that street and you will find our magnificent castle ruins. The castle dates back to the 13th century and it is well worth a viewing, it oozes history. The second of our beaches is below the castle and students can often be seen having a wee bbq of an evening, (not during covid).
Once you have been to the castle, stay right on the Scores and head towards West Sands and the Old Course. You will pass the Wardlaw museum on your right and then come to the aquarium. Your next stop will be the Martyr’s Memorial and then the Golf Museum which has a cafe upstairs with views of West Sands beach. As many of you will know, St Andrews is known as the ‘home of golf’. It is a wonderful sight that meets you as you walk over the brow of the hill and see the golf course in front of you, the stunning buildings to your left, west sands beach to your right and the famous Old Course hotel in the background. If you want to organise a round of golf contact them here.
St Andrews also has a wide range of shopping, pubs, hotels and coffee chops. It is a hub of activity as locals, students and tourists mingle in our community. The three main streets for shopping and eating are; North Street, Market Street and South Street, so I can assure you that you will never get lost! I have picked a few Xmas pics to show you all how beautiful our little town is.
If you are a keen walker/runner like me, you will love our many walks and jogging routes around town. One of my favourites is the Fife coastal walk.
On New Years Day I took off from St Andrews East Sands and walked a few miles along our beautiful coastline. It was a glorious day.
Don’t be alarmed, there is black cattle turned out for the winter, but they are so used to the public they won’t bother you.
On your walk back to the beach there is a heartwarming little beach cafe that sells the most delicious cheese toasties and hot drinks.
Although I now live in Queensland, Australia, I will continue to visit St Andrews and call it my home. I will return to this place forevermore, as no matter how hard I try, I always gravitate back to it. Having started to research my family tree I now understand why. My family once owned the local brewers in town and have lived in the area since the 16th century.
Please come and visit, it is a magical little Medieval town that will draw you back time and time again. Thank you for taking the time to read my wee article.