There is lots to see and do on a day trip to St Andrews. Many of our guests are ex St Andrews students or have holidayed there as a child. Some of our visitors from parts of the UK and overseas are making their first trip to the area. However many are returning guests who have fallen in love with the area and enjoy a relaxing carefree holiday.
A Day Trip from Sandcastle Cottage
Whichever part of the world you come from you are assured of a great day out. This is a place steeped in history with its university, castle, cathedral and of course its world famous championship golf courses. As you walk around the town centre you will find shops selling a range of goods from food to quality clothing and souvenirs. There are lots of attractive little cafes and restaurants. You will even find one in North Street that claims it was where Wills and Kate met as students (for coffee)!
What we like about St Andrews is the fact that you will find shops you don’t find anywhere else. For the kids a visit to Janettas Gelateria at the end of South Street is high on the bucket list.
Wet or Cold Days
There is a cinema in North Street. The local museum in Kinburn Park provides indoor children’s activities during summer. Or the East Sands Leisure Centre has a swimming pool and indoor sports facilities.
Getting there is easy as St Andrews is only a twenty minute drive from Crail. If you don’t want to drive, the Stagecoach 95 bus is an hourly service from the High Street to St Andrews bus station. During the summer months St Andrews can get very busy. The car parking charges are generally cheaper than you will find in other major towns and cities. There is a large free car park at the North Haugh, (just of the A91 Guardbridge Road), although this tends to fill up quickly, so best getting there early if you want a free parking space for the day.
What to see and do
On our last day trip to St Andrews we visited St Andrews Castle with its bottle dungeon and subterranean passage, telling the story of when the castle was under siege and the famous murder of Cardinal Beaton. We then walked to the cathedral and climbed St Rules Tower which gives you a wonderful view of the town and beyond. Time to get the camera out. The cathedral grounds were once the town’s main cemetery and golfers will find the graves of Old Tom Morris and his son Tommy, former Open Champions. After the cathedral it’s a walk to the harbour, out the pier and then a picnic on the East Sands Beach.
There are lots of shops where you can buy filled rolls and pies. If it’s a warm sunny day and you fancy a picnic on your day trip then we would recommend Fisher & Donaldson bakers in Church Street. The fudge doughnuts are amazing and their handmade chocolates would impress any dinner guest.
No day out is complete without a visit to Jannetta’s Gelateria for ice cream. Situated at the east end of South Street you will probably see the queue outside the shop but don’t be put off its well worth the wait.
Even if you are not a golfer it’s still worth a walk and a look at the famous Old Course and the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse. In the spring and summer months you are assured of a great atmosphere around the 18th green as people of all nationalities gather to watch the golfers finish their round. Next to the R&A is the British Golf Museum telling the story of golf with clips from past Open Championships played at St Andrews. The museum has a great rooftop cafe where you can sit and admire the views of the West Sands beach or the golf courses as you sip your coffee and eat your cake. We can also recommend the cullen skink (smoked haddock soup).
For our younger guests we would recommend a visit to St Andrews Aquarium which is just off the Scores and up from the R&A Clubhouse.
For more active kids and adults try
- tennis courts at Kinburn Park (Doubledykes Road)
- golf tuition at St Andrews Golf Academy (off A91 Guardbridge Road)
- putting at the “Himalayas” which is between the first hole of the Old Course and the Links Clubhouse
- for the more adventurous there is sand yachting with Blown Away on the West Sands Beach
Whatever you do on your day trip you will not cover everything in one day and you will have to have a return trip hopefully in the not too distant future.
Where to Eat
There are lots of places to eat in St Andrews to suit all tastes and it is not for me to make recommendations. However it is fair to mention the places that we as a family have visited and enjoyed over the years.
Cafe at the British Golf Museum for the best views across the West Sands Beach
Stay at Sandcastle Cottage in Crail – only 10 miles from St Andrews
We hope you’ve found plenty to entice you to make a trip to St Andrews. If you haven’t yet booked accommodation, take a look at our video about Sandcastle Cottage.
Have a look around our website for more ideas, or if you’re ready to book, here’s a handy link: