Famous for its golf course and its university – both of which are some of the oldest of their kind in the world – there’s a lot more to St Andrews than birdies and books. A gorgeous coastal town 30 miles from Edinburgh, it’s home to medieval streets, historic buildings, including the stunning cathedral and castle ruins, amazing North Sea beaches and some of the best bars, cafés, pubs and restaurants on the east coast of Scotland. If you’re wondering what to do in St Andrew, then our handy guide and well-placed St Andrews hotel will have you planning an unforgettable trip in no time.
Things to do in St Andrews
While there’s no main shopping mall or centre, St Andrews is packed-full of boutiques, quirky stores and, unsurprisingly, more golf shops than you can shake a putter at. The Golf Shop of St Andrews is a great place to start. Well-priced and perfectly positioned next to the Old Course, it’s the ideal place to pick up a new set of clubs, golf clothes or some golfing gifts – the Black Watch Tartan flat cap with the St Andrews crest caught our eye.
With strong winds blowing off the North Sea, a warm jumper is essential, and Johnstons of Elgin do some of the best cashmere knitwear in the region. Established in 1797, the store is located near the aquarium and stocks everything from jackets and polo shirts to ponchos, capes, skirts and more.
Located on South Street, the Fraser Gallery is not just a great place to pick up some local art but also to check out one of Scotland’s oldest private art galleries, showcasing some of the best contemporary Scottish artists.
Just 50 miles from Edinburgh Airport, getting to and from the airport is pretty simple. Driving will take just over an hour, while via bus, it’ll take just over two hours with a stop at Halbeath near Dunfermline. Alternatively, make life easier by staying the night before or after your journey at one of our hotels near Edinburgh Airport.
The nearest train station is Leuchars Train Station, which serves St Andrews and Leuchars. A couple of miles north of St Andrews, the two-platform station is on the Edinburgh-Dundee route and has regular services to London, Leeds and Aberdeen.
Five minutes walk from the town centre, St Andrews Bus Station has four stances and runs regular services to Edinburgh (where you can get connecting buses to the airport), Leuchars Train Station and beyond.