Country Life guide to St Andrews

Guide to St Andrews

St Andrews

The historic town of St Andrews is the undisputed home of golf but with superb beaches, medieval streets and a ruined castle to explore there’s plenty to see and do.

This year the University of St Andrews celebrates its 600th anniversary and there’s never been a better time to visit.

How to get there

From Edinburgh, St Andrews is approximately an hour and a half by car.
Regular buses to St Andrews run from Edinburgh airport and Leuchars station, which is on the main line from King’s Cross.

Where to stay

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The Old Course Hotel
The five-star Old Course Hotel offers some of St Andrews most luxurious accommodation. Rooms overlook the famous Old Course and guests can also visit their award-winning spa.

Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews
A small family run hotel perfectly located in the centre of St Andrews.

The St Andrews Golf Hotel
The St Andrews Golf Hotel has a range of stylish rooms and their bar is one of the most popular in town.

Food and drink

The Seafood Restaurant

Since opening in 2003, the restaurant has developed an excellent reputation for fresh, high quality seafood. Perched on the cliff edge it boasts magnificent sea views.

Rocca Bar and Grill

Winner of an AA three Rosette Award, Rocca Bar and Grill delivers locally sourced Scottish food served with an Italian twist.

The Doll’s House Restaurant
A blend of French and Scottish cuisine, the Doll’s House Restaurant provides tasty seasonal food in a relaxed setting.

Things to do

Play a round in the home of golf

The Old Course at St Andrews is the world’s oldest and arguably most iconic golf course. Thanks to the St Andrews Links Trust it remains open to the public along with seven other wonderful links courses.

Advance tee-times for the Old Course are available to book in September or players can enter the traditional ballot drawn two days in advance.


Climb St Rule’s Tower
Built in the 12th century, St Rule’s Tower was part of the early church in St Andrews and sits intact amongst the ruins of the medieval cathedral.
Today visitors can ascend the 156 steps to the top and enjoy the panoramic views over the harbour and surrounding countryside.

Visitors can wander the ruins for free but a ticket is required for entrance to the tower and cathedral museum.

Take the coastal path
Within a few miles of the town lie the picturesque fishing villages of Anstruther, Crail and Pittenweem. Walkers and cyclists can take the coastal path from St Andrews to see fishing boats land their catch in the quaint harbours or visit one of the many studios and galleries.