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Revision as of 22:59, 22 August 2008
The Royal Burgh of St Andrews  is a small town (population 18,000) in the county of Fife on the east coast of Scotland, facing the North Sea, and hosting the oldest university in Scotland. The town is perhaps most famous, however, as the home of golf.
St Andrews was historically the Ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. The cathedral was the most important in Scotland during the mediaeval period, and the Bishops of St Andrews lived in St Andrews Castle. John Knox preached in the town.
The University grew up out of the cathedral, and was founded in 1410, being the oldest university in Scotland, and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. Today, the University dominates the town, particularly during termtime. The university is often seen as being quite elite, and was the place of education of Prince William, second in line to the British throne.
St Andrews is also seen as the Home of Golf, being the home of the Royal and Ancient , one of the oldest Golf Clubs in the world and the R&A  one of game's worldwide ruling bodies. There are a large number of golf courses or links, as coastal courses are properly known. The most famous golf course in the world, the Old Course is located in St Andrews. It hosts the Dunhill Cup each October and, more importantly, the Open Championship every five years with the next scheduled Open to be held in 2010.
The nearest major international airport to St Andrews is at Edinburgh - 51 mi (83km), approximately 45 minutes from St Andrews by train or car. Buses run directly from Edinburgh to St Andrews. Although St. Andrews does not have its own train station, you can disembark in the nearby town of Leuchars and take a bus or taxi to St. Andrews.
Flights to London are also available from nearby Dundee Airport - 14 mi (23km).
The nearest train station is at Leuchars, about 10km away. It is served by trains from Edinburgh and Dundee / Aberdeen. There are some direct trains from London. Buses to St Andrews connect with the train at Leuchars, combined tickets are available . Taxi service is available at Leuchars and it will cost about 10 pounds to reach the city center.
Stagecoach Fife operate buses to St Andrews
The town is small enough that it is simplest to walk. Taxis are also available (taxi ranks are located on an street connecting Market Street to South Street called Bell Street, outside Holy Trinity Church on South Street and also at the bus station). Bus services link some of the outlying areas, operated by Stagecoach Fife .
There is a Park & Ride scheme, where visitors can leave their cars outside of the town in a large carpark, and take a bus into the town centre. It is very difficult, and expensive, to park in the town. A parking voucher system operates in the town centre--these are in the form of 'scratch-cards' and can be purchased from shops displaying purple signs . There is also a complex one-way system, resulting in it taking longer to drive from one part of the town centre to another than it would to walk.
Rickshaw: Cycle Rickshaws can be hailed on the street for a more leisurely way to get around although some hills may be too steep for the driver to tackle fully loaded so don't take any refusal as a comment on your weight! Good value tours of the town by Rickshaw are also on offer, they can often be found in front of the Cathedral on South Street.
- University of St. Andrews--The University of St. Andrews  was founded in 1413 and is the oldest university in Scotland. Today it is a bustling university of approximately 9,000 students, with its most famous recent alumnus being Prince William, who studied Art History at the university from 2001-2005. Its campus, which is spread throughout downtown St. Andrews, features many interesting historical buildings, including the 16th Century St. Salvator's Chapel.
- St Salvator's Quad, North Street (behind St Salvator's Chapel), . Open daily. This is the historic Quadrangle of St Salvator's College, University of St Andrews (founded 1410). Teaching still takes place in the college buildings. St Salvator's Chapel is used for University services every Sunday, and visitors will see staff and students in the traditional university dress (red gowns for undergraduate students of the United College). After chapel, students walk down to the end of the pier in the traditional Pier Walk. On North Street, just outside St Salvator's Quad, visitors will see the letters PH in the cobbles. This is the site where the martyr Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake, and it is considered bad luck to walk on the letters: it is said that students who walk across these letters will fail their degree but can remove the 'curse' by bathing in the sea at dawn on 1st May (The May Dip).
- St Mary's Quad, South Street (enter through black iron gate with words "In Principio Erat Verbum"), . Open daily. This is the historic quadrangle of St Mary's College, University of St Andrews (founded 1410). On entering the quadrangle from South Street, St Mary's College is on the right - now houses the university's Faculty of Divinity. On the left of the gate is Lower Parliament Hall which was temporarily the site of the Scottish Parliament during an outbreak of plague in Edinburgh from 1645-6, and is now used as the University Debating Hall. The building on the left of the Quadrangle is now the School of Psychology, but was formerly the University Library (which was a copyright library 1710-1837). The tree on the right hand side of the Quadrangle was planted by Mary Queen of Scots. This is commonly mistaken for the large oak tree present in the centre of the Quadrangle. On the far side of the Quadrangle is the ruined remains of a gate, now being restored, and beyond that lies the Bute Medical School, dating from 1899. Information panels in the Quadrangle give visitors historical information.
- St Andrews Botanic Gardens, Canongate, St Andrews KY16 8RT, 01334 476452 OR 01334 477178 (email@example.com), . Daily, May-Sept, 10.00-19.00; Oct-April, 10.00-16.00. Originally founded as the University Botanic Gardens in 1889, now run by Fife Council. Beautiful landscaped gardens, with different conditions (water garden, heath garden, peat garden, rock garden, Chinese garden, Chile garden). Eight beautiful glass houses with orchids, cacti alpine and tropical plants. £2 (Child £1; Friends of Botanic Garden FREE).
- St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum and Gardens, 12-16 North Street, St Andrews, 01334 477152 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Daily, 2pm-5pm. Museum about the history of St Andrews. Displays feature old shops, furniture, art, etc relating to local area, gardens, and souvenir shop. Free, but donations welcomed.
- British Golf Museum, Bruce Embankment, 01334 460046, . Easter-Oct, Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30, Sun 10-5; Oct-Easter, 10am-4pm Mon-Sun. Located near the Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse, this museum offers an interesting look at golf through the ages. £5 (£4 Senior Citizens & Students; £2.75 children 5-15; FREE children under 5).
- Aquarium, The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AS, 01334 474786 (email@example.com; Fax 01334 475985), . Aquarium with seals, fish, reptiles, etc. The seemingly diminutive exterior hides a fairly extensive complex. £6.20 (Child £4.40; OAP £5.00; Student £5.20).
- St Andrews Museum, Kinburn Park, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews KY16 9DP (located in middle of Kinnburn Park), 01334 412690, . Museum about the history of St Andrews. Also regular temporary exhibitions on various subjects.
- St Andrews Castle, St Andrews (near Cathedral), 01334 477196, . April-Sept, Mon-Sun, 9.30am-6.30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm. St Andrews Castle, built in approximately 1400, is where the Bishops of St Andrews lived before the Reformation. It has also served as a fortress and even a prison, but fell into ruin in the 17th century. It has a beautiful location next to the sea. See and explore the mine and counter-mine built under the Castle during a siege in the 1540s. £4.50 (Child £2.00, Concessions £3.50, joint Castle & Cathedral ticket available).
- St Andrews Cathedral and St Rule's Tower, North Street, St Andrews, 01334 472563, . April-Sept, Mon-Sun, 9.30am-6.30pm; Oct-March, Mon-Sun, 9.30am-4.30pm. Ruined Cathedral. St Andrews was the Ecclesiastical Capital of Scotland before the reformation, and St Andrews Cathedral was the most important cathedral in Scotland. Constructed between 1160 and 1318, it was consecrated in the presence of the legendary Robert the Bruce. However, the cathedral fell into disuse in the 1550's, following the Reformation, and many of its stones were removed in the 17th century to construct other buildings in the town. Its picturesque outline remains, however, including stunning towers. Museum tells of the history of the cathedral, and has mediaeval sculpture and artefacts from the site. Cathedral ruins can be explored, and panels explain history. St Rule's Tower, a remnant of the church that predated the cathedral, can be climbed and provides stunning views over St Andrews and the surrounding area. The grounds are free of charge to the wandering tourist. To go up St Rule's Tower costs £3.50 (Child £1.50 Concessions £2.50).
- Pier and Harbour, St Andrews (Walk down The Pends to the harbour/pier area), Pier and harbour, have survived from St Andrews fishing industry history. This is a pretty place to walk to on a summer's day, with views from the end of the pier of the whole of St Andrews Bay and across the mouth of the Tay to the mountains of Angus. On Sundays, staff and students walk to the pier in their traditional academic dress at the end of chapel.
- West Sands (beach), One of St Andrews' three beaches, it is the largest, accessible from The Scores. There are large dunes (not accessible to the public) and a large expanse of sand. Several scenes from the film Chariots of Fire were filmed on this beach.
St Andrews from the West Sands
- East Sands (beach), Accessible from The Scores. This is a smaller and more sheltered beach than West Sands.
- Castle Sands (beach), This is the smallest of St Andrews' beaches, located below the castle. It is the site of the annual May Dip, where students jump into the sea at daybreak on May 1st as part of an ancient university tradition.
- St Andrews Links
- Byre Theatre, Abbey Street KY16 9LA, 01334 475000 (Fax: 01334 475370), . Professional theatre, variety of repertory productions on. Also some touring productions and some good amateur productions. Also has a cafe-bar.
- Crawford Arts Centre, 93 North Street, KY16 9AD (near New Picture House cinema; opposite police station), 01334 474610 (firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax 01334 479880), . Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun 2-5pm. Arts Centre with crafts, exhibitions and performances. FREE for exhibitions (extra price for performances, varies with performance).
- New Picture House(Cinema), North Street, St Andrews, 01334 474902 (email@example.com), . Open daily, depends on film. Independent cinema, varied selection of films, from new releases to some alternative/independent/foreign language films (especially during termtime). Late night showing on Wednesday night during university termtime (usually old/cult film). £4.20 (£5.20 for Circle in Auditorium 1; £3.20 Child; £3.50 Senior Citizen).
- St Andrews Historical Tours--In the summer months, the University of St Andrews sponsors historical tours of the town, including the castle ruins, cathedral ruins, and historical sites of the University: St Andrews Historical Tours
The Isle of May from Crail
- The Isle Of May, 01333 310103, . Small island lying in the entrance to the Firth of Forth, approximately 5 miles off the Fife coast. National Nature Reserve owned and managed by Scottish National Heritage. Boat trips on the 'May Princess' leave once a day (except some weekdays in April and May) from Anstruther's middle pier from April to 31st of September. Seals can be seen all year round, whales can be spotted in late July and August. Notable for its many seabirds, especially puffins, which can be seen in their thousands from April to July and are the island's main attraction. Tickets can be purchased from the small kiosk on the pier from which the boat leaves. Adults £16, children (3-16 years) £8. Note that sailings can be cancelled at short notice depending on the weather conditions.
- Rickshaw Tours, Take a tour of the historic city centre by cycle Rickshaw. Look around the North Street entrance to the Cathedral to hail your ride. Prices vary but are always reasonable.
- Walk along the golf course. The game of golf had its beginnings in this little Scottish town and even non-golfers should consider a stroll along the perimeter of the very first golf course. Watch out for flying balls! Located on the edge of the course is the imposing Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse . If you're lucky, you may spot one of the celebrities who occasionally visit to play the famous course (including not just Tiger Woods but amateur golfers such as Michael Douglas and Samuel L. Jackson).
- Play a round of golf, Playing St. Andrews' Old Course can be a difficult accomplishment, often involving exorbitant greens fees and a long waiting list. Golf enthusiasts may wish to contact The Royal and Ancient Golf Club well in advance. As an alternative, consider a round on one of St. Andrews' many other courses - ask at the tourist information office for more information.
- Stroll along the beaches, Yes, St. Andrews has three beaches (see above), but don't break out your swimming gear. Only the most brave or most foolish would attempt to dip in the frigid North Sea, particularly given Scotland's chilly clime (though this doesn't deter the annual "May Dip"!) The beaches are pleasant, however, and provide a nice view of the town.
- University of St Andrews, North Street, St Andrews . Offers degree programmes in humanities, social sciences, divinity, sciences and medicine
Golf souvenirs, accessories, and equipment can be purchased in many shops around the town, with several specialist shops near to the Old Course, including the prestige outlets within the Old Course Hotel's shopping arcade.
Numerous tourist-friendly shops line Market Street, South Street, North Street, and The Links in central St Andrews. Shops primarily feature golf paraphernalia, Scottish souvenirs, and wool products. If in need of staple items, a Woolworths and Tesco can be found on Market Street. University of St Andrews merchandise, including clothing, can be bought from the University's Book Exchange & Stationery Store (B.E.S.S.) which is situated at the front of the Students' Union on St Mary's Place.
The town has two supermarkets; the fairly small and busy 'Tesco Metro', situated on Market Street, and 'Morrisons', situated further out of the town at the end of Largo Road. There is a butcher's shop on Market Street, a greengrocer on South Street (West Port end), a fishmonger is further along South Street who also sells game, a bakery and confectioner on Church Street (between Market and South Streets)--the famous 'Fisher and Donaldson' (fudge doughnuts are a speciality), a delicatessen--'Butler's'--opposite 'Fisher and Donaldson' (their wraps are popular). Market Street has three health food shops.
If you have the opportunity, indulge in "chips and cheese" from one of the small fish and chip shops. You will find yourself enjoying steak fries smothered in salt, vinegar, and melted cheese, the perfect snack if you've just emerged from one of the nearby pubs.
- Kinness Fry Bar (KFB), 79 Bridge Street, St.Andrews (near bridge over Kinness Burn), 01334 473802 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Sun-Weds 16.30-01.30; Thurs-Sat 16.30-02.00. Take-away selling fish and chips, pizza, kebabs and deep-fried Mars bars (a local delicacy). They have unusual pizza toppings including haggis and chocolate. Also sell alcohol for consumption off the premises until 10pm. £1.50-£10.
- 101 Connection (formerly Pizza Connection) 131 South St (opposite the remains of Blackfriar's Chapel), 01334 470400. Take-away serving pizza and fried food.
- Jannettas, 31 South Street (the end of South Street nearest the cathedral), ☎ 01334 473285, . Excellent ice cream. They have 52 flavours, including the elusive Irn-Bru sorbet.
- The Oak Rooms, 127 North Street, 01334 473387, . Food available 12pm-10pm. Ranges from baguettes and soup to steaks, salmon and venison (recommended). Excellent butterscotch sauce accompanies the sticky toffee pudding. Nicely decorated dining area. Also a 3* hotel. Prices from £2.50 for the soup of the day to £17.95 for the marinated lamb loin.
- Balaka, 3 Alexandra Place (end of Market Street, near Students' Union), 01334 474825 . Monday-Saturday--Lunch served 12pm-3pm Dinner served 5pm-1am, Sunday--Dinner served 5pm-1am. Fine Bangladeshi Cuisine. One of the best in the United Kingdom. Prices from £2.95 for lentil soup to £14.95 for a Tandoori Mixed Grill.
The Road Hole Grill, The Old Course Hotel, Old Station Road (overlooking the golf courses), 01334 474371, . Open daily 7-10pm. Located on the top floor with fine views over the golf courses, West Sands and North Sea. 3 AA rosettes. Excellent meat, game and seafood dishes. Open kitchen. Excellent and attentive service. Extensive (and expensive) wine list. Very pricy.
number forty, The Golf Hotel, 40 The Scores, 01334 472611, . Nicely decorated, has sea views, good service. 2 AA rosettes. £25-30 for 3 courses. Excellent seafood and game.
St Andrews features several quaint pubs, many of which are taken over by university students in the evenings during the academic year. Pubs worth buying a pint in include Ma Bell's, The Criterion, The Oak Rooms, The Raisin, The Lizard Lounge, The West Port, and The Victoria ("the Vic").
- The Central, 77 Market Street, 01334 478296. Daily. Pleasant pub in centre of St Andrews. Bar located in centre of pub. Serves good range of beers and ales. Tables outside pub. Sports shown on small television in corner, but many people don’t watch it. Range of cheap but good quality food. Popular with both students and locals.
- Aikman's Bar and Bistro, Bell Street, 01334477425. More a proper 'pub' than a bar. Has many fine European beers and ales. Serves food till late. Friendly barmen are up for banter and always ready to recommend a drink to suit your tastes. Downstairs is the Cellar Bar, open every evening, a cosy area where you'll find each week's selection of real ales. Most Tuesdays in the Cellar is 'session' night, where a small live group plays traditional Scottish music. Pub quizzes are also hosted here. Live music upstairs every Friday.
- The Lizard, Underneath The Oak Rooms, North Street. The closest thing St Andrews has to a club. Gets very busy on Friday and Saturday -people even dance! DJs Friday & Sat, Live Music on Mondays.
There are many Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses in St Andrews, most of which are centrally located--the majority of these in Murray Park and Murray Place. Prices are generally in the £25-35 range per person per night.
- St Andrews Tourist Hostel, Inchcape House, St Marys Place (Opposite Students' Association, above Grill House Mexican restaurant), 01334 479911 (fax 01334 479988) In centre of St Andrews, close to bus station. Kitchen, laundry, free linen, showers. £12-£16.
- St Andrews Youth Hostel (David Russell). Modern apartments with 5 double ensuite bedrooms and a kitchen/living area per apartment, situated roughly a mile from the town centre. This is student accommodation most of the year, so is only open to the public in July and August. Office hours are 8AM-10AM and 4PM-10PM. The office/Youth Hostel reception is situated in a small room to the left as you enter the main facilities building, not at the Reception to the right. Bistro on site, also bar and small shop run by the Students' Association (open irregularly). Games room and laundry facilities also available. More expensive than the Tourist Hostel.
- Albany Hotel, 56-58 North St, 01334 477737. Peacefully situated in the heart of historic St. Andrews this elegant Georgian terraced house dates from 1795. Prices start at £80 for a single and £130 for a double room per night.
- Yorkston Guest House, 68- 70 Argyle Street, 01334 472019, . Situated in the west end of St. Andrews, a few minutes walk from the west port and town centre. Bed and breakfast from £45 per person per night.
- Old Course Hotel, Old Station Road, . Golf Resort and Spa overlooking the town golf courses and the North Sea. 109 rooms, 35 suites--according to the website, all rooms boast bathrobes, iron and ironing board, slippers, wireless connectivity, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, voicemail, hairdryer, CD player, toiletries and best water pressure in the United Kingdom. Expect to pay at least £280 per room per night.
- Golf Hotel, 40 The Scores, . Views over St Andrews Bay. Suites with up to 4 bedrooms available. Bed and Breakfast from £100 per person per night (£15 for a child sharing a room with 3 adults, £50 for an extra adult sharing a room with 2 adults). Parts of the hotel recently refurbished.
- Fairmont St Andrews, +44 (0) 1334 837000. Originally opened as the St Andrews Bay Resort & Spa, this magnificent hotel complex sits on the summit of a spectacular formation, the hotel and its two stunning golf courses have breathtaking panoramic views of the Eden estuary and the medieval skyline of St Andrews. Expect to pay at least £380 per room per night.
Information on communications -- phone, Internet, other. Give information on cellular phone coverage in the city, and telephone centres where travellers can make long-distance calls. This is also where you'd list Internet cafes or computer rental centres for staying in touch by email or on the Web. If there are free or paid wireless Internet hotspots in the city, name them here.
- There are internet facilities inside Costa Coffee (Market Street, opposite the fountain), however, if you have you own laptop, there are wireless facilities in Starbucks (also Market Street) as well.
St Andrews is over run with payphones, which take coins and cards (and you can also surf the web in some). They're the cheapest way to call other landlines in the UK (unless you have access to a private number).
St Andrews is one of the safest Places in the World, with practically a non-existent crime rate. General caution, however, applies, as it does anywhere.
There is a municipal gym in the East Sands Leisure Centre (off the east sands) which also has a swimming pool. For the more deluxe option, you can indulge yourself at the Old Course or Fairmont St Andrews hotels. University students tend to patronise the University Sports Centre on the North Haugh.
St Andrews is close to the larger cities of Dundee and Edinburgh. A visit to the nearby Isle of May is highly recommended.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!