When you come to Scotland you have to visit St Andrews! That is the message I will be telling everyone after my first visit to this beautiful little town in the region of Fife, Scotland. In fact, I’m slightly ashamed to say that as a local Scot I had never been to St Andrews until this recent trip. A special thanks therefore has to go to the town’s local tourism board, Visit St Andrews, for hosting myself and the other Blogmanay bloggers during our 2 nights there. Their time, effort, help, and local insight was priceless during our time spent exploring the local area!
So enough about me, why should you visit St Andrews?
Quite simply everywhere you go in St Andrews is stunning. Every time I turned a corner it felt like I was met by another picture perfect moment, another setting where my mouth dropped open and exclaimed the word “wow!” As a self-confessed Instagram addict I was like a child in a candy store running around trying to take as many pictures as I could in the 2 days we were in St Andrews. Particular highlights include St Andrews Cathedral and St Andrews Beach. Both were wondrous surprises!
St Andrews Cathedral
When you mention the word ‘cathedral’ to me in Europe my eyes usually role over. I’ve seen A LOT of cathedrals in my travels through Europe. As beautiful as some may be; once you’ve seen one cathedral in Europe, you’ve usually seen a lot of them if you know what I mean? St Andrews Cathedral is totally different. In fact – it’s jaw dropping. It’s totally stunning! The surrounding grave yard that overlooks the sea is also a spectacularly beautiful sight.
Once the largest building in Scotland, St Andrews Cathedral is now a ruin. However, even though much of it is no longer there, you can see from what’s left that it was one hell of a building! It was a building the local people would have been proud of. In a way I also think it now has a sort of crumbling beauty to it. It’s shape and silhouette are unique to any other building I’ve seen anywhere in this world, and I was literally taken aback by it’s beauty.
St Andrews Beach
It’s not often you hear about Scotland’s beaches being a prime tourist attraction! Once you see how stunning St Andrews beach is though I’m sure you’ll understand why it is the most popular reason why people come here. For a beach to outrank golf in the very home of where golf began, you know it must have something special about it! Again, yet another place in St Andrews where I was left with the words ‘wow’ escaping from my mouth. Even in the heart of winter it was still beautiful. In fact, the locals say that the sunrise at the beach during winter is actually better than any other you may see throughout the year, so there’s no reason to only come here in summer.
What’s nice is that St Andrews Beach attracts mostly domestic tourism in Scotland. It’s predominantly Scottish people who go to it. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to meet and experience a bit of Scotland from a locals perspective if you ever come here, whilst also enjoying the view!
St Andrews Golf Hotel
St Andrews Golf Hotel kindly hosted me for the 2 nights I was in St Andrews. I honestly could not have wished for a better location! The view from my window of the beach was absolutely stunning. It also looks down on St Andrews Aquarium where you can see the baby seals from the window getting fed! As the name suggests St Andrews Golf Hotel is also about 2 minutes walk from the Old Golf Course in St Andrews. For anyone who wants to play golf in St Andrews you would be hard pressed to find a better located hotel, and you’re right in the heart of the town and so you’re close to all the main sights, pubs, cafes, and amenities that you need for your stay. In general though the staff at St Andrews Golf Hotel were exceptionally helpful and friendly. I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone visiting the area!
The Dolls House Restaurant
The Dolls House Restaurant in St Andrews is probably most famous for the fact it was the restaurant of choice for Prince William and Kate Middleton on many of their date nights while they studied at St Andrews University. It doesn’t surprise me to see why! The combination of Scottish and French cuisine at the Dolls House creates a unique and tasty menu – not to mention the excellent service the staff provide! What surprised me most about the Dolls House Restaurant however was the surprisingly budget menu options available at certain times of the day! I suppose I imagined that with Kate and Wills often frequenting here that the price would be extortionate, but in actual fact the prices were extremely good value! For example, a 2 course meal on the lunch time menu is only £7.95 (starter + main). On the early evening menu which we ate on, it was just under £12 for a starter and a main, and that included a steak dinner! Although accommodation can be particularly expensive in St Andrews, I was surprised by the amount of top quality restaurants you could eat out in on a budget, and the Dolls House Restaurant is a prime example of that excellent value for money.
The Local People
The local people that I met in St Andrews were all incredibly proud of their home town. In fact, you’ll find many people who have also adopted St Andrews as their home town simply because they visited once, loved it so much, and decided to make it their home. Every local person I spoke to in St Andrews was full of recommendations of places to go, and things to see & do. I only wish I’d had more time in the town to act on those recommendations, but I will certainly make it a priority of mine to get back up to St Andrews more often while I’m in Scotland so that I can experience more of what this town has to offer!
The campaign bloggers were sourced and managed by iambassador. As always, opinions are my own.