Although famous for its golf courses, St Andrews has abandoned ruins, independent homeware shops, vintage bookshops and a cocktail bar or two. All within an easy walking distance of each other. St Andrews is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, here’s a list of the top 10 things to do in St Andrews, Scotland.
Mooch Around the Shops
St Andrews has surprisingly few chain stores for a major city, and boasts a lot of family owned and independent shops to check out.
I recommend you visit:
- The bookseller, Topping & Company
- The Old Cheese Shop Cafe
- The Homeward Shop
- Spoiled Life Home Store
- The Golf Shop of St. Andrews
The Fraser Art Gallery is very popular and a must-see to add some culture to a day out. The shops of St Andrews offer a wide range of products and sights for anyone looking to experience the city.
Go for Ice Cream
The most popular ice-cream shop in St Andrews is the famous Jannetta’s Gelateria which has been making Italian-style gelatos for over 100 years. Four generations later and their flavours range from familiar favourites like vanilla, chocolate and raspberry ripple to the more unusual Scottish tablet, Turkish delight, and even chili chocolate. Their flavour of the season is Stracciatella, an Italian treat mixing vanilla and Belgian chocolate, yum! You can find them at 31 South Street.
Have a Cocktail at The Adamson
The Adamson is an award-winning Scottish Restaurant and Cocktail Bar. Their menus are inspired by brassiere cooking with seasonal influences with locally sourced ingredients. Their speciality is the wide-range of cocktails, for which last year they won an award. They offer a cocktail masterclasses too.
Go for a Coffee at Bibi’s
As you walk around the city you might need a pick-me-up and Bibi’s is the perfect place for a caffeine hit! With a range of brunch and lunch options like poached eggs, smoked mackerel, avocado and feta cheese salad and of course, great coffee.
One of my favourite things to do in St Andrews is look around the second hand bookshops, of which there are many,
Explore The Creepy but Cool Cathedral
Built in 1158 St Andrews’ Cathedral was the centre of the Catholic Church in medieval Scotland. Built in the Gothic style and dedicated in 1318 it replaced the church of St. Regulus. It holds the bones of St. Andrew himself and the remains of WIlliam de Lamberton who rebuilt the Cathedral and dedicated it in 1318. A protestant mob incited by the preaching of John Knox ransacked it in June of 1559. The Catholics abandoned it and eventually left it to ruin. St. Andrews Cathedral is a key historical site for understanding the reformation period in Scotland.
Visit St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Castle is the main historic sight to see in St Andrews. it was caught in the middle of the historic siege of 1546-47. During the siege both sides dug immense mines and countermines into the rock, this mine can still be explored to this day and you can learn how medieval warfare siege warfare was done first-hand.
Play a round of Golf or Visit the British Golf Museum
St Andrews is a golfing haven and you may want to play a round yourself at one of the many courses there; the St. Andrews Links Trust boasts over 230,000 rounds of golf played over its seven public courses. They offer a host of facilities such as their golf academy. The St. Andrew Links Trust is a charitable trust that reinvests its money back into the golf courses in St. Andrews.
Enjoy the Coast
The Fife coastal path is 117 miles long and Scotland’s longest coastal path, with many picturesque scenes, beaches, and fishing villages.
Pretend to be Wills and Kate
Our ever-popular Royal couple met while together at the prestigious University of St Andrews while studying History of Art. A day in their footsteps might include a visit to the prestigious campus and perhaps a tour of the buildings, followed by a visit to historically important and beautiful buildings such as the Cathedral, and a visit to one or more of St. Andrews’ many galleries.
Go to the Beach
If you want a stroll along the sea-side you couldn’t go too far wrong visiting the East Sands which are on the south side of the old harbour. It is the winner of the Keep Scotland Beautiful 2018 Beach Award and has a children’s play area and cafe, making it the perfect destination for a family trip out.
Visit The St Andrews Museum
Visit the recently reopened St Andrews Museum and check out their new Art-Tastic art exhibition. Make sure you reserve a table at their Cafe in the Park (not included in the one hour slot so ask staff to reserve you a table upon arrival) and be amazed by the history and heritage of St Andrews.
Photos from St Andrews
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the best things to do in St Andrews. Let me know how your trip goes!