We have curated the top things to do in St Andrews Scotland so that if you’re planning a trip to visit, it will help make your plans easier. With its ruined, romantic cathedral and cobblestone lanes, St Andrews seduces visitors with its storied setting. But Scotland’s oldest university town also beguiles with a bounty of diversions.
From golfing where the game began to beach strolls on velvet sands, this charming coastal hamlet proffers plenty for travelers.
Topping the list for first-timers, follow in the footsteps of British monarchs and tour the towering Gothic ruins of the iconic St Andrews Cathedral. Next, practice your swing where Tiger Woods and other greats have graced the greens at the hallowed Old Course, the celebrated birthplace of golf.
When you’ve had your fill of divots, delight in St Andrews Botanic Garden, a blossoming oasis near the ruins. Or book a boat to nearby Isle of May to spy seals and puffins. From history to nature, sports to scenery, discover the top things to do in St Andrews Scotland.
Get ready to make lasting memories in St Andrews!
Golf-related attractions are a major highlight in St Andrews, with the Old Course and British Golf Museum being must-visit locations.
St Andrews offers a rich history and culture, with attractions like St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Cathedral, and the St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum.
Nature lovers can enjoy the St Andrews Botanic Garden, West Sands Beach, Tentsmuir Forest, and Lade Braes for outdoor experiences.
Food and drink experiences in St Andrews are diverse, ranging from local cuisine at Balgove Larder Farm Shop and Café to seafood at Seafood Ristorante, and visits to distilleries like Eden Mill and Kingsbarns.
The 25 Top Things To Do In St Andrews Scotland
1. Exploring the Old Course
You’ll love exploring the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. As one of the most iconic golf courses in the world, it offers a unique experience for both players and spectators.
The course is steeped in history, with its origins dating back to the 15th century. Walking along the fairways, you can’t help but imagine the legends that have played on this hallowed ground.
But it’s not just about golf – the Old Course is surrounded by stunning scenery and landmarks like St Andrews Cathedral and Castle. Take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking views as you navigate through this historic course.
Whether you’re an avid golfer or simply appreciate its beauty, exploring the Old Course is an absolute must when visiting St Andrews.
2. Visit the British Golf Museum
When visiting the British Golf Museum, don’t miss out on exploring its extensive collection. This fascinating museum is a must-visit attraction in St Andrews, Scotland. Here are four reasons why you should add it to your itinerary:
Immerse yourself in the history: The museum showcases the rich history of golf, from its origins in medieval Scotland to its global popularity today. Discover rare artifacts and learn about the game’s evolution throughout the centuries.
Learn about St Andrews’ golf heritage: As the birthplace of golf, St Andrews has a special place in the sport’s history. The museum provides insights into how this small town became a mecca for golf enthusiasts from around the world.
Explore interactive exhibits:Engage with hands-on displays that allow you to test your swing or try on historic golf attire. Interactive exhibits make learning about golf fun and accessible for all ages.
Combine with other attractions: The British Golf Museum is conveniently located near other popular attractions in St Andrews, such as the University of St Andrews and St Andrews Cathedral. Make a day out of exploring these iconic sites alongside your visit to the museum.
Overall, a trip to the British Golf Museum offers an immersive experience that will deepen your appreciation for this beloved sport and its ties to St Andrews’ unique heritage.
3. A Tour of St Andrews Castle
While exploring St Andrews, don’t miss out on taking a tour of the historic St Andrews Castle. This attraction is a must-visit for anyone interested in Scottish history and architecture.
Located near the renowned University of St Andrews, the castle ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. As you walk through the ancient stone walls, you’ll be transported back to a time when this castle was a stronghold for Scottish royalty. The castle’s strategic location on top of a cliff also provides breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding landscape.
From its underground mine to its eerie bottle dungeon, there are plenty of intriguing features to discover during your visit to St Andrews Castle. Don’t forget your camera as you explore this iconic piece of Scottish heritage!
4. Taking a Stroll in the St Andrews Botanic Garden
If you’re in the area, make sure to take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful St Andrews Botanic Garden. Located in the heart of St Andrews, this enchanting garden offers a peaceful oasis amidst bustling city life.
As you wander through its winding paths, you’ll be surrounded by an exquisite array of flora and fauna. The garden is meticulously maintained and showcases a wide variety of plants from all over the world, including rare and exotic species.
Take your time to admire the vibrant colors, breathe in the fragrant scents, and listen to the soothing sounds of nature. With its serene atmosphere and stunning landscapes, a visit to St Andrews Botanic Garden is truly a delightful experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Don’t miss out on this hidden gem during your trip to St Andrews, Scotland!
5. Visiting the St Andrews Museum
To fully immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of St Andrews, don’t forget to visit the St Andrews Museum. Located in the heart of this charming Scottish town, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.
As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by an impressive collection that showcases the heritage of both St Andrews and its famous university. From ancient artifacts to interactive displays, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Learn about the town’s maritime history and its connection to St Andrews Bay or explore exhibits dedicated to renowned alumni of St Andrews University.
After your visit, take a stroll along the picturesque streets of St Andrews and perhaps stop by the nearby St Andrews Aquarium for more adventure-filled exploration.
6. Exploring the St Andrews Cathedral
Now that you’ve learned about the fascinating history at the St Andrews Museum, it’s time to continue your exploration of this enchanting Scottish town.
One of the top things to do in St Andrews is to visit the magnificent St Andrews Cathedral. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time and surrounded by breathtaking Gothic architecture. The sheer size and grandeur of this ancient cathedral are truly awe-inspiring. Marvel at the intricate details carved into the stone walls and imagine what life was like during its peak in the 12th century.
Don’t forget to explore the ruins outside as well, where you’ll find peaceful gardens and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Make sure to add this iconic attraction to your list when visiting St Andrews!
Admire the stunning stained glass windows
Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views
Take a leisurely stroll through the cathedral grounds
7. A Walk on West Sands Beach
After exploring the majestic St Andrews Cathedral, take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful West Sands Beach. Located in the charming town of St Andrews, this pristine stretch of coastline is a must-visit for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.
As one of the top things to do in St Andrews, a walk along West Sands Beach offers breathtaking views of golden sand dunes and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Feel the soft sand beneath your toes as you meander along the shore, taking in the fresh sea breeze and listening to the soothing sound of crashing waves.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an invigorating outdoor adventure, this article section recommends experiencing the tranquility and natural beauty of West Sands Beach during your visit to St Andrews.
8. Visit the St Andrews Aquarium
When you visit the charming town of St Andrews, don’t miss out on a trip to the St Andrews Aquarium. This popular attraction offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Here are four reasons why you should include a visit to the aquarium in your itinerary:
Marine Life: Explore a diverse range of marine species, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sharks and playful seals.
Interactive Exhibits: Get up close and personal with the fascinating creatures through interactive exhibits that allow you to touch and feed them.
Educational Programs: Learn about conservation efforts and marine biology through informative talks and feeding demonstrations.
Family-friendly Activities: The aquarium offers activities for kids, including face painting, treasure hunts, and special events.
With its engaging displays and variety of attractions, the St Andrews Aquarium is a must-visit when exploring this beautiful seaside town in Scotland.
9. Enjoying a Show at the Byre Theatre
You’ll love enjoying a show at the Byre Theatre. Located in the heart of St Andrews, this charming theater offers a wide range of performances that will captivate and entertain you. The Byre Theatre has a rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1933 as a cow byre (barn) converted into a theater. Today, it showcases an impressive line-up of plays, musicals, and concerts for all tastes and ages.
Step inside the theater’s intimate space and immerse yourself in the world of live performance. From thought-provoking dramas to hilarious comedies, there is always something exciting happening on stage. The Byre Theatre also hosts events such as film screenings and workshops, ensuring there is never a dull moment.
After enjoying a show at the Byre Theatre, take some time to explore the surrounding area. St Andrews is renowned for its stunning coastal views, historic sites like St Andrews Cathedral and Castle Ruins, and world-famous attractions such as the Old Course golf course.
Don’t miss out on visiting other top-rated destinations nearby like Edinburgh or indulging in activities like visiting the St Andrews Aquarium or Andrew Museum or even taking a tour of a local distillery.
10. Exploring the Tentsmuir Forest
Take a leisurely stroll through the enchanting Tentsmuir Forest and immerse yourself in its natural beauty. This stunning forest is located just outside of St Andrews, Scotland, making it a perfect escape from the bustling city.
As you wander through the towering pine trees, you’ll come across hidden trails that lead to breathtaking views of the beach. The Tentsmuir Forest is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including deer and various bird species.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rent a bike and explore the forest on two wheels. After your walk or bike ride, make sure to visit some of St Andrews’ other attractions such as its famous golf courses or historic cathedral.
11. A Visit to the St Andrews Farmers Market
To make the most of your visit, don’t forget to explore the St Andrews Farmers Market. Located in the beautiful town of St Andrews, Scotland, this market is a must-visit for food enthusiasts and those looking for unique gifts.
As you stroll through the market, you’ll be greeted by stalls overflowing with vibrant fruits and vegetables, fragrant breads, and mouthwatering cheeses. Sample delicious homemade jams and preserves or treat yourself to freshly baked pastries.
The market also offers a wide selection of handmade crafts and artwork, perfect for finding that special souvenir to take home. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere as you chat with friendly vendors who are passionate about their products.
Visiting the St Andrews Farmers Market is an experience that truly captures the essence of this charming Scottish town.
12. Dining at the Seafood Ristorante
If you’re craving fresh seafood, dining at the Seafood Ristorante is a must. Located in St Andrews, this restaurant offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the best of Scotland’s coastal flavors. Situated near the stunning West Sands beach, it provides breathtaking views while you indulge in delectable dishes.
The Seafood Ristorante is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. The menu features an array of mouthwatering seafood options, including oysters, scallops, and lobster. Each dish is expertly prepared using locally sourced ingredients to ensure freshness and quality.
While visiting St Andrews for its famous golf courses or exploring attractions such as the castle and cathedral, make sure to reserve a table at the Seafood Ristorante. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a memorable dining experience, this restaurant will not disappoint.
Immerse yourself in the flavors of Scotland’s coast and create lasting memories at this exceptional establishment.
13. A Day at the Eden Mill Distillery and Brewery
When planning a visit to St Andrews, don’t miss out on a day at the Eden Mill Distillery and Brewery. Located in the birthplace of golf, this distillery is worth a visit for both golfers and gin enthusiasts alike.
Start your day by taking a tour of the distillery, where you’ll learn about the history of gin-making and see how it’s produced today. Afterward, head to the tasting room to sample their award-winning gins, which are crafted using local botanicals for a truly unique flavor profile.
If beer is more your style, don’t worry – Eden Mill also has an impressive selection of craft beers brewed on-site.
So whether you’re a golfer looking for some post-round refreshments or simply someone who appreciates quality spirits, a visit to Eden Mill Distillery and Brewery is definitely worth adding to your itinerary when in St Andrews.
14. Visit the St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum
Located in the heart of St Andrews, the St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum offers visitors a fascinating look into the history and heritage of this historic town. As one of the top things to do in St Andrews, Scotland, a visit to this museum is a must for anyone interested in delving deep into the past.
Step inside and be transported back in time as you explore the meticulously curated exhibits that showcase artifacts and stories from various periods in St Andrews’ rich history. From medieval times to more recent events, there is something for everyone here.
Learn about the ancient university, discover archaeological finds, and gain insight into how this charming town has evolved over centuries. The St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum truly brings history to life for all who visit.
15. A Walk in the Lade Braes
Take a leisurely stroll through the serene Lade Braes and immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding you. Located in St Andrews, Scotland, this picturesque walk is one of the top things to do in the area.
As you embark on your journey, you’ll find yourself captivated by the stunning scenery that unfolds before your eyes. The Lade Braes offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life, allowing you to reconnect with nature and unwind at your own pace.
The path meanders alongside a gentle stream, lined with lush greenery and vibrant flowers. You’ll be enchanted by the peaceful ambiance as birds chirp overhead and sunlight filters through the trees.
Whether you’re seeking solitude or simply want to explore more of St Andrews’ natural wonders, a walk in the Lade Braes is an experience not to be missed.
16. Exploring the Craigtoun Country Park
Now that you’ve enjoyed a leisurely walk through the enchanting Lade Braes, it’s time to embark on another memorable adventure in St Andrews, Scotland.
One of the top things to do in this charming town is explore the Craigtoun Country Park. This picturesque park is nestled just two miles from the city center and offers a delightful escape into nature.
As you step foot into this sprawling oasis, be prepared to be captivated by its lush greenery, tranquil lakes, and vibrant flower gardens. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up the serene atmosphere.
With numerous activities such as miniature railway rides, boating on the lake, and an adventure playground for children, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Craigtoun Country Park.
So pack a picnic basket and prepare for a day filled with unforgettable moments amidst nature’s beauty.
17. A Visit to the East Sands Leisure Centre
When you’re ready for some indoor fun, head over to the East Sands Leisure Centre in St Andrews. This is a great option if you’re looking for things to do on your day trip to this picturesque town.
The leisure centre offers a range of activities and facilities that will keep you entertained and active. You can take a dip in the swimming pool or enjoy a game of squash or badminton on one of their courts. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the climbing wall or challenge yourself at the gym.
After your workout, relax in the sauna or steam room while taking in breathtaking views of St Andrews Bay. Don’t forget to capture some amazing pictures during your visit!
18. Exploring the Secret Bunker
If you’re up for an adventure, don’t miss exploring the Secret Bunker in St Andrews. This underground maze of tunnels and rooms is a fascinating glimpse into the Cold War era.
Here are three reasons why you should add it to your list of top things to do in St Andrews, Scotland:
Step back in time: As you descend into the bunker, you’ll be transported to a bygone era. Explore the cramped living quarters, command center, and even a simulated nuclear attack room.
Interactive exhibits: The Secret Bunker offers interactive displays that allow you to experience what life was like during this tense period of history. From deciphering secret codes to testing out emergency communication systems, there’s something for everyone.
Stunning views: After delving deep underground, emerge from the bunker and take in the breathtaking views of St Andrews Bay. It’s a stark contrast that highlights both the beauty and historical significance of this hidden gem.
So grab your sense of adventure and uncover the secrets within the Secret Bunker – it’s an experience not to be missed!
19. A Day at the Kingsbarns Distillery
Located just a short distance from St Andrews, the Kingsbarns Distillery offers visitors a unique opportunity to discover the art of whisky making.
As you step inside this charming distillery, you’ll be greeted by the rich aromas of malted barley and oak casks.
Take a guided tour and learn about the intricate process of whisky production, from milling and mashing to fermentation and distillation.
The knowledgeable staff will share fascinating insights into the history and traditions behind Scotland’s national drink.
Afterward, indulge in a tasting session where you can savor the smooth flavors of their award-winning single malt whiskies.
Once you’ve experienced the magic of Kingsbarns Distillery, make sure to explore all that St Andrews has to offer – visit St Andrews University, walk across Swilcan Bridge on the famous Old Course golf course, relax on Castle Sands beach, or explore the ruins of St Andrews Pier.
20. Visit the St Andrews Harbour
Explore the picturesque St Andrews Harbour during your visit and immerse yourself in its charming seaside atmosphere. Located in the historic town of St Andrews, Scotland, this bustling harbor offers a range of activities and sights for visitors to enjoy.
Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and admire the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the water. Watch as local fishermen unload their catch of the day or try your hand at crabbing from one of the harbor’s jetties.
You can also hop on a boat tour to explore the nearby coastline or simply relax on one of the benches and soak up the stunning views. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful spot to unwind, a visit to St Andrews Harbour is definitely one of the top things to do while in St Andrews, Scotland.
21. Dining at the Doll’s House Restaurant
When dining at the Doll’s House Restaurant, you can enjoy a delightful meal in a charming setting. Located in St Andrews, Scotland, this restaurant is one of the top attractions for visitors looking for things to do in St Andrews. The Doll’s House offers an unforgettable dining experience with its cozy atmosphere and attentive service.
Here are four reasons why this restaurant should be on your must-visit list:
Varied menu: From traditional Scottish dishes to international cuisine, the Doll’s House offers a diverse menu that caters to every palate.
Local ingredients: The restaurant prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create delicious and sustainable dishes.
Extensive wine collection: Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive collection, featuring both local and international selections.
Historical charm: Housed in a historic building dating back to 1775, dining at the Doll’s House allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history of St Andrews while enjoying exquisite food.
Make sure to include a visit to the Doll’s House Restaurant when planning your trip to St Andrews!
22. A Visit to the Martyrs’ Monument
To fully immerse yourself in the history of St Andrews, don’t miss a visit to the Martyrs’ Monument. Located near the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, this iconic landmark pays tribute to four Protestant martyrs who were executed during the Reformation period.
As you approach the monument, you’ll be struck by its grandeur and imposing presence. The towering structure stands tall against the backdrop of St Andrews’ picturesque skyline, making it a must-see for any visitor to Scotland.
Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by these individuals as you explore the surrounding area, which includes a beautiful churchyard and stunning views of St Andrews itself.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an awe-inspiring experience, a visit to the Martyrs’ Monument is sure to leave a lasting impression.
23. Exploring the Balgove Larder Farm Shop and Café
Don’t miss out on checking out the delicious offerings at the Balgove Larder Farm Shop and Café. Located in St Andrews, this charming establishment is a must-visit when exploring the town. Here are some reasons why you should add it to your list of things to do:
Fresh and Local: The farm shop offers a wide range of fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables, and meats sourced locally from their own farm. You can expect top-quality ingredients that will make your taste buds sing.
Delicious Delights: Indulge in mouthwatering treats such as homemade pies, freshly baked bread, and decadent pastries. Their selection is sure to satisfy any craving.
Cozy Atmosphere: Step inside the café and be greeted by warm hospitality and a cozy ambiance. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your meal in a comfortable setting.
Farm-to-table Experience: At Balgove Larder Farm Shop and Café, you get to experience the true essence of farm-to-table dining. Taste the difference that fresh ingredients make in every bite.
Make sure to stop by this hidden gem during your visit to St Andrews for an unforgettable culinary experience.
24. A Day at the Fife Folk Museum
Located in Ceres, the Fife Folk Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the region. When visiting St Andrews, Scotland, this is definitely one of the top things to do.
Step inside this charming museum and immerse yourself in Fife’s past. The exhibits here showcase various aspects of traditional rural life, from agriculture to fishing and everything in between. You’ll find artifacts like vintage farming tools, fishing equipment, and household items that give you a sense of what life was like in St Andrews and its surrounding areas.
As you explore the museum’s rooms filled with historical treasures, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the culture and traditions that have shaped this beautiful part of Scotland. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with Fife’s heritage while enjoying breathtaking views of St Andrews Bay.
25. Visit the St Andrews Wine Company
When visiting St Andrews, make sure to check out the St Andrews Wine Company for a unique experience. Located in the heart of this charming Scottish town, the St Andrews Wine Company offers an impressive selection of wines from around the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of wine, this is a must-visit destination. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through their extensive collection and help you find the perfect bottle to suit your taste and occasion.
You can also join one of their tasting events where you can sample different wines and learn about their origins and flavors. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to indulge in a little luxury during your visit to St Andrews – it’s definitely one of the top things to do in this beautiful town.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a dress code for the Old Course?
Yes, there is a dress code for the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. To ensure respect for the tradition and history of this iconic golf course, proper attire is required.
Men are expected to wear collared shirts and tailored trousers or shorts, while women should opt for appropriate golfing attire. Denim jeans and t-shirts are not permitted on the course.
Remember to adhere to these guidelines to fully enjoy your experience at the legendary Old Course.
Is photography allowed in the British Golf Museum?
Yes, photography is allowed in the British Golf Museum. You can capture stunning shots of the exhibits and displays showcasing the rich history of golf.
From ancient artifacts to iconic trophies, there is plenty to photograph and admire. So don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone along to document your visit and share your love for golf with others.
Get ready for a memorable experience at the museum!
Are there guided tours available at St Andrews Castle?
Yes, there are guided tours available at St Andrews Castle. These tours offer a fascinating insight into the history and architecture of this impressive fortress.
Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll explore the castle’s ruins, learn about its role in Scottish history, and even have the chance to climb to the top of the bottle dungeon for breathtaking views.
Don’t miss out on this immersive experience during your visit to St Andrews!
Can you bring your own food to the St Andrews Botanic Garden?
Yes, you can bring your own food to the St Andrews Botanic Garden. It’s a great way to have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
The garden offers several picnic areas where you can relax and indulge in your favorite snacks or meals. Whether you prefer sandwiches, fruits, or even a full-on feast, bringing your own food allows you to customize your dining experience while exploring this stunning botanical paradise.
Is there a fee to enter the St Andrews Museum?
Yes, there is a fee to enter the St Andrews Museum. However, it’s definitely worth it!
The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of this beautiful Scottish town. You’ll find a variety of exhibits that showcase everything from ancient artifacts to modern art. Take your time exploring each display and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of St Andrews.
Don’t forget to check out the gift shop for souvenirs before you leave!
Conclusion – Things to Do in St Andrews Scotland
From exploring the historic Old Course and British Golf Museum to taking a tour of the majestic St Andrews Castle, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful St Andrews Botanic Garden and visit the fascinating Martyrs’ Monument.
And if you’re looking for some delicious local produce, be sure to stop by Balgove Larder Farm Shop and Café. End your day with a visit to Fife Folk Museum and indulge in some fine wines from St Andrews Wine Company.
With so much to see and do, you’ll never run out of adventures in this charming Scottish town.
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