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- 14 Dec 2019, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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In the historic county of Fife, Scotland’s oldest university town of St Andrews (former students include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) has a friendly seaside vibe and a remarkable history reflected in its imposing medieval ruins. For golf pilgrims who come to play in the game's birthplace, St Andrews’ world-famous course overlooking the ocean is the perfect spot to practise your swing. There are sandy beaches and stunning coastal vistas, whether or not you have clubs in hand.
You can choose a St Andrews hostel in a grand converted Georgian house in the heart of the old town. You’ll be 5 minutes’ walk from transport links and within easy reach of the main sites. In this part of the world, you can look forward to a friendly Fife welcome, with staff happy to help with recommendations and travel arrangements. If you fancy eating in, cook in the bright, modern kitchen of a St Andrews youth hostel before unwinding in a cosy lounge with DVD players.
You can cross St Andrews’ centre in a 20-minute walk, and a spectacular coastline frames the town on either side. To the west is the aptly named West Sands Beach, and the other side of town has East Sands Beach. The four main streets, The Scores, North Street, Market Street and South Street, host a selection of pubs, restaurants and shops. The university was founded in 1413 and some its most historic buildings lie between The Scores and North Street, with student halls dotted around the town's fringes.
Discover the town's rich history at the remains of St Andrews Cathedral, once Scotland’s largest church, and check out the secret passages and dungeon at the 13th-century St Andrews Castle. You can return to the present with a breathtaking hilltop walk above East Sands Beach. You’ll need a decent handicap (and likely a reservation well in advance) to play a round at the Old Course – it's the oldest course in the world. Golf fans can also visit the British Golf Museum.
Relatively flat and just 1.6km wide, St Andrews is best explored on foot or by joining the many students who cycle around town. Stagecoach runs buses around St Andrews as well as routes to nearby towns and villages. Buses from other parts of Scotland arrive and depart from the bus station in the centre of town. Edinburgh Airport is the nearest, around 80km away. Shuttle services do direct transfers to St Andrews (around 1.5 hours), or you can hire a car.