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Things to do in St Andrews

Our most recommended things to do in St Andrews

St Andrews: Old Course History Tour - 80s Pro Caddie Guide

1. St Andrews: Old Course History Tour - 80s Pro Caddie Guide

Find out about the early development of the game of golf, the R & A and the Old Course in St Andrews with your guide Richard Falconer. He will take you on a journey through a golfing timeline to explore the many facets of the game here, and why the game of golf we know and love may not be as old as you think. As an author, historian and a 1980s Pro A1 Old Course Caddie, Richard will tell you how golfing on the Old Course differs from what it was like back in the day and why you can't see his old Caddie Shack for the Old Course during the Open. You will find out why Nike bought a hotel on Golf Place for a week and see the oldest golf shop in the world. As you stroll by the first fairway you will hear about early St Andrews golfing pioneers Allan Robertson, along with Young and Old Tom Morris and the birth of the Open Championship. About the American Thomas Hamilton, who (inadvertently) raised the profile of the game. Learn about the landmarks forming an integral part of this unique course, including the stages of organic development the Old Course went through that would see 18 holes as a global standard. Then across Granny Clarks Wynd - the widest fairway in the game learning about tee-off chaos, and a little about Tiger, Rory and Sean Connery. Once by the Rusacks Hotel, find out why a lady called Doreen Stubbs was so sought after in St Andrews by golfing greats and Hollywood stars right up to her recent passing. You will also find out about such things as bulletproof windows, rubber roofs, the Himalayas, reversed bunkers, red and white flags, rabbit wars, railway legacies and much much more! Plus: Have a photo shoot on the Swilkan Bridge, followed by memories of Road Hole blunders and mishaps. Then finish your tour by the famed Old Course Jigger Inn, where you can enjoy refreshments overlooking the 17th fairway (not included). And all this in a jam-packed one-hour walking tour filled with golfing heritage! There are also plenty of daily tour options for you to choose from: April to September: 10 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, 4 pm, 5:30 pm* October to March: 12 noon, 2 pm, 4 pm* (Sundays through the year - Walk the Old Course fairway - excludes championship/tournament days) *Check the booking calendar for availability Richards Tours are endorsed by famed St Andrews Golf Historian David Joy.

St. Andrews: Golf History Tour - Town and Old Course

2. St. Andrews: Golf History Tour - Town and Old Course

After meeting your guide outside Hotel du Vin, you will see the former birthplace of Old Tom Morris before heading into the quadrangle of St. Salvator’s College to learn about Scotland's oldest university. Along with a few other points of interest along the way, the cathedral grounds are the next landmark on the tour. Resting there are some 124 golfing greats, including some of the Tom Morris family and Allan Robertson. Walking then along the beautiful coastline, you'll overlook St. Andrews Bay as you travel to the former Archbishops Palace where the darker history of the town continues. It is there that Richard will succinctly put golf and the history of St. Andrews into perspective. From there you'll travel further along university buildings, the Principals House, and the residence where Prince William and Kate spent their first year as students. Head to the Old Course and hear about the early development of the game of golf and how it developed in St Andrews and became the Home of Golf. Walk by the first fairway hearing about some of the quarks of the game which have shaped its remarkable history, and iconic buildings overlooking the course. The tour then finishes at the Swilkan Bridge where you will be able to have your photo taken on the bridge. You can then head to the Jigger Inn to relax and ponder the many heady days of St. Andrews.

St Andrews: Must-Sees Daily Walking Tour (11am)

3. St Andrews: Must-Sees Daily Walking Tour (11am)

A quaint town beaming with locals, students from all over the world and even royalty, our St Andrews is charming and captivating, whichever way you look! From the international home of golf, to the world’s third oldest university, with one of the most beautiful shorelines on the east coast, there’s something for everyone to discover in this idyllic town. Join your local guide on a 1.5 hour stroll around the main sights of St Andrews and discover things you wouldn't see visiting yourself. Explore St Andrews as you walk in the footsteps of golfing legends, royals, heretics who were burned at the stake, famous cats and those who live in St Andrews today! Your local guide will bring St Andrews to life. Key sights: St Andrews Cathedral St Andrews Castle The Old Course The University of Saint Andrews St. Salvator's Chapel …and many more hidden gems!

From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

4. From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

Enjoy a full-day van excursion into the Kingdom of Fife from Edinburgh. Discover the home of golf in St. Andrews, walk thorugh the cobbled streets of Anstruther, and learn about Scottish royal history in the charming village of Falkland. Depart in the morning from Edinburgh, heading north via the Forth Road Bridge. Enjoy sweeping view across the Forth Rail Bridge, one of Scotland's greatest man-made landmarks, at 1.5 miles in length. Cross the bridge into the Kingdom of Fife. Its easternmost stretch of coastline is home to a string of picturesque villages, each having a distinctive character and charm. Stop in the traditional fishing village of Anstruther Stroll down old cobbled streets and the network of alleyways and wynds. Enjoy a walk along the seafront to the harbor. From Anstruther travel north to the medieval town of St. Andrews, where you’ll see its huge Norman cathedral, known to be the largest in Scotland. View the oldest University in Scotland which dates back 6 centuries. Have plenty of time to explore this ancient and interesting town. Drive through the rolling countryside of central Fife which is dotted with small villages and farms until you reach Falkland. Admire views of Falkland Palace which dominates this old village, and was one of the main residences of the Stewarts, an important royal family in Scottish history. See an array of old cottages as you make your way through narrow winding streets. Take some time to wander around the village or stop at one of its traditional pubs or tearooms before hopping back on the bus for the drive back to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour

5. From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour

Travel through the historic country of Fife on this day trip from Edinburgh aboard an airconditioned bus. Dive into sights that you see along the way with live commentary. Stop in the charming towns of Anstruther, St. Andrews, and South Queensferry. Leave Edinburgh and admire views of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge as you cross the Firth of Forth, and enter into the ancient “Kingdom of Fife.” Pass through Aberdour before continuing into the East Neuk of Fife.  Take in the views as you pass thorugh the picturesque villages of St. Monans and Pittenween, which were once thriving fishing. Reach the town of Anstruther, the home of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, where the bus will make a stop.  Leaving Anstruther, journey through Crail and then arrive in the beautiful medieval town of St. Andrews in time for lunch. Have free time to walk around the town which is famous as the home of golf and has the best-known golf course in the world. Spend your three-hours of free time purchasing lunch, walking down cobbled streets, seeing the ruins of the cathedral and castle, or visiting Scotland’s oldest university, where Prince William met Kate Middleton. Heading homewards, travel across the Lomond hills, descending to Loch Leven (where Mary Queen of Scot was imprisoned). Make a brief stop to admire magnificent views of the Forth Bridges in South Queensferry before returning to Edinburgh.

St Andrews: Ghost Walking Tour

6. St Andrews: Ghost Walking Tour

Get a unique insight into the landmarks of St Andrews on this eye-opening nonfiction ghost tour. Your guide is Richard Falconer, a local historian, authority on the paranormal and an acclaimed author with six nonfiction books on the subject spanning six decades of research. On this tour, you will learn about the reality of the paranormal through a wealth of corroborated testimony in St Andrews as examples of global phenomena. Laced with localised history as the backdrop, Richard will explain why, for its size, he believes St Andrews to be the most haunted location in the world. Learn about the eerie ruins of the cathedral and Bishop's Palace. The haunted dwellings of Mary Queen of Scots - one being the most haunted building in Fife, the other, the former seat of the Knights Templar in Scotland. See Scotland's first university where Prince William met Kate. Visit a former university college in the old City precincts, and discover the most haunted road in Scotland. Described as a must-do experience in St Andrews, these educational tours are available 7 days a week at multiple times, throughout most of the year.

St. Andrews: Guided Walking Tour. 12pm, 2pm, 4pm all year

7. St. Andrews: Guided Walking Tour. 12pm, 2pm, 4pm all year

Following author and historical expert Richard Falconer, learn the history of St Andrews while exploring the major historic quarters of the city. Visit St Andrews town, St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews Castle, Scotland's oldest university, and the Old Course. Set with the backdrop of Fife’s rolling hills, dramatic cliffs, thundering seas, long golden sands, and medieval buildings, discover an incredible wealth of treasures in St Andrews with your expert guide. As you explore, discover the history and stories of the city. Visit St Andrews Links, known as The Home of Golf, and learn about Old Course, the most prestigious golf course in the world. Hear about royalty through the ages from Pictish kings to Mary Queen of Scots, to Prince William and Kate. Then, learn about the Scottish inventor of the kaleidoscope that lost out on millions here. Whatever your interests, this is a great way for anyone looking to explore and find out more about this unique part of the world.

St. Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

8. St. Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

Take a full-day trip from Edinburgh and discover the natural beauty of the Fife coast, taking in quaint fishing villages, abbey’s, and the famous university town of St. Andrews, led by an expert guide. From Edinburgh head to South Queensferry and take a look at 2 of the most remarkable bridges in the world–the Forth Rail Bridge built in 1890, and it’s much younger neighbor, the Forth Road bridge. Cross the River Forth and stop-off at the magnificent Dunfermline Abbey, the burial place of King Robert the Bruce. See the gold ornate tomb, and learn about the effect of the reformation on the Abbey, when under Henry VIII’s rule churches were destroyed, supposedly in the name of God. Travel along the Fife coast passing Carnegie Hall, the birthplace of world-famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Stop-off at charming little fishing villages, including Anstruther, an old Herring stronghold. Try the best fish and chips in Scotland, or have a snack at the Fisheries Museum. Continue on to St. Andrews, home of golf, religion, and the famous university. Here you will spend 2.5 hours. Explore the beautiful settings, in good weather the beach featuring in the movie Chariots of Fire is particularly popular, as are the 16th Century tunnels under the castle. Golf lovers may want to pay respects at the grave of Tom Morris, visit the Golf Museum, try out the Links Course Putting Green, or simply walk along Granny Clark’s Wynd–a public right-of-way running over the old course.

St Andrews: City Highlights Walking Tour with Cocktail

9. St Andrews: City Highlights Walking Tour with Cocktail

Enjoy a wee walk followed by a premium cocktail in the luxurious setting of 18 rooftop bar and restaurant at Rusacks St Andrews overlooking the Old Course. The perfect 2 hours spent; discovering St Andrews on foot and then a drink with your local guide. You'll spend the first part of the tour on a walking tour with your small group and guide, discovering the history and culture of St Andrews. Throughout the tour, discover St Andrews as you walk in the footsteps of golfing legends, royals, heretics who were burned at the stake, famous cats and those who live in St Andrews today! Your local guide will bring St Andrews to life. After the walking tour, relax with the guide and enjoy a bespoke or classic cocktail from 18 bar's signature cocktail menu, overlooking the Old Course and West Sand's Beach learning about Scotland's drink culture. Everything is included in the price, just show up and enjoy!

Edinburgh: Stirling, Whisky and St Andrews Tour in Spanish

10. Edinburgh: Stirling, Whisky and St Andrews Tour in Spanish

Make your own way to the meeting point in Edinburgh Old Town, and hop onto a coach or minivan. Head to Stirling, a medieval city that played a vital role in Scottish history. Look out for the imposing Stirling Castle, which sits on mound of volcanic rock, overlooking the town and surrounding region. If you choose to, you can enter the royal fortress and walk through the royal chambers, once home to Scottish kings and queens. Explore for around an hour before you travel to a nearby whisky distillery. Walk through the brewery to discover the steps it takes to produce the spirit. Finish your visit with a sample of whisky. Continue on to the coastal town of St Andrews. Hear your guide recount the story of the city's past and explain its connection to Catholicism. On arrival, enjoy free time to wander around. View the remains of the ruined cathedral, once the biggest Catholic church in Scotland, or visit the renowned Old Course, the world's oldest golf course. Take the opportunity to eat lunch here and after around two hours in St Andrews, begin the journey back to Edinburgh. Make one last stop in the village of South Queensferry to admire views of the Forth Bridge, an iconic Victorian structure, before your drive back to Edinburgh Old Town.

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What people are saying about St Andrews

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 922 reviews

Wonderful! Beautiful drive and gorgeous views and lovely villages. A perfect afternoon at the sea thanks to our guide Iain! The detailed stories and history of the areas we visited, the wonderful jokes and great humour, and the perfect playlist! Thank you for making my day visit of such a beautiful area even more perfect and amazing!!! I could not I have asked or wished for more! Perfect! Recommend this tour 110%

A fabulous tour. our tour guide Gillian was the best. She knew so much about the area and was super sweet and funny. We saw the true beauty of Scotland! I would recommend this tour to anyone!

I loved the trip. Éric is an excellent guide, very versatile, very enthusiastic and talks about very interesting details of all the places we pass

HIGHLIGHT of our trip! Richard was so accommodating and gave a perfect tour of St. Andrews. Would recommend to anyone visiting!!

Such a wonderful town Would definitely visit it again for few days