The coastal town of St Andrews, lying just over 50 miles north-east of Edinburgh, is of course better known as the ‘home of golf’, with its many iconic venues for enjoying the sport. Perhaps the most famous is the Old Course, with the landmark Swilcan Bridge at its eighteenth hole.
Clearly, when you come to one of our summer junior golf camps, it’ll be all about the game. But it’s such a special part of the world that you’ll probably want to see something of the town while you’re here. And it’s always possible to extend the camp with a stay somewhere local before or after it, while families may want to look around if they’re dropping off or collecting their young golfers. Equally, if you don’t live in the UK, never mind Scotland, make the most of your time in St Andrews by exploring it at some point.
There’s a huge amount to see in the place, famously a university as well as a golfing town. There are also some great beaches here, including the two-mile West Sands Beach.
Here are our top tips for the most unmissable highlights of the area:
The R & A World Golf Museum
This is located opposite the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, steps away from the Old Course’s first tee. It both showcases and displays the game’s history, with thousands of fascinating pieces on display, some dating back four centuries, plus some fun interactive galleries.
St Andrews Castle ruins
On a rocky headland near the town lies this ruined castle, overlooking Castle Sands beach. During a history stretching back more than four and a half centuries, this site has been a fortress, state prison and bishop’s palace. Peer into the bottle dungeon, take in the Hamilton Façade and do a tour with an audio guide to learn more about this jaw-dropping place.
St Andrews Cathedral
At one time Scotland’s biggest church, visiting the cathedral’s remains is an unmissable part of any visit to this town. The museum has an incredible collection of medieval sculptures and relics, all of which were discovered locally. Don’t forget to climb St Rule’s Tower, dating back to the 1300s, and from where you can take in stunning views across St Andrews and Fife.
Take a guided walk of the Old Course
It’s impossible to escape golf completely in St Andrews, and this might be a great excursion even for those who don’t play. Be guided around one of the world’s most celebrated courses by an expert. Follow in the footsteps of golfing greats as you take in the first, seventeenth and eighteenth holes
St Andrews Museum
Located in a gorgeous Victorian mansion at Kinburn Park, the museum houses temporary exhibitions about the area. It also hosts a regular programme of concerts, lectures and workshops, so it’s always worth checking what’s on here.
St Andrews Aquarium
This family-owned attraction offers a fantastic day out, complete with scores of fish species, penguins and seals plus a black-tip reef shark. Learn about them, and aspects of conservation including the impact of climate change, in a magical underwater world.
St Andrews University
Scotland’s smallest and oldest university was founded in 1411. Stroll around the colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard (combined in 1747) and St Mary’s, opened in 1538. The college chapels of both St Salvator and St Leonard are definitely worth visiting. The university also has some outstanding museums, including Bell Pettigrew for natural history, the Gateway Galleries and the Wardlaw.
With so much to enjoy locally, you’ll never run out of things to do as you explore St Andrews. Talk to us if you want more advice – we know the area well (and love it), so we’ll always be delighted to help.