Hotels in St Andrews, Scotland
Where to Stay in St Andrews, Scotland’s university town
St. Andrews is the Scottish counterpart of Oxford and Cambridge. Overlooking the North Sea on the east coast, St. Andrews, without its population of 7,000 students, is a small town of less than 20,000 inhabitants, but a towering figure in golf. To serve habitués of the fairways, plenty of hotels in St Andrews, Scotland are top-shelf.
Along with the ivy-covered buildings of the University of St. Andrews where Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, finished art history, the Old Course and the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse dominate the cityscape. The prestigious Dunhill Cup is held here every October, as is expected of a town home to one of golf’s ruling bodies and where the modern version of the sport originated.
Historic St Andrews
St. Andrews permeates a deeply Catholic air, as the historic ecclesiastical capital of Scotland should; the university was simply an offshoot of the 12th century cathedral where the bishops served. The pre-Reformation bishops lived in the nearby castle, set atop a cliff overlooking some of its ruins and the sea.
Complete your journey back in Middle Ages by staying in a stone-built bed and breakfast in St Andrews, Scotland, and stroll the town’s cobbled medieval center that surprisingly beats with a youthful vibe. If you are more partial to silence and scenery, the 108-feet tower of 11th century St. Regulus Church provides a slice of quiet and unimpeded views of the townscape. There are also the Botanic Gardens and St. Andrews Aquarium for pleasant diversions involving flora and fauna, and the inviting West Sands for recreations involving sun and sea.
Fife’s Beaches, Castles and Wildlife
As part of the kingdom of Fife, accommodation in St Andrews, Scotland makes an excellent base for exploring the region’s castle trail which starts from the Firth of Forth and winds inland. From St. Andrews’ own castle, which at various points in its history served as residence for bishops, prison and fortress, drive southwest to see the 12th century Kellie Castle; ‘Bloody Mary’s’ favorite retreat, the Falkland Palace; the castle ruins of Aberdeen; and the last on the trail, the still extant Culross Palace.
On the coasts, you will be well-rewarded with sightings of seabirds in the Isle of May located at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, wildfowl and wading birds at the Bankhead Moss Reserve, and birds of prey that scout the lowland wetlands. The coastal path is also perfect for hiking and cycling as well as for staking claim to Fife’s Blue Flag beaches of Silver Sands in Aberdour, the golden sands of Elie, and the cottage house-lined beaches of Kinghorn Harbour and Earlsferry. If you come in summer, dolphins and seals make regular appearances.