St. Andrews was definitely one of our more anticipated days we had planned for our trip.
While I planned (pretty much) all 12 days of our trip, my husband had only one request – golfing in Scotland.
We were able to connect with the friend of a friend, and he was able to get Moose on the Old Course (!!).
We needed to take a 5:30am train out of Edinburgh to Leuchars station. And, as my friends know, I am really, really not a morning person. Consider it a great testament to my love. Some tasty croissants and jam definitely improved the early AM grump bug though! The train to Leuchars took about an hour, followed by a 10 minute taxi ride into town.
The view from hole 1 at the Old Course.
I, being a disgrace to the sport of golf, did NOT play. But I did walk the first two and last two holes.
The Old Course is beautiful and rugged! It’s very different from the manicured, pruned US courses we are used to. We learned that it’s called the Links because it’s the land that links the beach and the farmland, and was basically useless. Therefore they started the game of golf.
St. Andrews is the oldest golf course in the world and where the game of golf was pioneered by Tom Morris (we even got to see his house).
After I left my happy golfer at hole three, I walked over to West Sands – a long beautiful beach directly next to the Old Course.
These were not wild horses, but I am not sure why they were on the beach!
With the exception of a few runners, I had the beach mostly to myself. It was barely 7AM at this point in the morning!
I had fun picking up unusual looking seashells (different from the ones I’m used to on our beaches here) and walking along in the cold morning air. I ended up leaving everything I picked up behind except for one piece of seaglass to add to my collection.
You may recognize West Beach from the famous beach scene in the movie Chariots of Fire.
Then I took a bit of a solo-tour around St. Andrews and happily occupied myself for the next few hours meandering around town and parts of the University of St. Andrews campus. (I needed to see where Kate Middleton met Prince William, obviously.)
At the recommendation of the friend of the friend of my husband, we ate lunch at the Jigger Inn, which is an adorable white house directly on the 17th hole of the Old Course. The Inn dates back to 1850 and provides cozy nooks and open fireplaces to enjoy.
If you walk along the street that hugs the coast, you’ll see all the historic sites in St. Andrews – the ruins of the castle, the cathedral and the tower.
At the end of this road, you will end up at East Sands, where there is a pier from which you can see really lovely views (this was a recommended must-stop by my friend Carrie).
St. Andrews was definitely our cup of tea – small, quiet and coastal. It reminded us of one of our favorite places back home, Rockport, MA.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking around town (do you sense a theme here?).
We popped in to B. Janetta’s, an ice cream shop that has been in St. Andrews since 1908! We tried Sticky Toffee ice cream and Brown Bread ice cream (brown bread fried in butter and sugar and put into vanilla ice cream!).
We also stopped in a local free museum, appropriately named the St. Andrews Museum, with the history of St. Andrews.
While we had intended staying later into the evening, we were so worn out from our early wake-up call and headed back to Edinburgh for a highly anticipated night of sleep!
St. Andrews was absolutely one of our favorite places we stopped on our trip. I think the words “we could live here” were uttered more than once.
Next Stop? The Lakes District!