StAnza: St Andrews
Tucked away on the East Neuk of Fife, between the Firths of Forth & Tay, you’ll find breathtaking beaches, ancient ruins, and an atmosphere enviable for its enticing mix of cosmopolitanism and village charm. There’s nowhere quite like St Andrews.
It’s not only the home of golf; it’s also, we like to proclaim, Scotland’s Poetry Capital. Home to a population of 15,000, of which number approximately a quarter are students, the internationalism and academia of Scotland’s oldest university blends harmoniously with a rich patchwork of culture and history; St Andrews really does have something for everyone.
Musically, theatrically and artistically in the swim with bigger neighbours, St Andrews offers 5 stars worth of artistic entertainment in the form of the Byre Theatre. With a varied programme of events, music and exhibitions the year round, a café bar which is great for a meal, perfect for a pint, and charming for a chatty latte, the Byre is a jewel in the town’s crown.
Foodies will revel in the diversity of the food and café culture in St Andrews, from Indian delights to Thai and Japanese, via Italian, good old fashioned pub grub and the local baker’s unbeatable fudge donuts. A fish supper from the town’s fry bars is cheap as chips while the many distinguished restaurants tickle taste buds for miles around. And if wetting whistles is on the agenda, you needn’t wander far – St Andrews has more pubs per square mile than any other Scottish town… Slainte!
There’s plenty to feed the eyes and nourish the soul in St Andrews too: take a bracing cliff walk along the coast, an amble through the Cathedral grounds or a dander through the cobbled nooks and crannies, where history’s fingerprint remains oh so apparent. You’ll be spoilt for choice, accosted by the energy and frequency of student activity on offer – drama, art, music – while the Picture House cinema will satisfy those yearning for the old school experience of once upon a cinematic yesteryear. And if golf’s your pleasure, we needn’t tell you you’ll be in Heaven!
With a wide range of accommodation, from lovingly renovated small hotels to many cosy B&Bs, there’s no excuse not to make a week of it, especially with St Andrews’ tempting proximity to so many other treasure troves. It’s only a few tunes worth of radio by road to Dundee’s bustle or to the coastal beauties of the East Neuk fishing villages: Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans & Elie.
What are you waiting for? Grab your woollies and join us in the wee city with big ideas, where inspiration seeps from the grey stone, where we’ll be happy to welcome you.
Photo: University of St Andrews