While on my recent trip to St Andrews I heard an interesting statistic - only one in ten people who visit St Andrews actually play golf there. This totally surprised me, as I had just assumed that golfers would be the main visitors in a city that is essentially the home of golf. With this statistic in mind, I set out to find out what St Andrews has that attracts the nine out of ten people who don’t come to play golf…
St Andrews has character
St Andrews is positively brimming with character. It has atmospheric Cathedral ruins, which I highly recommend taking a walk around. It’s free to enter and the ruins are remarkably well preserved given that it dates back as far as the 12th century.
As well as cathedral ruins, there are also the ruins of St Andrews Castle to explore. It also dates back to the 12th century and sits in a picturesque position overlooking the North Sea.
However, it isn’t just the historical ruins that are full of character – the houses, university buildings and even the random everyday buildings here are gorgeous. It made me want to pull out my camera at every turn while walking through the small streets of the city.
St Andrews has GREAT food
During our few days in St Andrews we enjoyed some seriously delicious meals. We sampled Nahm-Jim, a Thai and Japanese restaurant that is a favourite haunt of celebrities and locals alike. There weren’t any celebrities in that evening, but the food was brilliant and there were lots of clean plates at our table!
We also enjoyed a relaxing Sunday lunch at Mitchell’s Deli and Cafe who strive to use only local, fresh ingredients wherever possible in their cafe. I always love discovering places that use fresh, local ingredients as I believe it’s important to help independent businesses at home and when I’m travelling.
My hands down favourite meal during my time in St Andrews was at The Doll’s House, a cosy but elegant spot where William and Kate are said to have enjoyed regular date nights. Their sticky toffee pudding was the best I’ve ever tasted and, trust me, I know my sticky toffee pudding!
The people are friendly
I’ve written before about how Scottish people are friendly, it’s one of the things I love about Scotland, but the welcome we received in St Andrews was second to none. Everywhere we went people greeted us warmly, chatted to us and were happy to recommend places to go and things to do within the city. Their enthusiasm was infectious and it was definitely something which made me feel at home there. It was refreshing, charming and something which everyone in our group commented on.
It’s naturally beautiful
The one thing that really stuck out for me about St Andrews is how breathtakingly beautiful it really is. Despite visiting in January, we enjoyed blue skies, a touch of sunshine and remarkably warm temperatures. I was even walking along the beach without a jacket!
My one and only complaint about our time in St Andrews was having to leave! I really fell for this small city, and I’m kicking myself for never having visited before now. It’s peaceful, charming, welcoming and utterly gorgeous, and I’m already planning to return in summer.
A massive thank you to Visit St Andrews for hosting me during my visit. As always, all opinions and mutterings are entirely my own.