St Andrews is a great place to visit for a day trip. Whether it’s your first time in Scotland or you’re so Scottish you know what your family’s tartan looks like. And it’s a wonderful place to visit all year round. There are so many things to do. It’s quaint, steeped in history, and even home to the best fish and chips in the country! If you’re looking for your next day out, take a day trip to St Andrews. There’s so much to do regardless of what time of year you are visiting.
There’s something for everyone here, whether you’re into browsing museums, playing some golf or absorbing some culture – there are things to do in St Andrews that you’ll love.
A haven for history lovers
Scotland as a whole is a very historical place, but St Andrews has so much to offer for history lovers that it’s almost a crime not to visit. For those who love nothing more than a good museum or some beautiful architecture, take a look at these things to do in St Andrews.
St Andrews Cathedral
The ruins of St Andrews Cathedral are open to the public, allowing you to really take in the 33m tall tower and the rest of the remains of what was at one point the largest church in Scotland. The building was begun in 1160 by Bishop Arnold and was then worked on for 150 years. The building was unfortunately delayed, and it was not dedicated until 1318.
To really understand the beauty of the Cathedral before it met its ruin, you have to see it in person. Take a trip to St Andrews today and witness the east gable of the presbytery, the glorious west front and the chapter house that is home to the cathedral museum.
St Andrews Castle
Who doesn’t love a castle? This one in particular is a great place to visit on your day trip to St Andrews. You can explore the official residence of Scotland’s leading bishop throughout the Middle Ages and learn about the Protestant Reformation and the horrible events that took place within the castle because of it. The castle has been without a resident since 1592, and it fell into ruin after that, but there is certainly enough left to intrigue eager minds (and make a great backdrop to photographs!)
St Andrews Heritage Museum
One of the most unique museums you will ever visit, the heritage museum is definitely worth a visit. It is set in a beautiful 17th century house just a small walk from the cathedral and the castle, and is thought to be one of the earliest domestic dwellings in the town. The exhibits focus entirely on the history and heritage of the town, displaying social, working, and domestic life in St Andrews – something you won’t find anywhere else.
Want to see one of the top university’s groundbreaking research? Then you have to visit Wardlaw. It’s a museum that allows the public an insight into the University of St Andrews and showcases the history, science, art and natural history selections. There are additional temporary exhibitions and interactive experiences that make it a great place for younger visitors, too!
A bit of fun
Of course, museums aren’t all that St Andrews has to offer. Before you venture over to the must-visit award-winning Cromars chip shop to end your day, there’s plenty of other fun stuff to do.
St Andrews Aquarium
The St Andrews Aquarium is a great place to spend some time on your day trip to St Andrews. It has been open since 1999 and is dedicated to the welfare of the 120 species that it is home to. It’s set in the cliffs overlooking the St Andrews bay and is home to spiders, seals, poison dart frog, crocodiles, penguins and even meerkats! It’s a great place for a family day out in Scotland, and is open from 10 to 5 seven days a week.
St Andrews Ghost Tours
After you’ve had a chippy dinner, you can take an award-winning guided tour of St Andrews, learning all about the paranormal history of the town with Richard Falconer. Falconer is a famous author, historian, and paranormal specialist and has taken over 60,000 people on these incredible tours. The tours go from Doll’s House Restaurant and take you around 10 different sites.
St Andrews West Sands
Did you know that the opening scenes of Chariots of Fire was filmed in St Andrews? Well, this is where! The West Sands beach is two miles long and is backed with beautiful dunes and a golf course. It’s only a 15 minute walk from the town center and, with help from the Hamish Foundation, is accessible by wheelchair!
One of the distilleries by St Andrews, Kingsbarns, is open for the public in the form of tours. You can be guided around the whisky distillery, learning all about the product and how it’s made. The distillery is based in an absolutely beautiful 18th century farm and visitors are able to enjoy whisky tastings, a cafe, and a shop in addition to the tours.
And the rest…
St Andrews is also home to Fraser Gallery, the Byre Theatre, a pagan site called Dunino Den. And the secret bunkerat RAF Troywood. There are also countless shops, bars, and an incredible view out across the sea. Whatever you’re into, a day trip to St Andrews will keep you happy. And you can always end the day with us at Cromars.