“Surfs Up” in St Andrews

When you think of St Andrews, the image of ancient golf courses and historic cobblestone streets might come to mind. However, this charming East Coast town has a secret, a surf scene that beckons adventure seekers. Let’s dive into the waves, explore sandy beaches and consider surf lessons. Then we’ll cap off the day with a mouthwatering dinner at Cromars Fish and Chip Shop. Read on to find out the lowdown on surfing in St Andrews.

Two Children Wearing Wetsuits Playing In Sea With Bodyboards On Summer Beach.
Children bodyboarding on the shore.

The best time to ride the waves

St Andrews offers quite exposed beaches. When winter rolls around, it transforms into a surfing haven. The best wind direction is from the southwest. The ideal swell direction comes from the northeast, creating both lefts and rights for surf enthusiasts. Despite its hidden gem status, when the waves are just right, St Andrews can get a bit crowded. As you paddle out, be mindful of potentially dangerous rips. Make sure to check the surf forecast before heading out.

Surfing instructor carrying his shoes and surfing board on the beach.

Navigating the East Coast swell

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a complete novice, St Andrews provides an excellent opportunity to brush up on your surfing skills. Local surf schools offer lessons for all levels. Providing expert guidance to ensure everyone can partake in the excitement of surfing in St Andrews. Whether you’re looking to perfect your technique, learn the fundamentals or simply ride the waves for the sheer joy of it, the surf schools in St Andrews are there to turn your surfing dreams into reality.

Group of surfing students are going to ride waves.
Ride the waves with the surf school.

St Andrews surfing hot spots

Many people don’t realise that there are three beaches in St. Andrews – East Sands, West Sands and Castle Sands. Only two are suitable for surfing and watersports.

East Sands is conveniently our nearest beach, offering our customers a wonderful spot to relish their fish and chips with a seaside view. The beach is abuzz with various watersports activities making it perfect for surfing in St Andrews. In 2022 East Sands was a Keep Scotland Beautiful award winner, for excellence in for excellence in access, facilities and safety, local environmental quality, and community and heritage. 

West Sands Beach is an absolute treasure, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country. It’s a large, stunning beach that goes on for over two miles. You might recognise it from the start of the famous movie ‘Chariots of Fire’. Where the runners are seen sprinting along the beach. For water sports enthusiasts, West Sands Beach is a dream destination. There are also places nearby where you can rent equipment for activities like surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding.

Visitors enjoy a stroll along West Sands Beach at low tide on the North Sea in the seaside town of St Andrews.
Enjoy a stroll along West Sands Beach at low tide.

Fish and chip supper by the sea

After an adrenaline-filled day on the waves, satisfy your appetite with a feast at Cromars Fish and Chip Shop. Nestled in the heart of St Andrews, Cromars is renowned for its delicious fish suppers crafted from fresh, Scottish ingredients. Take a look at our menu and get your mouth watering for some of the best beachside food you can get!