Last month my flatmate and I decided to go on a small trip to St Andrews. We wanted to see one of Scotland’s most famous town and one of our friends happens to live there so it was about time we went to visit him (he always comes to Glasgow).
We arrived at around 11 am. We were very lucky because it was a beautiful and sunny day (which is not all that common in Scotland, let’s face it).
The first place we went to was the student union, to have a quick lunch and a cup of coffee. It was strange seeing someone else’s union, especially because it was so small compared to the two large unions at our uni. It was lovely, though, and they had lots of vegan options available, which made me very happy.
Our friend Daniel prepared a whole tour of St Andrews for us. He knew so many facts about the town’s history and it was great listening to him talking so passionately about the place.
My favourite stories were the ones about William and Kate (they met when they were studying at St Andrews). Apparently all the shops and cafés have their own stories about how the pair used to meet up there every week to eat pancakes etc.
St Andrews combines quirkiness and history, beauty and tragedy. Studying at St Andrews uni comes with all these traditions and rules, such as “do not stand in this spot or you will fail your exams” (the spot is where a certain professor was burned alive for his progressive beliefs). We found this very interesing – sure, Glasgow uni has its traditions, but nothing of this level.
What I loved most about the town was its tranquility. It was so calm and beautiful, so relaxing. I come from and industrial city myself and Glasgow isn’t exactly a step up in terms of that, so St Andrews to me felt like a place you go to for a weekend getaway.
Daniel also took us to see some parts of their campus. St Andrews uni is different to Glasgow uni in that the buildings are more spread out throughout the town (in Glasgow, we have one “main campus” which is not the case for St Andrews students).
Another thing we really enjoyed about our trip was that we got to see the sea. Living near a beach is a dream of mine and spending some quality time near the fresh salty air was wonderful.
St Andrews has great Botanic Gardens. We saw parts of it on our walk and convinced Daniel to go inside and see it for ourselves. It was really worth it, getting to see all those beautiful plants and flowers and trees, and we even stopped for a refreshing bottle of lemonade.
As much as I love the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow, it’s not even close to what St Andrews has to offer. It was simply exquisite.
It wouldn’t have been a proper trip to St Andrews if we didn’t finish off by going to see the famous golfing course. Did you know golf was invented in Scotland? I’m not the biggest golf fan but even I think it’s cool that famous people from all over the world come to St Andrews to play (Hugh Grant, anyone?).
If you’re ever in Scotland, I recommend visiting this small town. It’s got a lot to offer and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Scotland I’ve visited. Get a pair of good walking shoes, though – it might be small, but there’s still a lot to see and you will be walking all day long!
Have you ever been to St Andrews? Where in Scotland should I go next? Let me know in the comments!