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Edinburgh to St. Andrews and St. Andrews to Kincraig

We will be in Edinburgh and my husband wants to visit the old course at St. Andrews. We had originally planned to pick up our rental car in the morning and detour west to see the castle in Doune and then up to Kincraig to be there on time for the 4:00 pm sheep dog demonstration at Leault Farms, leaving St. Andrews for another time. However, my husband is feeling really bad about missing St. Andrews. If possible, we would like to head the other way to St. Andrews and do the 11:00am guided walking tour of the links, which is supposed to be over by @12:15-12:30. My question/concern is: Is there sufficient time to leave St. Andrews (say by 1:00 at the latest) and still make it to Kincraig for the demonstration? Website says to be at the farm by 3:45, if possible. I feel like we can make it from Edinburgh to St. Andrews in time for the 11:00am tour, but will need to pick the car up early.

Is this doable? I have looked at the driving times and added time to them, and it looks a little tight to me. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Posted by
2566 posts

I think you'd be cutting it very close. Leaving St Andrews, your fastest route is probably through Dundee to pick up the A90 to Perth and then north on the A9, though others might prefer a different route that heads west from St Andrews before turning north toward Perth. Either way, you could encounter traffic delays and the unimpeded road speed is still going to be slower than what you'd expect on a highway in the USA.

We took the Old Course walking tour and it was well worth it. It mainly consists of standing around on the 1st/18th hole -- you don't actually tour the course or do very much walking -- and hearing anecdotes (in a thick Scottish accent) of various famous golfers and what they did on a certain shot in a certain famous tournament. For avid golfers and fans of pro golf, this is like the holy grail. We were lucky enough to get a photo op on the iconic Swilcan Bridge. The tour ends up in the official gift shop and if I remember correctly you get an imprinted golf ball and a discount on merchandise. You are right by the British Golf Museum, which has great exhibits as well as a cafeteria on the 2nd floor with a huge glass wall overlooking the course. For us, St Andrews was worth a full day in itself, but we stuck around and played the Himalayas (which, BTW, has no lockers or other facility to leave your belongings -- I ended up playing wearing a backpack).

There isn't a 10 AM walking tour, is there? I realize that would require you to get an even earlier start from Edinburgh, but it would improve your chances of getting to Kincraig on time (including finding your way to the farm). If you do take the 11 AM tour, you may want to be prepared to hurry off to your car immediately when it's over.

Posted by
17 posts

Epltd: Thanks so much for your reply. You've confirmed my concerns. I'll discuss with my husband and try to decide. The reason I'd like to figure this out now, is that I'm thinking I should pre-book the walking tour? Otherwise, I would decide the day before. This would be on May 21st, so it may be a little more crowded then? Also, it appears there are only two times for the tours: 11:00am and 2:00pm.

Posted by
2566 posts

I would definitely book the walking tour ahead of time if the two of you decide you want to do it. Late May is getting on toward peak tourist season. Of course you never know, it might be a very rainy day, which would discourage some tour-goers, but it would be awfully frustrating to try to book at the last minute and find out it's full.

OTOH, if you just want to visit St Andrews without being locked into an hour and a half for the tour, you could spend a little time in the British Golf Museum, have a cup of tea in their cafeteria, and take a walk around the perimeter of the 1st/18th hole. The museum's hours of opening and other info are available here https://www.britishgolfmuseum.co.uk/

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you, we are thinking along the same lines. It is difficult to decide on this. We may just have to go for it, and pray it works out.