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St Andrews golf course tour

We are flying into Edinburgh for a couple of days before heading to Ireland, specifically so my husband can take the tour of the St Andrews golf course. I also have Kinnaird ancestors, and would like to see Dundee and Kinnaird Castle. It looks like we should fly out of Edinburgh to Dublin, so it probably makes sense to do a day trip to St Andrews and Dundee and stay in Edinburgh for two nights.

Are we best to rent a car? I have followed some of the links to day tours and am not finding any to Dundee nor ones that include the St Andrews golf course tour. Any suggestions for where to stay in Edinburgh? We are NOT seasoned tourists, and have never driven on the "wrong" side of the road, but plan to do a lot of it in Ireland. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Posted by
2928 posts

I understand it's possible to do a day trip to St. Andrews from Edinburgh, but you'll need an early start and it will be a long day, whether by train or rental car. Since you also want to visit Dundee, yes I would say rent a car and plan 2 full days/2 nights.

If you rent from the airport you'll be driving on mostly highways, well marked for the Forth Road Bridge and onward up the M90. If you rent from Waverley Station you'll have (I think) a lot of stress navigating city streets.

St. Andrews walking tour of the Old Course was a true delight for my husband, a lifelong golfer. Our guide was wonderfully friendly. Book ahead for sure

Note that "walking tour" basically means standing around at various points near/on the 1st/18th holes. You do not walk the whole course, not by any means. What you do get is plenty of stories about famous golfers and what they did on various occasions in famous tournaments. It's heavy on golf jargon and delivered in a good Scottish accent, so for those who don't follow golf (or speak American) it can be pretty incomprehensible.

While you're there, you can have a nice lunch overlooking the Old Course in the British Golf Museum, and play mini golf on the "Himalayas" (ladies' putting green). It was a bit difficult to find the window where you pay and get your mini golf clubs & scorecard since the clubhouse has a big "Members Only" sign and of course we aren't members! There is no bag check or other place to leave your belongings -- I ended up playing while wearing a backpack.

I'd suggest staying 2 nights in St. Andrews and making a foray up to Dundee for a day; it's only about 1/2 hr to 1 hr drive, depending on traffic and where in Dundee you want to end up. The Old Course Hotel is the iconic place to stay, a little more expensive than some others but not terribly -- and it has an indoor swimming pool. If you'd rather stay someplace in between, Leuchars might work for you. Finally, if you're determined to stay in Edinburgh instead, you'd probably need to choose a hotel as near as possible to the airport for convenience in getting your rental car & returning it.

Posted by
30 posts

My husband and I stayed at the Nira Caledonia in Edinburgh 2 years ago and it was absolutely lovely--quiet, comfortable, and a very nice restaurant. We had a breakfast package and were very pleased. It's in New Town, in a beautiful early 19th century town house. We took a day trip by train to St. Andrews and it was just right. Saw the golf course, walked by the university, saw the ruined cathedral. The train from Edinburgh goes to Leuchars where you get off the train and onto a bus that takes you the remaining way (around 10 minutes) to St. Andrews: The trains and buses run frequently and it's very easy--no need to purchase in advance.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, we are only free for the one day. I think I will give up on the idea of Dundee and stay near the airport.

Posted by
1844 posts

I'm starting to look at day tours from Edinburgh for this May, and it seems that both Heart of Scotland and Rabbies Tours have itineraries that include St Andrews and Fife. There could be others, too, as it seems several companies offer nearly identical tours at roughly the same cost. No idea about Dundee. Good luck.