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St Andrews - Scotland

We're going to travel from Inverness to Edinburgh & stop over for an afternoon in St Andrews to see the famous golf course. Anyone done this? Any advice or favorites?

Posted by
203 posts

We were planning on being there in late June. Is that a mistake? Will we still be able to see some of the Old Course?

Thanks for all the great info!

Posted by
2782 posts

We've been to St. Andrews several times. Are you planning on playing or just seeing the course? You should plan to see the cathedral also.

Posted by
175 posts

Hi April, I have been to St. Andrews several times. It is a wonderful small town to visit. If you are arriving by car I would park in the city center on Market street (TI located there). By train you exit at "Leuchers" located 5 miles from St. Andrews and take a bus or taxi into town. There are really only four streets (The scores, North, Market and South street). Things to do on a short stay: Play miniture golf located on the Old Course. Visit the ruins of the Cathedral, Sea Life center, Golf museum, visit the University. Have lunch at a pub. Everything I mentioned is walkable from the city center. If you decide to stay overnight I highly recommend "Brownlees Guest House" located right in town. Enjoy

Posted by
1318 posts

There are actually several courses at St Andrews. The famous one is the Old Course. I've played the Old Course and the New Course. There's also the Jubilee and I believe one or two others. It's definitely worth a visit to wander around the grounds at the very least. It's right in the town so you can't miss it. Tee times for the Old Course have to be made far in advance, although there may be a few walk on tee times each day. Playing the other courses is easier and less expensive and you still get the flavor of Scottish golf. Definitely worth doing.

Posted by
203 posts

We don't plan on playing the Old Course only because the cost is so high, reservations are difficult & we'll be limited on time. But, we would like to see it. Maybe play the mini-golf & possibly the Golf Museum. So, this is worthwile I take it. My husband is obssessed with golf, so doing it for him. :-) Cheap/good eats for lunch?

Posted by
1265 posts

April - Like the others, I've been to St Andrews a few times. It is an interesting town to explore. Not sure when you are planning to visit. Preperation for the Open Championship will start about June 15. The Open Championship is July 15-18. I would avoid the town then. If you will be there before June 15 or after July 18, wondering along the Old Course is not a problem. You could even have your picture taken on the Swilken Burn Bridge to impress your friends back home. The R&A Golf Museum is an ok visit. I find the St Andrews cemetery an interesting walk.

***Update - The Firkin Pub has pretty decent pub grub. The bar in the Dunvegan Hotel is a nice visit, and the staff is very friendly. The putting green next to the Old Course was between £3-£4. I'm not sure if they rent putters. I remember whole families have a night out there.

Posted by
2782 posts

Actually, you don't need reservations to play. If your husband goes to the Starter (a small white building by the tee of the first hole) and puts his name in, the Starter will pair him up with another group of two or three. Your husband would haved to have an offical card from his home course stating his handicap, which has to be 24 or better in order to play on the Old Course. But there are other courses that aren't so expensive the New, Jubilee, Castle, Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove.

Posted by
95 posts

Assuming you have a car, once you get to Perth, take the road(and the miles!) to Dundee then follow the signs for St Andrews which will take you past the Tay Rail bridge then onto the Tay Road bridge. Park just behind the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse(if you can)and enjoy watching the tourists and the occasional local tee off. If its a Sunday, there is no golf allowed except when there is a major Golf Tournament - Open, Dunhill so you can walk all over the course. Avoid going during the Open unless you want to see the spectacle. For lunch, try the Jigger - now part of the Old Course Hotel but I believe still quite quaint (correct me if I am wrong those who have been there in the past 10 years!).

St Andrews has much to offer - very historic. Also boasts several excellent thrift shops. Enjoy.

Posted by
1318 posts

I think you'll be OK. You should still be able to see the course and wander around a couple of weeks before the tournament. And the town is worth seeing too.

Posted by
5678 posts

I enjoyed my visit to St. Andrews. I checked out the golf course and then checked out the castle, which was very cool. There is mine that you can go into. Evidently during the Cromwell period the castle held out. It's fun to explore it.

BTW it's at least 3 hours from Inverness to St. Andrews per Via Michelin and that sounds about right to me. If you run out of things to do in St. Andrews check out the fishing villages on the coast of Fife and the Firth of Forth. They are very picturesque.

Pam

Posted by
203 posts

Thanks everybody for your insight. We won't have a car. We'll be on the train from Inverness on the way to Edinburgh. Sounds like the decision to stopover is a good one!

Posted by
175 posts

April, don't panic when you get off the train in Leuchars. There is simply a covered platform there and not much more but timely buses and taxis meet all the trains. It seems that the RAF know that you have arrived as well. They fly their Tornado jets directly over the platform shortly after their takeoff. Be aware that you can contact the University of St Andrews and rent very nice dorm space for a reasonable price. Some rooms are very near the Old Course. There is a very nice pub (grub)across from the TI on Market street and a fantastic bakery just around the corner. Your husband would probably enjoy eating in the pro shop dining room on the Old Course as well. Have fun!

Posted by
95 posts

Train will take you 3hrs 10mins with two changes, Perth and Dundee then the bus for the last 5 miles.
Your onward journey to Edinburgh from Leuchars is direct.

Posted by
29 posts

You have to visit the Dunvegan pub about a block away from the Old Course!

Posted by
5678 posts

You could ask Visit Scotland via email. My experience with VisitScotland has generally been good. They want your trip to be happy so you'll come back. ; )

For information and recommendations to help you plan your trip to Scotland:
Email [email protected] or write to VisitScotland, Level 3, Ocean Point 1, 94 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6JH.

www.visitscotland.com

Posted by
837 posts

Just to clarify, can one just walk onto the Old Course and walk around it, on the fairways? Does one have to check in anywhere?

Posted by
203 posts

Another question:
I realized that we'll have our luggage with us. Will there be lockers big enough for suitcases at the train station in Leuchars to leave for a few hours while we go into St Andrews?

Posted by
175 posts

I have never seen anyone at the Leuchars station other than travelers getting off trains or waiting to get on one. It was just a shell of a station. No personnel, lockers - nothing. My last trip there was summer '08. Sorry. You might want to call the TI in St Andrews for more up to date info or advice on an alternate plan.

Posted by
203 posts

Ok, we'll have to figure that out. I do recall someone saying it wasn't a very big station. Thanks. :-)

Posted by
2782 posts

As Linda said there are no place to leave your luggage at Leuchars. Another idea since you have luggage why not take the train from Inverness straight to Edinburgh, you could have the rest of that day in Edinburgh then the next morning go to St. Andrews.