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Best things to do in St. Andrews

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Where in the world: Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Fife  /  St. Andrews

Top 15 things to do in St. Andrews

1. St Andrews Cathedral

Though now in ruins, the fragments of what was once Scotland’s largest and most magnificent church demonstrate how imposing St Andrews Cathedral must have been. It occupied a site used for worship since the 8th century, and the relics of St. Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint, are said to have been brought here. The Roman Catholic cathedral, constructed in the 12th century, was the seat of Scotland’s leading bishops until the Protestant Reformation. Wander through the grounds and imagine the mighty cathedral as it might have been. Explore the graveyard and check the dates on the ancient headstones dotted around it. Climb St. Rule’s 33 m (108 ft) tower, which would have served as a beacon for pilgrims, and enjoy spectacular views of the cathedral, the town, and the North Sea. Visit the museum to see a collection of medieval sculptures and other relics found on the site.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. St Andrews Links

Perfect your golf swing at St Andrews Links, one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Consisting of seven public golf courses, it holds the title for the largest public golfing complex in Europe. Play a game on the historical old course, or visit the golf museum to learn more about the history of the sport. Stop to have lunch or a warm drink at the Castle Course Clubhouse, which boasts views of the St. Andrews bay. Be sure to make reservations in advance online, as spots tend to fill up quickly.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. St Andrews Castle

St Andrews Castle is a ruin located in the coastal Royal Burgh of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The castle sits on a rocky promontory overlooking a small beach called Castle Sands and the adjoining North Sea. There has been a castle standing at the site since the times of Bishop Roger (1189–1202), son of the Earl of Leicester. It housed the burgh’s wealthy and powerful bishops while St Andrews served as the ecclesiastical centre of Scotland during the years before the Protestant Reformation. In their Latin charters, the Archbishops of St Andrews wrote of the castle as their palace, signing, "apud Palatium nostrum."
The castle's grounds are now maintained by Historic Environment Scotland as a scheduled monument. The site is entered through a visitor centre with displays on its history. Some of the best surviving carved fragments from the castle are displayed in the centre, which also has a shop.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Kingsbarns Golf Links

Ranked in the top 60 courses in the world and top 20 in Europe, Kingsbarns Golf Links sports 18 well-maintained holes, all with views of the North Sea. The course was built in the early 2000s and reflects a more American golf style rather than traditional Scottish links. Caddies offer information about each hole and advice about each shot. This site is a must for golf-enthusiasts--the price reflects the quality of the course and service. Stop and relax at the clubhouse, enjoy a drink, and watch other golfers complete the 18th hole.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Craigtoun Country Park

Craigtoun Country Park is a country park located approximately 4 miles to the south-west of St Andrews in the county of Fife, Scotland. The site is currently owned by Fife Council, with park amenities being operated as of 2012 by the charitable organisation Friends of Craigtoun Park.
The park was originally part of the Mount Melville Estate, 47 acres (19 ha) of which was purchased by Fife County Council for £25,000 in 1947.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. Discovery Point, Dundee

Learn more about the story of one of the bravest expeditions of the 20th century at Discovery Point. Climb aboard Discovery, the original ship Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton sailed to the Antarctic in 1901. A guided tour will take you above and below deck, and show you the original navigation system. Multimedia displays made of sculptures, photos, and computer-based art illustrate how the crew lived, what they ate, and how they passed their time. Learn about the crew's hobbies through artifacts such as letters, watercolors, and card games. Although the crew of the Discovery rationed out their food supply, you can enjoy a meal at Cafe at the Point. Check out the gift shop, which sells Dundee-edition Monopoly. The ship is wheelchair accessible.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Scone Palace, Perth

Located on top of an ancient gathering place for the Pict people, Scone Palace still attracts visitors to its Georgian Gothic facade. Every king of Scotland up to Alexander III was crowned on this site, but the palace you'll see was rebuilt much later, in the 19th century. Wander the gardens surrounding the palace, where you'll find peacocks roaming, including a handful of albino males. These magnificent birds strut among the woodlands' 250-year-old fir trees, where the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust's Scottish Game Fair is held every year.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. University of St Andrews

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Cairn O'Mohr Fruit Wines, Errol

Cairn O'Mohr Fruit Wines offers more than just ciders, juices, and fruity sparkling wines--the place features an award-winning cafe and tasting room, and runs tours for those interested in learning about local winemaking techniques. The sunny deck provides an ideal place to relax and enjoy a glass--it also overlooks a kids playground, so you can keep an eye on the little ones while you try out some of the winery's products.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Glamis Castle, Glamis

Situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus Scotland, Glamis Castle is famous for being the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the setting for Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Admire the gardens, browse the rooms on exhibit, or attend a seasonal event. To delve deeper into the history, opt for a guided tour. Refuel at the Castle Restaurant with a coffee, afternoon tea, or lunch. The 50-minute tours are offered in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish and are included with the castle and grounds admission ticket.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. V&A Dundee, Dundee

V&A Dundee is a design museum in Dundee, Scotland, which opened on 15 September 2018. The V&A Dundee is the first design museum in Scotland and the first Victoria and Albert museum outside London. The V&A Dundee is also the first building in the United Kingdom designed by Kengo Kuma.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Kingsbarns Beach, Kingsbarns

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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