As a keen golfer, your pilgrimage to St Andrews Old Course has no doubt been a long time coming. Setting foot on these historic greens and catching sight of the historic Swilcan Bridge is a homecoming for true golf aficionados, but the ‘Home of Golf’ that is St Andrews has even more to offer than the famous double greens.
Here are a few of the top attractions you can find St Andrews that will make your Scotland golf trip even more memorable.
British Golf Museum
As you’ve come to St Andrews to immerse yourself in a long-awaited golfing experience, you should certainly add the British Golf Museum to your trip. At this museum, you can expand your knowledge of the game, taking in exhibitions containing golfing memorabilia, history and stories from the seventeenth century to the present day. The museum has expertly curated collections which aim to celebrate golf at all levels. Their archives include loan collections from The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and The Women Golfers’ Museum, offering a truly thorough examination of the game. Alongside interactive displays, the British Golf Museum’s flagship exhibition space, 'The Open Gallery', explores the history of golf’s oldest Major. No Scotland golf vacation is complete without a visit to this home of golfing history.
St Andrews Cathedral (including St Rule's Tower)
Set against the spectacular backdrop of the North Sea, the impressive ruins of this twelfth-century Cathedral are high on the to do list of many who visit St Andrews. Encircled by imposing enclosure walls, the Cathedral offers visitors the chance to see early and later medieval sculptures and relics found on the site, really illustrating just how far back the history of the town goes. Taking all of this history in can really add to your appreciation of the way in which golf developed in this unique location.
One of the most magnificent features found at St Andrews Cathedral is St Rule’s Tower. The Tower predates the building of the Cathedral by around 40 years. Climb its 156 steps, packed tightly in one of the narrowest staircases you’ll find in Scotland, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of St Andrews – look in the right direction and you’ll see the links of the Old Course from a whole new perspective.
St Andrews Castle
This castle, dating back to the thirteenth century, was once the main residence of the bishops and archbishops of Scotland. Although St Andrews Castle was the centre of the medieval church in Scotland, you will find more than tales of Christianity when you walk these grounds. Carved out of the rock, the castle has an infamous past that includes imprisonment, murder and siege. Unlike many other British castles, St Andrews Castle features a mine, a clever means of defence and counter-attack. Take in the mines and peer into the Bottle Dungeon to feel a very different part of the history of St Andrews resonate within you.
Eden Mill Distillery
If golf is one proud Scottish tradition, then the distilling of quality whisky is another. Taking full advantage of its position on the Eden Estuary, Eden Mill Distillery was Scotland’s first single site distillery and brewery, bottling not only whisky, but also beer and gin on site.
Eden Mill, although young, are fast becoming a part of the St Andrews distilling tradition, experimenting with wood ageing and distilling techniques to create the finest product. They offer whisky, gin and beer tours, giving you a window into their processes so you’ll never sip at a whisky in the same way again. Sign up for their Blendworks scheme based at Rusacks Hotel and you can create your own gin whilst taking in the sight of fellow golfing pilgrims playing the Old Course.
St Andrews Botanic Garden
The woodland walks, waterfalls and beautiful rare plants at St Andrews Botanic Garden give you the chance to go for a relaxing stroll without your clubs in hand. There’s plenty to take in here, as the Gardens cover 18.5 acres. Heated greenhouses protect a large collection of cacti and tropical plants from the harsh Scottish elements, whereas the alpine plants thrive outdoors in the Rock Garden. When you’ve finished taking in the diversity of flora and fauna, the Tea Rooms on site will be ready to refresh you before you head back to the links.
West Sands Beach
There’s plenty of wild Scottish coastline to explore in and around St Andrews, but the beach at West Sands is one that might already be familiar – it featured in the opening scenes of Chariots of Fire. West Sands Beach, with its two miles of rugged sand dunes and waves, is a wonderful place for a stroll between games - and you can still feel part of the action as the beach stretches alongside the Jubilee Course.
Museum of the University of St Andrews
Split across four galleries, the Museum of the University of St Andrews is home to over 115,000 artefacts, each of which is a part of the story of St Andrews and its world-renowned university. The thousands of artefacts, gathered into collections on topics as wide-ranging as chemistry, psychology and zoology, demonstrate how the teaching and research practices of the university have developed over its 600 year lifespan. Each gallery features interactive activities, so you can delve into even further detail on particular areas of interest.
Situated atop the galleries is a rooftop terrace which offers exquisite views across St Andrews Bay. The ‘Talking Telescope’ here describes everything you can see so you know exactly what you’re taking in.
As you can see, St Andrews has plenty for golf fanatics and non-fanatics alike. Passionate golfers can build their ideal St Andrews golf package around our Experience, submersing themselves in the game both on and off the double greens, and the less passionate members of your party can choose to partake in as much or as little golf as they choose.
To book your ideal stay and play golf package at The Experience at St Andrews, get in touch with us today.