St Andrews Culture & history

Our most recommended St Andrews Culture & history

St. Andrews: Golf History Tour

1. St. Andrews: Golf History Tour

After meeting your guide outside Hotel du Vin, you will see the former birthplace of Old Tom Morris before heading into the quadrangle of St. Salvator’s College to learn about Scotland's oldest university. Along with a few other points of interest along the way, the cathedral grounds are the next landmark on the tour. Resting there are some 124 golfing greats, including some of the Tom Morris family and Allan Robertson. Walking then along the beautiful coastline, you'll overlook St. Andrews Bay as you travel to the former Archbishops Palace where the darker history of the town continues. It is there that Richard will succinctly put golf and the history of St. Andrews into perspective. From there you'll travel further along university buildings, the Principals House, and the residence where Prince William and Kate spent their first year as students. Head to the Old Course and hear about the early development of the game of golf and how it developed in St Andrews and became the Home of Golf. Walk by the first fairway hearing about some of the quarks of the game which have shaped its remarkable history, and iconic buildings overlooking the course. The tour then finishes at the Swilkan Bridge where you will be able to have your photo taken on the bridge. You can then head to the Jigger Inn to relax and ponder the many heady days of St. Andrews.

St. Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

2. St. Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

Take a full-day trip from Edinburgh and discover the natural beauty of the Fife coast, taking in quaint fishing villages, abbey’s, and the famous university town of St. Andrews, led by an expert guide. From Edinburgh head to South Queensferry and take a look at 2 of the most remarkable bridges in the world–the Forth Rail Bridge built in 1890, and it’s much younger neighbor, the Forth Road bridge. Cross the River Forth and stop-off at the magnificent Dunfermline Abbey, the burial place of King Robert the Bruce. See the gold ornate tomb, and learn about the effect of the reformation on the Abbey, when under Henry VIII’s rule churches were destroyed, supposedly in the name of God. Travel along the Fife coast passing Carnegie Hall, the birthplace of world-famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Stop-off at charming little fishing villages, including Anstruther, an old Herring stronghold. Try the best fish and chips in Scotland, or have a snack at the Fisheries Museum. Continue on to St. Andrews, home of golf, religion, and the famous university. Here you will spend 2.5 hours. Explore the beautiful settings, in good weather the beach featuring in the movie Chariots of Fire is particularly popular, as are the 16th Century tunnels under the castle. Golf lovers may want to pay respects at the grave of Tom Morris, visit the Golf Museum, try out the Links Course Putting Green, or simply walk along Granny Clark’s Wynd–a public right-of-way running over the old course.

St Andrews and Falkland Palace Tour from Edinburgh

3. St Andrews and Falkland Palace Tour from Edinburgh

Head north to Fife on a full day of exploring, departing from Edinburgh. You will get a sample of life in the area and come to understand the culture and history of the region. Your trip begins as you cross the Firth of Forth, passing the famous Forth Railway Bridge, before your first stop, St. Andrews. The town boasts a stunning beach, great cafes and shops, a beautiful university, and an ancient cathedral. Additionally, it is known as the spiritual home of golf. Next, continue west to Falkland, a beautiful village frozen in time. You can browse the craft shops or visit Falkland Palace, which has the oldest tennis courts in use anywhere in the world. Then make your way to a forgotten corner of Fife, East Neuk. Here you will pass through historic fishing villages and take in the stunning coastal scenery. At the end of your exploring, make a final stop in Anstruther and enjoy a fish supper feast, a meal fit for a Scot!

St Andrews: 90-Minute Historical Walking Tour

4. St Andrews: 90-Minute Historical Walking Tour

Discover the best of St Andrews on this walking tour and immerse yourself in the city's unique history and beauty in the company of Richard Falconer, a professional author/historian and guide. Richard has been researching the town's history for over 40 years and will take you on a journey that includes its lost and forgotten history spanning over 2000 years. You will learn how it has been a spiritual centre since 500 BC and its royal connections through the Pictish Kings, Robert the Bruce, Mary of Guise, James V, Mary Queen of Scots and Prince William. Discover off-the-beaten-track locations and gems such as the former Scottish seat of the Knights Templar and the St Andrews Meridian Line. Hear about why its first observatory was demolished and about a near-forgotten 16th-century university dwelling. Learn also about the lost treasure of St Andrews Cathedral and why it may still be here, as Richard discloses the latest developments in his research and much more besides on this fascinating insightful introduction to St Andrews - and all in an hour and a half!

Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

5. Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

Departing from Edinburgh, travel through Scotland’s Central Belt to Glasgow, here there's time to visit the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, opened in 1901. Then cross the Kingston Bridge over the River Clyde and head north to the village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. Next, it’s onwards and upwards over the steep pass of 'Rest and be Thankful' in the village of Inveraray, a town lapped by the sea water of Loch Fyne and famed for its oysters and seafood. Next head to Dunadd Iron Age Fort, the coronation site of kings and queens of Dalriada, the ancient Gaelic speaking kingdom. Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens and take the steep but thankfully short path to the summit of the hill. After a stop at Kilmartin Museum, drive through the stunning Argyll scenery to the bustling port and fishing town of Oban, the location of your first night’s stay. In the morning discover the beautiful Glencoe, considered to be the most impressive glen in Scotland. After a short hike and photograph stop, head to the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct. Fom Glenfinnan travel to Fort William where you have two options – a tour of Ben Nevis Whisky distillery or a visit to Inverlochy Castle and Neptune’s Staircase. Time to head north and arrive at the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Your route then takes you into some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the Highlands as you pass through Glenshiel and the iconic Five Sisters of Kintail to the meeting point of 3 sea lochs – Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh – the wonderful setting for Eilean Donan Castle. On Day 3, explore the sights of the Trotternish Peninsula to the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing, hear about the local folklore of how the Fairies, Fishermen and Giants created the landscape. Next, visit the Museum of Island Life, and then loop around north Skye to take in magnificent views across the sea, east to the Torridon Mountains and west to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Journey onto the Cuillin Mountains and travel through Kyle of Lochalsh to the unbelievably pretty village of Plockton. At Plockton there is the option of taking a one-hour cruise or a short hike through nearby woodland. In the evening, visit a local highland pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. On Day 4, visit Kessock bridge and then head to the North West Highlands. The first stop of the day is at Corrieshalloch Gorge, Scotland’s deepest gorge, and then onto the legendary North Coast 500 Route traveling passed towering peaks to the ancient ruin of Ardvreck Castle. After this fascinating slice of Scottish history, head to the very wonderful Knockan Crag to learn more about the incredible geology of this area, next head to the pretty ferry port and fishing town of Ullapool. After lunch, travel to Rogie Falls and find frothing water cascading down the falls and gentle trails among the forest. From Rogie Falls it’s a short drive to the town of Beauly, the one time favorite town of Mary Queen of Scots. On the last day the first stop is Clava Cairns, the site of incredible standing stones and burial chambers dating back to at least 4000 years ago. Culloden Battlefield is the next stop location of the last battle to be fought on British soil. Onto Cairngorms National Park next, and then the final stop of the tour at the ancient east Fife town of St Andrews. This medieval walled town is home to St Andrews University, the oldest in Scotland, as well St Andrews Cathedral. It’s always hard to drag yourself away from St Andrews but in the early evening it's time to start winding your way through the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge with views of the 1890 Railway Bridge and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing, and back into Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: 2-Day Scottish Highlands & St. Andrews Tour

6. From Edinburgh: 2-Day Scottish Highlands & St. Andrews Tour

Take a 2-day adventure out into the Highlands with a charismatic and knowledgeable guide. See the views that inspired countless artists and writers, and visit its most famous attractions, including Loch Ness. Day 1 Departing from Edinburgh, pass the iconic Forth Bridge as you make your way to St. Andrews. Take time to explore the town’s medieval castle and cathedral, ancient University buildings (where Prince William and Kate met), or wander along the fairways edge of the world-famous Old Course.   You’ll then venture into the Scottish Highlands with a visit to the peaceful Hermitage nature reserve. Take a short walk through the forest to the Falls of Brann before lunch in Pitlochry. Continue north into the Cairngorm National Park and watch as the rolling mountains turn blue in the summer or white with falling snow in the winter. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive at Clava Cairns, the Neolithic burial chambers that inspired Diana Gabaldon during the writing of her famous Outlander novels.   Your second-to-last stop today is at Culloden Moor, the site of the last battle fought on British soil in 1746. Your guide will retell the events of the battle and teach you about its significance not only to the Highlands, but also to the Scottish diaspora since. Spend the night in Inverness, a small city packed with restaurants and fun pubs—meet the locals and dance the night away to Highland music in the famous Hootenanny’s Bar with your fellow travelers.   Day 2 Your second day begins by venturing the entire length of the most famous body of water in the world, Loch Ness. Pass Urquhart Castle on your way to Fort Augustus at the mouth of the Loch, where you’ll have the option of taking a 1-hour boat cruise to search for Nessie.   Continue West towards the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, recently made famous by the Harry Potter movies. Hike to a viewpoint to get the best photos of this impressive piece of 19th-century engineering and, in the other direction, be treated to views of Loch Shiel and the monument to the Jacobites: one of the finest views in Scotland.   After lunch, you’ll arrive in Glencoe, the site of the infamous Massacre of 1692. Your guide will share this terribly sad story of betrayal with you. However, the beauty of Glencoe stays with those who visit this place for a very long time.   Your unforgettable Highland adventure ends with a scenic drive through Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park, passing Stirling Castle and into Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in St Andrews

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What people are saying about St Andrews

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 436 reviews

Great experience with Richard, the tour guide. Only 1.5 hours you get many knowledge about St. Andrew and golf history

Great places to visit and an awesome tour driver! Jim was the best! Thanks for an amazing experience!

So interesting, lots of good historical and golf information. Very knowledgeable guide!

Knowledgeable and interesting guide Made good use of the time available

Excellent and knowledgeable tour guide Willy was the perfect guide