Although playing golf in St Andrews can be a costly exercise, St Andrews has a couple of activities you can do with the family that does not cost a single penny!
There are 2 main beaches here in St Andrews:
St Andrews West Sands is located on the eastern coastline of the Kingdom of Fife. Famous for the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire, West Sands extends for almost 2 miles of uninterrupted sand backed with dunes and the world-renowned Old Course.
The blue flag beach is about a 15 minute walk from the town centre. There is plenty of car parking, lots of information available and zoning of the beach to keep sand yachts and families apart. It is very popular for walking and running on as well as for swimming.
Shops and restaurants are close by and there are plenty of wet weather alternatives, including the British Golf Museum and the nearby castle and cathedral. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the peak season.
This beach is located on the south side of the old harbour close to the East Sands Leisure Centre. This is a sandy beach with a path on the inland side. Due to its close proximity to the harbour and sailing club, the beach boasts a lot of watersports including surfing and sailing.
There are plenty of activities for children, including some fascinating rock pools at the south end of the beach. The Kinkell Braes Caravan Site is only 5 minutes away.
Lifeguards patrol the beach during the peak season.
St Andrews is a town steeped in history and most notably its historic buildings. One of the oldest pieces of architecture in St Andrews is the Cathedral.
You can find out more information about what to find here by visiting our History of the Castle and Cathedral Page.
Just two miles from the centre of St Andrews lies Craigtoun Park; a beautiful, free-to-enter haven with mature trees, shrub and grass areas, as well as a modern children’s play area. The park comprises woodland, water and marshland habitats in addition to maintained areas of grassland, tree plantations and formal gardens. Within the park there are examples of Portuguese Laurel, yew, Wellingtonia planted during the landscaping works executed by Waterhouse. Craigtoun is also home to a variety of wildlife among which include mute swans, mallards, grey herons, red squirrels and European water voles.
It’s the most visited attraction in St Andrews, yet its size means that it is also a wonderful spot for a quiet picnic.
The Park is open daily all year round for walkers and runners. Attractions such as the famous miniature railway, the “Puffin’ Billy” road train, boats and crazy golf are open seasonally (small charges apply for rides etc). There are good quality toilets and a cafeteria (seasonal opening) and free car parking is provided. Dogs are allowed but must be kept under control.
There are quite a few free museums to visit in St Andrews, one of which being the St Andrews Museum.
More information for this museum and the other museums in St Andrews can be found by following this link.
Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve and Eden Estuary Local Nature Reserve are just north of St Andrews.
The nature reserves are recognised internationally for their very special habitats and for the rich variety of plants, birds, insects and other animals which they support.
Walk along the beach to Tentsmuir Point and you may see hundreds of seals basking on the sandbars. Or visit Tayport Heath for beautiful wildflowers and fantastic views across the River Tay. The Eden Estuary Centre and Morton Lochs both provide wonderful opportunities to watch waterfowl from dedicated bird hides.
There are many waymarked walks and cycle routes through the towering pine trees which form Tentsmuir Forest. Look for red squirrels and roe deer which live in the woodland.
There is car parking at Tentsmuir car park, however the car park is locked overnight and the times of closure vary throughout the year. Check on entry. Please note automatic pay barrier fee is £2. Children’s play area, toilets and picnic areas are all located close to the car park.