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Home | Explore | Culture | 10 reasons why you need to visit St Andrews and The East Neuk of Fife

10 Reasons why you need to visit St Andrews and The East Neuk of Fife

The New Year calls for new beginnings, and where better to start than ticking a new staycation destination off your list. Whilst it is always nice to go abroad, there’s something extra special about exploring your own country. No need to plan for the dog to be looked after, having to arrange a hire car, airport transfers and the rest of the hassle that comes with holidaying abroad. Instead, simply chuck your bags in the back of the car and head to the East Coast of Scotland!

With two villages voted best holiday destinations in Scotland, there’s no doubt the East Neuk and St Andrews should be top of your list. The beauty of this corner of Scotland in itself is a reason to visit, but here are 10 reasons why you need to visit St Andrews and The East Neuk:

1. Beaches

The East Neuk and St Andrews run alongside the East Coast of Scotland, so we are lucky enough to have an array of beaches, many award winning, right on our doorsteps. Many of you will be familiar with West Sands beach, which was featured on the Chariots of Fire. Slightly further along the coast, Kingsbarns beach runs parallel with the championship golf course, and one of the most renowned in the area. Another beach certainly worth a mention is Elie – a very popular beach in the stunning village, with enough to keep you occupied for a day out for all. There are many more beaches worth a mention, but we’ll leave them to you to discover!

2. Golf

If there is one thing that springs to mind when you think of St Andrews, it is going to be golf. Perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, The Old Course was established in 1552 and is known for being ‘The home of Golf’. The Open Championship is held in St Andrews and played on The Old Course every five years. With seven St Andrews Links courses, as well as many others available to play locally, you have everything and more to fulfil every avid golfer’s bucket list trip.

3. History

St Andrews is also extremely popular due to its wealth of captivating history. Scattered with cobbled highstreets, Wynds and impressive Victorian and Georgian architecture, everyone can admire St Andrews’ historical beauty. St Andrews Cathedral was built in 1158 and is the largest church to have been built in Scotland to date. Built a short while later around 1200, St Andrews Castle sits perched on the rugged clifftop overlooking the small ‘Castle Sands’ beach. Today, you can roam the grounds of both the Castle and Cathedral and admire just how much these buildings have witnessed over hundreds of years.

4. St Andrews University

Founded in 1413, St Andrews University is the third-oldest in the English-speaking world, and oldest in Scotland. It has twice been named ‘University of the Year’, being the only University to ever top Oxford and Cambridge in the rankings. St Andrews is not your average University town, down every street is a different historical school of learning. Famously in more recent years, HRH the Duke of Cambridge attended University here, which is where his romance with Kate blossomed. (Did you know: You can stay in our Howard Place properties, which are directly opposite where Kate and William lived during their time here.)

5. Fife Coastal Path

The mesmerising coastal scenery we are blessed with can be enjoyed in its entirety along the Fife Coastal Path. The path links all of the coastal villages and beaches throughout the county, from Kincardine to Newburgh, stretching over 116 miles. You will spot signs throughout Fife guiding you to the path, you can simply jump on and off, wherever you please.

6. Seafood

With ample traditional fishing villages dispersed along the coast, if you are a lover of seafood, this is the place for you. There are too many to name them all, but some of the most popular you have to try are; Anstruther Fish Bar, Seafood Ristorante, East Pier, Tailend, Cromars and Crail Lobster Shack.

7. Nearby days out

St Andrews and The East Neuk are perfectly positioned for easy access to local towns and cities, ideal for a day out before venturing back to your coastal retreat. Edinburgh is just a 45 minute train journey from Leuchars (nearest train station 10 mins away), or just over an hour by car. Dundee is also just a 25 minute drive away across the Tay Bridge, where you’ll find the V&A museum. A local gem, Falkland Village, is around 20 minutes away and was featured in the Outlander. It is also the home of Falkland Palace, which was one of the favourite places of Mary, Queen of Scots. For those who enjoy hill walking, East and West Lomond are great climbs, with views at the summit over the whole of Fife, you can even spot the famous Edinburgh bridges.

8. Activities

You will certainly not be stuck for things to do whilst staying here. Whether you stay local to where your staying or venture further afield, there is plenty to keep you occupied. You can partake in water sports at Elie and West Sands beaches, enjoy Bird of Prey and Archery experiences with ‘The Scottish Countryman’, or try your hand at golf (on a slightly smaller scale) at the Himalaya’s on The Old Course. At Tentsmuir beach and forest, there is a riding school where you will be matched with your steed for the day, to then explore the forest and beach stretching for miles by horseback.

9. Restaurants and eateries

We are extremely lucky to have an array of very highly rated restaurants at our disposal, many of which are run by top ranked chef’s, and have obtained Michelin stars. For more formal dining experiences, we suggest paying a visit to The Seafood Ristorante, The Adamson, Peat Inn and Haar in St Andrews, and 16 West End in St Monans. For more informal dining, but equally as tasty; The Cheesy Toast Shack, Forgan’s, Jannettas Gelateria, Cromars, Tailend and Dram and Haggis. For more information on these eateries, and others, have a read of our other blog ‘St Andrews and East Neuk of Fife for Foodies’.

10. Kingask

Last, but by no means least, we’re here! Starting with only 2 properties over 25 years ago, we have grown to become one of the largest independent holiday letting companies covering the area, with over 45 properties today. We operate from our office based at Kingask House (from which our name was derived) which is still the family home to this day, and has been for many, many years. We want people to love our homes just as much as we do, and our wealth of local knowledge will ensure your staycation in St Andrews is the very best it can be.

So, there you have it, 10 reasons why you need to visit St Andrews and The East Neuk. As an added bonus, you will be able to utilise a variety of guest exclusive offers throughout the duration of your stay, many of which are for those places mentioned in this blog. Visit our guest offers page for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

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