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Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult.)
Languages spoken: English
Reasons to go: Golf. Yes, that's the number one reason that people go to St. Andrews for a holiday.
But I don't golf.
Why did I go? Why do I recommend that you go? Because it is a small university town on the sea. It is naturally quaint. It hasn't been made so for tourists but just is that way for the people who live there. The locals have been vigilant about maintaining the town's personality by keeping major fast food chains and the like out.
St. Andrew's is a quiet place and that's exactly what I was looking for. I went for a weekend break from London where I was attending a conference. A five hour train ride (long by UK standards but nothing for a North American) took me there.
It may be quiet but there are things to do. On the Saturday I went to the local market which is held on the first Saturday of the month. From there I walked across town, maybe one kilometer, to St. Andrews Cathedral ruin and grave yard. Through the graveyard and to the East Sands (beach) I had a sit for a while just looking at the sea. Then back along the short to the Museum of the University of St Andrews. Finally, I did a little shopping on the high streets – Market Street, South Street, Bell Street and Church Street. For dinner, I went to a pub.
On the Sunday, I took it even slower. I first went to the “Old” golf course. This is the course where golf originated and, because it is public property, it is open to everyone on Sundays. I walked the course to the far end and then down to the West Sands to make my way back. The buses that run between the seaside towns is located between the “Old” and my B&B so I hopped onto the bus and went to Anstruther where I had dinner at Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant, winner of the UK Fish & Chip Shop of the Year award.
There was plenty for me to do at a leisurely pace on a weekend in St. Andrews. It was just what this non-golfer needed.
Thank you to the people from St. Andrews, Scotland who invited me on this trip.