Cloud 9’s

Ultimate Guide to Planning Your St. Andrews Golf Trip

After years of traveling to St. Andrews and planning St. Andrews golf trips, we thought it was time to organize what we know to share with our fellow golf travelers. Golf trip planning is part art and part science, as an itinerary that is good for one group may not work for another. Our goal is to help you find the perfect trip for YOUR group by outlining some of the most important information and considerations when planning a St. Andrews golf trip.

WHAT COURSES TO PLAY?

The best golf itineraries offer great golf AND great variety. This is especially true for the St. Andrews area, where centuries-old traditional links layouts share the Fife coastline with stunning modern course designs. When selecting courses for your itinerary, make sure to consider both the quality of the course as well as the style. Ideally, your itinerary should be filled with a great mix of the areas top courses. To help you achieve this, we have first broken down the area’s top courses in 3 distinct categories: St. Andrews Links, Historic Members Courses, New/Resort Courses. Then, we have ranked our top 24 courses within approximately 1 hour of St. Andrews.

Types of Courses

St. Andrews Links

These courses are in or near St. Andrews and are owned and operated by the St. Andrews Links Trust – and four of them opened over 100 years ago!

  • St. Andrews’ Old Course
  • St. Andrews’ New Course
  • St. Andrews’ Castle Course^
  • St. Andrews’ Jubilee Course
  • St. Andrews’ Eden Course
  • St. Andrews Strathtyrum Course
  • St. Andrews Balgove Course (9 holes)

Historic Members Courses

These courses outside of St. Andrews are associated with traditional members clubs and all were built (at least partially) before 1900. Let me repeat that: they are ALL over 120 years old!

  • Carnoustie’s Championship Course
  • Elie
  • Lundin
  • Panmure
  • Crail’s Balcomie Course
  • Montrose
  • Leven^
  • Scotscraig
  • Monifieth’s Medal Course
  • Ladybank

New/Resort Courses

These courses are either resort courses OR new, modern designs that were built after 1995.

  • Kingsbarns
  • Dumbarnie^
  • Gleneagles’ Kings’s Course
  • Gleneagles’ Queen’s Course
  • Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course
  • Duke’s St. Andrews
  • Fairmont’s Torrance Course
  • Fairmont’s Kittocks Course

Course Rankings

1.

1. St. Andrews – Old

1.

2. Carnoustie’s – Championship

1.

3. Kingsbarns

1. St. Andrews - Old ($$$+)

As a 30-time Open Championship host and universally considered the Home of Golf, the Old Course in St. Andrews needs no introduction. Champions like Nicklaus and Woods have strolled across the hallowed Swilcan Bridge en-route to victory, meaning the course will forever be etched in history.

2. Carnoustie - Championship ($$$$)

The 7-time Open host showcases all that is wonderful and challenging about links golf: undulating terrain, riveted pot bunkers, firm and fast fairways, and of course the Barry Burn which famously swallowed Jean an de Velde whole during his infamous collapse at the 99 Open. You will struggle to shoot your handicap and you will love every minute of it.

3. Kingsbarns ($$$$)

Just down the road from St. Andrews, Kingbarns sits on a site seemingly made for golf. The tilted lay of the land opens up views across the North Sea from just about every hole and you would never know it just opened in 2000 given how seamlessly the routing fits the landscape. Already host to a Women's British Open and the annual Alfred Dunhill Links, the legend of Kingsbarns will surely continue to grow.

4. Dumbarnie ($$$$)

The newest addition to the Fife golfing landscape (having just opened in 2020!), Dumbarnie's distinctly modern design is a great complement to the collection of historic, classical courses that dot the nearby landscape. The excitement of persistent risk-reward decisions and the stunning views across the Firth of Forth to East Lothian will leave golfers wanting more.

5. Gleneagles - King's

If you feel like supplementing your links-heavy Scotland itinerary with a parkland layout, then the Kings Course at Gleneagles is a darn good option! Designed by 5-time Open champ James Braid, the course opened for play in 1919 and it's an architectural and scenic delight, with a great variety of holes that blend seamlessly into the sweeping hills of the Perthshire countryside.

6. St. Andrews - Castle ($$)

The newest of the seven courses owned and operated by the Links Trust, the Castle Course is also the most scenic. The clifftop views from high above the St. Andrews town center standout, but so to do the green complexes, which are unlike any you have ever putted on, guaranteed.

7. Elie ($$)

Elie Links, home to the Golf House Club, has a history that dates back to the 18th century (if not earlier!), making it one of the world's oldest golf clubs. Despite an unusual and monotonous scorecard with sixteen par 4s and two par 3s, the course is exciting, with coastal views from below seaside cliffs and a most unusual start at the blind first, where an old submarine periscope is used to ensure the fairway is clear.

8. St. Andrews - New ($$)

Although newer than the neighboring Old Course, the title of New Course is deceiving since Tom Morris opened the course in 1895. A favorite of the locals, the course is narrower and more well-defined than the adjacent Old and probably a tougher test.

9. Lundin ($$)

Lundin is quite literally a tale of two nines: A railway line dissects nine original holes along the Forth of Firth which date to 1868, from nine parkland-esque holes which were added when the club split from neighboring Leven Links in 1909. The resulting layout offers great variety and championship qualities, as evidenced by the club regularly playing host to Final Open Qualifying.

10. Panmure ($$)

Panmure sits in the shadow of neighboring Carnoustie and is actually a step-child of nearby Monifieth, but it can hold it's own as a great test of golf. In fact, Ben Hogan chose Panmure to hone his game for 2 weeks in advance of his only Open Championship appearance in 1953, a tournament he won by 4! Panmure is a fairly unique links course, with quite a few trees and no sign of the North Sea, but accurate shot-making is still required from tight undulating lies.

11. Gleneagles - Queen's ($$$)

The shortest of the three courses at Gleneagle’s, the Queen’s Course is probably also the most beautiful. The layout threads its way through woodlands along the high ridges of the sprawling estate, with sweeping Moorland views throughout. Keeping your score close the par of 68 can be challenging, with just a single par 5 and several challenging par 3s to navigate. Course record or not, though, it’s a round to savor.

12. Crail - Balcomie ($$)

Crail is one of the world's oldest golf clubs and its Balcomie Course has aged like fine wine. The par 69 seaside layout measures less than 6,000 yards but with ever-present winds, the Old Tom Morris design is no walkover.

13. Montrose - 1562 ($$)

Ben Crenshaw perfectly described Montrose’s Medal Course as a “magnificent stretch of marvellously natural ground which depicts how the game was born.” The ancient old links was laid out along the edge of the North Sea and dates all the way back to 1562, making it one of the world’s oldest golf courses. With proper links challenges, stunning coastal views, a rich history and an unpretentious welcome, it truly epitomizes the idyllic Scottish links experience.

14. Leven ($$)

An epitome of a traditional Scottish golfing links, little has changed at Leven since 1909 when a split from neighboring Lundin Golf Club forced a course redesign. The original holes nearest Largo Bay standout and especially the iconic 18th, which plays across the intimidating Scoonie Burn in the shadow of the club's historic clubhouse.

15. St. Andrews- Jubilee ($$)

The Jubilee Course shares a strip of links land with the neighboring New and Old Courses, and actually sits closest to St. Andrews Bay among the three. The narrow fairways and relatively small greens (at least compared to its neighbors) provide a stern test that might be the toughest in town.

16. Scotscraig ($$)

17. Monifieth - Medal ($$)

18. Gleneagles - PGA Centenary ($$$)

19. Duke's St. Andrews ($$)

The Duke's is owned and operated by the famous Old Course Hotel and is just about 10 minutes outside of the St. Andrews town-center. A bit different from the old seaside that Fife is well-known for, The Duke's is a modern design with heathland and parkland qualities that offers some incredible views down to St. Andrews and beyond.

20. Fairmont - Torrance ($$)

21. Ladybank ($$)

22. Fairmont - Kittocks ($$)

23. Crail - Craighead ($$)

24. St. Andrews - Eden ($)

Rankings are fun but they are subjective and it’s typically tough to come to a consensus among all (or even most!) golfers. Please use our rankings in conjunction with any others that you can find to guide you on where to play. Most importantly, though, make sure that your itinerary includes great variety and plenty of the area’s old, historic links that make the Home of Golf uniquely special. We love to chat about golf courses, and especially those around St. Andrews, so if you need more information in order to select courses for your trip then feel free to give us a call at 1-833-464-6539 or schedule a time for us to give you a call here

HOW TO PLAY THE OLD COURSE?

If playing St. Andrew’s famous Old Course is a priority for you, then understanding the various options for obtaining an Old Course tee time will be the most important, challenging and likely confusing part of planning your trip. We are going to do our best to explain it effectively and concisely below:

To start, there are two primary types of tee times (in terms of price):

1.“Face-Value” Tee Times: These are the cheapest and most abundant Old Course tee times and golfers pay the public green fee (see rates here) directly to St. Andrews Links . There are three primary categories of these:

  • Stand-By List
  • Daily Ballot
  • Advance Application 

2. “Premium” Tee Times: These tee times are scarcely allocated to third-parties like accommodation providers and tour operators, and are packaged with things like hotel stays, transportation and additional rounds of golf. As their name suggests, “Premium” Old Course times cost a pretty penny – typically $1,000-$2,000 more than the public green rate that you would pay for a “Face-Value” tee time.  

Now that you understand your options, it’s time to choose one of the following courses of action:

  1. Open your wallet and book your “Premium” tee time early. If the four-figure premium doesn’t scare you and you want to secure your Old Course tee time early so you can finalize your trip plans, then simply contact any one of the handful of tour operators or St. Andrews accommodation providers that were allocated Old Course tee times by the Links Trust. The only trick is to book early since these tee times go fast. 
  2. Pull out all the stops for a “Face-Value” tee time. If you are booking late, don’t want to pay a hefty premium, or are feeling lucky, then you can maximize your chances of getting a “Face-Value” Old Course time via the following 3-step process.

Step 1. Advance Application: If possible, enter your group into the St. Andrews Links Trust Advance Application, which is a lottery process that is usually open from late August through early September and allows groups of up to 8 golfers to enter for up to 6 weeks for the following year’s peak season (mid-April through mid-October). Groups are then notified of the application results in October. Remember that tee sheets and hotels book up early, so it’s important to confirm your other bookings as soon as you receive your Old Course application results and/or have finalized your trip dates. Note: there are off-peak advance booking options as well, so if you are looking to travel during the shoulder season (late October and early April) or winter season (November – March), then there are options available. 

Step 2. Daily Ballot: If you don’t get a tee time via the Advance Application but still plan to travel, your tee time options are by no means exhausted. The daily ballot is another tee time lottery run by the St. Andrews Links Trust and a close to half of the tee sheet is filled through the daily ballot each day the course is open (remember that the Old Course is converted to a public park on Sundays and closed to golfers). The ballot process takes place two days prior to each day of play and you can enter a group of 2-4 golfers for each day you are in St. Andrews. You’ll want to leave a couple of open days during your trip to accommodate a ballot time and/or move other tee times around. Note: The best days to ballot are Thursday and Saturday, when there is reduced or no play via advance tee times. 

Step 3. Stand-By List: A great fallback option if you are unlucky and don’t get a tee time through the advance application or daily ballot is the Old Course starter’s stand-by list. Somewhere between 10-30 tee slots, on average, are open each day to be filled by single golfers on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no luck involved, it’s simply a matter of beating everyone else to the first tee starter’s hut early in the morning. If, as a last resort, you are willing to get up as early as it takes to top the starter’s list, then your odds of getting a “Face-Value” Old Course tee time approach near certainty. 

WHERE TO STAY?

Unless you have purchased an Old Course tee time as part of an hotel/guesthouse package, you’ll have a variety of accommodations options at all levels to choose from. Fundamentally, you’ll have two primary considerations, location and rating/class, and you’ll need to ask two questions about each hotel or guesthouse:

  • “How close is it to the first tee of the Old Course?” This is the most straightforward way to assess a property’s location. 
  • “What value does it offer?” It is easy to get into star-ratings but at the end of the day, the best accommodation option for YOU gives you exactly what you need in terms of space, amenities, and grandeur – and ideally comes with no extra bells and whistles that you don’t value, because you’ll be paying for them nonetheless. 

With these questions in mind, we’ve broken down St. Andrews’ top accommodations into four categories, Best of the Town-Center, Value in the Town-Center, Just A Bed in the Town Center, and Out of Town, and provided some detailed information about each option. 

Best of the Town-Center ($$$):

These are the 5-star and 4-star hotels that are all within walking distance of the Old Course, provide a little something extra in terms of quality, amenities or room size, and have the price tag to match.

  • Old Course Hotel – Most luxurious 5-star hotel and spa in town and adjacent to the Old Course’s Road Hole.
  • Rusacks Hotel – Iconic 4-star hotel with the best location in town alongside the Old Course’s 18th hole.
  • Hotel du Vin St. Andrews – Opulent looking 4-star hotel just steps up the Scores from the Old Course with an excellent bar and bistro.
  • Kinnettles Hotel – Boutique luxury hotel and spa near the town-center with an award-winning restaurant.
old-course-hotel-1

Old Course Hotel

Value in the Town-Center ($$):

These are the 3-star hotels and 4-star guesthouses that are also all within walking distance of the Old Course but which offer smaller rooms and/or fewer amenities compared to the Best of the Town-Center options. 

  • Scores Hotel – The closest hotel to the first tee of the Old Course. 
  • Russell Hotel – Quaint hotel overlooking St. Andrews Bay near the Old Course with a cozy bar and restaurant, including the “Locker Room” for private parties.
  • Ardgowan Hotel – Family-run hotel a few hundred yards toward the town center from the Old Course with a highly-regarded restaurant: Playfair’s.
  • Greyfriars Inn – Town-center location near the Old Course with 20 rooms above it’s busy pub.
  • Hazelbank Hotel – Great location along the Scores near the Old Course with an outstanding proprietor, Michael, that adds a personal touch to his guest’s experience.
  • Dunvegan Hotel – Popular rooms above their world-famous bar that have to be booked well in advance.
  • Albany Hotel – Boutique, family-run hotel closer to the town-center but still walkable to the Old Course with a lounge bar and friendly staff. 
  • 4-Star Guesthouses: The competitive landscape in St. Andrews ensures that most of the town-center guesthouses maintain high level of quality, so you can expect friendly service and a comfortable stay at any of the following:
russell

Russell Hotel

montague1

Montague House

    • Montague House
    • Six Murray Park
    • Hoppity House
    • Annandale Guest House
    • Glenderran Guest House
    • Cleveden Guest House
    • Fairways of St. Andrews
    • Brownlees Guest House
    • Lorimer Guest House
    • Five Pilmour Place
    • Shandon House
    • Cameron Guest House
    • Nethan Guest House
    • Doune Guest House
    • Craigmore Guest House

Just a Bed in the Town-Center ($):

  • St. Andrews University – Several university dorms are transformed into vacation rentals (for 2-10 guests) in the summer months and offer a clean place to lay your head at night at a fraction of the cost traditional hotels and guesthouses.

Out of Town ($$+):

Generally speaking, we recommend staying in the town-center if at all possible. However, there are a couple of out-of-town properties that are worth a look.

  • Fairmont St. Andrews – Massive 5-star property less than 10 minutes down the North Sea Coast from St. Andrews with everything onsite that you will need for your stay, including a spa and 2 beautiful links courses.
  • Rufflets – Long-established 4-star hotel located just 5 minutes into the Fife countryside from St. Andrews with an award-winning restaurant, 10 acres of gardens, and both hotel or self-catering lodge options.
  • Hawkswood Estate – Hawkswood is a 5-star property located 20 minutes southwest of St. Andrews and accommodations can include use of a private hydro spa, short-game area and driving range.
fairmont-st-andrews

Fairmont St. Andrews

hawkswood

Hawkswood Estate

Struggling to find available accommodations that suit your needs? We have a few tricks up our sleeve, so let us know what your room preferences and dates are in the quote form below and we will send over a free trip quote with your best available option(s).

WHAT TO DO (besides golf)?

You may be thinking, can I just fill my free time with more golf? Well yes, but if you are going all the way to St. Andrews you might consider a couple of other popular activities that showcase the beauty, history and culture of the Kingdom of Fife and its surrounds.

St. Andrews Area Attractions/Activities:
(walkable from town-center)

  • British Golf Museum – Located just across the street from St. Andrews’ Old Course, the museum displays Britain’s greatest golf collection – which takes guests on a historical journey back to the origins of the game. It’s a can’t-miss for golfers visiting St. Andrews.
  • St. Andrews Old Course – It’s possible to experience the Old Course without a tee time since the entire course is open as a public park on Sundays (no golf allowed!). Also, Guided Walks give visitors a player’s-eye view of the 1st, 17th and 18th holes.  
  • Himalayas – Old Tom Morris laid out a “miniature links” for the St. Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club in 1867 and, still today, it remains St. Andrews’ most unique and enjoyable place for golfers to test their putting skills.
  • St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral – The town of St. Andrews, as presently established, is close to a thousand years old and some of its most important architecture is still standing (at least partially!) to this day. Visitors can descend into Castle ruins, stand in awe of the towering Cathedral, or even wander into town to see Blackfriars Chapel or the West Port gate. History abounds! (For a deeper dive into the town’s rich heritage, check out the St. Andrews Preservation Trust Museum as well.)
  • University of St. Andrews’ Museums – One of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world   has plenty to showcase after centuries of teaching and research, including the natural history display at the Bell Pettigrew Museum and four thematic galleries at the Wardlaw Museum. 
  • Eat Walk St. Andrews – A great introduction to St. Andrews at the beginning of your trip, eat and drink your way through the history of St. Andrews with the help of a knowledgeable guide. If you are short on time and love whisky, you may just skip to Luvians whisky shop for a guided tasting with one of their whisky experts. 
  • St. Andrews Ghost Tour – Another great way to learn about the history of St. Andrews, albeit through a somewhat paranormal perspective, it with this guided tour through the town’s historic quarters.
  • Kohler Waters Spa – The Old Course Hotel’s luxurious spa is one of Britain’s finest and whether you are looking for a full spa day or a pre-golf massage, it has what you need to relax and recover.
  • West Sands Beach – Several miles of beautifully-kept beach cuts between the town’s golf courses and St. Andrews Bay, making it the perfect place for a relaxing, scenic stroll.
  • Kirk Wynd Highland House – If you are looking to go all out during your trip, then a stop into Kirk Wynd on South Street to rent (or even buy!) an authentic tartan kilt is really a no brainer. 
  • St. Andrews Botanic Garden – Escape the bustling cobblestone streets of St. Andrews for a beautiful walk amidst the ponds, waterfalls and wild flowers of the 18-acre garden on the southern edge of town.
Himalayas

Himalayas

st.-and-cathedral

St. Andrews Cathedral

luvians-bottle-shop

Luvians Bottle Shop

west-sands

West Sands Beach

Day Trips:
(within 1.5 hours but transportation required)

  • Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Stirling – Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Doune Castle
  • East Neuk  Scottish Fisheries Museum, Scotland’s Secret Bunker, fishing villages of Anstruther, Crail, Pittenweem, St. Monans, Elie & Earlsferry
  • Kingsbarns – Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery, Darnley’s Gin Distillery, Kingsbarns Beach
  • Cupar – Hill of Tarvit Mansion, Kingarrock Hickory Course, Fife Folk Museum
  • Falkland – Falkland Palace, Lomond Hills, Maspie Den
  • Perth – Scone Palace, Kinnoull Hill, Black Watch Castle
  • Glamis/Dundee – Glamis Castle, Discovery Point, V&A Museum
  • Dunfermline – Dunfermline Abbey and Palace, Andrews Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Pittencrieff Park
  • Firth of Forth: Cruise to Isle of May or Inchcolm Island
edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

kingarrock

Kingarrock Hickory Course

WHEN TO TRAVEL?

Since St. Andrews is such a popular destination, picking the perfect time to travel can be just as important as figuring out where to stay or play. Availability, price, and weather can all vary greatly depending on the time of year that you visit. Here are some of the most important considerations when choosing your travel dates.

Weather

November – March

St. Andrews is at approximately the same latitude as Juneau, Alaska, so even though Scotland’s temperate oceanic climate keeps winter temperatures relatively warm compared to other northern countries, it is wise to eliminate any travel dates in November through March from consideration. 

April and October

The shoulder season months of April and October are warmer than the cold winter months and are decent options, especially April which is the driest month of the year. 

May – September

If weather is your only concern, then the peak season from May through September is when you will want to travel. Temperatures peak near 70°F in July and the earlier in the summer the better, since the area’s rainiest season begins in mid-July.

One final note about weather: consider the guidelines above but don’t try to predict it and don’t expect perfect weather. No matter when you decide to travel, you will need a warm jacket and you will probably need your rain gear at some point, but that is just part of the Scottish golf experience!

Price/Availability

To be frank, this is where choosing your dates can get a little tricky. As a general rule, the warmer the weather is, the more crowded the town will be and the more you will pay. However, there are some intricacies to dig into from April through October:

  • Old Course Closures: St. Andrews’ Old Course is closed sporadically each year for various events and competitions, including a stretch from mid-September through early-October for R&A competitions and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. If you are hoping to play the Old Course, make sure to identify Old Course closures here
  • Major Tournaments: With several major championship hosts in the area – the Old Course, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns – you can count on there being course closures surrounding a major tournament just about every year. Unless you plan to attend, check out the R&A’s Events Calendar here and avoid championship weeks when prices are sky-high and availability is tight. 
  • University Graduation: St. Andrews is home to Scotland’s oldest university and can feel more like a university town than a golf town, especially during late June when students welcome guests for a week-long graduation celebration. Unless you plan to attend, this is a week to avoid, as availability is limited and prices are high. (see dates here)
  • Festival Fringe: If you are visiting St. Andrews, you may be flying in and out of Edinburgh and might want to spend some time in Scotland’s capital city. If that is the case, then consider avoiding traveling in August, when millions of people flock to the city for the month-long Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Before we discuss ground transportation, let’s sort out the last key component of your itinerary: flights. Here are a few, simple guidelines for booking your air travel:

  • Due to the change in time zone, expect to travel overnight to Scotland and then return home in one day. 
  • Scotland’s two primary airports are in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which are located less than an hour apart in the heart of the country. While Edinburgh is a little closer to St. Andrews than Glasgow, it is best to evaluate all flight options into both airports and choose the best one. The time or money that you save by flying into Glasgow may render the extra 30-45 minutes of drive time insignificant. 
  • Aberdeen, Prestwick and Inverness have regional airports that offer alternative flight options that may be preferable for certain itineraries or during busy periods. 

HOW TO GET AROUND?

With the nuts and bolts of your itinerary in place, it is time to assess your transportation options, which can be summarized into 3 primary categories: Self-Drive, Full-Time Chauffeured, and As-Needed.

Self-Drive: This option offers the most flexibility and the lowest price-point but driving on the left side of the road can be unnerving for some North Americans. We’d guess it is easier than you think, though, and here are 4 tips for those that are up for the challenge:

  1. Get the smallest automatic car that you can fit into, but remember that golf clubs and luggage take up a lot of space. 
  2. Study the mechanics of a roundabout, there are quite a few!
  3. Postal codes are very specific and should be sufficient to locate just about any business or residence.
  4. Avoid driving in big cities. Instead, find a car park and walk.

Full-Time Chauffeured: This option is great for large groups (8+) OR small groups that don’t mind a higher price point in order to take the stress out of the trip. A knowledgeable driver will allow you to experience Scotland, rather than just see it, and for many groups a driver is an invaluable component of their trip.

As-Needed: Depending on your itinerary and your preferences, as-needed point-to-point transportation may be all that is required – and it’s a very popular option for clients. Essentially, this options involves mixing and matching a few types of transportation:

  • Private Transfers – Any transportation that is integral to the core of your itinerary (airport, golf and pre-arranged sightseeing transfers) can be pre-booked for your group at a fraction of the cost of a full-time driver. Typically, for groups staying and playing in and around St. Andrews, this per-person cost will be close to the self-drive price.
  • Taxis – A great way to fill in the gaps that pre-booked transfers don’t cover is with taxis, especially for short rides to restaurants or sites within close proximity of your accommodations. 
  • Bus/TrainUnfortunately, there is no direct train in and out of St. Andrews, but Leuchars Train Station is just 10 minutes away by bus and is a decent option for travelers looking for low-cost airport or city-center (i.e. Edinburgh) transfers. 

Two final pieces of advice about ground transportation:

  1. Don’t underestimate the value of hiring a local driver, even if it is just for a few transfers or a few days. Some of our clients best memories from their trips involve conversations or experiences they had with their drivers, who know the area as well as anyone.
  2. Every Cloud 9 trip package includes all of the transportation that you will need for your trip, whether its a self-drive vehicle, a full-time coach driver, or something in between. If you want to take some of the stress out of your trip planning, simply book with us! Get started with a free quote below.

WHERE TO EAT?

Fine Dining:
(*transportation required from town-center)

  • Seafood Ristorante ($$$$) – Locally-sourced seafood with panoramic views across West Sands Beach and St. Andrews Bay.
  • Peat Inn Michelin ($$$$)* – The only Michelin-starred restaurant on this list and just down the road from St. Andrews, offering contemporary Scottish cooking in the Fife countryside.
  • The Grange Inn ($$$$)* – The 17th century farmhouse used to be a pub but, today, offers multi-course dining beside a warm fire with views across St. Andrews.
  • Road Hole Restaurant ($$$+) – Exceptional seasonal fare with, most importantly, the best views in golf across the adjacent Old Course.

Highly-Rated:
(*transportation required from town-center)

  • Vine Leaf ($$$) – Family owned and operated for over 30 years, it offers a varied and extensive menu with some of the best service in town.
  • The Rav ($$$) – An ever-evolving Modern European menu with a great selection of cocktails. 
  • Balgove Larder Steak Barn ($$+)* – A meat lovers paradise just a few minutes from St. Andrews with steaks, burgers and sausages that are sourced and prepared at the farm and butchery on site. 
  • Forgans ($$+) –  A variety of locally sourced food, like burgers, steaks and seafood, serviced in a former cleek factory (i.e. golf club factory) with a welcoming communal feel. 
  • Tailend ($$)The best seafood for your money in St. Andrews. 
  • Little Italy ($$) – The best Italian food for your money in St. Andrews. 
  • Jahangir ($$)The best Indian food for your money in St. Andrews.
  • Blackhorn ($) The best burger for your money in St. Andrews.

Sweet Treats:

  • Jannettas Gelateria – A family-owned business for four generations and now essentially a Scottish ice-cream institution, their hand-made Gelato is must-try stuff.
  • Fisher & Donaldson – After baking for Fifers for over 100 years, their fudge donut is still one of the most sought-after sweet treats in the Kingdom. 
Seafood Ristorante

Seafood Ristorante

balgove-larder

Balgove Larder

forgans

Forgans

jannettas

Jannettas

WHERE TO DRINK?

  • Jigger Inn The town’s most famous bar, literally steps away from the Old Course’s Road Hole 17th.
  • Road Hole Bar/Restaurant The Old Course Hotel’s award-winning restaurant and bar offers the best Old Course views in town and an unbelievable selection of whisky, as well as afternoon tea experiences.
  • Dunvegan The epitome of a great 19th hole that many of the game’s greats, including Tiger and Jack, have visited at some point – and the proof is on the walls.
  • Adamson The classiest bar in town with an impressive cocktail menu.
  • St. Andrews Brewing Co. Craft brewing in the heart of St. Andrews. 
  • Keys Bar Historic “local” pub with an extensive selection of single malts.
  • The Criterion A beautiful, proper pub with a wide beer selection and famous Cri’ Pies.
  • The Central Classic wood-paneled English pub with a “central” island bar that serves plenty of beer.
  • Aikmans We hesitate to include this on the list but…if you are looking to intermingle with university students with lively music and a beer then this is your spot.
Jigger Inn

Jigger Inn

criterion-st-andrews

The Criterion

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