St. Andrews Journals

The Mystique of St. Andrews

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A July 2002 trip to St. Andrews by Taylor Shelby

St. Andrews Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland More Photos
Quote: St. Andrews is a beautiful, small, seaport town. Once the ecclestical center of Scotland, today it is a busy, elegant college town. St. Andrews is the jewel of Scotland... don't miss it!

The Mystique of St. Andrews

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Overview

St. Andrews Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
Never have I visited a place that stirred my emotions like St. Andrews. It is a town that I adored from my first moments. Leaving broke my heart. When I imagine myself as a successful adult, I almost always place myself in a home on one of those beautiful streets. St. Andrews has a wonderful mystery about it, heightened by the crags and ruins of the once glorious cathedral and once powerful castle. As evening approaches, the city is cloaked in fog, and you can occasionally catch the strains of pealing church bells or bagpipes that sound like they are coming from centuries past. St. Andrews has a rich history. In its earliest days in 500 AD, it was a center of religious thought. It ...Read More

Burness House

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Hotel

Burness House Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
My travels tend to be more on the moderate to low scale, so when I went to St. Andrews with my parents, it was a luxurious stay by my normal standards. They chose the Burness House for accommodations, and what a lovely choice it was. The B&B is located in a beautiful restored home on Murray Park (what I like to call B&B Row - literally every home on the street is a guesthouse). Burness House has a prime location on the corner of Murray and North Street, so there are lovely views out every window. It is very small - only four bedrooms - so you really get a chance to know the owners. I had the small, lovely twin room that overlooks a beautiful garden. My parents had the best room in t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2005

Burness House
Murray Park
St. Andrews, Scotland

The Oak Room

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Restaurant | "The Oak Rooms"

Quote:
The Oak Room is located just across the street from Burness House in the Inn on North Street. We only visited because it was so close, but it turned out to be wonderful. The restaurant has a beautiful interior with small, open rooms, wooden floors, and minimalistic furniture. The decorations are simple and beautiful. What really got me was the wonderful, roaring fire--quite a welcome sight in the wet, chilly air of St. Andrews. I probably would have liked the place even if it wasn't that good, just because of the warm fire, but the Oak Rooms did not disappoint. We actually went back twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, if that gives you any indication of how fantastic it was. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

The Oak Room
127 North Street
St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews Botanic Garden

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Attraction

Quote:
My family and I are all nature-lovers, so when we saw that St. Andrews had a botanic garden, we knew we couldn't miss it (we're the kind of people who stop at every little garden and talk about the flowers). This was a really excellent place to see some of the plants that grow in Eastern Scotland, which are completely different that what we see here in the South. It was also nice because it is off the beaten track, so it felt like we were seeing something that tourists usually don't. From a map we were using, it looked like it was an easy walking distance. After getting lost a few times, it actually ended up taking us forever to get there. The walk was really lovely though, through some...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

St. Andrews Botanic Garden
Cannongate
St. Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Preservation Museum

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Attraction | "St. Andrews Museum"

Quote:
My mom and I just stumbled across the St. Andrews museum one afternoon and decided to go in. The museum is housed in Kilburn Castle, a large, beautiful home perched on a hillside overlooking the golf courses and part of the University campus. The museum interprets the history of the city from the earliest days of Pict settlement to the modern 20th century. When you first walk in, there are a lot of ancient artifacts. As you advance in time, you also advance through the types of exhibits. They use a lot of life-sized models to talk about important events and eras in the history of the city. My favorite part was the use of the city as a major Victorian resort. Near the castle and aqua...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

St Andrews Preservation Museum

St. Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Castle

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Attraction

St Andrews Castle Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
The ruins of the castle and the cathedral are the two most famous attractions in the city (okay, after the whole golf thing), so I was very excited about seeing them. I was surprised to find that it isn't just the castle you see, but also a small visitors/information center. Using funny-because-they-are-so-cheesy mannequins set up in various events, the center talks about everything from the Picts, to the construction, to the destruction. It is surprisingly thorough. They also have a great gift shop in the center that had a lot of great books and some unusual postcards. After leaving the welcome center, you can cross the moat and go into the actual ruins of the castle. The castle was the res...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

St Andrews Castle

St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews Cathedral

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Attraction | "St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rule's Tower"

St. Andrews Cathedral Photo, St. Andrews, Scotland
Quote:
Perhaps the most famous icon of St. Andrews, surely the most photographed, is the glorious, ruined St. Andrews Cathedral. There is little left of the cathedral today. Only a couple of walls and solemn, lonely towers remain, but somehow this only heightens the experience of the site. The site is large, and most of the open grounds are filled with graves, many of them very old. When the fog comes in near evening, the church is cloaked in a mysterious, eerie white. The towers loom over you, keeping a watch on everything below. It is otherworldly and unimaginably beautiful. Worship first began on this site around 800, when the Celtic Cudees build a makeshift church here. It was quickly replace...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 17, 2005

St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews Aquarium

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Attraction

Quote:
One of the main streets in St. Andrews, The Scores, follows the cliffs that rise out of the sea. There are many points where you can look out onto the beach, and one spot looks over into the aquarium. I had been drawn to it because out back, there is a large outdoor tank, and I could see some sort of animals playing in it. I wasn't sure what they were (my eyesight isn't the best), so I was very excited to finally see what was out there. The aquarium is small, but it managed to pack a lot of information into a small space. It takes about 1.5 hours to see the whole thing, give or take, and you get to see quite a variety of sea creatures. They have over 30 tanks with about 100 types of animals. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 19, 2005

St. Andrews Aquarium
The Scores Central Waterfront
St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland KY16 9AS
01334 474786