A July 2007 trip
to St. Andrews by Red Mezz
Quote: More than just golf - a sunny Easter weekend made the perfect opportunity to explore one of Scotland's best visited places, even without the golf clubs...
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 8, 2007
87-89 South Street
St. Andrews KY16 9QW
+44 01334 474676
Every once in a while I see a really great business idea and only wish that I had been standing there with a big bundle of cash to invest when the idea was conceived. A tasty little ice cream café in the middle of St. Andrews South Street, is one of those ideas.What surely just began as a good idea has become a sort of phenomenon. Even though there is no better accompaniment to the often warm, East coast coastal days you get through out the summer in St. Andrews than a huge and tasty dripping cone; the greatness of Janetta's Ice Cream is renowned, and it’s not uncommon to see folk bundled up in the winter time, carrying around an ice cream cone. A cream/chocolate shop and a café as well as an ice cream shop, this place is ideal for the visitor, in any kind of weather. Ideally suited near the end of South Street, on the cathedral end, there simply is no better way to finish off a lovely St. Andrews meal than to get a heaping scoop of Janetta's ice cream and take a meandering wander through the ruins just two minutes walk away. This is a fantastic place, with a huge and very enticing menu of ice creams, coffees, hot chocolates, and teas, as well as having a bit of a café lunch at the adjoining café next door. Having been tempted by the delightful smell of pastry following us around the back streets all day, my friend and I had been on our way to find a bakery after finishing our lunch. But the sight of the massive crowds of people passing by with amazing looking ice cream soon changed our minds. It was not hard to find by the huge line of people stretching down the street waiting for a cone, and if you happen to pass it when the line is small I highly suggest you jump in right away. I would imagine that if someone where to paint a picture of St. Andrews South Street, it would include many of its pedestrians carrying and lovingly eating big ice cream cones. This would be due almost entirely to Janettas. For me the best moments when travelling are when all these little things come together - you find a place and have a nice meal, the weather is just right, you find just that little extravagance to top off the experience and then go exploring.
It's really not hard to put these elements together in St. Andrews, and I can finally see what all the fuss is about. No, you don't have to love (or even like) golf to enjoy a weekend in St. Andrews. It's a beautiful place and with great little cafés like Janettas you really just can not go wrong.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2007
Janettas Ice Cream
31 South Street
St. Andrews Cathedral
St. Andrews, Scotland
Attraction | "St. Andrews Castle "
In a country utterly filled with castles and ruins and the grandeur of old stone battlements hanging precariously on the edge of rocky cliffs, St. Andrews Castle easily holds its own. The remains of this castle which was used as the main residence for bishops and archbishops of St. Andrews as early as 1200 AD still stand amazingly picturesque on the edge of the coastline on the shores of St. Andrews. Aside from its stunningly beautiful profile - with the castle rising up out over the edge of the cliffs with the sea crashing into it, and the hills of the lowlands in the distance - this was the place of some of the more important events in Scottish history. Like all of St. Andrews, the castle which houses its bishops became the centre point for a lot of religious activity in Scotland, and being such, was the target of many invasions during the wars of Independence. What remains of the castle today is not the original structure, it has been rebuilt many times over the years through various wars and invasions. The structure still standing was probably built around 1400. But that in no way diminishes the feel of antiquity that is impossible to miss in the remaining stone, and when you see its location and solid building it is easy to see that it was built with 'defending itself' in mind. In my time in the British Isles I've had the opportunity to see, visit, and photograph many castles. Some spectacular and other's fairly ordinary. If for nothing but the surrounding setting and the stunning outline, I would have to rank St. Andrews high on my list of most beautiful Scottish castles. As most other attractions in St. Andrews, it too caters nicely to those with or without a budget for spending. Some castles, I have found, are hardly worth driving to if you can't afford to get in, as the view is obscured or simply not worth photographing. But St. Andrews is perfectly set up to enjoy - even if you can't afford (or are not inclined to pay) the entrance fee. Having said that, it is a very reasonable fee of £5, (and for £7 you can gain entrance to both the castle and the cathedral, which is very reasonable indeed.)
The immense history of the place may well leave you intrigued to see the detailed interior of the castle, but if not it is still very easy to enjoy from its Eastward view on the costal path. Stroll through the ruins of St. Andrew's cathedral and graveyards until you come to a path on the left hand side of the wall. Step out onto a walking path that runs the length of the coast down to the stone pier. A quick glance to your left and you can see the stunning profile of these castle remains. Take photos until your heart is content! This is a stunning spot, and easily worth a stroll to see.
St Andrews Castle
St. Andrews, Scotland
Inverness, United Kingdom