Our own team of tour guides

November 1, 2019

When you have the good fortune of living in a coastal location that is a desirable place to visit, entertaining family and friends is inevitable. Balancing the role of host, tour guide and cook can be exhausting, but don’t fall into the trap of over-planning activities. From experience, house guests appreciate having a handful of outings or activities on the agenda with some time built in to relax and venture out on their own. There is of course no shortage of places to explore in St Andrews and Fife, but we all have our personal favourites.

We asked the team, if friends were visiting for the first time where would they take them to show off the place?

The harbour at Crail, in the East Neuk of Fife

Stephen Owen – General Manager

A stroll around Crail and its harbour is always a must, followed by a drive down to Anstruther for fish and chips at the famous chippy. Then pop along to Kellie Castle. If it’s wet – take the tour of the castle, but if it’s dry, explore the wonderful walled garden!

Louise Turner – Conference & Events Manager

A walk to the end of the harbour! The working harbour is tidal and when the tide is in fishing boats can come and go. You can watch fishing boats berth and unload their catch of lobsters and crabs. It also has some of the best views. From the harbour you can also pick up the Fife Coastal Path and venture far as time or energy allows. Coincidentally, hundreds of students from the University of St Andrews take part in the traditional Pier Walk in September along the harbour walls of St Andrews before the start of the new academic year.

If your visitors have children, what would you recommend?

Stephen Owen – General Manager

During the summer-time, the beach is a must. The West Sands has Blown Away which offers some really exciting activities for the more adventurous or for teenagers. One place that tends to be forgotten (ironically) is the Secret Bunker which is a ten minute drive from St Andrews and well sign-posted so not exactly a secret anymore! It’s a great activity when the weather isn’t at its best.

The St Andrews Spy Mission Treasure Trail is another great way to explore the town with kids. You can follow a self-guided trail to solve clues and crack the code. While looking for answers children get to learn about the town including its historical buildings, signs and statues.

If visitors had a dog, where would you take them for the best walks?

Stephen Owen – General Manager

For me the best beach to walk is at Kingsbarns. You can park easily and then walk along the beach westwards. You will get to the bottom of the Cambo woodland, and from there you can do a quick circuit walk.

Craig McPherson – Deputy General Manager

If we are out with our dog Ollie we would usually go to either Tentsmuir Beach or Maspie Den. Both are doggie friendly and Tentsmuir has various cycling routes too that cater for a range of age groups. The Maspie Den paths were laid out as a showplace of the Falkland Estate in the nineteenth century. Restored today they provide an excellent walk with some fascinating features.

Louise Turner – Conference & Events Manager

West Sands beach is probably the largest and best-known beach in St Andrews. The south end of the two-mile-long sandy beach featured in the opening sequence of the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. The long, wide beach means it never feels crowded. Tentsmuir is a combination of forest trails that weave between tall trees and open sand dunes which make it unbeatable for walking dogs and great for children too.

The Pittenweem Chocolate Company make glorious hot chocolates too!

Where would you go for the best cup of coffee?

Stephen Owen – General Manager

There are lots of coffee shops available in St Andrews, but if you have time look out for Taste on North Street. Probably the smallest, but an excellent independent business serving possibly the best coffee in St Andrews.

Craig McPherson – Deputy General Manager

Our favourite place after a long walk is Campbell’s Coffee House or the Pillars of Hercules for that special treat. The Crepe Shack is also a huge favourite of ours!

If you have other suggestions, please drop us a line so that we ca include them in future posts or recommend to our hotel guests.

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