Spring is in the air…or so we hope. While St Andrews has seen worse winters (last year’s snow storm is still fresh in the town’s memory), it’s still been a cold and dark couple of months. While the university retains its verve and vivacity throughout this time of year in thanks to its lively student body, there’s no denying that students, staff and townies are all looking forward to longer and slightly warmer days. Study abroad students should use the changing seasons to explore more of St Andrews during their final semester with us! As the wind loses its bite (a bit) and the sun stays in the sky for longer, you’ll be able to find the perfect opportunity to explore.
Though spring isn’t officially here until March 20, to prepare you for the change in season, here is a guide on things to try out around St Andrews in the springtime.
Fife Coastal Path
A 117-mile stretch, the Fife Coastal Path goes from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Tay. While there is no expectation for you to walk this massive spread, popping onto the trail from St Andrews is all too easy and you can choose how long your journey will be. Whether 2 miles or 2 hours, your adventure will be rewarding! Going south, you wind through beautiful scenery with visual access to Scotland’s eastern coastline. It’s truly stunning and gives you an opportunity to physically step away from the stress of schoolwork by leaving St Andrews behind you. So if you ever have a Sunday morning to explore, you can end your early morning walk with a scone and tea. Or if it’s an afternoon walk, you can pop into a pub for a pint to reward yourself for your excursion!
West Sands and Jigger Inn
Going along with the theme of walking through nature (and casual drinks!), another springtime opportunity is exploring West Sands. Though located closer to the tourist/golfer side of St Andrews, this is a lot quicker of a walk compared to the Fife Coastal Path, so if you want a small-scale activity, this is a perfect option! Walk along the sands and watch the water crash on the shore bordering the Old Course; you might even cross paths with friendly dogs, which always makes for a good day. Again, you can top off this walk with a peek into the Jigger Inn, a wee restaurant on the Old Course itself. Authentically Scottish, with a comfortable design and a great location, it’s a great place to drop in for a glass of wine and some starters. Bring your friends to beat the Old Course prices! [me on the right enjoying a sunny day at the Jigger Inn]
Travel—Abroad OR Domestic
What comes in hand with the season change is a school holiday. After a chaotic season of deadlines, students are more than ready to take a break from school. However, sometimes a break means traveling around the country or going to a different one entirely. With two weeks off for the spring holidays, most St Andrews students fit in some kind of journey, whether that be to the Highlands or to the Alps. It’s the perfect time duration to balance proper, mindless relaxation with fun exploration.
Thanks to Scotland’s close proximity to the rest of Europe, you can find last minute deals to a handful of different countries so check out Skyscanner. Or if you don’t want to leave the island, you can keep your journey beyond St Andrews simple. Whether going to metropolitan Glasgow or Edinburgh or somewhere more quaint like Fort Williams or the Isle of Arran, there are so many options for domestic travel if that’s what you prefer (or what your budget prefers). [me on the left on a quick weekend trip to Edinburgh]
These are just a handful of ideas to make the most of your final couple months with the University of St Andrews. The longer daylight hours and less bitter chill make for fun exploring, so let’s all hope for a sunny spring time!