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Need Advice

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South Texas
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Need Advice

We are planning a week's trip to Scotland in April '09 (10-18) (4 of us - two couples). We have never travelled to Europe before and we picked Scotland because my son-in-law wants to play golf at the Fairmont or St. Andrews.

We would appreciate any and ALL advice on airlines, cottages, restaurants, sights, warnings...anything at all that you would offer that could make our trip more pleasant and informed.

We will only have a week there and we don't want to kill ourselves trying to see everything. We want to stay in a small cottage if possible...the boys want to play golf and the girls want to see a little bit of the countryside, maybe a castle and some shopping...

In advance, thank you for your help.

Oakville, Canada
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1. Re: Need Advice

That's a tall order. What research have you done? I would suggest first looking at www.visitscotland.com,or http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ You'll get alot of ideas and a good starting point.

Russell, Kansas
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2. Re: Need Advice

If I were you, I would fly into London and spent your first night there. Since it is your first trip to Europe, why not see a bit of London too? British airways has a non stop from Dallas-Fort Worth to Heathrow. I like BA because you still get 2 meals included and free cocktails. And I like the non stop flights I get from Denver. Connections waste my precious rare vacation time! You could get a hotel near the airport, take the tube into London and see a few sights. My daugheter and I used the tube for the first time this summer and we were surprised at how easy it is to get around with it. Spend the night and then next morning fly to Edinburgh, rent a car and then drive to St. Andrews.

And do drive to the other little fishing villages like Crail, Pittenweem and Anstruther (for the best fish and chips). I love those places because though they are tiny, they are 100% opposite of what Kansas has to offer. Also try to get to Falkland. It's a lovely village that is very relaxing to walk around in. The palace is worth a look and if your feeling up to it, a hike up east Lomond hill gives awesome views in good weather. Fife is very easy to drive in. You could also toodle up to Dundee or Arbroath. The ship Discovery is an interesting way to spend an hour or two and Arbroath is a nice place to explore too. These places are all within a short drive of St. Andrews. With more time you can explore farther to see more. The www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk website is one of the best. There is also an area to click on to find self catering cottage options. It looks like there are some really unique places on the list.

The only warning I can give you is to expect $$ shock. With our dollar on par with toilet roll it takes a lot. On the other hand, the rental cars get awesome gas mileage so you won't have to fill up very often.

North Berwick...
Destination Expert
for East Lothian
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3. Re: Need Advice

You could easily find a lovely sea side cottage (self catering)in Fife.

embracescotland.co.uk/region_Kingdom_Fife.asp

From there you have a wonderful variety of activities and sights at your doorstep. Kelly Castle is lovely and has a wonderful garden as well. Check out this forum for other ideas in Fife.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Need Advice

We just returned from 3 weeks in Scotland and had a wonderful time. The weather was fairly rainy but we didn't let that stop us from doing things. You posted in the St. Andrews forum so I'll tell you about our time there.

We really enjoyed the St. Andrews area. We stayed for 2 nights at St. Nicholas Farmhouse B & B. Bill and Anne took great care of us, with lovely breakfasts and our room was well-equipped. The B & B is very close to a great seaside path that runs along the ocean. Walking along this path, we could be in the shopping areas/cathedral in about 20 minutes, the Old golf course, another 10 minutes further.

My husband golfed the Old course by showing up at 5:30 a.m. and lining up. He got a tee time at 6:40 and had a fabulous round.

Even if you are not a golfer, a fun thing to do is to play the Himalayas course--18 hole putting course. It costs one pound, fifty, you don't book, just show up and have a lot of fun putting on this challenging course. It takes about 30 minutes.

The castle and cathedral are very interesting, if you like history. Lots of shopping in the little shops-some touristy, some not.

Manchester
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5. Re: Need Advice

We stayed in a very modern seaside cottage in the coastal village called Kinghorn just outside St Andrews. It was fabulous. Everything was catered for including the luxury complimentary tioletries and wine.

St Andrews
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6. Re: Need Advice

Macoatup, do you mean Kingsbarns???

Not Kinghorn...that isn't just outside St.Andrews, it's about 26 miles away (1 Hour drive)

Kingsbarns is only 7 miles (15 min drive) from St Andrews ad has the Kingsbarns course which is more expensive than the Old Course to play.

MN
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324 posts
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7. Re: Need Advice

I'd highly recommend a B&B rather than a self-catered cottage. The information and recommendations from the owners can make a huge difference in how enjoyable a stay you have.

I recently stayed at Pitmilly West Lodge just outside of St A. Roddy is a pro caddy and can offer very good advice on courses and how to play them and if you stay on him a bit can tell some amazing stories of his experiences. Both he and Anthea are wonderful people.

As someone else suggested I'd definitely spend a couple of days in London as well. Stay in a hotel near SOHO, West End, and Bond St and you'll be able to walk to great restaurants, shows, and shopping.

Fife, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
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159 reviews
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8. Re: Need Advice

Its scary to think that all you visitors from across the world have as much to say about the places to visit as we "locals" do..but good information from an unbiased view - well done all of you and thanks for enjoying Scotland so much. I love Falkland Palace - I think it is so underated, but it has such a special atmosphere.Go and see it! St. Andrews Castle and Bottle Dungeon are great too, as are the Cathedral and St Rule's Tower.Maybe do a walking tour of the town if you have time - you'll learn so much more this way.Take time to wander through the graveyards at the Cathedral - not morbid at all, just very interesting and super views over to the East Sands. You will even enjoy the old cobbled streets in the town, they are very different.The shops in St.A should keep the girls busy for hours, they are many, varied and unique. Kingsbarns is a beautiful golf course if you want to have some superb views, as is The Dukes just outside St.Andrews near Craigtoun Park. Do you have to be staying at the Old Course to play there ? - not sure!

St.Andrews is my home town and a very special place with so much to see and do. Take the advice of previous posters here - they have been, seen and enjoyed, hope you do too.

Regards

Woody x

St Andrews
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9. Re: Need Advice

No you don't have to be staying at the Old Course Hotel to play the Old Course. You must have a handicap (proof with you also) There is a handicap requirement of 24 for men and 36 for ladies. It is also closed on Sundays.

There is also St Andrews' newest course; The Castle Course. There is no handicap needed for this course and you can't book as a single golfer.

As for accomodation, try the St Andrews B&B Association http://www.standrewsbandbs.co.uk/ as there are a few B&Bs located just outside of St Andrews in the countryside but still within driving distance of St Andrews.

Any more information needed, just ask!

:)

Fife, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
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10. Re: Need Advice

NO LBB - I mean do you have to be staying at the Old Course to play THE DUKES? - Its just that the views from there are wonderful for someone visiting St A for the first time so I thought it would be a good course for them to visit.

Cheers

W x