Things to do in winter in St Andrews, Scotland

Winter in St Andrews, Scotland, is a special time. Even though it’s cold there’s a lot of fun stuff to do. It’s a great place to have a cosy and memorable winter adventure with friends and family. Here’s a look at what makes a visit in winter to St Andrews so special.

Winter nature and wildlife

In winter nature comes to life in St Andrews. You can see sea birds and seals near the water. These birds like to hang out in the wetlands, away from the cold. If you want to see even more animals the Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve is a great place to spot deer and different kinds of birds of prey in a quiet and pretty spot.

If you take a winter walk along the Fife Coastal Path, you might see dolphins having fun in the waves. Don’t forget about the West Sands and East Sands beaches in St Andrews. They are extra peaceful in winter, especially when the frost makes the sand sparkle. Breathing in the chilly sea air and listening to the waves crashing is a wonderful way to connect with nature during the winter months in Fife.

A view of west sands beach with St Andrews Castle in the background
West Sands Beach St Andrews

Stargazing and the Northern Lights

Winter in St Andrews on clear, cold winter nights, is great for stargazing. There’s also a chance to witness the magical dance of the aurora in the skies above. While Scotland might not be the first place that comes to mind for northern lights sightings, you’d be surprised. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and venture out of town where light pollution is minimal for the best views.

Explore nearby cities

Winter in St Andrews is an excellent base for exploring nearby cities such as Edinburgh and Dundee. Both cities come alive in winter with festive markets, cultural events and historical attractions. Take a train or a short drive to these cities and enjoy a day out exploring new parts of Scotland.

Make your way to the city of Dundee, where you can explore the RRS Discovery. This ship carried Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica in the early 1900s. You can learn a lot about polar exploration and the history of ships from that time.

Edinburgh christmas market with ferris wheel and crowds of people
Edinburgh Christmas Market

Winter days out

Winter in St Andrews is a great time for days out for all the family. Delve into the depths of the Cold War era by visiting the nearby Secret Bunker. This once-secret underground facility provides a fascinating glimpse into the strategies and preparations of that time.

If you take a quick drive to the cute village of Elie from St Andrews, you can see the remains of Lady Janet Anstruther’s ship that washed ashore in the 19th century. This shipwreck is a cool part of the local history, and it’s a nice place to take a winter walk by the sea.

A taste of Scotland

Winter is the perfect time to savour hearty Scottish cuisine. St Andrews boasts an array of cosy pubs and restaurants offering traditional dishes like haggis, neeps, and tatties. Warm up with a bowl of steaming Cullen skink or enjoy some delicious Scottish salmon. You must visit Fisher and Donaldson for a fudge doughnut, they are famous for a reason.

Haggis, neeps and tatties on a plate with whisky in the background
Haggis, neeps and tatties.

St Andrews shopping

St Andrews has lots of cute shops and local independent stores. You can find special, handmade gifts, traditional Scottish tartans and stylish clothes. It’s a great spot to get souvenirs to remember your visit. If you’re there around Christmas time, don’t forget to check out the Christmas shop on the High Street for some festive goodies.

Winter in St Andrews is the season of adventure. Whether you seek the calm of nature, a taste of Scottish culture, or a touch of history, this coastal town has something special to offer. So, bundle up and embrace St Andrews in winter – you won’t be disappointed!

Looking for somewhere to stay in St Andrews?

If you are looking for self-catering accommodation nearby, check out our range of luxury apartments and woodland hide. You can contact us here for more information or call us on 07743 452896.

Woodside The Smithy apartment bedroom with a door leading out to the main living area and view outside
The Smithy Bedroom