Most local residents of St Andrews know about Lade Braes Walk between South Street and the Kinness Burn. It is a lovely path surrounded by trees and walled gardens, but many people have never followed it all the way to its most impressive view, Hallow Hill. The usual stopping points if you’re not committed to a 45-minute walk are either Cockshaugh Public Park or the back of the St Andrews Botanic Gardens, but if you have the time, keep walking! You can follow the Kinness Burn for roughly another kilometre and reach the foot of Hallow Hill. Once a Pictish graveyard, this grassy hill is now a public park perfect for sledding in the snow or a lunch in the sun!
St Mary’s Quad
This is a student favourite. St Mary’s is home to the University’s School of Psychology and Neuroscience and School of Divinity, and the quad between the schools is just beautiful. The huge oak tree at the centre looks right out of a storybook, and the architecture is mesmerizing. As you walk deeper into the quad, try to find the hawthorn bush believed to be planted by Mary, Queen of Scots or take a look at the statue of Bishop Henry Wardlaw, the University’s founder. If the sky is clear, pack a picnic and your textbooks and enjoy an afternoon on the lawn!
The Garden on Baker Lane
I think everyone who has ever lived in St Andrews is impartial to at least one route for getting around town. Since I have been living on the west end of South Street for the past three years, mine happens to be Baker Lane. Why? It is one of the few alleys in St Andrews that isn’t just a narrow opening between two walls. It has a garden! You also may have seen the main attractions, the delightful cats who live there. Taking a stroll down Baker Lane, especially on a sunny day, is the perfect opportunity to sit down on a garden bench with your coffee and make a new furry friend. Ordered takeaway for lunch but then realize the weather is decent for once? Take your chips to the garden and enjoy a meal in the fresh air before heading home. Convinced yourself to go on a walk to “clear your mind” before a deadline? Try to find the cats for a quick boost of happiness.
East End of Town Run
Over the past year, a lot of students have taken up running to stay healthy both physically and mentally. I have discovered the best route to remind you how lovely St Andrews is and distract you from the cold air burning in your lungs. The East End of town is home to some of the top attractions, and a simple loop will give you a workout while seeing them all. Starting at the front of the StAPT Museum, head down North Street towards the cathedral ruins. Then, hang a left by the War Memorial down Gregory Place and The Pends. Enjoy the breath-taking view over the cliff (cannons included) and head down the steep hill towards the Pier. If you want, run to the end of the pier and back or just continue on Shorehead to the Harbour Café. Next, it’s over the bridge and up the path that runs parallel to East Sands. Follow the coastline all the way to the Cheesy Toast Shack before turning right onto Woodburn Place to head back into town. Another quick right will have you crossing the Kinness Burn and taking you straight to Balfour Place and The Shore on the right. Follow the water and take the road through the arch (bottom of the Pends) on the left. It’s a steep hill, so get those knees up and arms pumping as you reach the top of the Pends onto South Street. A short jog in front of the cathedral will bring you right back to where you started on North Street. The loop is 2 kilometers without the pier, which is perfect as a speed run, warm up, or cool down. If you’re feeling tired, just take a walk and maybe stop for a snack along the way all while enjoying some of the best views in town!