The 10 Best Things about St Andrews

Hermione Bird looks on the lighter side of things.

For a counterargument, see Jonathan Chatterjee’s piece here.


You’ve got the grades and are heading to Scotland. St Andrews is a world-renowned place and school, which is great – but it also means you’ve already listened to your fair share of opinions on why it’s so good, most likely by people who aren’t students. Your parents tell you it’s the best due to the academics. Your aunt (who fancies Prince Harry) says our little town is fit for a king. But what really makes St Andrews so good? Well, here’s a list of my top ten best things about it – and no, Kate and Wills don’t feature.

1. The Town Itself

St Andrews is renown for its beauty. With all the dreaming spires of Oxford and its own castle, St Andrews is the quintessential Scottish town and the envy of those who don’t get to live here. Coupled with three gorgeous beaches and one ancient golf course, there really is no prettier place to spend four years studying. To name the prettiest place within the town is tough and entirely subjective. My personal favourite will always be the view from most Sallies’ windows. You can look out onto West Sands from one side and the castle from another. The castle is beautiful in itself but hides another secret gem. If you wear your gown, students can go in for free. Don’t have a gown? No problem, rumour has it that the castle is very pretty late at night…but you didn’t hear that from me.

2. We’ve got balls

We don’t have a nightclub in St Andrews. It’s three streets and we’re not about that life. But when we do party, we do it in style. Just how many balls are there? No one really knows for sure, but it feels like there’s one every weekend. To name but a few: Opening, Reeling, Welly, Christmas, May, Glitter etc. Not to mention hall balls, which are far cheaper than the main balls and still great fun. So get a dress, get some heels, get some flat shoes (because cobbles, ceilidhs and heels do not mix) and go have some fun.

3. Northpoint

Hungover from that ball? No problem, go to Northpoint. It’s where Kate and Wills met (for coffee)! At least, that’s what the sign on the door says. Located on North Street near the castle, Northpoint caters to everyone’s needs. I would recommend the buttons hot chocolate. It’s worth a trip, and their lunches are insanely delicious as well.

4. Whey Pachos

You haven’t lived until you’ve been to Whey Pat and treated yourself to nachos. Just at the very end of South Street, this local pub makes the best nachos in Scotland (probably). On a cold winter night, Whey Pat has that cosy pub feel which will make you want to walk there in your slippers. The nachos are full of cheesy goodness and the bar staff are some of the friendliest you can meet.

5. The Union

This could easily appear on the ten worst things, but it depends on the night you’re having. The Union is our “club,” where we come to drink Pablos (try, party, regret, forget, try again). Everyone has fallen victim to the Pablo – just one isn’t enough and two will give you a terrible hangover. But it’s so worth it! Enjoy yours whilst belting out “Mr Brightside” during karaoke (it’s the only place to be on a Friday night… literaly). You also can’t have the Union without Dervish. Dervish is the place that will take you in after your third Pablo and nurture you with cheesy chips and kebabs until you stumble off home to bed. Just remember this simple formula: Pablo + Dervish = one good night. 

6. Toasties

Feel the need to repent on a Friday night out? Then go to church! It’s ok, they don’t give you a sermon but they do give you toasties for 50 p.

7. Close to Everything

9 am? So you probably need to get up at 8:50. Unless you live in DRA, you’re pretty close to all your classes and you’ll never be lost. This also works for when its 9:50 pm and you realise you need to buy alcohol. Remember that shops have to legally stop selling it at 10pm in Scotland, but because everything is so close, you shouldn’t have to worry too much.

8. Seeing everyone you know

Because our town is so small, it is impossible to step outside without seeing at least five people you know. Some of these people you won’t know by name, but you see them so often that you’ll form a strange bond of awkward smiles and nods. Who knows, this could turn into a drunk conversation in the Union! 

9. Societies

The Freshers’ Fayre can be a bit overwhelming but there is a society for everything, and I mean everything. Tunnocks Teacake Appreciation Society? Yes, of course we have that, what sort of university would deprive their students of such a necessity?

10. Third Best in the Country

You’re at St Andrews, give yourself a pat on the back and go for it. Everyone knows us, your CV is glowing, and the teaching staff are incredible.

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