It is a common trope that St Andrews is boasts a grand total of three streets. Indeed, these streets are home to many of us who manage to squeeze into apartments above shops or between shifty-looking alleys and hidden courtyards to shave those valuable few minutes off our daily pilgrimage to lectures. However, look a bit further and St Andrews also boasts something a little more expansive and a lot less expensive: the Badlands.
As someone who has lived in this environment for almost a year, I am often struck by how little our neighbours in the town centre know about the place I call home. When attempting to explain where I live to them, I am often greeted with the same blank stares I employ during that one 9am tutorial I was unfortunate enough to be left with. And why wouldn’t they? Living in the town centre, there is little need to venture into the Badlands. Surely it’s just a homogenous mass of sprawling suburbia, isn’t it? Well, think again. From thorough research, I have compiled a comprehensive break-down of the Badlands so we can appreciate this environment for the wild, exotic and diverse habitat it truly is.
The Nearer Badlands
This zone stretches from the Kinnessburn to Lamond Drive, a short walk from the town centre but very much its own realm. The Nearer Badlands is mostly quite pleasant with a good balance between being cheaper than the three streets yet close enough to them to avoid major inconvenience. However, it is also home to a few particularly shady blocks of flats hidden between suburban streets. The one party I went to there was disrupted by police, not to shut it down but to address a rather loud domestic dispute going on downstairs. I was told it happened a lot. Avoid the shifty enclaves though, and the Nearer Badlands aren’t too bad at all.
The Further Badlands
If you live here, chances are you own a bicycle. Between Lamond Drive and Aldi, the Further Badlands covers a vast area, mostly with concrete and neglected lawns. Although the few houses I’ve been to in this area were perfectly comfortable on the inside, their uniformly grey facades and distance from the centre give this area a distinctively cold, bleak feel. On the other hand, the rents here tend to be very cheap and the proximity to Aldi and a SPAR mean that you’ll have an endless array of microwave meals to warm you up. Although the walk is bad, the Further Badlands have the potential to save you plenty of cash if you live there.
The OAP Badlands
Between Canongate and Largo Road, the OAP Badlands are characterised by leafy roads, manicured lawns, and a hell of a lot of old people. This is one of the few areas in St Andrews where students are a minority, sandwiched in houses between families, pensioners and the occasional lecturer. The quiet and cleanliness of the OAP Badlands gives it a somewhat more salubrious atmosphere than the Nearer or Further Badlands but there are certainly drawbacks too. As virtually everyone living here takes the Viaduct Walk into town, you tend to bump into your neighbours even more than you otherwise would in St Andrews. That person you drunkenly made out with at the Union at the beginning of the year? Be prepared for many an encounter to come.
The Where Even Are You Badlands
These Badlands encompass everything beyond Aldi. Live here and you are essentially exiling yourself to a year or more of social Siberia. You better like Morrison’s because that’s where the majority of your socialising will take place. There, or at the hospital. And that would be very bad indeed.