As Scotland’s seat, a day trip to Edinburgh is a no brainer. Just hop on a scenic train journey over Scotland’s own Golden Gate the Forth Bridge and voila! This festival city boasts festivals for every interest and hosts a wealth of life-affirming things to do. Historically speaking, you’ve got the Castle exalted upon high above the main thoroughfare, the Old Town with its Royal Mile and accompanying attractions — think Camera Obscura, the Real Mary King’s Close, the Writers’ Museum, the Parliament, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat and the National Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh Gin Distillery is great for a boozy ordeal, as are any of the Whisky Tours. From comedy clubs to cobbled streets, bars galore and more, this is the day trip that you will want to extend indefinitely!
Just a brief car journey away from St Andrews, Elie makes for a wonderful day trip. This compact coastal town is adored for its curving golden grains of sand and picturesque 16th century harbour peppered with bobbing yachts and wee vessels ebbing and flowing with the waves. With two coveted golf courses to its name, Elie is also a grand golfing day trip option too. Then again, how could it not since the legendary golfer and golf course designer James Braid was born here. Atmospheric and mesmerising, the Elie Lighthouse sports mind-reeling views. A striking stone structure by the sea, Lady’s Tower dates back to the 1700s and was a private changing room for Lady Janet Anstruther before her daily swim.
Aside from its tiny streets, sprinkling of age-old cobble stones and multi award winning fish and chip shop — the Anstruther Fish Bar (seriously, you must go) — Anstruther, a traditional fishing village, is a gem in its own right. Located on the East Neuk along the coast of Fife, this fairytale town is a magnet for wildlife like seals and puffins, which can be spotted on a picturesque boat excursion to the Isle of May. The Scottish Fisheries Museum is a time capsule honouring Scotland’s rich fishing heritage, while just half a mile away, the fishing port of Cellardyke is a must-visit. The Cellar Restaurant is a foodie paradise championing the best of local Scottish ingredients.
As the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, Stirling has this old-world charm about it that never fails to reel you in. A must-see, the sizeable magnificent castle, as it watches over its city and people, is of great historical significance, as is the Old Town, with its ambient streets and beckoning buildings, including the string from medieval and renaissance times. As a site of the Scottish Wars of Independence and many monarchs, Stirling is a fine pick for history buffs. Standing tall, the dramatic National Wallace Monument casts a Victorian Gothic shadow worth absorbing.
As pretty as can be, Perth is a perfect day trip destination. Based along the banks of the beguiling River Tay, the longest river in Scotland, this appealing place was once a Scottish capital. The surprisingly ornate Perth Museum and Art Gallery, complete with cascading white pillars and glass ceiling dome, houses curiosities pertinent to the area and culture, as well as a Strathmore meteorite and a mummy called Ta-kr-hb. Between the wander-worthy streets and array of entertaining sites, and its status as a foodie pit stop, Perth is a good place to be. Don’t miss out on the nearby Scone Palace and the Stone of Destiny — breathtaking.
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park
Suited to outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, wildlife lovers and fitness fanatics alike, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is give or take an hour-and-a-half drive from St Andrews. Whether up for a long-haul expedition or gentle meander, the scenery that ensues, as well as the awe-inspiring sights, are snapshots straight from a dream. The place is punctuated with a network of lochs, mountains and hiking trails. Be sure to soak up the iconic bonnie banks of Loch Lomond herself and hop onto the portion of the famous West Highland Way.