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Until quite recently, I had never visited St Andrews. I’m still not entirely sure why it took me so long as St Andrews is such an iconic location for many reasons and it is somewhere that everyone who has been, speaks of so fondly. I really had no excuse. I am from Scotland and I lived in Edinburgh for years, it was almost on my doorstep yet I never made the journey.
But last year on a gloriously sunny day, we decided to make the journey. I had to see what all the fuss was about. If it would live up to my high expectations after years of hearing how great it was. And as we drove through the town, I got it. It is a truly beautiful place to visit and somewhere worth all of the love and praise that it receives.
I was enamoured by the old and ruined buildings that sit alongside the quaint town centre filled with local restaurants and shops, just as I know so many others will be, so it was inevitable that I would eventually spend some time looking for the best places to stay for a slightly longer trip and to tick off some more of the best things to do in St Andrews!
Not every one of these vacation rentals is in St Andrews, some may be in the villages nearby but I hope this inspires you to look at the variety of places to stay in St Andrews Scotland and hopefully manage to grab a good deal and book a stay in this charming part of the country!
‘Heartland’ with open fire and hot tub
Our first property is in the village of Ceres, which is an approximate 15-minute drive from St Andrews and oh my gosh, let’s start by saying, what a view! As well as being close to St Andrews, you are also 3.5 miles away from the sea and around 25 minutes drive to the nearby seaside town of Elie (look it up, it’s beautiful!).
If you love the outdoors, or if you simply love the idea of the outdoors while maintaining a sense of luxury, this is a fantastic property choice.
The cabin can accommodate up to 3 guests and has one double bedroom with a pop-up camp bed also available. Heartland offers exceptional views over fields with the sight of water in the distance.
Starting off inside the property, the decor has a rustic farmhouse charm with a stable door entrance and a sliding door through to the bathroom and bedroom. There is a wood burner in the living room and the decor is really clean but still homely. TV and internet are no problem in this location, there is access to all the usual amenities and you can take pets to this property for a small added charge but this cottage really is your luxurious escape to the country.
Now, the pièce de résistance, the showpiece of this cabin sits out on the vast decking area, the outdoor hot tub. It is essentially a really, really big bath as opposed to your typical jacuzzi bath and it is situated outside of the property overlooking those incredible landscapes. You have plenty of space if you just want to sit and dip your feet after a long day walking or if you want to get in and have a drink while enjoying the view. Bliss.
Book your stay at Heartland
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It’s easy for me to find accommodation as I usually travel in a two but I know that there are plenty of families and groups of people looking for that extra space but still want something special so my first option for you if you fall into that category, is Steprock Cottage.
Located down a pedestrianised alley in the heart of St Andrews, this newly refurbished three-bedroom cottage can sleep up to 6 guests. There is one room with a double bed and two rooms, each with two single beds, one of which is en-suite.
You have access to the entire home and its facilities including TV, WiFi and kitchen with washing machine, along with free on-street parking. Parking can add up to be quite costly so I always think that this is a bonus when finding somewhere to stay, especially in a central location!
I really like the interior of Steprock Cottage, it has a good mix of fresh and modern but with some familiar, comfortable and homely touches. The walls are hues of soft whites and greys which can be seen throughout the property, with pops of colour found in the furniture and decorative accessories.
The master bathroom features a bath and a shower cubicle while the kitchen has plenty of working space and is clean while functional, both have been decorated to the same high standard that we see throughout the property. There is a piano for any (perhaps budding) musicians looking to stay and you also have an outdoor patio with furniture for those warm nights.
Not only is this location and cottage incredible value but in booking, you also receive exclusive discounted access for use of the spa and gym facilities at the Fairmont hotel and the Old Course, as well as at local restaurants and experiences.
Book your stay at Steprock Cottage
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Spectacular Penthouse | 100 yds to Old Course
We have a gorgeous 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, luxury penthouse apartment with balcony overlooking West Sands Beach and located only 100 yards from the Old Course. I know this will appeal to so many for various reasons!
With the two double bedrooms, there is ample room for four guests in this spacious apartment.
There is free parking on-street by The Scores. The apartment has an open plan kitchen/living area which offers free use of WiFi, wood-burning stove, coffee machine, dishwasher and washing machine along with all the basic kitchen necessities.
And along with the spectacular views from the balcony, it is just as spectacular inside. It is very clean in decor, a look that most people strive to achieve and love. With the soft and muted paint schemes, it really opens the property up to the light that shines in the windows. It also has nods to Scotland with tartan in places and a nod to Saint Andrews with pictures of the Old Course and golf all through the property.
Both bathrooms feature large shower areas with rainwater showerheads and the added bonus of heated towel rails. The bedrooms are quite minimal but offer everything that you could need including a hairdryer. There are also toiletries in the bathroom.
It is a beautiful apartment within walking distance to everything that you could need but it is that view that really sells it for me!
Book your stay at this Spectacular Penthouse
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Argyle Street St Andrews
This is a newly refurbished apartment for four guests and has one large double bedroom and one single room with double beds, so this could be an ideal choice for a family.
As with all of my chosen properties, you will have sole access and with this flat, there is also access to a private storage cellar and private garden. It’s in a great central location for making your way around St Andrews but it is also close to transport links if you are looking to travel elsewhere but if you have taken your own transport, there is free on-street parking available.
The flat has an open plan kitchen and living area which feels really cosy and natural. The kind of kitchen you can imagine yourself cooking in while having a nice chat with family who are watching the TV or sitting in front of the open fire. The property and decor have a really lovely, warming feel about it if you know what I mean.
The bedrooms are minimal in terms of furniture but how much do you really need when travelling? There is plenty of storage for clothes and the beds look comfortable. The bathroom has a bath with overhead shower and I think that this is a great option for those with a family. Pets also welcome.
Book your stay at this Argyle Street apartment
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Best Location in St. Andrews
This two-bedroom apartment is in the heart of the Old Town in St Andrews. It is comfortable for up to 4 guests with two double room but these can also be modified into twin rooms if necessary.
The apartment has a gorgeous interior with a mix of the new and older furniture. I love the bay window in the living room and the unusual storage cupboards which give the property lots of character.
I think in terms of decor, it is classic and traditionally Scottish in my eyes. The kitchen is very small but lovely, I really like the subway tiles with dark grouting along with that blue kitchen bar! The bathroom is modern, again with the subway tiles surrounding the bath and overhead shower which looks clean and fresh while both of the bedrooms have some beautiful furniture that enhances the overall feel of the apartment.
It looks like a very safe, warm and comfortable home to stay in and I can just imagine watching the world pass me by from that window as I sipped my morning coffee from the Nespresso machine!
Book your stay at the Best Location in St. Andrews
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House on the Harbour, family home in seaside town of Pittenweem
The nearby fishing village of Pittenweem is another possibility of locations to stay. I have to say that it is very aesthetically pleasing and it is only around 20 minutes drive (or bus) to St Andrews.
Fear not about being slightly away from St Andrews, you won’t be left high and dry as this is a working harbour and you will find plenty of shops and restaurants among the picturesque houses but it is a beautiful alternative.
This is a renovated three-bedroom fisherman’s house on the harbour and can accommodate up to 6 guests, although there is a sofabed so this can be pushed to 8 guests with a small added fee. There are two double rooms with king-size beds and one twin room. The interior has been modernised although you will find some original features, such as stonework which is in keeping with the age of the house.
You will be lucky to enjoy the three living areas so this could be perfect for families of different ages, there is also a separate dining room with french doors leading outdoors to the private patio which also features some outdoor furniture if you choose to dine outside.
The kitchen is fully equipped and spacious and I would comment that the whole property has been decorated to a high standard.
There are two bathrooms, a must with so many guests. One has a shower room and the other with shower over bath so can pick your preference.
The double bedrooms are quite spacious while the twin room is smaller but certainly big enough for a short stay.
Again, we have free parking which is another added bonus.
Book your stay at the House on the Harbour
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The Rhynd Farmhouse
I am a sucker for a farmhouse. I am a city girl at heart but I love the notion of farmhouse living.
Again, this property is not in the centre of St Andrews but around 15-20 minutes distance in the small town of Leuchars. Leuchars is also the closest train station to St Andrews (to my knowledge), so if you are looking to travel to Dundee or Edinburgh etc on your trip, then this could be a great stop.
This is also one of the larger group properties that I could find which can accommodate up to 9 guests. We have 5 bedrooms (1 king, 3 queens and 1 single) and 3 bathrooms.
The exterior of the property is glorious. You have a standalone farmhouse with a large garden to yourself. The farmhouse is also close to the Rhynd Cafe which is open for lunches, coffee and cake. Rhynd fitness if you would like to join a fitness class to start the day, there are nearby beaches and The Scottish Clay Shooting Centre if you would like to try something new.
However, the interior is a little bit of a mismatch for me. It does state in the description that there were a recent transformation and renovation made to the interior and you can certainly see that in many of the rooms, rooms which appear well-considered and well decorated but there are still some pictures that although fine, clean and functional, do appear a little dated in comparison.
The property overall is absolutely stunning and the views are more than worth the retreat.
The kitchen/dining area is just the family farmhouse feel that I would expect, it is large, has a Belfast sink, an island and a big oven with plenty of working space. You can even request a breakfast basket for arrival which contains some bread and eggs from the farm along with some local sausages and bacon! The perfect accompaniment to your coffee from the coffee machine.
There is a separate formal dining room with space for up to 12 people and the option of two living rooms for watching TV and you will see gorgeous fireplaces throughout the property from the living rooms to the bedrooms. The bedrooms are very spacious, you will have plenty of space to take a time out from the party and never feel on top of each other while the upstairs bathroom has a lovely roll top bath, with separate shower and eye-catching floor tiles for some added relaxation. This property also boasts of some underfloor heating which I think is always a lovely touch.
Book your stay at the Rhynd Farmhouse
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The Crow’s Nest, Pittenweem
Ah, I think this is my dream home. For so many reasons, it is just magnificent in my eyes. So, this is another property in the working fishing village of Pittenweem, slightly smaller in that it has two double rooms, accommodating up to four guests including pets.
The Crows Nest is overlooking the village of Pittenweem so you are not on the harbour front but you will still have those stunning views.
This property has an eclectic but homely interior, filled with character. It looks so cosy with the deep colours and open fireplace but it is surrounded by modern touches with pops of colour that really pull it all together.
The living room has this wonderful open fire with seating that just makes you want to curl up and relax, while the kitchen/dining area is perfect for preparing and eating those big meals and is equipped with everything you need including a few luxuries. Those upstairs bedrooms? Well, the main bedroom is wonderfully curated with a gorgeous headboard, beautiful tiled fireplace and incredible wardrobe. The other two rooms are more modern but still have some really unique furniture which gives the rooms more dimension.
There are two bathrooms in this property, one shower room and one with a deep-set bath. The main bathroom is a rich green colour with a mixture of mid-century and modern touches while the shower room is majority modern in design.
The house is filled with wonderful nooks and crannies, spots for sitting, storage or for the odd showpiece which fits perfectly in its surroundings.
I would be thrilled to stay here. Heck, I could only wish to own something this wonderful at some point.
Book your stay at the Crow’s Nest
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Weaver’s Cottage beach getaway
This is a wonderful cottage for two, located just seconds from the beach in the Lower Largo area which is a 20-minute drive from St Andrews but for views like this, you won’t complain.
When I imagine a seaside holiday cottage, I think this is it. It’s small, it’s quaint, lots of blues with nautical touches but not in any way overbearingly so. It is very tastefully done.
The exterior of this cottage is wonderfully picturesque and has outdoor seating and dining facilities which are a great addition for those bright and long nights, you always have a grass area before the gate opening which leads you directly onto the beach.
I am going to say now, that I think this cottage is more suited to those who are more nimble as the bedroom area does involve climbing a rolling library ladder to your king-size bed. There is limited space in the sleeping area with just room for the bed and a bedside light. This entryway may not be for everyone but it is a fun addition.
The whole cottage has been carefully designed to make the most of the limited space available and I think that they have done a wonderful job in achieving this. The property has everything that you could need without looking cluttered. In the seating area, there is a stove burner for those colder nights or simply to heat up the cottage while you listen to the sounds of the sea and the shower room has some lovely touches with the soft coloured wood panelling and old Singer stand for the basin.
There is no parking available at this property although I’m sure that you could find some nearby and pets are welcome.
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Yet another property in Pittenweem, I know, they are just so incredibly beautiful though!
Mangle cottage has two bedrooms but they can host up to 5 guests by use of a pop-up bed. This is a 17th-century cottage but it has been newly refurbished giving it a very country/seaside vibe.
It’s very bright and airy with lots of white running throughout the property but I think the enclosed garden has to be one of the standout features of this house. You have outdoor seating on the patio which is leading on from the conservatory, it’s surrounded by fairy lights and overlooking the harbour waters which just sounds delightful. To sit outside on a warm evening with a drink of your choice and listening to the water lap, I can only imagine. There is even a summer house with outdoor decking at the end of the garden featuring more seating and plenty of children’s games and toys for entertainment.
Now, the kitchen of this property is on the ground floor, which is unusual. And I don’t mean on the entryway level, you actually take the stairs up to the living areas and garden level. It’s a little quirk that I really like. The kitchen/dining area is large as you effectively have this entire floor dedicated to it. Very well designed with lovely worktops and Belfast sink. There is plenty of room for cooking and hosting.
One of the bedrooms has a shower ensuite with rainwater showerhead while the main bathroom has a gorgeous standalone bath with a high back. The whole cottage is decorated beautifully and is very close to many of the local food stores and restaurants.
Book your stay at Mangle Cottage
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Luxury Garden Apartment in St Andrews
A luxury two-bedroom garden apartment only a 5-minute walk to the centre of St Andrews. Fantastic! St Andrews has a lot of historical buildings which can make things more challenging for those with mobility difficulties but this is more of a modern listing. This property is ground floor but the building also has lift accessibility making it a good option for wheelchair users.
You can expect a much more modern, very clean, hotel element to these apartments in terms of design. They are not family homes, they are serviced apartments created for tourism and functionality.
There are two double bedrooms although the beds can be split to create a twin room if required. The ground floor apartment has two bathrooms, one ensuite shower room and one main bathroom with bath and overhead shower. There are toiletries available for use.
For me, it’s the large open plan kitchen that catches my eye but I don’t think this is the accommodation that you will be cooking elaborate family meals in. It is functional with necessities, along with a kitchen bar for seating but very minimal otherwise. The standout feature would be the bi-fold doors opening into the patio/garden area which does offer additional outdoor seating and table, great in good weather but as I mentioned previously, that the access to the property is good for wheelchair users, I’m not entirely sure that accessibility to this area is possible as there are steps. Perhaps something to question.
However, the bi-fold doors are a great feature and really open up space, they are also featured in one of the bedrooms.
Free parking and WiFi available.
Book your stay at this Luxury Garden Apartment
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The Lodge @ East Neuk Orchards
Only a 15-minute drive from St Andrews is this magnificent lodge. The exterior of this cottage has a certain fairytale charm that I really like and the location is that great go-between of being close to the town of St Andrews but also the beach and Pittenweem so it’s a fabulous spot for couples and small families, particularly those with young children. It is also pet friendly so there is plenty of space to explore in these 1-acre grounds.
You have some lovely touches with the stable and farm doors and the exposed brick fireplace with a log burner in the living room. This creates a really cosy atmosphere. The interior of the property has been decorated with lots of blues, greys and yellows and you can tell that the decor has been carefully curated. It feels welcoming and fresh yet homely and this is something that you will see throughout the property.
This property has two bedrooms and can host up to four guests. The main bathroom has a bath with overhead shower but there is also an ensuite with shower cubicle and while the rooms aren’t massive, there is plenty of space for a couple of nights stay.
If you are a keen walker or cyclist etc then I think the location of this property would be ideal and highly rated for exploring some of the coastal paths and taking leisurely stops at some of the many coffee and ice cream shops.
Book your stay at the Lodge @ East Neuk Orchards
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Large Victorian apartment
A four-bedroom large Victorian apartment in the centre of St Andrews, which is set over two floors and can accommodate up to 8 guests, this is hitting the jackpot.
You will be on a quiet street just off the main town centre, this is somewhere really desirable and better yet, you still have free on-street parking and a lovely private garden which has an outdoor BBQ, putting green (in your garden!) and more.
This is a family home, it has not been bought and done up to be an Airbnb so you will feel a lot of those homely touches that you may not find elsewhere. I think it’s in the details, you will receive a welcome pack with some milk and other small items so that you don’t have to rush out to buy food on arrival and these touches go a long way.
As with most Victorian properties, you will find the high ceilings, wonderful coving, big fireplaces with a more modern log burner feature and large windows which have a lovely view over the street and Queens Gardens.
The bedrooms are very spacious, each with Victorian fireplace or log burner. They are clean, well designed with plenty of storage and have gorgeous wooden floors.
The kitchen may seem a little dated in comparison but remember that this is a family home and it is clean and fully equipped with everything that you could need. There are two bathrooms, the main bathroom has a corner bath and separate shower cubicle while the second bathroom features a shower only.
I think that this is a beautiful property and a really great find!
Book your stay at this Large Victorian Apartment
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