Sunday Optional Tour
The Sunday Tour will include a trip to Falkland Palace and a visit to the historic town of St Andrews where there will be time to enjoy lunch (not included in the price of the tour) and some siteseeing / shopping.
Places are limited so please book early.
Experience a day in the life of the Stuart monarchs at Falkland Palace, their country residence for 200 years – and a favourite place of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Set in the heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to while away some time.
Part of the Palace is in ruins but the original and reconstructed rooms are packed with 17th-century Flemish tapestries, elaborate painted ceilings and antique furnishings.
The beautiful, tranquil grounds are worth a visit alone. They are home to the oldest Real or Royal tennis court in Britain, built for King James V.
The grounds also include ruins of the 12th century Castle of Falkland, extensive gardens designed by Percy Cane and an ancient Orchard with a wild flower meadow.
History of St Andrews and sightseeing
One of Europe's finest towns, St Andrews is a place of history, learning and culture, a wonderful coastal resort, and the world's home of golf.
St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Castle has been by turns a fortress, palace and prison. It is largely ruined, battered from centuries of wars, sieges and high tides, but remains a fascinating visit on any trip to St Andrews. It's infamous “bottle dungeon” and the underground mine and countermine are well-preserved evidence of the castle’s medieval past, but they may not be suitable for the faint-hearted!
St Andrews Cathedral
A “must-see” for every visitor to St Andrews, the Cathedral’s ruins (free to enter) are truly spectacular – but they can only hint at the vast grandeur of what was once the largest church in Scotland. The thousands of medieval pilgrims who travelled on foot to St Andrews must have regarded the 11th and 12th Century structure with absolute awe. In fact, no more massive building was to be constructed in Scotland for a further 600 years!
It’s well worth buying a ticket to the Cathedral’s museum, which has a collection of medieval sculptures from the site and also includes entry to St Rule’s Tower. A climb to the top of this prominent structure rewards visitors with magnificent vistas of St Andrews and the surrounding Fife countryside.
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy. It was also where Prince William and Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) went to University and first met.
The West Port is one of the very few examples of a medieval city gate remaining in Scotland. Built in 1589 and renovated in 1843, it stands at the bottom of St Andrews’ South Street provides an imposing welcome to the town centre – just the effect its builders wished it to have, over 400 years ago.
Golf in St Andrews
Golf has been played on the Links in St Andrews since around 1400AD and the Old Course is renowned throughout the world as the home of golf. Originally the Old Course had 22 holes but because the first four were very short a decision was made to turn them into just two holes. Hence the number dropped to 18, which is how today’s standard round of golf was created. St Andrews has become the foremost golf club in the world and now governs the rules of golf everywhere except in the USA.