The best cycling routes around St Andrews, Scotland
They say that cycling is the new golf, so why don’t you try riding your bike over the third green at the Royal and Ancient? (Actually, don’t.) In fact, there’s as much to attract cyclists as golfers in this corner of Scotland, which can often be overlooked by riders who are set on conquering the high passes. The coast is always in view, either near or far, framing a pleasant and modestly hilly landscape.
Circular route taking in the Firth of Tay and the Lomond Hills
A bunch of Fife: 90 miles A full tour of the Eastern reaches of Fife
Heading north-west, you lift yourself over a low, easterly spur of the Ochils to reach the Firth of Tay. It’s much easier going until the turn inland at Newburgh, for the long rise into the Lomond Hills. You’ll work your way up the centre of the peninsula to reach the sea again at Pittenweem, and there’s plenty to see along the way.
Get the route tinyurl.com/cplus-fife
Circular route through Crail, Anstruther and close to Kellie Castle
Good Neuks: 36 miles Fishing villages and castles, sea views, quiet roads
The East Neuk, or corner, is steeped in fishing tradition and the maritime feel is still strong today, with Crail and Anstruther perfect examples of such settlements. Inland, the riding undulates more and there are fine views across the peninsula. Kellie Castle, close to the route, is well worth a visit.
Get the route tinyurl.com/cplus-neuks
Have breakfast here…
This is famous as the spot where Wills and Kate met, but you’ll probably be more interested in the pancakes meeting the syrup to set you up for a day’s riding.
Where 24 North Street, St Andrews
Stop for cakes here…
Only a scone’s throw from the route, exactly when you need it, this restaurant/deli/shop will provide you with posh coffee and cake.
Where Channel Farm, Milnathort
Get spare tubes here…
Spokes has three branches, all in Scotland. Here in the heart of the royal burgh it sells bikes from Look, Giant and Trek and hires out all kinds of bikes.
Where South St, St Andrews
Fancy a pint?
A favourite of the St Andrews University Real Ale Society, and they should know because they’re clever, right? Find out in the pub quiz!
Where Bridge Street, St Andrews
For the family?
It’s got to be golf, hasn’t it? You can do nine or 18 holes (the kids will want to do the lot!).
Where St Andrews Links
Map illustration: Tonwen Jones