Free things to do: Stirling and St Andrews


Both Stirling and St Andrews are stunning historical towns with big student communities. If you’ve rinsed all your cash on club nights and dominos and find yourself bored, fear not! As well and being picturesque to wander around, both towns have plenty of free cultural activities to fill your time with. 




1.The King’s Knot

The King’s Knot is vast and intricately designed area of sculpted land in King’s Park. It is the shape of a stepped octagon and lies in the valley below Stirling Castle where the ground was previously used by royals to practice jousting and hunt. It is thought that the impressive feature dates back to the 1620s but was restored in the 1840s by order of Queen Victoria. More


2.The Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Bursting with eight fascinating collections and surrounded by a historical landscaped Garden, The Smith will transport you back in time. The museum focuses on cultural and historical art heritage with regularly changing exhibitions showcasing fine art and subjects of local interest. More


3.The Back Walk

Stirling’s Back Walk dates back to the 1700s and is the perfect activity if you don’t want to fork out for Stirling Castle. It is an urban walkway which starts next to the city’s municipal buildings and winds around behind and the old town and below the castle, past site of the city’s old beheading stone. Nice! More

4.The Black Boy Fountain

This fountain was originally built in remembrance of the city’s residents who died in the Black Plague. In 1997 the fountain was restored to its original glory. Situated in the Allan Park area of the city, the fountain is the perfect place to sit with an ice cream on the rare days that Scotland gets sunshine. More

5.The Church of the Holy Rude
With its original timber roof and stained glass windows, the Church of the Holy Rude is definitely worth a visit just for its architectural beauty. Not only is the building beautiful it also dates back to the 15th century and is the only church in Scotland that is still in used for coronation. More

St Andrews

1.Breakfast at Trinity

The Holy Trinity church in St Andrews is not only known for its stunning beauty but also for its weekly complimentary breakfast served before the early Sunday morning service. The church itself has dubbed the morning event ‘Breakfast at Trinity’ and welcomes everyone to join. Although the 8:30am start might put you off the freshly made pancakes definitely won’t. More

2.University of St Andrews Observatory

The University’s observatory is located just off the city’s Buchanan Gardens, next to its playing fields. The James Gregory Telescope is only open to the public on the first Wednesday of each month but it is definitely worth a visit because you can get a free guided tour from an astronomer! More


3.The St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum

This small museum is located in the old fishing quarter of the town. It is a museum of the people, displaying items of clothing and furniture as well as housing a collection of over 10,000 photographs and post cards from St Andrews’ past. Open every day, the museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of the town or just chill out in its award winning gardens. More

4.The MUSA

The Museum of the University of St Andrews displays more than 112,000 artefacts from the University’s own collection. It has has four galleries focussing on different areas of history such as ancient treasures, the lives of St Andrews students throughout the ages and divinity research in the arts and sciences. The fourth gallery is used for temporary exhibitions. The museum is the ideal place to go to learn about topics outwith your own area of study. More

5.West Sands

There aren’t too many places in Scotland where you can enjoy a walk along miles and miles of golden sand. Run and jump off sand dunes or examine rock pools for interesting aquatic life. Enjoy a sheltered picnic in amongst the dunes or fly a kite if it’s a windy day. This beach was once used for the opening scene of chariots of the film, Chariots of Fire. So you can count on the scenery spectacular. More



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