Page 1

St Andrews Newsletter 2013

Explore St Andrews and East Fife Start of the Season News – local tourism businesses tell you their news!

Explore St Andrews March 2013

Explore Scotland Ltd 01796 473335 The newsletter • Gives you the latest Inverness tourist business news • Written by the businesses themselves

Inside this issue: Article


Explore Scotland


Fishers Studio & Gallery


St Andrews Aquarium


The Botanic Gardens


Wemyss Pottery


Crail Harbour Gallery


Sea Eagle Advenutres


The Secret Bunker


Isle of May Boat Trips


Cambo Gardens


Pittenweem Chocolate 7 Company Drumoig Golf Hotel


Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze


Tourism 2012 by all accounts was a much tougher year for the Scottish tourism industry, many tourism businesses across Scotland told us “gone are the days of opening the doors and visitors flocking in”. The factors that most people mentioned was the poor weather and the Olympics having a negative effect. I always remember what businesses in and around St Andrews and East Fife say about the year the Open is played at St Andrews, I am told that the year after the Open is when they see the benefits, while the year of the Open is a tougher year. So hopefully the feel good effect from the Olympics will be felt this year as there was so much positive coverage. Indications’ speaking to one or two businesses, attractions and accommodation providers is that their forward bookings are looking good. So fingers crossed for 2013.

What makes Explore St Andrews different? “It is more than just a brochure!” We promote St Andrews and East Fife using four different forms of communications:1. Printed Explore Guides— Guides the style is not graffiti adverting but short pieces of infor1

mation supported by maps. (Graffiti adverting, is where the advertiser buys a space in a publication and do what ever they want with the space, colours fonts, size etc). I always say when youus read a newspaper how Good luck to often do you read the adverts, but you will all in the 2009 read the editorial. We aim to make our pubTourist Season. lication a good guide to the area, so visitors the out year get theInmost of of their stay. This year weThe have changed the map in the Homecoming centre of the Explore St Andrews guide, to show the whole town including the six golf courses that border the Eden Estuary. Our

Page 2

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

feedback is people wanted to know more about St Andrews than North and South Street. Please let us know what you and importantly your guests think.

4. Social Media — I read somewhere recently that marketing is 40% social media (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube etc), 40% web site content and 20% search engine optimisation. Well we 2. Explore St Andrews web site — part are active in all three Social Media of a network of 11 web sites across categories mentioned here promoting Scotland working together. St Andrews and East Fife. 3. Start of the Season News — we invite YOU Tube – we have one or two videos businesses to tell us all their news for that are specifically focused on St Anthe new season. Visitors want to know drews and East Fife:what is happening across the whole area, so please read the articles and let • Meet the potters of Crail Pottery Your Comments and Feed back is VERY them know. important to us – Please would you give • Go on a ride with Barbarafield us your comments on anything we do. Riding Stable Our objective is to produce an informa• Experience the Crail Food tive and useful tourist guide promoting St Andrews and East Fife, supported by Festival tourism businesses. • Hear about the Crail Skiff If you think we can do anything better • Meet Di Gilpin or differently to make life easier for you and your visitors, please pop an e-mail • Fritto Fish and Chips to and let • And more … us have your views.

Fishers Studio & Gallery Pittenweem The Spring Exhibition on 23 March opens the new season of exhibitions with paintings by Jan Fisher, James Fraser, Anna Fisher, Colin Ian Christie, Jennifer Pettingrew and Sheila Mitchell. The Summer Exhibition opens on June 8 and includes paintings by Deborah Phillips, Fiona Sturrock and Sheila Ritchie. Pittenweem is a beautiful historic fish- All exhibitions feature studio pottery, ing village 9 miles south of St Andrews studio glass, wood-work and enamelwith a working harbour. The Pitten- work plus a large portfolio of limited weem Festival, which was started in edition prints of Fife landscapes by Anna & Jan Fisher. 1982 by a group of local “The The Spring artists, has helped estabPittenweem Arts Festival August 3 lish a reputation for foster- Exhibition - 11 ing the arts, and several 23rd March Fisher Gallery Festival Exhibigalleries and craft shops opens the The tion opens with a pre-view at 7pm now open for most of the new on Friday, August 2 and will inyear. clude new work by James Fraser, season”. The Fisher Gallery, opened George Birrell, George Gilbert, in 2000 by artists John & Pam Carter, Fiona MacLeod and Jan Jan Fisher, is dedicated to showing Fisher, along with a large range of unoriginal work by artists and craftusual craft-work. workers, mostly based in Scotland. The exhibition will continue after the Festival throughout August. 2

For more information about current exhibitions, and winter opening, please refer to our website or call 01333 312255. The Gallery is open 10-5 throughout the summer (closed Tuesdays).

March 2013

Page 3

St Andrews Aquarium The Reasons to Visit St Andrews Aquarium are there in Black & White St Andrews Aquarium in Fife has announced it imminently expects the arrival of four new inhabitants over the coming weeks. Having just completed a 3 month long development of a new exhibit, Aquarium staff have confirmed this will become the permanent home of a colony of female Humboldt penguins later this Spring. Keen to develop their success as one of Fife’s top tourist destinations, St Andrews Aquarium has continued to invest heavily over the winter period and this latest development in the Aquarium’s offering is hot off the back “With a waddle of of last year’s refreshment female of their aquatic dis plays, which saw several Humboldts, the new fish and animals bereasons to visit St ing brought into this popuAndrews lar visitor attraction.

The Humboldt Penguin, named after the cold water current it swims in, originates from South America and normally breeds in Peru and Chile.

exhibit for many years, and it offers a chance for visitors to get really close to the Humboldts, as well as stunning views out to sea. To say that the team is excited about the penguins’ arrival in St Andrews would be an understatement – it’s been very tough keeping the secret under wraps!”

The announcement that Andrew Whiston, displays the Fife Aquarium is to year are clearly manager at St Andrews soon be welcoming a black and white!” Aquarium, commented: “waddle” of women to the “We have all witnessed coastal attraction is exthe sheer efforts Penpected to be welcomed across the re- guins go to every year to set up home gion, with the popularity of the species in a new location, and for us our at an all-time high following the recent preparations for their arrival really have BBC One documentary which included been very similar. There has been exthe Humboldt species as one of the tensive work done on developing their three featured in the series. enclosure, which has not been a public

He concluded: “With a waddle of female Humboldts, the reasons to visit St Andrews Aquarium this year are clearly black and white!” For more information on St Andrews Aquarium please visit

Aquarium this


Page 4

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

The Botanic Garden in St Andrews Discover a living treasure the Botanic Garden tours are available from our Garden in St Andrews. volunteer garden guides. “We have passed many times and not All this against the backdrop of a beautiful garden, a haven of rare come in till now. What a surprise, lots to see and well “2013 sees and unusual plants. Windkept, a lovely haven of peace an exciting ing paths lead through woodland and shrubs. The on a sunny day.” Visitor comprogramme alpine planting of the Rock ment. Garden leads to the lush of events 2013 sees an exciting progreenery of the ponds. You gramme of events held held can observe familiar and throughout the year. From throughout exotic plants from all music in April ‘Swing into the year” around the world in the difSpring’ to craft workshops, ferent climate zones of the garden design secrets and glasshouses. study days. The Botanic Garden is only a short walk See the Botanic Garden website for from the centre of town and has ample details: parking for touring visitors. It is open all In Summer follow the newly established year round. Champion Tree Trail, the tallest, stoutest, oldest or rarest trees of their kind in Britain, plus an activity backpack for children. Or find the Friendly Wood trail with fascinating facts along the way. ‘Walks with a Focus’ are held on the first Thursday of the month at 2 pm, no need to book. Look forward to Open Day events in August and September.

Wemyss Pottery there is a dvd telling the illustrious history worthwhile. of Wemyss You may have seen Hamish in St. W a r e , You can see Andrews, or bought his book in w h i c h Waterstones. He is a local hero, the ware being d a t e s Hamish McHamish, Cool Cat Last year a back over about Town, with his own very made and limited edi125 years. popular Facebook page. tion goblet The Potw w w . F a c e b o o k . c o m / painted in the made to tery is HamishMcHamishOfStAndrews Visitor Centre, “ mark the open every Queen’s Griselda Hill, owner of the Weday, and myss Pottery in Ceres, decided to make Diamond Jubilee was hugely welcomes a pottery version of Hamish to cele- successful, and we presented parties up brate his illustrious status. And here the first goblet to Her Majto twenty. esty, who was delighted with it. Wehe is, our Wemyss Ware Hamish. Guided tours of the premises can be myss Ware is collected worldwide, and arranged. Please contact Harry or Hamish is one of several innovations is Scotland’s most famous Pottery. Marion in the shop for further details . coming out of the Pottery this year. Other new items include an East Neuk A visit to the Pottery is well worthwhile. Tel 01334 828273. Fisherman and Fishwife, and a new You can see the ware being made and Website shape of honeypot. In November the painted in the Visitor Centre, where

Wemyss Pottery Pays Trib- “A visit to the ute to St Andrews’ Celebrity Pottery is well Cat, Hamish McHamish

Pottery will stage an exhibition of unique pieces with an animal theme.


Page 5

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

Crail Harbour Gallery and Tearoom Well we traded seven days till end November but due to some staff challenges (!) we couldn’t manage to be open in December…goal for 2013 is to indeed be open through Christmas !

We have been able to find some kitchen space so cake options have been extended with regular specials and we now offer cheese scones. Looking forward to the Crail Food Festival again, amazing how quick the year We now have our own chickens that passes, this is a great event to help put cluck around the outside of the courtCrail on the destination map. yard, great for helping you chill out, and the eggs are have been able to source “goal for We fantastic! We also have a full excellent local crab reliably set of Scottish tartan rugs for 2013 is to last year, which is of great outside, which is a great way indeed be help as fish continues to be a when we opened in 2005. Let’s hope to enjoy the hopefully early very popular choice. for a nice dry summer! open spring! Facebook will be live by end of through March 2013, Twitter may well Above the Gallery we have a luxury cotWe have a nice new water tage for rent (MayView), this has been feature in the courtyard that Christmas” follow! restored with the same care as the Galtrickles water slowly over a We painted and decorated lery and accommodates up to two pile of granite, no mainteinside and out prior to opening, so our adults and one small child. Full infornance needed and looks/sounds great. business is now looking as fresh as m a t i o n o n M a y V i e w i s a t

Sea Eagle Adventures this year will be for all the seats on the trip, which works out great value for a group of 5 people. 2013 prices for group bookings (up to 5 people) are £85 for the one hour wildlife spotting trip and £185 for the longer trips lasting between 3 and 5 hours, to include a stop at a different harbour for lunch.

Trips this year run from the beginning of April and marketing posters and leaflets are being distributed during March. Already enquiries are being fielded, both on email and the booking number 07873 269780. Sailings from the slipway at historic St Andrews Harbour will be according to the tides and the

RIB Sea Eagle has been booked during the are ter months on commerdelighted to be ready for running fast cial charters for Scotboat trips for the 2013 season from a tish Natural Heritage new berth in St Andrews Harbour. The and St Andrews Univermove last summer to St Andrews has sity, involvbeen very successful, with a ing survey mixture of one hour wildlife “Sea Eagle work bespotting trips, longer adventure Adventures tween St trips and commercial charter. will be Andrews RIB Sea Eagle, a 22 foot Rigid running fast and the Tay Estuary. Now weather, for further details phone the boat has had a full Inflatable, has seats for five 07873 269780 or email seaeagleadboat trips for annual service ashore and excluding the driver. the 2013 gers experience an exhilarating had a survey completed for ride across the water at speeds Maritime and Coastguard season”. of up to 30mph, with regular Agency licensing requirements, ready for another slower stages to view bird life, seals, and hopefully dolphins. The season of regular wildlife spotting trips bookings last season for the wildlife out into St Andrews Bay and also furand longer adventure trips were mainly ther afield to the Bell Rock Lighthouse for groups who had exclusive use of the and around the Isle of May National boat, so with that in mind the bookings Nature Reserve. 5

Page 6

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

The Secret Bunker It is more than 50 years since the Cuban missile crisis and more than 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. In the early 1960s, as Cold War paranoia and fear of nuclear armageddon spread, the UK government ordered the construction of thousands of underground complexes.

Scotland’s Secret Bunker 7 miles from St Andrews KY16 8QH Tel: 01333 310301

Almost 1600 nuclear monitoring posts and 36 control posts for military and civil defence purposes “Monument were built across the to a war UK between 1955 and 1965.

In the eventuality of a Soviet nuclear attack on Britain, this is where government ministers, members of the military, the police, fire and ambulance, along with BBC staff and telecommunications engineers, would have fled with that never James Mitchell, 52 – the Queen had she been in residence in was”. the man behind turn- Edinburgh at the time. ing the bunker near Anstruther, Fife, into a popular tourist attraction has also identified another, deep below ground, set into the protective rock of Barnton Quarry, near Edinburgh. A three-storey warren of rooms and chambers designed to offer shelter and a base of power for both royalty and the highest dignitaries in the land if the Cold War had ever become hot.

The Isle of May Boat Trips been sitting on the cliff edges, just for be viewed close in on the Osprey which short times before they setvisits the island on a daily tle on for the 2013 nesting “Isle of May basis, for more information season picking the best will be open v i s i t our. Webledges to breed or perhaps s i t e …………………………… . . . to visitors the best ledges for viewing the visitors, the beautiful from the or phone 01333 310054 Razorbills are swimming 29th March,” This is a trip not to be missed, around below the cliffs also it is absolutely fabulous!! Ed getting ready to get on the ledges.

The Puffins are on their way!! to the Isle of May, the first sign that summer is coming, the first puffin was spotted today 4th March, only a 100,000 to come and should be on and around the island by the end of March. The guillemots have also been checking the island out, hundreds have already

This wonderful island is waking up from its winter rest and is waiting on the 200,000 birds that will be nesting all over it in the coming months, the resident seals are relaxing as usual on the rocks looking slightly bored with all the coming and goings. The Isle of May will be open to visitors from the 29th March. This wonderful wildlife can 6

Page 7

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

Cambo Gardens Not that the badgers are new to Cambo! There have been two setts on the estate for years, silently going about their business. Badgers are highly territorial and organised, sharing their ‘setts’, groups of tunnels and chambers in the soil in ‘clans’ of between 4 and 30 animals. A badger-watching hide will be opened in April and badger watches, led by volunteers from Scottish Badgers, will “a totally commence thereafter.

Funding from Leader in Fife and Fife Environment Trust has enabled Cambo to open up the snowdrop woods Other out of season events, apart along the drive to the disabled by upfrom the Snowdrop Festival and grading a previously inaccessible path Snowdrops by Starlight in February, by the burn and creating a new one new are a Woodfair and Octoberfest, across the drive. It will also allow for a Another innovation is tours of Cambo House with the totally new experience for all at Cambo experience Cambolicious, Cambo’s family and the ever popular Christ– BADGER WATCHING! for all at first real ale festival mas Food and Craft Fair in Novemwhich took place last No- Cambo – ber. vember, with live music, BADGER Gardening and art workshops and food and craft stalls, plus a Home Brew competition WATCHING! events take place throughout the and fun activities for chilyear including workshops for children which made it a real family event. dren and Dawn Chorus Walks and Bat Similar events are planned for this year Walks are also planned. All details, on Saturday 18 May and Saturday 9 including those of last minute events can be found on the website November.

Pittenweem Chocolate Company

It’s been an exciting few months at The Pittenweem Chocolate Company! We’ve designed a gorgeous new website, created a fabulous new logo and branding for our chocolate range and installed a wonderful new café kitchen.

Also, over Easter 2013, we’re launching an exciting new event, the Grand Festival Of Chocolate. Celebrating our love of chocolate, the festival is inspired by Joanne Harris’ best-selling novel, Chocolat, which also became a major film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Join us for “discover an enchanting series of the magic events and discover the of chocolates as of chocolates magic they invite you to ‘try as they invite me, test me, taste me’.

you to ‘try me, test me, taste

You can find out more about the event at our revamped website, where you’ll also discover our online chocolaterie, learn more about us, discover the secrets of beautiful, coastal Pittenweem and lots more. With so many wonderful new additions, it’s comforting to know that some things remain constant. Throughout the year, in our atmospheric, vintage-style café, we continue to serve our delicious menu of savouries, sweets and choco7

late specialities. You’ll also find our chocolaterie filled with delicious artisan selections, including The Pittenweem Chocolate Company’s own exclusive, expanding range of luxurious hot chocolate flakes, chocolate bars, shards and truffles, created by our chocolate maker, Sophie Latinis. We look forward to seeing you soon! Meanwhile, stay in touch via Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and read our delicious news at our blog, Sophie’s Journal. Find out more at

Page 8

St Andrews Tourism Newsletter 2013

Drumoig Golf Hotel and Course equipped meeting room on the upper floor is also available for business activities. All areas are easily accessible for the disabled. The golf course opened in 1996 has been dramatically improved, too, not least at the 18th. where the former par 3 is being replaced by a challenging dog-leg par 4. This will provide a grandstand finish to a green protected by water on two sides and overlooked by Conveniently situated between the hotel. This alteration, Dundee to the north and just 20 “Drumoig has along with a reshaped minutes from St Andrews the Drubeen 12th. hole will stretch the moig Golf Hotel, now under new extensively course to over 6,450 ownership, has been extensively re- re-furbished yards. Built largely on furbished in the last 18 months. in the last sand the course is selThe hotel has 29 spacious rooms 18 months” dom closed during the all en-suite which have been upwinter. Several package graded. The golf bar has been tastedeals are available at the pay and play fully extended and is no longer part of resort including the popular one night, the southsouth-facing function room which is two rounds offer in which golfers have still large enough to handle weddings the opportunity to play, stay and play and parties of up to 80 people. A fully

again the following day. For further details about the hotel and golf course contact Alex Wilson, the sales and marketing director who is available on 0780 551372. Lynne Smith is the hotel manageress and information regarding room bookings and functions can be obtained from her on 01382 541800or by accessing Fuller details on the hotel and golf course are available on the website

Cairnie Fruit Farm and Mega Maze Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze “opens for Cairnie offers 20+ opens for the 2013 season on acres of Pick Your Own the 2013 soft fruit, including Friday 22nd of March just in time to catch the Easter cele- season on strawberries, raspberbrations and the school holi- Friday 22nd ries, gooseberries, red/ days. The farm is open 7 days a tayberof March” blackcurrants, week from 10- 5pm until Nories, brambles, cherries vember 3rd (changing to and pumpkins too! The 9.30am to 5.30pm in peak times – July farm also features an outdoor 6 & August). acre Mega “Maize” Maze and Funyard to explore. This year the design of the Maze will depict a Butterfly with Saltire wings to reflect Visitscotlands Year of Natural Scotland 2013. The Mega Maze opens in July and runs through October, when we host “Torch Light” Maze nights to coincide with our Halloween and Pumpkin Festival events. As well as the Mega Maze the kids can have a great time playing in the Funyard which includes a straw bale climbing fortress, a large peddle go-cart track, trampolines, There is something for everyone at crazy swings, a giant sandbox, zip Cairnie. All ages enjoy the wonderful wires, ride on diggers, an XL bouncing setting, the fresh air and the spectacu- pillow, an ATV barrel ride and other surlar views of the Fife countryside. prises. 8

Come along and browse through the lovely spacious Farmshop where you can find our freshly picked fruit, taste and buy our award winning ‘Cam’s Jam’, be tempted by Cairnie’s takeaway home baking as well as a varied selection of home grown and locally sourced seasonal veg from Fife. We also have a great selection of specialty fine foods and a fun array of books, cards and gifts. Finally, choose from our popular family friendly menu in our lovely Tearoom which offers wholesome healthy food and boasts the best homebaking in Fife! It’s a great day out in the countryside for the whole family!

St Andrews and East Fife Tourism News for 2013  
St Andrews and East Fife Tourism News for 2013  

Tourist businesses in St Andrews and East Fife tell you their news for the 2013 season, what is new what has changed.