It’s home to the university where Wills fell for Kate, you can explore the ruined castle and cathedral, there’s an aquarium… okay, the reason you’re bringing your tourer here is golf. The Scots claim to have invented the sport (along with the Chinese, the French and the Dutch), and the Old Course in the seaside town of St Andrews is acknowledged as the oldest in the world. It has hosted the Open a staggering 29 times – and it’s a public course, so anyone with a handicap of 24, or 36 for women, can book a round and follow in the footsteps of Nicklaus, Faldo, Woods and, most recently, Zach Johnson.
If your game’s not quite good enough for the Old Course, there are six more options at the St Andrews Links site and several more courses elsewhere in Fife, so you could spend a fortnight in the area and not face the same bunker twice. For the golf widow (or widower), the pretty town centre has plenty of independent shops, it’s a half-hour drive to the waterside V&A in newly vibrant Dundee, and there are two beaches where you can chill out. Did we say chill? It has been known to rain in these parts, so you’ll be grateful for a caravan park with an indoor swimming pool and plenty of other facilities. We’ve found two great options a short, ahem, drive from the fairways of the Old Course.
Cairnsmill Caravan Park, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8NN
Open from April to October
Just a seven-minute drive from the Old Course and 10 minutes from the town centre, Cairnsmill Caravan Park is a great base for exploring St Andrews’s medieval, Victorian and Edwardian architecture as well as hacking chunks of turf out of the ground. It’s a four-minute drive to the St Andrews Botanic Garden, 18 glorious acres of greenery and glasshouses with spectacular collections of rhododendrons and alpine plants. Urban explorers should head north to Dundee, a half-hour drive over the Tay Road Bridge, with spectacular river and city views. It’s had a remarkable reboot thanks to its status as a gaming hub (Grand Theft Auto was created here) and the opening of a V&A museum.
The site is in open countryside, with views across the town to the North Sea, It has an indoor heated pool with a sauna and a Jacuzzi, a gym, a soft play area, a games room, a bar, showers, toilets, a laundrette and a well-stocked reservoir for fly fishing. There’s electric hook-up and free WiFi, but no shop or restaurant, but you can stock up at Morrisons, less than a mile away, and there’s a great choice of pubs and restaurants in St Andrews.
Prices: £28 a night for two
Top tip: prices for tourers stay the same-year round, so this is a great choice for a visit in high season
St Andrews Holiday Park, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8PX
Opening dates for 2021 tbc
We’ve cheated a wee bit by including this seafront site south of the town centre – there’s no pool on site, but it’s a two-minute walk to the heated indoor one at East Sands Leisure Centre and there’s direct access to St Andrews beach. It’s a seven-minute drive to the Old Course and you can pause to take in the sea air if the 20-minute walk into town on the Fife Coastal Path is too much for you. St Andrews Holiday Park is also an ideal base for visiting the picturesque fishing towns of East Neuk, strung out along the northern coast of the Firth of Forth – if you want to get out on the water, head to Elie, 25 minutes away, where park guests get a 10% discount on kayaking, sailing and windsurfing at Elie Watersports. Pick up a voucher at reception.
St Andrews Holiday Park is a smart site with WiFi, electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, a laundry, a play area, a bar/restaurant and a pizzeria. There’s no shop, but you’ll find everything you need in town or at Morrisons, a seven-minute drive from the park. If you’ve dragged your other half here for a golf break, you probably owe them a slap-up meal, so book a table at the Grange Inn, a 17th-century farmhouse with panoramic views of St Andrews Bay and a three-course lunch menu featuring fabulous local produce for £25pp.
Prices: from £24.75 a night for two, including a 10% online discount
Top tip: bring your caravan here for five consecutive nights and you’ll get the first one free