Shopping in St Andrews
There are many reasons to visit St Andrews with the most prominent being golf and the university, however, the best kept secret of St Andrews is that the town is one of the best shopping destinations in Scotland. Although St Andrews is far from considered the shopping capital of the country, the town will likely surprise you with what it has to offer. Within driving distance of incredible Scottish cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow which are renowned for shopping, St Andrews is often overlooked. Yet, St Andrews is undoubtedly a hidden gem in the shopping world and is the perfect shopping destination for those searching for something a little different.
St Andrews is an exceptional shopping experience, one that needs to be experienced to truly be appreciated. Offering a different shopping experience to the majority of UK high streets and shopping centres, St Andrews is a particularly impressive Christmas shopping destination bursting with interesting shops selling diverse products. It is rare that first time visitors come to St Andrews for the shopping but once you have experienced shopping in St Andrews, you will want to return again and again.
In comparison to a lot of UK towns and cities, high street stores and chain brands are limited in St Andrews. Instead of the classic high street shops that you would expect to find in the town centre, you can instead discover the charming small businesses and boutique stores that fill St Andrews with character. St Andrews boasts a beautiful selection of independent retailers peppered across the town centre with the majority found across North Street, Market Street and South Street. Idyllic book stores are plentiful whilst the town also boasts outstanding golfing outlets, unique liquor stores and eclectic clothing boutiques. Vintage stores are also abundant in St Andrews where you can find a real statement piece amongst one-of-a-kind items, bespoke clothing and fashion staples.
Many of the stores found in St Andrews can be considered premium with numerous luxury stores and shops selling hand-crafted goods that come with a price tag. However, St Andrews also offers options for budget-friendly shopping with a great selection of charity shops and numerous vibrant markets. In addition, St Andrews features a handful of named stores which are recognised across the UK or famous around the world but they are limited in number. The named stores in St Andrews include Waterstones, WHSmith, Boots, H&M, Clarks, Joules, Accessorize and Jack Wills.
Typical opening hours in St Andrews are between 9.00am and 5.30pm but vary by individual retailer. Throughout the summer months and close to Christmas, many stores have increased operating hours remaining open into the evening. Many stores also open on Sunday’s with reduced opening hours but it is advised to check in advance if you are hoping to shop in a specific store. Stores are closed on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday with optional opening on other national and local holidays.
Tax free shopping
For international visitors, there is currently no tax free shopping policy in the UK. The VAT Retail Export Scheme in the United Kingdom ended on the 31st December 2020 alongside the country’s withdrawal from the EU. International visitors can no longer receive a VAT refund for goods purchased in the UK. The UK is currently the only European country to not offer tax free shopping to visitors. Tax refunds for purchases made in the EU can no longer be claimed in the UK whilst the EU can no longer validate UK purchases. Tax Free shopping is now only available for goods purchased in the UK and sent directly to overseas addresses, including the EU.
Typical bank opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9.15 to 4.45, except on Bank Holiday Mondays. Bureau de Change facilities are available at most banks and select outlets. Scotland’s currency is the Great British Pound (GBP) and the country also produces their own banknotes. All notes identified as ‘Pound Sterling’ are legal tender, however, Scottish banknotes are not widely accepted in other areas of the UK but can be exchanged in banks. English banknotes are accepted in Scottish stores and coins are the same across the UK.
Free town map and guide
Look out for this free leaflet available from the Tourist Information Centre plus shops and hotels. The leaflet includes a guide to shopping in St Andrews in addition to landmarks and points of interest.
What shops are there in St Andrews?
St Andrews is a charming town of small, local businesses and boutique stores. The town boasts an outstanding selection of unique shops and quaint markets selling a diverse range of products including handmade goods, crafts and artisan food. Traditional UK high street stores and chain brands are limited in the town but include popular shops such as Waterstones, WHSmith, Boots, H&M, Clarks, Joules, Accessorize and Jack Wills. St Andrews also features a large number of independent golf stores and book shops.
What is the main shopping street in St Andrews?
Three parallel streets form the main shopping district in St Andrews. Whilst exciting stores are scattered across the town centre, the largest concentration can be found across North Street, Market Street and South Street.
Are shops open on St Andrews Day?
St Andrews Day is a Scottish national holiday celebrated on 30th November every year. Typically, St Andrews Day is a day off with schools and many businesses closed. Shops can decide whether to close or remain open with store opening hours on this day subject to each establishment. As many shops in St Andrews are small businesses, you will find many of them closed on St Andrews Day.
How long to spend in St Andrews?
The length of time required to explore St Andrews depends on what you wish to do whilst visiting. In regards to shopping, you can explore the majority of the stores within a day but additional days would be required to discover St Andrews landmarks and the golf scene.
The Home of Golf
You owe it to yourself to experience, at least once in your lifetime, the commonly accepted birthplace of golf – St. Andrews. St Andrews Golf Links has six beautiful courses.
Where To Stay
St Andrews has a range of quality accommodation, from hotels to guest houses. Here we recommend accommodation for you to book in order to fully enjoy your stay in Fife.
What makes St Andrews & Fife great?
About St Andrews has visitor information for accommodation in St Andrews, things to do when visiting and enjoying the spectacular selection of world famous golf courses in Fife, Scotland.
Education At St Andrews University
St Andrews is Scotland’s 1st University and the 3rd oldest in the UK, upholding academic excellence.
Exciting Outdoor Activities
A wide range of activities in St Andrews keep adults & children occupied and content.
St Andrews has a range of quality accommodation, from hotels, guest houses and self catering.