St Andrews is situated in a remote location and for new students it can be a struggle to understand how to get here. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you figure out the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to travel to St Andrews.
- Travelling from Edinburgh Airport
- Travelling from Glasgow Airport
- Travelling by train via Leuchars station
- Travelling by bus from Edinburgh or Glasgow
Many international students and even those from other parts of the UK will come to St Andrews through Edinburgh Airport. There are a number of ways to get to St Andrews from here, each with its pros and cons.
Coming to St Andrews by bus is the cheapest option, can be the quickest (depending on changeover time) and involves fewer changes than travelling by train.
When you leave the airport you need to get the Jet 747 bus, which leaves from just outside the airport. Ask for a ticket from the airport directly to St Andrews to get the cheapest price. An adult ticket from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrews is £12.85 single and £23.15 return. When you get to St Andrews you will receive your student card, which will get you a student discount on this journey next time you need to go to or from the airport. A student single from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrews is £8.60.
The Jet 747 bus takes around 20 minutes to get to Ferrytoll park & ride, where you will need to change. This is just after the bus travels over the Forth Road Bridge. You can then catch the X59 bus from Ferrytoll directly to St Andrews.
The changeover time at Ferrytoll will vary as the X59 only leaves once every hour, and this will affect your total journey time. There is a waiting area and some vending machines at Ferrytoll if you find yourself waiting for a while. The X59 takes around 75 minutes to get from Ferrytoll to St Andrews.
There is plenty of room for luggage on this route. The Jet 747 is a bus that mainly serves the airport and there is a luggage stand on the bus. The X59 to St Andrews has a luggage hold underneath the bus for any large bags and there are some overhead shelves on the bus for smaller bags.
Timetables for the Jet 747 can be found here.
Timetables for the X59 can be found here.
To travel to St Andrews via train you need to get to Edinburgh city centre. The Airlink 100 bus leaves from right outside the doors of Edinburgh Airport. It leaves around every ten minutes and takes thirty minutes to get to Edinburgh Waverley station. It also passes Edinburgh Haymarket station so you have the option of where to catch the train. If you choose to catch a train from Haymarket, the bus will drop you off just across the road from the station. If you choose to disembark at Waverley it will stop on Waverley Bridge, opposite the entrance to the station. This bus costs £4 for a single adult ticket. More details about the Airlink 100 can be found here.
From the railway station you need to take a train to Leuchars, the closest station to St Andrews. Leuchars is on the main route between Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London so there are frequent services. The times and prices will vary depending on the day, so it is best to check your options before travelling, but it is almost always cheaper to book a ticket in advance. It is usually around £13 for a single adult ticket between Waverley and Leuchars. This train can take around an hour to get to St Andrews (again this varies depending on the train and the time of day). To check times and prices, visit the National Rail website.
This train is often very busy and can be completely full at peak times. This means that although stands for luggage are provided, they are often full and you may struggle if you have a lot of luggage. You are not guaranteed a seat unless you have booked one in advance.
Once you arrive at Leuchars you can take the bus or a taxi to St Andrews, as detailed below.
There is also an option to get a taxi or shuttle service to St Andrews. This will take you directly from the airport to your halls of residence, which may be easier for your first time travelling to St Andrews, particularly with lots of luggage. To make this affordable, you should book a taxi in advance. Prices are usually around £20 per person but this varies for each company. The journey will take around one hour and thirty minutes in total. There will be space for luggage but if you are travelling with a lot of luggage or any large objects like sports equipment or musical instruments, you should let the company know in advance. There are a number of companies that offer this service:
You should contact these companies in advance to ensure that there is a service available at the time you want to travel and to check what price this would be.
Travelling from Glasgow Airport is less common but, as with Edinburgh Airport, you can take a bus, train or taxi.
You can travel from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow city centre on the First 500 Glasgow shuttle. This bus runs up to every ten minutes, 24 hours a day and takes around 25 minutes to reach the city centre. It stops at Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street railway stations and Buchanan bus station. It costs £6 for an adult single ticket.
More information abut the First 500 Glasgow shuttle can be found here.
It is best to take the bus from Glasgow to St Andrews as there are no direct trains to Leuchars, which is the closest railway station to St Andrews. Instead you would have to take a train from Glasgow to Edinburgh and then to Leuchars. This makes it more expensive and time consuming. If you would prefer to take the train, however, you can disembark from the airport bus at either Central or Queen Street railway station and catch a train to Edinburgh before connecting to Leuchars. You can look at timetables and fares on the National Rail website.
Although there will be luggage stands on the train, these are small and may be full if the train is busy so be aware of this if you have a lot of luggage.
To take the bus to St Andrews, disembark from the shuttle bus at Buchanan bus station. The X24 to St Andrews leaves up to every hour and costs £10.45 for an adult single ticket. This price will be reduced to £7 once you have received your student card in St Andrews. The journey takes around two and a half hours. There is room for luggage on this route as you can place large items in the luggage hold underneath the bus and smaller items can be placed in the shelves above your seat.
Timetables can be found here.
The price of a taxi will vary depending on whether there is anyone to share it with. If you plan to take a taxi from Glasgow airport, you should contact a taxi company directly.
There is no railway station in St Andrews – the closest station is Leuchars. Various bus services run from Leuchars station to St Andrews, including the 99, 99A, 99B, 99C or 99D. Buses leaves roughly every ten minutes (they are less frequent on Sundays and at night) and cost £2.75 for an adult single ticket. It takes around ten minutes to get to St Andrews, where the bus will stop at the St Andrews bus station on City Road at the end of Market Street. There is a taxi rank at the bus station so you can take a taxi to your hall of residence if you have a lot of luggage.
Timetable information can be found here.
There is also a taxi rank at Leuchars station if you would like to take a taxi to St Andrews. The price of this will vary, depending on which taxi you take and the time it takes to get to St Andrews, but it is usually around £12-15. You can book a taxi in advance, which may reduce the price.
The main long distance buses to St Andrews are from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The X59 travels from Edinburgh and the X24 from Glasgow. You can connect to many other cities in the UK from here.
Large items of luggage can be placed in the luggage hold under the bus and smaller items can be placed on the shelf above your seat.