Valentine's day on a budget:Sir Peter Erskine
Photo: Sir Peter Erskine

Coming up with unique date ideas in a small town like St Andrews can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re on a student budget. Luckily, The Saint is here to provide inspiration for celebrating the most romantic day of the year whether you’re on a 25, 50 or 100 pound budget. If you’re a nature lover, cinephile or history buff, we have an idea for you. Listed prices are estimates for two people.

25 POUNDS

11:00 a.m.: Start the day with brunch at Bibi’s Cafe. Food choices include homemade blueberry pancakes and Eggs Benedict. £10 to £15

12:30 p.m.: If it happens to be a sunny day, it’s the perfect time to visit the St Andrews Botanic Garden. Home to plants both native to Scotland and from around the world, the garden features glasshouses, a water garden and a rock garden. Free with student ID

2:00 p.m.: Whether you’re an art lover or have never visited a museum, a trip to the Fraser Gallery will open your eyes to the world of contemporary Scottish art. Take this time to appreciate local culture and dissect abstract pieces with your partner. Free admission

3:00 p.m.: After a busy (but inexpensive) afternoon, go to one of your flats for some down time.

6:00 p.m.: Around dinnertime, make a Tesco run to purchase dinner ingredients. You could make spaghetti and meatballs Lady and the Tramp style or opt for something a little more sophisticated. Enjoy a romantic meal at home, perhaps with some wine. £15

8:00 p.m.: End the night with a film. If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, try Crazy, Stupid, Love. If dramas are more your style, try Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, three movies that follow a couple’s love story over 18 years.  

50 POUNDS

11:00 a.m.: Begin Valentine’s Day with brunch at Northpoint Cafe, famous for being the place where Will and Kate met (for coffee). £5 to £10

12:30 p.m.: If you’ve ever wanted to brush up on the history of St Andrews, now is your chance. The Museum of St Andrews includes exhibits on the lives of students through the ages, ancient artifacts from the school’s founding and the study of flight. Free admission

2:00 p.m.: Since the museum is ideally located between West, East and Castle Sands, this is your opportunity for a beachside walk. Pick your favorite beach and enjoy a nice chat with your partner.

3:00 p.m.: If you’re cold after your beach walk, stop at the Byre Theatre for some hot chocolate or coffee. After warming up, it’s time to head home to get ready for a night out. £4

6:00 p.m.: St Andrews’ restaurants have plenty to offer no matter what kind of cuisine you want. Three options are Little Italy (£20 to £25), Forgan’s (£25 to £30) and Grill House (£20 to £25).

7:30 p.m.: Head to the New Picture House Cinema. If you’re a fan of comedic dramas, try The Big Short, which features big-name stars like Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling and has been nominated for five Oscars. If you’re looking for a more intense movie experience, try Room, a film about a woman and her son’s reintegration into society after being held captive for years. £14

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“Cafe Le Champs de Mars, Paris” by Jack Morrocco. Artwork courtesy of Louise Fraser

100 POUNDS

10:00 a.m.: Make a classic Scottish breakfast together, or opt for the American version of bacon, eggs and toast. £10

11:00 a.m.: Leave for Cambo, a country house and estate located just a few miles away from St Andrews. The easiest way to get to Cambo is to take the 95 bus service to Leven, get off at the Cambo Lodge stop, and walk for about half a mile. Bus fare £7.10 per person, £14.20 total

12:00 p.m.: Arrive at Cambo Estate. Explore 70 acres of woodland and celebrate the estate’s Snowdrop Festival. Entry is £5.50 per person, £11 total

2:00 p.m.: Enjoy some hot beverages and snacks at the estate’s tea room. £10

3:00 p.m.: Head back to St Andrews to relax before dinner.

6:00 p.m.: Put on a nice dress or jacket and dine at some of the fancier restaurants in town: Playfair’s (£50), the Doll’s House Restaurant (£60) and the Vine Leaf (£56) all charge about £55 for three-course meals.

7:30 p.m.: End Valentine’s Day with a St Andrews classic and indulge in your favorite Jannetta’s gelato flavor (£5).

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