St Andrews does not, I repeat, does not have any nightclubs. Unless you count the student union, which isn’t exactly the same. This, to some Freshers, seems like the end of the world; but it isn’t worth worrying over. There is a wealth of fantastic venues across St Andrews, which provide students with incredible nights of fun.
The typical St Andrews image you’ll find on your prospectus is actually one of the most popular ball venues: St Salvator’s Quad. Don’t be caught dead calling it that though, it’s “Sallies” from now on. The large marquees, extensive bars and men wearing tweed trousers is a usual sight at this iconic venue. Divided into many tents, with food usually brought in, these outdoor events are most popular in September and from April onwards. Nobody really wants to be outside in a Scottish winter.
When you’re feeling buzzed for a night out, after hours of endless pres, you will inevitably end up here. To some universities, the SU is a grim, concrete building where nobody enters unless they have to have an unpleasant chat with someone. To us, the SU is a beacon of safety, where you can dance like an idiot and nobody will judge you (much). The hosts of “sinners” nights, the union is the place to be on sports’ Wednesdays to get up to a lot of drinking and fun with your teammates (just be careful not to get your team banned).
If you’re one of the fabled few who fancies going out on a Tuesday, Ma Bells is your place. A dingy underground bar, Ma Bells is often the home of the freshest DJs in St Andrews. Beyond the Union’s pop beats and guilty pleasures, Ma Bells hosts several grime nights each semester. If you want to get up close and personal with other ravers, this is your place.
Remember the name. At first, it might sound like something you spelled wrong when you were drunk, but Kinkell is the ultimate ball destination that you will visit time and time again. Hung with beautiful lights at Christmas ball, or with huge amounts of food at every event, it’s easy to see why it’s the venue of choice for many St Andrews societies. You’ll dance the night away to live bands, good music and alcohol that you’ll be prepared to pay for.
You go on a Saturday when the Union is dead. The change of scenery is always nice, but the older crowd can make it feel a little less like a student venue. However, the cocktail menu and the current music makes it a good shout whenever you want a night out with friends.
The Old Course/any posh hotel
Hall, sport and even religious societies all hold their balls in the countless hotels throughout St Andrews. The most famous, and perhaps the best, is the Old Course Hotel. A grand occasion, with chandeliers and golden wallpaper, any night there promises to be exciting.