Overall location and setting
St Andrews is a small town on the east coast of Scotland, in Fife. It is home to one of the top Universities in the UK and is also the “Home of Golf” with the 150th Open Championships taking place just a month after this conference at the Old Course. Its history is rich, with the (now ruined) Cathedral being built to house St Andrew’s relics, and it played an important part in the reformation. Now it is rather more peaceful, and St Andrews will be a great place to be in June, when the nights are very short!
The nearest good size international airport is Edinburgh, though Dundee airport is closer and may be useful. The nearest train station is called Leuchars, and from there you can get a bus (cheap) or taxi (bit more pricey) to St Andrews (about 5 miles).
The lectures and most receptions will be held here:
This is in square B2 of the paper map shown above.
Accommodation, breakfast and most dinners (not the banquet) are here:
This is in square A2 of the paper map shown above.
If you are able to spend some extra days you may be able to use the conference accommodation which is good value. See the General Information page for contact and booking details of this.
There’s lots to do in St Andrews with coastal walks including a very long sandy beach, a visit to the castle and of course golf! Dundee has a lot to offer with tourist attractions including the V&A and historical sites such as The Discovery ship. Edinburgh is a little further afield but of course well worth a visit. If you want more information on how to get further afield such as to the Cairngorms or Highlands then get in touch with the local organizer.
Travel on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th June
There might be some disruption! Sunday travel can always be poor in the UK and Monday 6th could also be disrupted. This is because the Monarch in the UK is celebrating their 70 years on the throne this year and the 2nd and 3rd June are extra public holidays. However in some parts of the country they are taking the 3rd and 6th (which wasn’t appreciated by the organisers when the dates were set) so there could be disruption.
Edinburgh or Dundee to St Andrews by bus
You can take the X59 from central Edinburgh if you want to save some money but not time. You can take the Taylink 99 from Dundee which is a good connection method to St Andrews.
Rail travel disruption
Currently there is not a rail link from Edinburgh to Leuchars after about 8 pm at night due to a drivers’ dispute and driver shortage. You can find information about this at Scotrail (for example @scotrail on Twitter). This has implications if you are needing to travel later than this. As I write this on the 27th May, there is some possibility of a settlement leading to improvement by 6th June, but you need to be aware of this. Try and travel earlier in the day, and email the organiser if you can’t. The organiser will try and book taxis and perhaps form groups of people so please email by 31st May to allow time to try and sort this.
Travel to Leuchars (For St Andrews) railway station
This is the station to use if you’re coming from either Edinburgh (South and including the airport – see below) or Dundee (North, but also where you might come via from Glasgow). You can book train tickets ahead (often with savings which would be non-refundable, but also with reserved seats) but if you’re just travelling within Scotland (where seats often aren’t reserved anyway) you may find that just buying a ticket at the train station is your best option.
You must have a ticket to travel. Return tickets are usually cheaper than two singles if bought at the train station. There isn’t a validation procedure unless your ticket was bought in advance on your smartphone.
If you’re coming from Edinburgh airport the first thing you need to do is get to the railway station which is called Edinburgh Gateway. You should do this by using the Tram at the airport. You may want to get a taxi straight to St Andrews. If you want to book in advance you may want to contact the organiser for help since those travelling for University “business” get favourable rates from St Andrews cab companies.
Travel from Leuchars (For St Andrews) railway station
If you are in a group then it might be that just getting a taxi from Leuchars railway station is the most convenient thing. This may be best outside normal hours too and if you want to call a cab company you can search online or perhaps use St Andrews Taxis (+441334 477272). Likely cost £15-£20.
The bus is a very good service: Taylink 99 (also labelled with an additional A-D). Be careful to go in the St Andrews not Dundee direction! You can pay for buses in Fife using contactless or cash. Cost is £3.70.
If you get the bus you’ll need to walk a short way to Agnes Blackadder. If you won’t have a smartphone to help, be sure you know directions before you travel. The Stagecoach website (who run the Taylink 99) suggests alighting at the Old Course Hotel which means 10 minutes on the bus and a 12 minute walk.
There is free parking at the public carpark between the School of Physics and town. Agnes Blackadder Hall also has free parking.