Located along the picturesque Fife coast, Anstruther and St Andrews are two stunning destinations worth exploring. While in the past we’ve only made brief stops in Anstruther or spent a day lounging on St Andrews West Sands beach (using my beach wheelchair), there is so much more to discover in these charming coastal towns.
After a couple of stressful months, we decided to take a day trip to Anstruther and St Andrews for some much-needed relaxation. We stopped off and visited a few museums along the way, and I’m excited to share our accessible day trip with you.
I hope this guide inspires you to explore the Fife coast for yourself and that you use it to plan your own day trip to Anstruther and St Andrews.
Accessible Day Trip to Anstruther and St Andrews
Our journey began as we drove across the Queensferry Crossing, enjoying the stunning views along the way.
Fun fact: Allan and I were two of the 50,000 people who were chosen to walk across the Queensferry Crossing before being officially opened by the Queen.
Our first stop of the day is the charming fishing village of Anstruther, located in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife. Anstruther is the largest among the many fishing villages that line the coastline of this region, and it’s situated just south of St Andrews. With its historic charm and stunning coastal views, it’s no wonder Anstruther is a popular destination for day-trippers and tourists.
Scottish Fisheries Museum
The main reason for stopping in Anstruther was to visit the Scottish Fisheries Museum. Luckily, we chose to visit on a Friday at midday, so we avoided the crowds.
Before my visit, I read the Scottish Fisheries Museum access guide on its website, and I was impressed with how much detail it provided. It gave me a better understanding of what I could expect in terms of accessibility, in particular, access around the galleries and the accessible toilet.
The museum is located in the Anstruther Harbour just a short stroll from the famous Anstruther chippy. There is a car park across from the museum with accessible spaces free for blue badge holders.
The main entrance to the Scottish Fisheries Museum has ramp access and two heavy doors that open inward into the reception and gift shop. As we approached, a friendly staff member opened the door and welcomed us in. We purchased one ticket for the museum tour and received a free carer ticket. But first, lunch.
We had a lovely lunch at the museum’s WAVES Cafe which serves a selection of hot and cold snacks, drinks, and homemade cakes. We opted for baked potato and beans and homemade lentil soup. You really can’t go wrong with those two options, can you? Our server was Cassie, and she was lovely and friendly.
Once fed and watered, we headed out to the courtyard to begin our museum tour. As you would probably expect from an old courtyard, there were cobblestones, but there was also a paved path leading directly to the museum entrance. This is a separate building from the reception, gift shop, and cafe.
Again, there is a heavy door into this section of the museum and a small concrete ramp with a steepish gradient. However, this was manageable in my power wheelchair.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum looks small from the outside, but its size is actually very deceiving, which we quickly realised once we started exploring the many exhibitions. There are ten galleries spread across two floors that provide a fascinating insight into Scotland’s fishing industry.
Despite being such an old building, I was impressed with the accessibility, which included ramps throughout.
The Fisherman’s Cottage is the only part of the museum that is not wheelchair accessible, but you can still view it through an accessible window that was donated by the Dunfermline Building Society. Having this window, meant I didn’t feel like I was missing out on seeing the Fisheries Cottage.
And I know you may be thinking that the Scottish Fisheries Museum is only worth visiting if you are interested in fishing, but I don’t think that’s true. We aren’t into fishing in the slightest, but we found the history of the industry, as well as learning about the community, really fascinating.
You will be surprised by how much information there is and the things to see. I found the information and displays to be at a good wheelchair height for me, and I enjoyed rolling around and seeing the collection of boats.
There was one boat in particular that was huge and is currently being restored in Gallery 9. Allan reckoned that the building must have been built around the boat because there wasn’t a visible entrance for it. We asked a staff member on the way out, and Allan was correct.
Before leaving, we had a browse in the gift shop, which had lots of lovely nautical items and keepsakes.
Just off the gift shop is the accessible toilet, which I found to be quite small and not much space for a wheelchair user and companion. There were grab bars next to the toilet and sink.
We couldn’t leave Anstruther without taking a stroll along the harbour. The gorgeous turquoise water was like being somewhere exotic. It felt so relaxing. Anstruther is also known for its chippy, but we had already had lunch in the museum. Next time, for sure.
We could have easily sat there all day, but we had one more place to visit. So we headed back to the car and made the 15-minute drive to St Andrews.
Located on the east coast of Scotland, St Andrews is a picturesque coastal town known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-renowned golf courses. In fact, St Andrews is widely considered to be the birthplace of golf, with the famous Old Course located there. Additionally, St Andrews is home to Scotland’s oldest university, which was founded in 1413.
The Wardlaw Museum
Visitors can go inside The Wardlaw Museum at the University of St Andrews which houses an impressive collection of art, history, science, and natural history that showcases the University’s past.
The Wardlaw Museum is located on The Scores, the same street as St Andrews Castle. Visitors can park for free on The Scores, which is what we did. However, the museum also has accessible parking, with two spaces designated for blue badge holders in the front car park, providing level access to the building’s entrance via a paved path.
The museum’s outside entrance is beautiful, surrounded by lush green hedges and a cherry blossom tree providing dappled shade.
The main entrance is level access with an automatic door, leading into a spacious reception area. A friendly staff member greeted me, explained the galleries’ themes, and directed me to the lift and accessible toilet. They also suggested visiting the rooftop terrace, which I highly recommend.
The reception desk had a lowered section, which meant I could easily drive my wheelchair close to the desk when speaking to the staff.
The galleries are located on the ground floor, with plenty of space for me to move around in my wheelchair. I found the displays were at a good height for wheelchair users, and I enjoyed the interactive displays, which I was able to wheel under with my wheelchair, as it meant I was able to fully interact with the experience.
We visited just before the start of the ‘What Makes Us Human’ temporary exhibition, which sounds really interesting, so I hope to visit again before it ends in September.
There is a lift that provides access to the upper floor, where the Learning Loft and Research Studio are located. Also accessible from the upper floor is the roof terrace, which is a must-see.
There is a push button on the wall that opens the door to the rooftop terrace. Wheelchair users can enjoy the breathtaking sea views of St Andrews Bay thanks to a clear glass panel. It was great! Additionally, there is a “Talking Telescope” that describes the view in detail.
We also met “Prince” Oor Wullie on the terrace. It’s a great photo opportunity for everyone to enjoy.
Signage dictates that the accessible toilet is upstairs, but these signs are due to be updated since the renovation. The accessible toilet is actually next to the reception area. It is equipped with horizontal and vertical grab bars and a red emergency cord, which even has a Euan’s Guide Red Cord Card attached.
The card reads: ‘This red emergency cord must hang freely to the floor. If it does not, it may prevent a disabled person from asking for help.’ You can order free Red Cord Cards on the Euan’s Guide website.
After taking in the exhibits, we browsed the museum gift shop, which has so many beautiful items that make perfect gifts for loved ones or souvenirs. I couldn’t resist the temptation to pick up a few items for our nephews. There was also beautiful pottery, which we both loved.
If you’re interested in visiting the Wardlaw Museum, it’s worth taking a look at the detailed access guide. This can help ensure that your visit is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
So there you have it, my accessible day trip guide to exploring Anstruther and St Andrews. I hope this guide has been helpful and inspires you to plan your visit soon!
Have you been to Anstruther and St Andrews before?
Feel free to check out our vlog from our fun day trip to Anstruther and St Andrews! You’ll get to experience the adventure we had firsthand.
Disclaimer: This post documents a press trip for a social media campaign partnership, but I had no obligation to create or share content for my blog as part of this partnership!