Spotlight on: Cairnsmill Caravan Park
St Andrews was basking in a heatwave when we visited this site, so the town’s sandy beaches, sparkling sea and ancient buildings looked as if they had been plucked from the Mediterranean.
Cairnsmill Caravan Park also shone, with well-kept grass, neatly trimmed hedges and colourful flowers. The family-friendly site has plenty to do with a recreation building that houses a swimming pool, café and bar, plus a gym and soft play area next door. There are three areas of play equipment around the site and a fenced pitch for playing football.
We had the choice of three amenity blocks for toilets and showers, but simply used the one nearest us, which also had dishwashing (with very hot water!) and an Elsan disposal point. There is also a laundry near the reception and shop.
A great new idea for those who don’t want to move their ’vans once on site is that they are now hiring out electric cars during the holidays at a reasonable hourly rate that includes insurance.
One of my favourite spots was the fishing pond behind the touring pitches and static caravans. We used the dog walk, which runs along the banks of the willow-draped pond and offers the option of going further, including via a path along a wooded stream all the way into St Andrews. Although Cairnsmill only lies a mile south of the town, we chose to drive in, though we had difficulty finding a parking space as a golf tournament was on. The long-stay car park on the west side of town was full, but we managed to squeeze into a place above the enormous west beach.
As well as golf, St Andrews is famous for its university. Founded in 1413, it is the third oldest in the English-speaking world. A wander around, via a dog-friendly café, took us through the Quadrangle of St Mary’s College and to the harbour. Overlooking the sea, the ruined St Andrews Castle has 450-year history as a bishop’s palace, a fortress and a state prison. Nearby I visited the remains of the gothic cathedral. My entrance fee included access to St Rule’s Tower. Climbing the 130-plus steps up a spiral staircase was worth it for the magnificent view over the town and its beaches.
Cairnsmill Caravan Park
Largo Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 8NN
This site review first appeared in MMM magazine, July issue, submitted by Felicity Martin