St Andrews West Sands Beach is famous for the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire. The beach extends for almost two miles of uninterrupted sand, backed with dunes and the world-renowned golf course. It is very popular for walking and running as well as for swimming. The beach is just a 15 minutes walk from the town centre, there is plenty of car parking, the beach is zoned to keep sand yachts and families apart.

Not only are the dunes found at West Sands internationally important, they are part of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary Special Area for Conservation. They also provide a natural defence against the sea and are home to many important plants and animals.

A dune stabilisation programme is in place and we ask visitors to use the designated access points to access the beach. At times you will be aware of work going on to manage the dunes, including filling in craters and planting marram.

St Andrews West Sands are winners of a Keep Scotland Beautiful 2023 Beach Award and are celebrating 31 years of awards.

There is a West Sands Code of Conduct for all visitors and beach users, please take a moment or two to familiarise yourself prior to visiting West Sands.

The West Sands toilets (opening times) were recognised in the National Loo of the Year Awards 2022. Our ‘Fringe of Gold’ Beaches leaflet can be downloaded from the Resources section of our website.

Beach wheel chairs can be hire from the Hamish Foundation for further details. Please be aware of the Drone Code, should you be considering flying a drone on any of our beaches, but especially at West Sands because of its proximity to Leuchars Station, a British Army installation.

Family walking through West St Andrews Sands

West St Andrews Sands