Lade Braes Walk
One of the most popular things to do in St Andrews, whether by students, locals or tourists, is to walk along the Lade Braes. It also is a popular route for cycling or jogging for the more energetic.
The walk is named after the "lade" (artificial stream), which the canons of the priory cut to ensure a constant supply of fresh water for the cathedral and associated buildings. The stream is still there under the path.
The walk starts near the car park for Madras College at the foot of Ladebraes Lane. As you walk along you can't miss the walls on one side of the path. These walls formed part of the defences of St Andrews as well as being the boundary walls of the buildings on South Street.
After crossing Bridge Street, the walk continues on the other side of the road. The first area of potential interest is the line of the old railway. A path leads off to the left and goes over the old viaduct. Carrying on along the main path, you will soon reach Cockshaugh Park. This area was once the property of the university and is now used for football. There is also a small playground. After passing through the park, you will come to the part of the walk that gives the area its name. For here you enter the "braes" (a brae is a hill or hillside).
At the end of this section of the walk, there are various paths that lead off in various directions so be careful you stick to the right one. Pressing on, you will come to the haunt of the vicious killer ducks. Feed these savage predators at your own risk. Sure, they look harmless and benign. And so they are while you have food to feed them. Once the food is gone, then your ankles will become the target.
If you make it past the beaked bandits, then you are about halfway to the end of the walk. The next landmark on the walk is the memorial park. It looks like a small field planted with trees with various memorial stones dotted around. The reason why it looks like a small field planted with trees with various memorial stones dotted around is because IT IS a small field planted with trees with various memorial stones dotted around. If you've made it this far, keep going you're nearly there.
As you approach the end of the walk, which is at Law Mill (shown on left), you should see, to your left, the slopes of Hallow Hill (right). This was the site of one of the first churches in the St Andrews area and, a number of years ago, a number of cists (stone coffins) were found. These can still be seen. The walk ends at Law Mill, which was one of the number of mills that belonged to the Priory of St Andrews. It was at this point that the canons cut the lade from. The exit of the lade, which flows through St Andrews, can be seen at the harbour. That completes the Lade Braes Walk. If you live in town, then you can see it all again on your way back. If you are in DRA or Melville then you will have a much quicker walk home.