There’s nothing I love more than exploring new places – even when they are only a stone’s throw away. This year, one of my 2018 resolutions was to make the most of the beautiful place I call home and make a point of exploring new grounds. So far, it has gone pretty well and although the North Coast 500 remains unchecked (I will get you next year) I have visited some pretty beautiful pockets of the country.
One town which had been high up there on my Scottish travel bucket list was St Andrews – I mean, I can’t believe I’ve lived here for a quarter of a century and hadn’t been! Therefore, when the lovely people from CCW asked if I would like to come along to their A/W road trip to this beautiful little town – I was there in a heartbeat.
If you have been following me for a while, you might remember that I actually went on the store’s (amazing) Spring road trip earlier this year – which to this day remains my favourite blogging outings to date! Just like last time, we ( blogger babes Lis, Charlotte, Ellis, Gillian) and I started our day at CCW’s Byres Road store. Here, we were greeted with cutest instagram-worthy donuts from Nic’s Deli (Roisin really knows the way to our hearts). Having tried a good selection of the city’s donut offerings, I have to say that Nic’s has quickly become my new favourite!
After fuelling up on donut deliciousness it was time to get kitted out with some cosy clothing to keep us toasty throughout our travels. As you can see, I was clearly very chuffed about this cosy get-up.
Before I go on any further, I thought it would be nice to share a little bit about CCW for those who might not know too much about the company. So basically, CCW is a one-stop shop for high quality, outdoor clothing – that doesn’t compromise on style.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about fast fashion and cost per wear of clothing items. This is where I feel that CCW really shine. As each item featured in their stores is hand selected with both comfort, quality and style in mind – you are guaranteed a piece that will last throughout the years. From Fjallraven Kanken backpacks to and beautiful knitwear from Finnieston Clothing, the stores have got everything you need for a day of adventuring – even if that only involves trip to the pub.
During our last trip, I had the opportunity to chat CCW’s founders, Liz and Bill about the company’s journey. Whilst sharing their story it was clear to see that they have so much love for what they do – even after 30 years in business! If you would like even more info on this fab company, check out my first post in which I shared all about the CCW’s evolution since opening over 30 years ago!
Ready, Set Go!
Full to the brim with doughnuts and all kitted out, it was time to get the show on the road. Just like last time, we were lucky enough to be toured around by Luke from Eco Tour Scotland – a fab indie company who specialise in providing epic excursions around Scotland. They are committed to investing in the best eco-friendly practices to ensure our natural environment is protected and have a long-term goal of being carbon neutral. The Eco Tour van is also fully accessible and doggy friendly too – what more could ya ask for?
Personally, when booking excursions, I always tend to look for small, locally run tour companies – just like the one we took from San Fran to Yosemite. Why? Well, I find that they just feel a lot more personal – and often, the guides are able to take you to hidden gems (and Insta-hotspots) that most tourists don’t get to see. There is rarely any pressure to stick to a strict schedule/route and no time wasted waiting around on large groups loading on and off buses.
Remember what I said about indie-guides knowing the best Instagrammable spots? Well, prior to arriving at our final destination, we made a quick pit stop at a beautiful town called Elie. Here we were treated to some amazing views of the sea as we took in the crisp autumn air. As I now spend a lot of my time in the bustling city of Glasgow, it was so nice to just stand and take in our surroundings, completely undisturbed. I really need to make a point of doing this more often.
It is fair to say that the Scottish winters are usually less than kind to us, with heavy rain and battering winds being a daily occurrence. On these wintery days, I just want to wrap myself up in my duvet to leave the house and honestly? This Didrikson’s coat is the closest thing you’re gonna get to that. It is SO TOASTY – and completely waterproof (yep, it has been tried and tested).
Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I haven’t had this thing off since receiving it on the trip and I don’t really know what I would do without it. If you are looking for a cosy, practical yet super stylish jacket to see ya through the season – this is the one.
The shoes – we were kindly gifted these Columbia numbers – which proved to be perfect for our day of adventuring. They are super grippy and 100% waterproof – which came in handy when we underestimated the waves approaching whilst trying to grab an insta pic (anything for the gram – eh?). Having fallen victim to a sneaky patch of black ice this week – I know that these will be put to good use this winter! This super cute hat from Barts also did an amazing job of keeping our heads warm – it is even lined with fleece for extra added warmth (how amazing!).
After our short break – and taking our fair share of Instagram shots , it was time to hop back on the tour bus and make our way to St Andrews. Upon arrival, we visited one of its beautiful beaches and the infamous cathedral before heading to Rogue Bar and Restaurant to sample some of their delicious offerings.
To our surprise – and my delight, we were taken straight to the restaurant’s very own mini Gin Distillery where we learned all about their Felon Gin – which tasted so good that it was easy to drink straight. Yep, it really was amazing (Santa, I hope you are listening) We were also treated to a few of their delicious dishes – which are all made using the finest, locally sourced ingredients.
Our penultimate stop? CCW’s St Andrew’s store! Upon opening the the door to the deceivingly small shop-front – we were greeted with an Aladdin’s cave full of beautiful outerwear. Seriously the store just kept going and going. From Hunter wellies to Donut Backpacks (pictured below) it contained everything you could ever need to keep you warm and super chic throughout the winter months. I may or may not have my eye on one of those amazing Donut backpacks…
Apparently, no trip to St Andrews would have been complete without a visit to Janetta’s Gelateria for some homemade ice-cream – so there is no surprise as to where we ended our amazing day trip. For the record – the ice-cream was just as magical as everyone claimed (and there were over 50 flavours to chose from! I would definitely recommend popping in if you are planning a visit to this cute little town.
I hope you enjoyed this little travel diary. I really fell hard for the quaint cobbled streets and beautiful beach views of St Andrews. I have already started planning a return trip and can’t wait to explore some more in the new year! I’d like to say a huge thank you to again Roisin and the wonderful team at CCW for having me and helping me tick this picturesque little town off of my bucket list – it truly was an amazing day!