Cheap, clean, decent mini-houses (with sea views if you're lucky) – the downside to living in Albany Park is that the buildings do look rather Orwellian with their grey, institutional pebbledash. However, it’s affordable, everything works and, despite what everyone says, not that far out of town – just a ten minute walk along the beach, who can complain?
Pros: It’s very cheap and nicely laid-out, in sort of a play-village shape. Bills are included, so you and your housemates don’t have to worry about who is using more or less electricity. The sea is your front garden and you get beautiful views from the windows.
Cons: Everything is pretty small, so it's a bit like living in a doll's house. Fire doors do not lead to a particularly welcoming 'open-plan' arrangement. There are still inspections but hey, that's quite a good excuse to encourage co-habitants to keep clean. On cold and windy days, walking along the beach is not so fun. Also people in St. Andrews are lazy; you can tell how much someone loves you if they visit you in your little grey hut. However, in the summer if the weather is warm, everyone wants to be your friend because of the locality of your shower to the beach.
Beware of… Coastal path etiquette. At night, the stretch of path along the beach is not lit at all, meaning you may as well walk it with your eyes closed. If you hear someone coming towards you say "Good evening" in as hearty and friendly a manner as you can muster, so making your fellow night-time wanderer aware that you are not a rapist/mugger/the ghost of an old fisherman. Believe me you'll be relieved when they call cheerily back to you, instead of sexually assaulting you/taking your wallet/grasping you with slimy cold undead arms and dragging you back with them into Davy Jones' locker.
Nearest watering hole: The New Inn right behind Albany Park – it is a pretty quiet affair but that makes a nice change to the air-kissing relay race that are the in-town bars. Also, you can move around inside without inadvertently going to ‘3rd Base’ with a stranger.
Quality of Rooms: Everything is very functional, no mould or damp. In fact, the heating is so toasty, it could do with being turned down a little bit in the interim between winter and spring. Each house has its own common room/sitting room.
Don't miss… The views. Walking along the beach at all hours of the day and night gives you beautiful insight into how the sea and sky change. Oh and I suppose people have do parties too.