Mildest festive season in St Andrews in living memory?

Sun shines on the Lade Braes, St Andrews.
Sun shines on the Lade Braes, St Andrews.

St Andrews has enjoyed one of the mildest festive seasons in living memory - if not the mildest?

There was no trace of snow throughout the town on Christmas Day, with temperatures as high as 14 degrees recorded across north east Fife.

It was the same story throughout the UK with the met office confirming that no snow fell in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, or any of the UK’s major cities on December 25.

In St Andrews, the golf courses remained open and the fairways were busier than normal over the festive break with golfers taking full advantage of the chance to play during the public holidays.

This year’s conditions are in sharp contrast to last Christmas when the temperature barely rose above zero, and minus 10 was recorded in parts of St Andrews and the East Neuk.

Snow caused problems throughout the region with Fife Council having to concentrate their resources on clearing primary routes leading to hospitals and other emergency services. At one stage the Scottish government had to deliver salt from their emergency stock as local authorities struggled to keep roads cleared.

And while St Andrews wasn’t the warmest place in Scotland this year, Robin Steel of the Met Office confirmed to the Citizen that the temperatures recorded were some of the mildest on record for December.

He added: “St Andrews probably didn’t have the highest temperatures in the country, given that some parts of Aberdeenshire were recording up to 15 degrees which is up there with the best of the highs for December.

“But it was still very mild in St Andrews as well. We were probably looking at about 13 or 14 degrees on Christmas Day itself.

“It doesn’t look too bad for New Year either.

‘‘There could be bits of rain here and there but, overall, it will still be comparatively mild.”

Retailers were looking for a boost at the tills over the Christmas period after a year when some big high street names struggled to entice shoppers through their doors.

Louise Edward, managing director of the James Pirrie gift shop in St Andrews, said trade picked up after a slow start to the month.

“Christmas was fairly slow in taking off but then the week before things really picked up, since then trade has been excellent.” she explained.

“And it has carried on into the sales. We had a queue outside for the first day of our sale on Tuesday so it certainly has been worthwhile to open up between Christmas and New Year.

“People come to St Andrews on a public holiday anyway so the town will always be busy. And if they find the shops open then they will buy a few things during their visit as well.”