Leuchars Station | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Leuchars Station

St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

Luke Tomes

18 Feb 2021

About Leuchars Station

Leuchars Station is a British Army Base, located in Leuchars, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland, near to the historic town of St Andrews. It was formerly a Royal Air Force Base until 2015, when the installation was transferred to the British Army.

Leuchars Station history

Aviation at Leuchars Station dates all the way back to the First World War when the airfield was established to be a training unit, taking aircrew from initial flying training through to fleet co-operation work. Building was still under way when the Armistice was signed in 1918.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Leuchars became the number one Flying Training School and ranges for practice bombing were established in Tentsmuir Forest. Once the war clouds gathered however, the station’s maritime position on the west coast of Scotland meant that it soon undertook a far more important, wartime role of organising naval patrolling.

While Leuchars may not have secured the romantic image of a Battle of Britain station, maritime patrol played a crucial part in Britain’s ultimate victory over Axis powers.

Leuchars station became equally vital during the frostiest decades of the Cold War, providing interceptor aircraft following the development of long-range aircraft that allowed the Soviets regular incursion into British air space.

The base would remain an important RAF installation until 2015, when the station was transferred to the Army Core as part of defence spending cuts in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010.

Leuchars Station today

In December 2018, there were approximately 750 members of the UK regular armed forces, 30 members of the full-time reserve service personnel and 100 civil servants based at Leuchars.

The installation is still home to several RAF units and visitors to St Andrews will undoubtedly hear and see aircraft flying sporadically overhead.

Getting to Leuchars Station

Leuchars Station is a 5-minute walk away from Leuchars Train Station, which itself is the closest railway station to the town of St Andrews.

The 99 bus route service can take you from the town to Leuchars in just 15 minutes.

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