St.Andrews, Scotland


(Above  image is capture of aerial view from atop St Rule's Tower.)

Background Information

St. Andrews is a fascinating compact town (pop 14,000) positioned on the coast of the North Sea with excellent beaches. The town is very smart and offers visitors a unique juxtaposition of golf, academia and historic visitor attractions including a ruined Cathedral and medieval castle. Not to be overlooked is the town’s association with Scotland’s patron saint.

West Sands. This site featured in the film Chariots of Fire.


 In effect, the town of St. Andrews has grown since medieval times around the campus of Scotland’s oldest university (established 1413). At the east end is the famous Cathedral and castle whilst to the west is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club which overlooks the first and eighteenth holes of the world famous Old Course which is patronised by golfing aficionados from all over the world.

Access: St. Andrews is easily accessible by road from Glasgow (1.5 hours) and Edinburgh (1 hour). There are also bus and rail connections with latter via nearby Leuchars.

Here are some of the important visitor attractions at St. Andrews:

Cathedral

Sited on a headland and dating from about 1160 it was the largest ecclesiastical building to be constructed in Scotland. Owing to damage by fire and religious reformers, the building  is now a romantic ruin which incorporates a cemetery. The site also contains the ruins of the 12th century St. Rule’s Church with its impressive tower. The tower is open to visitors and a climb to the top affords superb views of St. Andrews and environs.


Castle

Now a romantic ruin positioned a headland overlooking the sea, this site is inextricably linked to that of the bishops and archbishops who made the castle their main residence from about AD1200. The ruins of the present castle date from about AD1400 when it rebuilt by Bishop Trail and performed a combined role of ecclesiastical residence, fortress and prison. The fortunes of the castle declined after the Reformation and it fell into ruin in the 17th century.


Golf-St Andrews Links

St. Andrews links comprises six public golf courses (including the famous Old Course) plus the separate Castle Course. Here is some summary information on the seven public courses:-
  • Old Course-6721 yards, par 72. Home of golf dating back 600 years.
  • New course-6625 yards, par 71. Laid out by Old Tom Morris and opened 1895.
  • Jubilee Course-6742 yards, par 72. 100 year old Championship links course.
  • Eden Course-6250 yards, par 70. Designed by Harry S. Colt and opened 1914.
  • Strathtyrum Course-5620 yards, par 69. Best suited for high handicappers.
  • Balgrove Course-1520 yards, par 30. A 9 hole course for families and beginners.
  • Castle Course-7188 yards, par 71. Stunning views from cliff top site.

Aquarium

Displays of 30 native sea creatures including sharks and conger eels.

Botanic Garden

18 acres of landscaped gardens and glasshouses.

Museum

Located at Kinburn Park. Exhibits trace the development of St. Andrews as a pilgrimage shrine (St. Andrew) and a power centre for medieval kings and bishops.

Places and attractions accessible from St. Andrews

St. Andrews is well endowed with hotels and accommodation. The quaint fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife including Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St. Monans, Elie and Lower Largo.are all within range.

Crail Harbour


Distilleries

Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery is located about ten miles S.E. of St Andrews. Tours and tastings are available.


Eden Mill. Here is a complex producing gin, whisky and craft beer. Located at Guardbridge, about five miles N.W. Tours are available.

© Nigel P Cole/Catswhiskerstours Limited



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