This evening I have decided to focus on the historic-and very popular-city of St Andrews which is located on the east coast of Scotland, about an hour and half north of Edinburgh.

I regularly include St Andrews in my tours of Scotland. Some guests insist because of the Old Course golf connection but, apart from the golf, the city fits in nicely with a tour of the Fife Coast. Being an old medieval city, St Andrews boasts some interesting architecture. At the east end can be found the (ruined) cathedral, in the middle is the famous university whilst at the west end is the golf centred on the famous Old Course and which attracts players from all over the world.In town there is interesting shopping and a good choice of restaurants.

Here is an image of the West Sands, not just an innocuous beach, but location for the opening scenes of Chariots of Fire. Don’t be deceived by the blue sea and sand. This is the North Sea which can be bitingly cold.

West Sands, St Andrews, Scotland

West Sands, St Andrews, Scotland

Here is the famous Swilken Bridge on the Old Course with Royal and Ancient in the distance. Its almost mandatory for golfers and visitors alike to have their photographs taken here. The Old Course is just one of the golf courses comprising St. Andrews Links. There is also the New Course, Jubilee Course, Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course, Balgove Course and the Castle Course.

Swilken Bridge, Old Course

Swilken Bridge, Old Course, St Andrews

This is the ruins of St Andrews Castle. The castle was originally the one of the bishops and archbishops of St Andrews reflecting the status and power of St Andrews in the context of the medieval Scottish Church. Today’s ruins date from a re-build undertaken in the late 14th century after the devastation cased by the Wars of Independence,The castle fell into ruin from the late 17th century onwards.

St Andrews Castle, Scotland

Castle at St Andrews

Here are the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral,a building located close to the castle discussed above. The Cathedral was begun 1160 and grew to become the longest and greatest church in Scotland.It was also a place of pilgrimage as legend has it that the bones of St Andrew were brought ashore at St Andrews (hence name) in the fourth century. In medieval times the Cathedral suffered extensive damage due to fire and storm but it was the Reformation n 1560 which finally sealed its fate. This video clip was taken from atop St Rule’s Tower.

St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

Cathedral at St. Andrews

This modest building  (below) is the Royal and Ancient which is the current administrative centre for golf but with a history dating back to 1754.

Royal and Ancient, St Andrews, Scotland.

Royal and Ancient, St Andrews, Scotland.

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