St Andrews, Scotland

To a golfer, St Andrews needs no introduction. To the religious, they know Scotland’s patron saint as Andrew the Apostle. To fans of British Royalty, they delight learning Prince William and Catherine Middleton met here. Come see it all in this small town facing the North Sea.

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1 First Tee at Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland

There are approximately two billion people worldwide who play golf. Many of them fantasize about teeing off at the Old Course at St Andrews, the birthplace of golf around 1400 AD. The game was banned by Scottish kings from 1457 until 1502. In 1764, the original 22 holes were reduced to 18, thus setting today’s standard. In 1894, the Town Council declared the course to be open to the public. So make your pilgrimage to St Andrews, have your friends take your photo on the first tee (called the Burn), and then stay at the Old Course Hotel in the background while indulging in all six courses in town.

22 Golf Pl, St Andrews KY16 9JD, UK
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2 Swilcan Burn at Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland

There are 112 bunkers along The Links, each with their own name. The winding waterway called Swilican Burn is the most famous hazard on the Old Course. It empties into St Andrews Bay alongside the two mile West Sands Beach. Originally, the game was played clockwise and anti-clockwise on alternative weeks. Now the right-hand direction is the norm. Be aware the course is closed on Sundays. During the summer, it is often filled with strolling townsfolks on that day.

22 Golf Pl, St Andrews KY16 9JD, UK
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3 Swilcan Bridge at Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland

Any avid golfer who has watched The Open Championship on TV immediately recognizes the iconic Swilcan Bridge. This stone bridge, estimated to be over 700 years old, is on the 18th hole of St Andrews Old Course. The landmark has been the location for countless victory poses plus farewell salutes by pros before retiring from the game.

22 Golf Pl, St Andrews KY16 9JD, UK
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4 Tom Morris 18th Hole at Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland

Despite the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews being the easiest par 4, it has been the sight of countless tension, hushed crowds, agonizing misses and joyful victories. It is nicknamed “Tom Morris” in honor of Thomas Mitchell Morris. In the mid-19th century, he was the youthful apprentice to Allan Robertson, perhaps the world’s first professional golfer. When he returned as the groundkeeper in 1865, a job he kept for 39 years, he recreated the first and 18th greens. A white flag is still flown over the 18th cup in honor of Old Tom Morris. When Tom Kidd was the first to win The Open Championship here in 1873, his prize was the equivalent of $17.00. In the background is the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.

22 Golf Pl, St Andrews KY16 9JD, UK
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5 Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews, Scotland

The Society of St Andrews Golfers was established in 1754. When William IV of the United Kingdom joined in 1834, it was retitled The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Surprising, membership was restricted to men until 2015. This clubhouse was built in 1854 and expanded several times through 2002. From 1897 until 2004, the Club was the recognized authority on golf rules, equipment and events across the world. That is now the responsibility of The R&A except in Mexico and the United States.

22 Golf Pl, St Andrews KY16 9JD, UK
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6 St Andrews Aquarium in St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Aquarium is located near a coastal road called The Scores and the tidal pool in the St Andrews Bay named Witch Lake. The star attractions are Humboldt penguins from South America. You can also enjoy watching a colony of harbor seals and meerkats plus sharks, stingrays and assorted reptiles and amphibians.

26 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AS, UK
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7 Bandstand Overlooking Witch Lake in St Andrews, Scotland

These two elderly women enjoyed a chat next to the 1890 St Andrews Bandstand while their husbands finished golfing at the nearby Old Course. This bench is the best seat in the house for enjoying summer concerts. However, this location on Witch Hill had an ugly role in the town’s history. During the 16th and 17th centuries, women suspected of witchcraft were bound and thrown into the raging waters below this cliff. If they died, they were innocent. If they lived, they were burned at the stake here. If you want to relive more of these ghoulish tales, consider taking the Witches Tour.

28 The Scores, St Andrews KY16, UK
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8 Martyrs’ Memorial in St Andrews, Scotland

This obelisk stands on Witch Hill near the Royal and Ancients Clubhouse at the Old Course at St Andrews. The Martyrs’ Memorial is a tribute to those who were killed during the Scottish Reformation against the Catholic Church. Patrick Hamilton was executed in 1528 followed by Henry Forrest in 1533. George Wishart was burnt at the stake in 1546 as was Walter Mill in 1558. Other protestants were imprisoned at the hands of the French and English until the Scottish Reformation Parliament adopted Protestantism in 1560. This 33 foot monument designed by William Nixon was erected in 1842.

26 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AS, UK
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9 Castle Sands Beach at St Andrews Castle in St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Castle along the North Sea is best viewed from the Cliff Walk. The first citadel on this promontory was built in the late 12th century by Roger de Beaumont, the Bishop of St Andrews. The fortress repeatedly exchanged hands between the Scots and the English in several battles before finally being destroyed in 1337. It was rebuilt in 1400 and again in the mid-16th century. 100 years later it was mostly in ruins until much of it collapsed in 1801.

32 E Scores, St Andrews KY16 9BE, UK
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10 St Andrews Castle Entrance in St Andrews, Scotland

Since the 12th century, this castle was the home for local bishops, royalty and an infamous prison. The landmark also witnessed executions and assassinations plus was the scene of numerous battles. This side view of St Andrews Castle is called the Hamilton Façade. Note the wooden bridge leading into the citadel’s entrance. This wing was built by Archbishop John Hamilton in the mid-16th century. The castle was abandoned about 20 years after the archbishop was hung in 1571.

32 E Scores, St Andrews KY16 9BE, UK
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11 St Andrews Castle Tower in St Andrews, Scotland

Despite being in ruins, St Andrews Castle is worth visiting to learn about its 450 year history. The Visitor Centre provides several exhibits and a multi-media presentation. A sense of its former magnificence is enjoyed from the courtyard. You can explore the tunnels, called a mine and countermine, that were dug into rock during the battle between Scottish Protestants and the English Catholics in the mid-16th century. Plus gawk into the bottle dungeon, the remains of the grizzly prison.

32 E Scores, St Andrews KY16 9BE, UK
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12 St. Rule’s Tower at St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

Andrew the Apostle and his brother Simon Peter were disciples of Christ in the 1st century. After Saint Andrew was crucified in Patras, Greece, his body remained there until a monk named St. Regulus (Rule) began moving relics to different cities for protection. He left some behind in Scotland in 357. Beginning early in the 12th century and finished around 1144, Bishop Robert built St Regulus Church to house the relics of Scotland’s patron saint. All that remains of the original, Norman style church is this 108 foot steeple called St. Rule’s Tower. You can climb to the top for a wonderful view of the town.

The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
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13 East Twin Spires at St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

In 1160, Bishop Arnold ordered a replacement to the adjacent Church of St. Rule. The new cathedral required about 150 years to construct. When it was consecrated in 1318, it had six turrets and a central tower. The cathedral was so prominent that in 1472, the bishop of St Andrews became an archbishop and Scotland’s spiritual leader. In 1559, during the Scottish Reformation, the building was attacked and finally abandoned two years later. The most dramatic remnants of St Andrews Cathedral are the twin spires of the east façade. They are a testament to the Roman Catholic church’s former grandeur.

The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
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14 Cemetery and East Spires at St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

These headstones in the shadows of St Andrews Cathedral’s twin towers on the east façade are called the Cathedral Burial Ground. Nearby is the Eastern Cemetery.

The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
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15 Nave Wall at St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

This view along the North Cloister Walk shows the impressive stone wall of the former nave of St Andrews Cathedral. The original 14th century building was 357 long. On the left is the western façade’s only remaining spire. This side of the church was plagued with disasters. It blew down during construction in 1270. It suffered a major fire in 1378 and portions collapsed in 1409. Each time it was rebuilt until the entire cathedral was savagely attacked in June of 1559.

The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
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16 Processional Path at St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland

The canons (priests) who once lived at St Andrews Cathedral had a regulated life. They ate one vegetarian meal a day and slept in wooden beds in the dormitory entered through the four lower arches. Each Sunday morning, they walked clockwise around the cloister following the processional path seen as the square foundation stones in this photo. Then they reentered the church and sprinkled holy water the altars. On the left are the twin towers of the cathedral’s east façade. On the right is St. Rule’s Tower.

The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
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17 War Memorial in St Andrews, Scotland

Located at the end of North Street adjacent to the St Andrews Cathedral is this granite monument shaped as a Celtic cross with a sword relief. It was originally a tribute to Scottish soldiers who died during World War I. This work by Sir Robert Lorimer was unveiled in 1922 by Field Marshall Earl Haig, the founder of the British Legion in 1919. After World War II, the dates 1939 – 1945 were added. The inscription “Pro Patria” means “For one’s country” in Latin.

Gregory Ln, St Andrews KY16 9PU, UK
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18 University’s St Salvator’s Chapel in St Andrews, Scotland

St Salvator’s Chapel was founded by Bishop James Kennedy in 1450 to serve the College of the Holy Saviour, now part of the University of St Andrews. The Scottish Gothic architecture suffered significantly during the Protestant Reformation in the mid-16th century. After that, it was refurbished four times during the next four hundred years. At the foot of the chapel’s entrance on North Street are the initials P.H. This marks the spot where Patrick Hamilton became the first martyr in St Andrews for his Protestant beliefs. While a member of the university’s faculty, he was tried for heresy for teaching Lutheran doctrines, found guilty of thirteen charges and immediately burned at the stake in 1528.

75 North St, St Andrews KY16 9AL, UK
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19 University’s Lower & Upper College Halls in St Andrews, Scotland

You enter the well-manicured lawn of St Salvator’s Quad after walking through the University of St Andrews’s main gate on North Street. The prominent anchor is the Lower & Upper College Halls, now reserved for special events such as weddings. The school began in 1410, was chartered by local Bishop Henry Wardlaw in 1411 and officially approved by Pope Benedict XIII in 1413. This history makes it the world’s third oldest, English speaking university.

St Salvator's Quadrangle, North St, St Andrews KY16 9AL, UK
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20 University’s Swallogate Building in St Andrews, Scotland

Inside of the Swallowgate Building on the campus of the University of St Andrews is the School of Classics. The undergraduate program offers five subjects of study: Ancient History, Classical Studies, Classics, Greek and Latin. The school also conducts postgraduate work, research and archaeology on the same topics. As you can see, this building on The Scores also provides a gorgeous backdrop for students while studying on a warm, sunny afternoon.

Butts Wynd, St Andrews KY16 9AL, UK
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21 University’s St Salvator’s Hall in St Andrews, Scotland

The 275 undergraduate students who live in St Salvator’s Hall affectionately call it “Sallies.” The English Gothic building housed only men when it opened in 1933. This is where Prince William and Catherine Middleton lived when they met in 2001. The namesake for this prestigious residence is St Salvator’s College, the original name of the school founded in the 15th century. In 1747, after it merged with St Leonard’s College, it became United College. The third institution comprising the University of St Andrews today is St Mary’s College, established in 1538. The collective schools are ranked as the United Kingdom’s third best university.

8 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AZ, UK
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22 University’s Younger Hall in St Andrews, Scotland

Younger Hall is the Music Center for the students at the University of St Andrews. The neo-classical design by Paul Waterhouse was completed in 1929. Inside is an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000. This venue regularly hosts performances by the University’s Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and other local and visiting musicians. If you are on campus on a Friday afternoon, stop in to enjoy a free recital by the University Music Society.

52A North St, St Andrews KY16 9AH, UK
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23 Brief Description of St Andrews, Scotland

These retailers at the intersection of South and Church Streets across from Town Hall are an example of the endearing charm of St Andrews. The town of about 17,000 people is located at the tip of a peninsula along the east-central coast of Scotland facing the North Sea. Despite its small size, it has played a major role in religious history, especially during the Scottish Reformation. It is also the home of a prestigious university, a 12th century castle and church plus the heralded birthplace of golf.

107 South St, St Andrews KY16 9QW, UK
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24 Holy Trinity Church in St Andrews, Scotland

Holy Trinity Church was founded in 1410 by Bishop Wardlaw. Within a year, the congregation began construction on their church. It was consecrated in 1412. The bell tower was added in 1500 and is all that remains of the original building. The rest of the structure was rebuilt in 1800 and again in 1909. Despite all of these changes, its façade has a seamless, medieval appearance.

100 South St, St Andrews KY16 9QD, UK
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25 Blackfriars Chapel in St Andrews, Scotland

The first Dominican friars in St Andrews built a modest monastery, called a prior, in 1464. By the early 16th century, it grew into a friary complete with a hospital, church, chapter house and dormitory. This chapel, which is all that remains, was constructed in the 1520s. In 1546, Protestant George Wishart was burned at the stake for heresy. In retaliation, the Protestants murdered Cardinal David Beaton, hung his body from the St Andrew Castle and then attacked this Catholic friary. Most of the buildings were destroyed and finally vacated in 1559.

120 South St, St Andrews KY16 9EH, UK
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Morgan Academy in Dundee near St Andrews, Scotland

About 11 miles north of St Andrews, just across the River Tay, is Scotland’s fourth largest city: Dundee. This exquisite building was the Morgan Hospital when it opened in 1868. During the 19th century, the word “hospital” was often a facility dedicated to the care of orphaned and poor children. The institution’s benefactor was John Morgan. In 1889, it became the Morgan Academy. Today The Morgan provides secondary education for about 900 students who are bound for college.

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