The city of St Andrews, was once the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland and is now a golfing and tourist centre, sits at the most east side of the Fife peninsula where the North Sea coastline is famous for sweeping sandy bays on either side of a rocky headland.
The city grew from a small religious settlement, where, in earlier times St Rule is said to have landed with the bones of St Andrew the patron saint of Scotland. Quickly St Andrews become a place of pilgrimage and Scotland's leading religious centre.Many years later a cathedral was built and a University was founded.
St Andrews was granted a royal charter in 1140. The town developed as a centre of trade, its merchant burgesses building for themselves fine houses with elegant forestairs, crow-stepped gables and pantiled roofs now well known as a symbol of Fife. When the town of St Andrews declined and lost trade, the castle and cathedral fell into ruin.
Now preserved and listed the Cathedral and nearby St Andrews Castle are an interesting day trip. Stop for lunch or diner at one of the many fine restaurants and cafes St Andrews has to offer.
St Andrews is internationally famous as the home of golf and the venue of championship events. The game has been played here for over 500 years when the Archbishop allowed its townsfolk to play golf and other games on the links and in 1754 the Royal and Ancient Society of St Andrews Golfers was set up to organise an annual competition. There are now five 18-hole courses, the Old course, the New course, Strathtyrum, Jubilee and Eden and one 9-hole course, Balgove, as well as many golf shops, manufacturers of golf clubs and a British Golf Museum.
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