Today’s adventures took us to the town of St. Andrews. It is St. Andrews where you will find Scotland’s oldest university town and what many golfers might consider their shrine. We began the day with a lovely lunch in the barn of the Balgove Larder where we shared a delicious chateau briand.
As many of you know, Scotland is considered the birthplace of golf and was pioneered on the sandy links (a term I learned today) around St. Andrews. According to my travel book, the earliest record of the game being played is 1457, when golf was banned (along with other sports such as football) by James II because he considered it ‘useless’. Stories also say that Mary, Queen of Scots was seen playing golf immediately after her husband was killed.
Today, we learned because it is Sunday, visitors are able to walk the course. I must say, Eric was a very happy camper because of this. After we walked the course we wandered the cobbled alleys of the village and did a little shopping. Scotland is known for their marmalade, cashmere, and wool (in addition to its sheep, klits, whisky, and tartans).
We also visited St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral. Both the castle and the cathedral are in ruins and the castle dates back to the 12th century, where it was once the largest cathedral in Scotland (but was later pillaged for its stones to build other buildings in the town).
Also, according to my travel books, St. Andrews Castle was built for the town’s bishops in the year 1200. Walking the grounds, you can learn about the cathedrals history and imagine how it once stood many years ago. Today, it is filled with graves along with its few standing walls and the bell tower. When you walk the edges of the cathedral grounds, you can also get a beautiful view of the ocean and city.
If you ever visit Scotland, I strongly encourage you to add St. Andrews to your list of places to see. Such a beautiful town filled with a rich history.