St. Andrews The Arms of the Royal Burgh of St.Andrews Community Council (Used by permission )

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St Andrews

Why is St Andrews Special?

St Andrews is the Home of Golf, with the famous Old Course close to the sea and the west sands. Bordered by sand hills the golf links are renowned the World Over - a terrain to make the heart glad.

St Andrews is a world famous tourist resort, which offers accommodation from internationally acclaimed hotels to comfortable private guest houses, all with an equally warm and hospitable Scottish welcome. For more information go to our tourism page

St Andrews is the home of Scotland's oldest University, the Alma Mater of many of the most famous figures in British history and three American Founding Fathers.

Yes, St Andrews is all of these things - but to us St Andrews is special because it is our home. Enjoy reading these pages put together by the people of St Andrews for the people of the world. We are proud of our beautiful and ancient city and we welcome you to its subtle charms and stirring delights.

"There is no single spot in Scotland equally full of historical interest ... no place in this country over which the genius of antiquity lingers so impressively"
Lord Cockburn 1844

For antiquarians and historians St Andrews has exceptional things to offer: a ruined castle with a subterranean passage and dungeon; ancient monasteries; Mary Queen of Scots' House and a "dinged doon" Cathedral. We have more on the fascinating history of St Andrews for you on our history page.

St Andrews had the largest mediaeval Cathedral in the north of Britain and so was for many years a major centre for religious activity and pilgrimage. Many major events in the Scottish reformation took place here starting with martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, burnt to death for preaching Lutheran doctrines, in 1528. Read more about our churches old and modern on our churches page.

St Andrews is an extremely photogenic town with an active photography club. You might like to see some of the pictures from their exhibition, "Our Town".

It is conjectured that golf started in St Andrews around 1350. Certainly in 1491 King James IV passed an act forbidding golf because it distracted young men from archery and church attendance. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the governing body of golf, was founded in 1834 having changed its name from The Society of St Andrews Golfers (founded 1754) by permission of King William IV, and is based in St Andrews. You will get more by going to our golf page.

If you want a map of the town centre there is one right here courtesy of the St Andrews Merchants' Association.


These pages were written by Dr Frank Riddell and Norman Lamont Brown.

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