"Oldest Scottish University City" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Andrews by leffe3

Saint Andrews Travel Guide: 163 reviews and 333 photos

The oldest Scottish University city, the ambience of St Andrews is that of Edinburgh by the sea. Imposing granite buildings, sweeping central avenues, cobbled alleys. The ruined castle lies on the foreshore, the vast ruined Abbey overlooks the town and small harbour, the East Sands beach below the Abbey leads to rocky cliffs, the West Beach disappears into the distance to the mouth of the Tay several miles away. And if you are into golf, then St Andrews is a mecca, with the old course (there are many!) frequently hosting the biggest names in the world as one of the venues for the British Open.

There is evidence of a monastic settlement on the site since the 7th century, with St Andrews (or its previous names of Kilrymont and Muckross) playing a significant role in Scottish religious life. From mediaeval times to the Reformation, the city was the ecclesiastical centre of the country and its bishop the primus of the Church of Scotland. The castle was built in the 12th century as the bishop's main residence and this, along with the cathedral and St Rules, the largest building in Scotland at the time, and a population of around 14,000 made St Andrews a town of considerable significance.

Such was its importance, in 1412 a royal charter founded the first university in Scotland in St Andrews

That all changed in 1559 and the Reformation, with the vast Cathedral and its monastery sacked, falling into serious disrepair and which, in spite of some attempts in later centuries to restore parts of the building, is what we see today.


The demise set in - not until the 1960s did the town seriously recover - and mainly due to the increased interest and popularity in golf. St Andrews is mostly known today for its golf courses, having hosted more than any other course The British Open.

With its great beaches, many golf courses, a steady population of 18,000 plus the high number of students at one of the best (as well as oldest) universities in the UK, a great location on the east coast of Fife only an hour or so from Edinburgh, St Andrews is, like its larger sister city, a genteel town with a lot going for it.

  • Last visit to Saint Andrews: Aug 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (7)

  • saraheg77's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2005 at 1:47 AM

    I loved St. Andrews! Great picture at the cathedral!

  • MeZuGa's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2005 at 4:55 AM

    Great pics and info, It`s realy beatyfull...

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2004 at 2:13 PM

    good infos and great pics ! I am not interested in Golf, but have to admit, the golfcourse in St.Andrews impressed me still somehow !

  • galy's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2004 at 11:30 PM

    Great litle town, isn't it?

  • prleprle's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2004 at 4:19 AM

    Very informative tips and great photos in travelogue. Fine overview of St. Andrews.

  • hevbell's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2003 at 2:35 AM

    lovely photos, especially love the top aerial pic :) good page

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2003 at 7:47 PM

    Beautiful page, you got some really nice shots. Thanks, very helpful.


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