There was something magical about St Andrews. The town is on the seaside, which would already be enough to make me like the place, but what made the place truly impressive were the ruins of the cathedral and the castle that loomed over the sea on high cliffs. Walking around, you could just feel the old ages running through you. In addition to the historical vibe, the place also felt very elegant – St Andrews is known as the home of golf with a great big golf course by the sea, and Scotland’s oldest university is located in St Andrews. The university is also, incidentally, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met. Need I say more?
Our visit to St Andrews was part of the Fife day trip I took with my family. We started off the visit to the town with bowls of cullen skink, a rich Scottish fish soup, while gazing over the golf course from the windows of the restaurant. Next, we wandered off to the town centre to see the university and get a general feeling of the town.
University of St Andrews
Where Kate met Wills (for coffee)
Our next stop was the St Andrews Cathedral, which dates back to 1158. The Roman Catholic cathedral was once a pilgrimage site, but fell to ruin after the reformation in the 16th century. It was incredible to think that where there now were a couple of walls facing each other, there used to be a complete abbey, and where there was a grassy field, there used to be a cathedral floor – all probably decorated with intricate art.
Our last stop was St Andrews Castle, which also dates back to the 12th century. The castle has been built and rebuilt multiple times, and has served both as the home of the noble and wealthy and as a notorious prison. Today, like the cathedral, it is in ruins. I tried to imagine what the place would have looked like in its earlier state, with high halls and people dancing inside. It must have been a glorious place for entertaining with the wonderful view over to the sea, but also a miserable and windy place for prisoners staying in cold cells.
On the day we visited, there were some graduates of the university walking around town in their red graduation gowns. Some of them wandered around the castle, and agreed to pose for me in front of a monument just outside the castle.
From St Andrews, our day trip continued to its final stop, Falkland. I’ll talk about that in its own post!