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Tucked away on a windswept inlet north of Edinburgh, St. Andrews has not one but two claims to fame. As well as being the birthplace of golf - people have been knocking little white balls around the bay since at least the 15th century - the town is home to the oldest university in Scotland, founded in 1410 by the "antipope" Benedict XIII. Set on a dramatically wild stretch of coastline, St. Andrews is a curious mix of medieval relics and tourist chintz, with a swooningly atmospheric ruined castle and cathedral and a beach propelled to international fame by the movie Chariots of Fire. St. Andrews is a bustling academic center as well ...

Tucked away on a windswept inlet north of Edinburgh, St. Andrews has not one but two claims to fame. As well as being the birthplace of golf - people have been knocking little white balls around the bay since at least the 15th century - the town is home to the oldest university in Scotland, founded in 1410 by the "antipope" Benedict XIII. Set on a dramatically wild stretch of coastline, St. Andrews is a curious mix of medieval relics and tourist chintz, with a swooningly atmospheric ruined castle and cathedral and a beach propelled to international fame by the movie Chariots of Fire. St. Andrews is a bustling academic center as well as a tourist town, and the streets throng with students in flowing gowns and visiting history buffs, theologians and golfers. It’s all a bit Four Weddings and a Funeral, but the lively arts, café and bar scene adds character to the postcard perfection. With a bit of planning, you can even play a round at the legendary Old Course.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to September, or whenever one of the big golf championships is in town.