A visit to the Kingdom of Fife would not be complete without a visit to St Andrews. The history of this town is synonymous with the history of golf, which was first played here during the 1400's. King James II banned golf in 1457 and it remained in that state until James IV picked up his golf clubs and started playing in 1502.
The history of St. Andrews actually dates as far back as the late sixth century, when it is believed that St. Regulus, a Columban missionary came to this part of the world. The relics of St. Andrew are believed to have been brought here sometime between 732 and 761 and it is to this event that the town owes its name. The town has always had a religious connection and was once the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. Religious persecution and protest were an integral part of the early life of the inhabitants, but today the town is better known as the Birthplace of Golf and the oldest university in Scotland.
The golf courses in St. Andrews are divided according to gender. The men's courses are Royal and Ancient, the St. Andrews Golf Club, the New Golf Club, the XIXth
Hole and the Thistle Golf Club. Ladies can tee off at the St. Rule Club, the St. Regulus Golf Club and the Ladies Putting Club. Even if you are not a golfer, you will enjoy a guided tour of the old course and see where the greatest names in golfing history have made their mark.
Although most visitors come here to play golf, the sights and sounds of this charming town soon entrance them. The Crawford Arts Centre features elaborate displays of work by artists and craftspeople from the area. The East Sands Leisure Center has plenty of opportunities for fun and exercise with two swimming pools, squash courts, a snooker room and a restaurant.
Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium with its numerous species of marine life. This venue is one of the top rated attractions in Fife. The Botanic Gardens has over 8000 plants, some of which are native to Scotland and others are from exotic parts of the world. There are also three museums in St. Andrews detailing the history of the town and its connection to golf.
Children will enjoy the many activities available at Craigtoun Country Park with miniature golf, a boating lake, a Dutch Village and guided nature walks. You can find out everything there is to know about St. Andrews by taking a 3mile hike around the town and as part of Fife, you can cycle along the country lanes as part of the 300 miles of cycling that the area has to offer.
There is a wide selection of accommodations to choose from ranging from hotels to efficiency units. You can cook for yourself or indulge in the delightful cuisine offered on the menus of the many restaurants in town.