Prince William and St Andrews

Wednesday 17 November 2010

The St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf Club first met here in the spiritual home of golf in 1754, though it was first played here as early as the 15th century. The Old Course, most famous of the town's seven courses, is redolent of images of the world's greatest golfers at the British Open Championship down the years, while visitors can even play on the hallowed turf.

St Andrews University, founded in 1410, dominates the centre of town. The elegant, ivy-clad buildings and delightful quadrangles and gardens have seen a procession of famous graduates, including, of course, Prince William. The future king may have graduated, but St Andrews is still one of the top universities in Britain, often compared to Oxford and Cambridge for its defining presence and the feel it gives the town.

The medieval centre of St Andrews, with its narrow alleys and cobbled streets, leads to the now ruined cathedral (once the largest in Scotland) and the adjacent church of St Regulus, where climbing the spiral staircase to the top of a 108-foot tower leads to magnificent views of the town and its surroundings.

St Andrews has two great beaches, one being West Sands, where the famous opening sequence of 'Chariots of Fire' was shot. Amongst the town's many other attractions are the Botanic Gardens, the University Museum and the British Golf Museum.

Prince William/St Andrews Facts

  • Prince William achieved a 2:1 Scottish Master of Arts degree with upper second class honours in geography from St Andrews, bettering his Father’s 2:2 from Cambridge.
  • He was reportedly known as ‘Steve’ by other students to avoid any journalists overhearing and realising his identity
  • His graduation was the first in the family attended by the Queen, who missed those of her sons.
  • Ma Bells Bistro Bar in the St Andrews Golf Hotel was Prince William's favourite pub during his time in St Andrews, where he reportedly used to drink cider with his bodyguard.
  • The Prince lived in St. Salvator's dorm prior to moving to a town house on Hope Street.
  • When staying in Hope Street in the town, the Prince and Kate Middleton will have walked along the stunning St Andrews West Sands.
  • Their location also afforded them walks past St Andrews Castle & Cathedral, while beautiful Tentsmuir Forest provided a degree of privacy and a fantastic array of nature.

Prince William’s St Andrews Haunts

St Andrews Golf Hotel
40 The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Chic and stylish boutique town house hotel, recently refurbished throughout. Featuring a variety of room types commanding spectacular views over St Andrews bay and links, and minutes walk from all golf courses and attractions. Featuring award winning 'number forty' restaurant serving the finest local produce, also number forty bar and terrace and the famous Ma Bells Bar
Tel: +44 (1334) 472611

Ma Bells Bar
St. Andrews Golf Hotel, 40 The Scores, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Ma Bells is part of the St Andrews Golf Hotel and forms a great night life for residents of the hotel and a great haunt for the students and locals alike. With its huge selection of lagers and imported bottled beers it will give you plenty to choose from. If these aren’t to your taste why not try something from the extensive range of spirits, cocktails shooters and pitchers. There is also fabulous food menu available in Ma Bells, from a lunchtime sandwich to a steak dinner from the grill.
Tel: +44 (1334) 472611

West Sands
The West Sands has gained world fame from the movie "Chariots of Fire". In the opening scene, as the British Olympic team is training, they run along the West Sands. The West Sands beach is one of the top rated beaches in Scotland. At its northern end lies the estuary of the river Eden, which was at one time a shipping port. At the southern end lies the town. It was allegedly while walking between town and port along the links ("linking" town to port) that golf developed. Behind the sand dunes lie the main golf courses.

Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve
Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve and Eden Estuary Local Nature Reserve are on the east coast of Scotland, just north of St Andrews in Fife. The nature reserves are recognised internationally for their very special habitats and for the rich variety of plants, birds, insects and other animals which they support. Walk along the beach to Tentsmuir Point and you may see hundreds of seals basking on the sandbars, or visit Tayport Heath for beautiful wildflowers and fantastic views across the River Tay. The Eden Estuary Centre and Morton Lochs both provide wonderful opportunities to watch waterfowl from dedicated bird hides. There are many waymarked walks and cycle routes through the towering pine trees which form Tentsmuir Forest. Look out for red squirrels and roe deer which live in the woodland.

St Andrews Accommodation

St Andrews Old Course Hotel & Spa
St Andrews, Fife
The Old Course Hotel features 144 lavishly refurbished bedrooms and suites, many by designed with sumptuous interiors by star French designer Jacques Garcia. Think rich red divine opulence, silk lined walls, private balconies, Kohler bathroom products and picture postcard views of The Old Course and St. Andrews. From a magnificent gourmet experience in the 3 AA Rosette awarded Road Hole to an award winning afternoon tea, The Old Course Hotel offers an outstanding collection of bars and restaurants to suit all including Sands Grill for relaxed dining and The Jigger Inn, fondly referred to as ‘the towns best 19th hole’ and much loved by the many celebrities who visit.

Kohler Waters Spa is the first of its kind outside the USA and provides a truly world-class spa experience with the highest levels of personalised care and luxurious treatments. With 20 meter pool and stunning waterfall, fitness suite, relaxation area and rooftop hot tub, this is spa heaven.
Tel: +44 (1334) 474371

Fairmont St Andrews
St Andrews, Fife
Set on a 520 acre estate with a unique coastal setting, this 209 bedroom hotel is the perfect location to turn a holiday into a treasured memory. Relax in the luxurious new Fairmont signature Spa or the 16 metre swimming pool. St Andrews is a wonderful place to visit and experiences some of the best weather in Britain, allowing for some great golf on the championship Torrance golf course. Fairmont St Andrew’s was voted International Resort of 2009 by Hotel Review Scotland and voted in Condé Nast Traveler readers' poll as 18th in the World's Top 100 Golf Resorts.
Tel: +44 (1334) 837000

St Andrews Attractions

Fife and the surrounding area, as well as being renowned for some of the best golf courses in the world, is home to some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery and fascinating visitor attractions.

St Andrews Castle
The Scores, St Andrews, Fife
The ruins of the castle of the Archbishops of St Andrews, dating in part from the 13th century. Notable features include the 'bottle-dungeon' and mine and counter-mine tunnelled during the siege in 1546. These siege works are the finest of their kind in Europe. A fascinating exhibition in the visitor centre brings the history of the castle and cathedral to life.
T: +44 (1334) 477196

St Andrews Cathedral
The Pends, St Andrews, Fife
The remains of the largest cathedral in Scotland. The precinct walls are particularly well preserved. The Cathedral Museum houses an outstanding collection of early and later medieval sculpture and other relics found on the site, including the magnificent St Andrews Sarcophagus of Pictish date. St Rule's Tower, in the precinct, is part of the first church of the Augustinian canons at St Andrews built in the early 12th century.
T: +44 (1334) 472563

British Golf Museum
Bruce Embankment, St Andrews
The 5 star British Golf Museum sits at the heart of the home of golf, just 67 yards from the famous Old Course. Imaginative exhibitions, hands on activities and stunning multimedia displays bring to life over 500 years of golfing history. The British Golf Museum is the world’s premier heritage centre for golf.
T: +44 (0) 1334 460046

Visit the Historic Old Course
The Old Course is the Home of Golf where golf was first played 600 years ago. It remains a real test of golf for today's champions. The fabled original links course is synonymous with The Open Championship which it has hosted more times than any other venue and also hosted for the 28th time in 2010, for the 150th anniversary of the competition. Despite its reputation and status, it is a public course and is one of seven public courses at St Andrews Links.

St Andrews Botanic Gardens
Canongate, St Andrews, Fife
St Andrews Botanic Garden extends to 18 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and glasshouses. Located between the Lade Braes and the Canongate, it is a short walk or bus ride from the centre of the town, there is ample car parking. Sheltered by trees it is described by many as a ‘hidden gem’. The design is one of inter-connecting garden habitats and there are many fascinating and unusual plants to be found. The garden is open all year round from 10 am. There is a small admission charge and an ‘honesty box’ through the winter months.
T: +44 (1334) 476452

MUSA: Museum of the University of St Andrews
7a The Scores, St Andrews
Founded in 1413, the University of St Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), which opened in October 2008, puts on display to the public for the first time some of the real treasures amongst the University’s collection of over 112,000 artefacts. The museum has four galleries, a ‘Leaning Loft’ and a viewing terrace with panoramic views over St Andrews Bay. MUSA is free to the public.
T: +44 (1334) 461660

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