Over the last few weeks, England’s Royal Wedding has dominated the headlines. Prince William and Kate Middleton were happily married yesterday in London, the world looked on from around the globe. One of the interesting facts about the future king and queen of England is that they met while attending St. Andrews University in St. Andrews, Scotland, where the game of golf originated. Another golf-related note is that Ma Bells Bistro Bar in the St. Andrews Golf Hotel was Prince William’s favorite pub during his time in St. Andrews. Though the Royal couple doesn’t golf, Prince William has a tenuous connection to the game: Back in 1991, the eight-year old future king was hit in the head with a golf club swung by a classmate.
As far as St. Andrews is concerned, playing golf at one of the city’s seven courses should be on everyone’s to-do list, especially the Old Course. Considered the home of golf by many, The Old Course has served as a golfing venue for more than 600 years. Last year, it also hosted The Open Championship (British Open) for the 28th time, which was also the 150th Links anniversary of that competition. www.standrews.org.uk
Here are a few more prominent attractions in St. Andrews:
British Golf Museum: This top-of-the-line museum sits at the heart of golf’s beginnings and is located just 67 yards from the famous Old Course. www.britishgolfmuseum.co.uk
St. Andrews Cathedral: Here, you can view the remains of the largest cathedral in Scotland. 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. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
St. Andrews Castle: The ruins of this castle of the Archbishops of St. Andrews dates in part from the 13th century. Notable features include the bottle-dungeon and mine and counter-mine tunneled during the siege in 1546. A fascinating exhibition in the visitor center brings the history of the castle and cathedral to life. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
St. Andrews Botanic Gardens: This beautiful garden encompasses 18 acres including glass houses. The design is one of inter-connecting garden habitats, with many unique and unusual plants. www.st-andrews-botanic.org
MUSA: Museum of the University of 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, which opened in 2008, offers a host of artifacts on display. Future displays are sure to include tributes to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who fell in love with, and at, St. Andrews. www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~muscoll/MUSA/musa_main.html