Travel: Exploring St. Andrews, Scotland Beyond the Links

Known internationally as the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews in Scotland offers travel history and culture that's more than par for the course.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

The people who built, reside in and love St. Andrews, Scotland know the seaside city is known primarily as the birthplace of golf. But, there’s much more history and culture for a bemused traveler to discover away from the greens and bunkers.

The seven courses that make up Royal St. Andrews, including The Old Course that claims the title as the game’s most ancient, are undoubtedly the region’s most prominent tourist attraction. It’s a mecca for players looking to knock items off a teed up bucket list and simply a historical go to for travelers exploring the past in Scotland.

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Combining a long stretch of Scottish beach, one of the top universities in Scotland and ruins of structures lost to the ages and past conflicts, St. Andrews offers plenty for travelers focused on history, photography and culture. Beyond the Old Course, the most significant historic destinations in town include the St. Andrews Castle and the ruins of the St. Andrews Cathedral – a massive structure (once Scotland’s largest building) destroyed during the region’s religious conflicts and slowly cannibalized by other structures over the years.

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While many first-time visitors to Scotland flock first to Edinburgh and Glasgow as essential tourism stops, the golf lovers look to St. Andrews as their prime destination. However, even a single day wandering its cozy streets and quiet, photogenic surrounds will convince a traveler that St. Andrews offers plenty even when the rains sweep the golf balls away.

You can take in a few sights of St. Andrews in the gallery below.

All photos by John Scott Lewinski