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Ten things you might not know about St Andrews

St Andrews has been in the media a lot recently thanks to the Royal Wedding mania, so you probably know by now that it is the town in which Prince William and his new wife first met and fell in love. However, there’s so much more to St Andrews than Royal Romance. Here are ten things that you might not know about our town:

  1. St Andrews is known around the world as “The Home of Golf”, and there are ten courses in and around the town. In fact, though, only about 1 in 10 of visitors to St Andrews actually play golf! Most people simply come to enjoy the historic sights, great shops and beautiful coastline.
  2. The Old Course, probably the most famous golf course in the world, is on public land, and anyone has the right to walk across it (though it’s best to do that on a Sunday, when no golf is played!)
  3. St Andrews is one of the sunniest and driest parts of the UK – statistically, it is sunnier annually than London and drier than Paris!
  4. St Andrews West Sands (one of three award-winning beaches in the town) features in the iconic opening shots of Oscar-winning “Chariots Of Fire” – though the screen caption advises viewers that the location is “Broadstairs, Kent”!
  5. Continuing on the theme of movies – the University’s Andrew Melville Hall was used as a principal location during shooting of the 2010 film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel ‘Never Let Me Go’, starring Keira Knightley.
  6. St Andrews was at one time the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. The 12th Century Cathedral was the country’s largest building for over 600 years, losing its title when Waverley Station in Edinburgh was built in Victorian times.
  7. St Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university, and the third oldest in the English speaking world, having been founded in 1413 (just after Oxford and Cambridge). The Duke of Cambridge (better known as Prince William) is the patron of the University’s 600th anniversary celebrations.
  8. Honorary graduates of St Andrews University include the disparate figures of Bob Dylan, Benjamin Franklin. The Dalai Lama and Jack Nicklaus!
  9. St Andrews and East Fife are famous for good food – the area has more rosetted restaurants per head of population than anywhere else in Britain. Local meat, seafood, vegetables and summer fruits are particular specialities – and 90% of the UK’s porridge oats are milled just a few miles away.
  10. There are lots more than ten fascinating things you don’t know about St Andrews! Visit www.visitstandrews.com to find out more.