The beautiful East coast Scottish town of St Andrews, renowned around the world as “The Home of Golf”, has found new international fame as the place where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (better known as Prince William and Catherine Middleton) met and fell in love, whilst studying at University here (2001-05).
Whilst they were in St Andrews, they enjoyed a great deal of privacy and were treated by local people as normal students. In fact, to their contemporaries, they were known simply as “Wills and Kate”.
Now, visitors can follow in royal footsteps, and experience for themselves many of the locations that were enjoyed by the young couple during their four happy years in St Andrews. Here are just a few:
The University Hall of Residence in the centre of town where both William and Catherine had rooms during their first year. Can be viewed from the outside. Adjoins the historic and photogenic St Salvator’s Quadrangle.
This luxury resort was the location of the now-famous fashion show attended by William at which Ms Middleton modelled a see-through dress (which recently sold at auction for £78,000!). In later years, William was a frequent visitor to the hotel’s spa and leisure club and enjoyed non-alcoholic cocktails in one of the resort’s bars.
13a Hope Street
The two-storey converted flat, located in an elegant town centre street, which William and Catherine shared with two friends in 2002-03. Can be viewed from the outside.
This basement bar in the St Andrews Golf Hotel (now part of the Hotel du Vin chain) has long been popular with students, and was frequently visited by William. He reportedly used to drink cider with his bodyguard here!
William was known to be partial to a curry at this town centre restaurant – even if you don’t go in yourself, it’s worth a look at the photo gallery of other famous customers beside the front door.
This magnificent beach was the scene of romantic walks for William and Catherine. Perhaps, like many other visitors, they recreated the iconic opening scene of Oscar-winning ‘Chariots of Fire’ (which was filmed here) by running in slow-motion along the sands whilst humming the famous Vangelis theme music!
Another favoured haunt of William and Catherine, who would normally sit in a quiet downstairs booth just to the right of the front door.
So OK, it’s not actually in St Andrews, but this award-winning fish and chip shop, located in a picturesque fishing port about 10 miles to the south, supplied William’s favourite takeaway food.
An award-winning gift shop where William was once spotted buying a Valentine’s Card. Who was it for, we wonder? Next door is Butler & Co, an upmarket delicatessen where Catherine bought wraps for her lunch.
A traditional shop visited several times by the sweet-toothed Prince. He was also often seen in the local branch of Tesco’s supermarket, just along the street.
The town’s most famous hotel, and its adjoining Jigger Inn pub, were often visited by William. After the Prince left St Andrews, plans to create a rooftop jazz club named “William’s” were hurriedly dropped, following protests from local people who felt that it was exploitative.
So, do you have any other stories about places that were special to the Duke or Duchess or Cambridge? Share them here!