St Andrews

An ancient seat of learning with royal connections, this small Scottish town combines blue-chip golf with charming surroundings.

What you are likely to love about it:

It’s inclusiveness. People who know nothing about golf probably assume that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the oldest in the world, is the last word in snobbery. Not so.

The famous Old Course at St Andrews is open to all comers and is criss-crossed by public paths, giving it an agreeable democratic air, with children and dog-walkers mingling with golfers.

On a fine summer day it must be one of the most beautiful sporting settings in the world, with a sea breeze stiffening the flags and the beach running along the links.

It makes golf seem suddenly rather romantic, and not just a displacement activity for men in silly pullovers.
Although it is the golf course that makes St Andrews a place of pilgrimage, the ancient university, dating back to the 15th century, would grace any town, with the weather-beaten old colleges and shiny, well-scrubbed students.

History is all around, from the ruins of the 12th century cathedral at the eastern edge of the town to the equally dilapidated castle, built a century later.

Text originates from the Daily Telegraph and journalist Max Davidson