It was going to be a quiet day today, but the weather was so good, we could not possibly clean the house. Yes, we are still using that excuse.
Today we headed out to St Andrews. We were a bit surprised it has taken Liam 48 days. It was an hour and a half drive across to the east coast of Scotland. Although St Andrews is only 70 odd miles (130 km) away, the weather can be vastly different due to the westerly breeze from the Atlantic Ocean into Glasgow and Scotland’s west coast.
By the time we arrived Eloise was ready to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, St Andrews Cathedral was closed because it was literally falling down. That didn’t stop Darryl from sneaking a peak and inspecting the coastline.
We walked around the back of the cathedral where Eloise burnt some more energy running around St Mary on the Rock, showing off her balance. She was also a big fan of the cannons too.
We started wandering further down and along the stone pier. However, we did not get far with the heavily cobbled path, we guess they did not factor prams into the 15th-century design. Lachlan was relieved when we turned around.
We then walked, ran and bounded all the way to St Andrews Castle. On arrival, we purchased Historic Scotland memberships, there are so many more castles to explore. The castle had breathtaking views along the coast. We could not keep Eloise still. After chasing our little tour guide around every corner and into every nook, she suddenly decided she had had enough castles for one day, and it was time for lunch.
Walking through the city, there were some neat looking buildings. The St Andrews University Grounds were impressive. Eventually, we settled for Dr Noodles. Eloise tried chopsticks for the first time, going with the unorthodox technique, it was surprisingly effective. She is a barrel of laughs.
After lunch, Eloise decided that she had done enough walking in the morning, and the toddler retired to the baby carrier, poor Dadda.
Liam then tricked the family into some afternoon window shopping. Luckily there was a wide variety of stores in St Andrews.
Liam had his eye on some “cool-looking” old school hickory golf clubs, but even he struggled to justify the price, for now (to be continued). Available for purchase were boxes of replica golf balls of various styles from 1400 to 1920, much more interesting than the modern game.
Before we made a poor decision we pushed on along Golf Place towards Heaven. After watching countless hours of professional golfers on television hitting shots into the 18th green at St Andrews, we were actually here! It looked even bigger, greener and more historic than we imagined.
St Andrews Links in the town of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, is regarded as the “Home of Golf”. It has one of the oldest courses in the world, where the game has been played since the 15th century. Today there are seven public golf courses; the Balgove, Eden, Jubilee, Strathtyrum, New, the Old Course (which is widely considered one of the finest, and certainly the most famous and traditional course in the world). The history of St Andrews Links goes back to 1552 when John Hamilton was granted a charter to establish a rabbit warren to the north of the links. The St Andrews Links Charter refers to the public ownership of the links and the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf and other games. The right to play golf on the links were subsequently confirmed in local and royal charters.
With Eloise in the pram we walked alongside the 18th fairway, she must have felt the magic in the air because she refused to fall asleep. We arrived at the famous Swilcan Bridge, luckily there just happened to be a large gap between groups so we snuck out onto the 18th fairway for a sneaky Swilcan shot.
Sophie did her best approach shot impersonation and then we walked off before the snipers noticed. We made our way around the 18th green and watched a few lucky groups teeing off on the 1st. Sadly, Eloise had forgotten to book our tee time. Guests can actually play St Andrews Old Course, it is £195 (367 Kangaroo dollars) and there is about a six-month waiting list (to be continued… again…).
We then made our way past the World Golf Museum, back to the car.
On the way home, we stopped at Craigtoun Country Park. Eloise and Lachlan loved the family tractor ride into the middle of the park. There were many family activities but Eloise had her heart set on the children’s steam train ride. She loved every second of it and did not want to get off.
On the way home, we crossed the controversial Queensferry Crossing Bridge which regularly closes due to ice forming and falling from the suspension cables and had a great view of Forth Bridge.
The Queensferry Crossing is a three-tower cable-stayed bridge, with an overall length of 2.7 kilometres (1.7 miles). The bridge was first due to be completed by December 2016, but this deadline was extended to August 2017 after several delays. Following a public vote, it was formally named on 26 June 2013 and opened to traffic on 30 August 2017. The official opening was carried out on 4 September 2017 by Queen Elizabeth II, fifty-three years to the day after she opened the adjacent Forth Road Bridge.
The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 9 miles (14 kilometres) west of central Edinburgh. Completed in 1890, it is considered as a symbol of Scotland (having been voted Scotland’s greatest man-made wonder in 2016), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designed by English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker.