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6. The ravages of the wars of independence (St-Andrews, Central Highlands)

We continue our climb towards the North, with the objective of the day, a dive into the history of the wars of independence in the dynamic city of St-Andrews.


Route : from North Berwick to Alyth, via St-Andrews, it takes 190 km and 3 hours to drive.


It takes 2 hours to reach St-Andrews, an ancient place of pilgrimage, today a university city and golf capital (the Old Course is the oldest and best-known golf course in the world). St Andrew impresses with its numerous ruins. The city is lively and very busy, parking spaces are sought after and difficult to find, especially with a bus, but the places are worth the detour.


ST ANDREWS CASTLE

In the Middle Ages, this castle, now in ruins due to the Wars of Independence, erosion and the fall of the cliff, was the official residence of the Bishop of Scotland. There are no parking spaces nearby and it is located 50 meters on foot from the information center. It is accessible free of charge with the Historic Scotland pass (44 pounds per person, for 2 weeks). WC on site.


The castle has undergone several transformations and the Protestant preacher George Wishart was burned in front of it. The (Catholic) mine and the countermine (Protestant rebels) in the basement still exist today and are unique symbols of medieval siege warfare. Abandoned (the last resident, Hamilton, having been hanged), the castle gradually fell into disrepair until 1886, when the dike was built.


ST ANDREWS CATHEDRAL

Nearby in 10 minutes on foot are the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Do not lean on the tombstones, many of them are unstable and are also protected by barriers! Entrance to the museum is free with the pass.


Built in the 12th century, it was the seat of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Take the time to take a look at the plans, it was very slender and built high. Partly destroyed by a storm, then by a fire, each time it was reconstructed and improved, until the Reformation, when it was again destroyed, then fell into ruins.


ALYTH

For the night we drove to the Lands of Loyal Hotel, Alyth, built in 1850, a former hunting lodge. The place is incredible, cozy, with exceptionally friendly staff and the angus beef is probably the best piece of meat we have ever eaten in our lives.




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