Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Great Scottish Road Trip & Visiting St Andrews

Well... We’ve cleaned out our flat, packed our bags, it's time to continue on our travels. but before we head south to London, we’re travelling north into the Scottish highlands. We said goodbye to Glasgow and made our way east towards Edinburgh, where we would begin our journey up the coast.  Our first stop on our road trip around Scotland was to St Andrews. As a general sports lover, St Andrews is a special place, most famous for being the home of Golf. It was a typical day at St Andrews golf links, strong winds blowing off the sea and grey clouds, a sight which I'd seen many times watching the British Open back home.

St Andrews golf course dates back hundreds of years. It is said that local Scotsmen were playing on the land (which is now home to the "Old Course”), back in the early 1400’s. Over the years, golf grew in popularity in Scotland. The game even remained popular during the 1500’s when a golfing ban was put in place, because it was said that Scotsmen were spending to much time playing golf instead of practising their archery. The land on which the course is built on has had many different owners over the last 500 years and the course design has undergone many alterations. One of the most major alterations was back in 1764, where the course was changed from being 22 holes to the 18 holes which remain today. The 'Society of St Andrews golfers’, voted to eliminate 4 of the holes, as they were too short.   St Andrews was the host for the first British Open Golf Championship in 1873 and to this day, has hosted more "British Opens" than any other course. 

Like many popular tourist attractions in Scotland, you’ll often find a particular type of whisky produced to commemorate these important places and events in Scottish history. At St Andrews I found the "St Andrews Golf Links Blended Scotch Whisky".  With it's eye catching 'golf ball' shaped bottle this whisky has been produced using a combination of 8 to 12 single malts distilled in the St Andrews area. The whisky has a subtle sweetness which is due to it being aged in sherry oak casks. It has a simple and well balanced mixture of caramel and smokey wood flavours and aromas. The St Andrews whisky itself is nothing special. It’s a nice scotch, but it’s never going to blow you away with taste. It’s simple and easy to drink. I found it very light in flavour. The best thing about this scotch is the golf ball shaped bottle. Maybe it’s a little “gimmicky”, but I liked it. It would make a perfect little present for any golf lover. 

As we departed St Andrews, we began to make our way in land. Our stop for the night was the little city of Perth, close to Dundee. We ended our first day on the road exhausted.  Our road trip around Scotland was just beginning and the week ahead was sure to be busy. 

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