St Andrews, Scotland Is Home To The World's Oldest Golf Course

If you're a fan of "The Last Kingdom," more than likely you'll recall hearing references to the Kingdom of Alba throughout the show's entirety, particularly in the fifth and final season of the popular Netflix historical series, and the ultimate battle between King Constantine II and the show's beloved lead character — Uhtred of Bebbanburg — as reported by Newsweek. While the series is based on a mixture of historical facts and fiction, the Kingdom of Alba was indeed a factual location: its Gaelic name refers to the Kingdom of Scotland. And King Constantine II was indeed the King of Scots, reigning for 43 years (per Britannica).

While Scotland merged with England, Wales, and Ireland with the historical Act of Union 1707, forming the present-day United Kingdom, within the country of Scotland lies a much smaller kingdom of which is not only home to Scottish kings, queens, and varying royal rulers. The seaside Scottish town within its realm is also home to the oldest university erected in the land of the proud Scots, and the world's oldest golf course.

The home of golf

Scotland is indeed an ancient country. Dating back some 12,000-plus years, its turbulent and momentous history has been recorded and honored within history books, films, TV shows, songs, literature, and poems. Fife, as referenced by Visit Scotland, is one of many historical counties and council areas within the country, and one of its numerous towns and villages — the bustling seaside town of St. Andrews — is known the world over for being the home of golf.

The famous St. Andrews Links within the town of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland has been the home of golf for over 600 years. Boasting several courses — both private and public combined — within its small frame, the medieval town of St. Andrews, with its panoramic views of the North Sea, has borne witness to amateur and professional golfers proudly gracing its greens for centuries. It also boasts a world-renowned golf museum displaying collections, memorabilia, and interactive film galleries for golf lovers and history enthusiasts to enjoy off the courses.

Beyond golf

The beautiful seaside town of St. Andrews is also home to the historical University of St. Andrews. With over 10,000 students, it's no surprise that this prestigious educational institution has ranked above both Oxford and Cambridge as the United Kingdom's leading university for two years in a row, as reported by the University of St. Andrews News.

The former 12th century monastery St. Mary's Church (aka Church of St. Mary on the Rock) in St. Andrews is a special place of historical reference for the Culdees, the Celtic monks of Scotland. St. Andrews is also home to the epic-sized ruins of the medieval St. Andrews Cathedral, the ancient fortress of St. Andrews Castle, Blackfriars Chapel, and the well-preserved medieval gated entrance known as West Port, which adorns the entrance to this vibrant, medieval town. And for foodies, St. Andrews doesn't disappoint when it comes to incredible gastronomy. Fresh Scottish seafood, spicy curry dishes, vegetarian delicacies, and a host of locally sourced ingredients in some of the finest dishes await food-loving adventurers in its scenic and bustling town.