30th November is St. Andrew’s Day, celebrating the patron saint of Scotland and a national holiday there as well. But St Andrews is more than just a day; it’s an evocative town brimming with history.
Who was Andrew and why is he Scotland’s saint?
Andrew was one of Jesus´ 12 apostles and like Jesus he was crucified; but Andrew’s was a transverse X, known as a saltire. The saltire forms part of the Scottish flag.
According to legend, Onegus II prayed to St Andrew for victory before a battle against the English in the 8th century. Even though outnumbered, the Scots won and Onegus honoured St. Andrew be giving him the patronage of Scotland.
Where to go and what to do
St. Andrew’s Day is the start of the winter festivals in Scotland and there is a wonderful selection to choose from. Here are just a couple of tasters:
- The Saltire Festival in East Lothian is a music, culture and heritage event celebrating the birthplace of the Scottish flag. It runs from 24-30 November and brings people together from all over the world to celebrate Scotland’s food, culture and drink traditions.
- Edinburgh’s events focus on storytelling and music, alongside street markets. Pop along to Café Ceilidh for an afternoon of family fun with traditional songs, music and poetry.
- Monteaths award-winning restaurant at Duchally Country Estate has a superb menu highlighting the best local and seasonal produce including Haggis ´neeps & tatties´, venison fillet with rumbledethumps and whisky glazed turnip, and Scots “Ginger Broonie with Drambuie Anglaise”.
- The eponymous town of St Andrews in Fife, less than 50 miles from CLC Duchally Country Estate, has a range of innovative food and drinks events throughout November – Savour St Andrews – that culminates in dinner and a Ceilidh on the 30th.
The town of St Andrews
St Andrews town is beautiful, whatever the time of year. A university town with winding medieval streets and traditional buildings situated on the coast, it is a seat of learning and the home of golf. With 7 golf courses at St Andrews Links alone, you are spoilt for choice if you fancy a round. Within the town there are myriad cultural and historic sites to visit, from the ruins of the cathedral and castle to St Andrews Museum, located in Kinburn Castle.
If you’re visiting outside the winter months, Scotland’s secret bunker (a secret no more!) can be found a couple of miles outside of the town beneath an unprepossessing farmhouse. 100 feet underground, it is the size of two football pitches, has a 450 foot tunnel with blast doors and was built to offer a safe place for Scotland to be governed from in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War.
From ancient ruins to vestiges of a more recent time, St Andrews offers visitors plenty to see and do. So whether you’re visiting Scotland to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day or visit the town named after him, you’re sure to have a craic.
To make a reservation (hotel or restaurant) at CLC Duchally Country Estate, go to https://www.duchally.co.uk/ or call +44 (0)1764 663 071.
For more information on St Andrew’s Day events in Scotland, visit the Visit Scotland website.
A comprehensive list of events and things to do can be found at Visit St Andrews website
Scotland’s Secret Bunker is open from March to October.