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From the harbour, touring and fishing
boat trips of the bay area are available. The harbour provides
lovely walks, views of the cathedral and access on foot to the
East Sands and on to the Leisure Centre. On Sunday afternoons,
during term time just after church, students in their scarlet
gowns take a traditional walk along the long pier and back (the
more daring students walking back along a narrow and high part
of the wall.) It is a very colourful sight. At this time the
pier is closed for rennovations, and pier walks are suspended.
The earliest references to the harbour date
to the 14th century, but the estuary of the Kinness Burn was undoubtedly
used before that as a natural harbour in a rather treacherous
bay. Today the harbour is home to a few fishing, research and
pleasure craft and has regained some of it's picturesque nature.
The modern block of flats is built on the site of the former Royal
George which was a fishing warehouse and the home of some fishermen.
The harbour has needed rennovation many times in its history.
At times using stone taken from the ruined cathedral.
The origins of the original pier walk
are somewhat obscure. Some say it started when students went to
the harbour to bid farewell to some dignitary. Another legend
is that it commemorates a student, John Honey, who gave his life
rescuing people from a shipwreck off the coast. This page will
be updated as further information comes to light.
Photo: Jim Bews
One other legend about the harbour, though not related to the
pier walk per se, is that when women were first admitted to the
university, male students threw their "mortar board"
hats into the sea in protest. To this day male students at St.Andrews
University do not wear these hats, even for graduation. For all
the chauvinism that such a gesture implies, St. Andrews was still
one of the first universities to admit women scholars.