Andalusia and the British, a long-standing connection

Golfer at golf course


Andalusia and Great Britain have had a connection and historic links for the last centuries; a long-standing connection. Not only they share a border, Gibraltar, but they have benefited from each other over the course of the years, in a number of non-related items that might surprise a few.

To start with, golf. It was brought to Malaga by Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. She spent a few winters in Malaga and to entertain her and attract a British clientele, the local authorities decided to build a golf course, designed by the prestigious Harry Colt. Nowadays, that golf course is still in use and located conveniently near the airport and close to the beach, on the outskirts of the city.

Football was also brought by the British expatriates living and working in Huelva’s mines, in the late 19th century. They founded the Recreativo de Huelva in 1889, and it became the first Spanish football club in history. The players were initially British and played on the fields of a gas company, owned by some Scottish businessmen. These expatriates also built a British looking neighbourhood with Victorian houses and an Anglican church, still in place.

Malaga is home of the first Anglican cemetery built in Spain in 1831. It was initially used to bury British residents at the time, already a community of 300 people, but later on, a church was also added in 1850, the first Anglican church in Spain. Consuls, writers, WWII victims and British residents alike are buried within its grounds. It is also a botanical garden and a pleasant visit if you are visiting Malaga.

Seville has given Britain one of the nation’s favourites – Seville oranges. It is the main ingredient for marmalade and has been in use since the late 17th century. It is bitter in taste and not widely spread in Andalusia.

Sherry wine also hails from Andalusia, more precisely the town of Jerez. Very popular in the United Kingdom for the last four centuries, some of the most important cellars were founded by British families that had settled in the area. One of them, Harveys Sherries, has become the only Spanish brand awarded with the Royal Warrant, the seal of quality given by the British Royal Family to those who supply goods or services to a Royal Household.

And last but not least, Andalusian and Spanish fashion are becoming very popular in the United Kingdom thanks to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who are often seen wearing brands such as Pepa and Co, Mi Lucero and Mayoral.

The list could go on and on, but we just wanted to show how both Andalusia and the United Kingdom have complemented each other over the years, and for many years to come!

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