The UK is home to some of the world’s best golfing destinations and you can book a golf break to one or more of them right now. Here are some ideas.
Golf Breaks In The UK You Can Book Right Now
2021 is set to be one of the busiest year’s ever for domestic golfing tourism. The sport’s popularity has reached new heights over the past 18 months and the number of people seeking golf breaks in the UK has skyrocketed with overseas travel impacted by the Covid pandemic.
Leading travel firm Golfbreaks is predicting this will be their busiest autumn ever for domestic golfing travel, with customers looking for UK breaks accounting for more than 80% of all current enquiries.
As such – if you’re thinking of booking a golf break in the UK right now, you’ll need to move fast and be prepared to be flexible.
But there are some great options out there for you to create a UK golf break to remember.
Although weekend availability is somewhat diminished, there are some good packages and offers if you’re able to take a trip midweek.
And a good way to experience multiple, quality courses is to book a ‘tour’ where you base yourself in one location and travel to surrounding golf courses from a central point of accommodation.
Availability is limited for the next couple of months, so you’ll have to move fast and although there are great deals to be had, the level of demand means there’s certainly no ‘race to the bottom,’ on pricing.
Here’s some ideas for golf breaks in the UK you can book right now.
Visit a big-name Resort
Most of the big-name resorts still have some availability, particularly if you’re able to be flexible on tee times, or to consider a midweek visit.
The benefit of one of big resorts like: The Belfry, Celtic Manor or Forest of Arden is that you’re based on site and can walk straight from your accommodation onto the first tee, and straight from the 18th green into the clubhouse and resort facilities.
Here are some suggestions:
The Belfry Hotel & Resort
Four times a host to the Ryder Cup, the Belfry is set in 550 acres of beautiful Warwickshire countryside.
There are three courses – the famous Brabazon and the excellent PGA National, ably supported by the highly playable Derby course.
With 319 bedrooms, there’s ample accommodation and there’s a great selection of bars and restaurants plus spa and leisure facilities to enjoy on site.
Another Ryder Cup venue – host to the brilliant matches of 2010 when Colin Montgomerie’s Europe secured a narrow win – this 5* resort is one of Wales’ finest.
There are three championship golf courses to explore – the Twenty Ten, Montgomerie and the Roman Road delivering an exceptional and varied golfing test.
Those courses are served by two luxurious clubhouses and the luxury continues in the fabulous 330-bedroom hotel.
There are no fewer than seven restaurants across the resort while the salubrious Forum Spa and Ocius Treatment rooms offer great relaxation for the weary golfer.
Just off the M4 by Newport, it’s one of the most easily accessible resorts in the country.
The Vale Resort
Set in over 650 acres of gorgeous countryside in rural Glamorgan, the Vale Resort offers two championship golf courses plus food and accommodation of an excellent standard.
The Lake Course features many stunning holes. As you would expect from the name, water is a significant feature, and it comes into play on no fewer than 12 holes.
The Wales National Course offers a true test of golf and, at some 7,400 yards off the back pegs, can be stretched to be one of the longest in the UK. It’s a Peter Thomson design that has played host to pro tournaments on both the Challenge and European Senior tours.
Most rooms in the 143-bedroom hotel offer great views of the surrounding countryside, while the food in the AA rosette Vale Grill is of a consistently impressive standard.
There’s a spa and swimming pool plus fitness studio, squash and tennis courts… and all that just 15 minutes from the centre of Cardiff.
Carden Park Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
Just 20 minutes south of Chester, Carden Park boasts two fine courses, plus excellent off-course golfing facilities, together with a sophisticated hotel offering multiple dining options plus spa, pool and gym.
The Nicklaus Course at Carden Park is a resort-style layout while the attractive, Cheshire Course has a more relaxed, parkland feel about it.
There’s a good driving range plus extensive practice areas to work on your game pre or post round.
The 198-bedroom hotel is luxurious and modern and there are dining choices from the informal Jack’s Bar up to the elegant Redmond’s Restaurant.
Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Set in an enormous, and stunning 10,000-acre Warwickshire estate, Forest of Arden is well known to fans of pro golf having previously played host to the British Masters.
The resort boasts two courses, the Forest of Arden Golf Course of championship fame, then the slightly shorter but very enjoyable Aylesford Course.
The hotel boasts 214 comfortable bedrooms and there’s a choice of dining in the award-winning Cast Iron Grill & Restaurant or the more relaxed Zest.
After a round, the spa and leisure facilities provide a great chance for relaxation and, away from the resort there are plenty of local attractions from Shakespearean hangouts to historic houses and castles.
Golf Breaks in the UK: Go on a golf tour
One of the best ways to play a range of courses and to experience a different part of the country is to go on a golf tour. Base yourself in a central spot and branch out to play different courses that are within striking distance.
Not only do you have the chance to play some great golf, but you’ll also have an opportunity to explore the town or area you’re staying in, experiencing its attractions, bars and restaurants.
Here are some of the best places for an English golfing tour:
Kent’s Golf Coast
Just 74 miles from London, and with excellent rail links, Sandwich on the Kent coast is a great drop off point for some of the very best links golf in the UK.
The stretch of incredible golfing coastline provided the venue for this year’s Open championship at Royal St George’s, and there are other top-class venues to explore like Prince's and Royal Cinque Ports.
This part of England is one of the very driest in the country with some 30% less rainfall than the average. As a result of that the courses are playable all year round.
You’re absolutely spoilt for choice if basing a tour around Liverpool, Southport or Blackpool. The North West delivers, arguably, the greatest concentration of quality golf courses of any region in England.
From Wallasey and Hoylake near to Liverpool up to Royal Birkdale, Hillside, Southport & Ainsdale, Formby and West Lancs all a stone’s throw from Southport, round to Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Old Links by Blackpool – there’s incredible golf to be had.
And the beauty of this area is that you can stay in a vibrant and exciting town or city so off-course entertainment is laid on. Whether you choose your base to be Liverpool, Southport or Blackpool, there’s excellent nightlife and plenty of activities to enjoy.
Another opportunity to stay in a vibrant city and play some exceptional golf courses.
This sort of trip is popular right now as there is more availability in terms of accommodation. Tee times can also be had, particularly mid-week.
And pre or post round, you can experience the bustling and dynamic city of Leeds. All bases covered!
The weather on the south coast is a great reason to opt for Bournemouth as a centre for a tour. Not only does the town have great nightlife and its famous beach, but there’s also a selection of tremendous golf courses on the doorstep.
At Parkstone, Ferndown and Broadstone, you’ll encounter some of the most manicured and beautiful layouts in the country while at Remedy Oak, you’ll find a modern great that makes fabulous use of the ancient woodland it wends through.
Golf Breaks in the UK: Treat yourself
If you’re not taking a holiday abroad this year, why not treat yourself to a proper luxury experience and book a break to one of Britain’s premier golfing destinations.
Play golf courses of the highest quality and then pamper yourself off course with fine dining, spa treatments, leisure activities and service of the very best standard. Here are three of the finest destinations:
Trump Turnberry Resort between Ayr and Girvan is home to one of the world’s best links courses. The Ailsa course has witnessed some of the great stories in Open history; from the 1977 “Duel in the Sun,” to Tom Watson’s nearly moment in 2009.
This is a supremely natural and flowing course over challenging coastal terrain, with stunning views out towards the iconic white lighthouse and the distant Ailsa Craig. There can be few more stirring settings for golf anywhere in the world.
The second course, King Robert the Bruce, is a fine links layout in its own right.
And then of course, there’s the hotel. It’s always been one of the most elegant and opulent hotels in the country
Guests enjoy the award-winning spa and other activities on offer that include archery, falconry and off-road driving. The food and drink available in the stylish restaurants and bars is rather fabulous too.
The Gleneagles Resort
Since the doors were first opened to guests in 1924, Gleneagles in Perthshire has been famous for delivering the height of Highland grandeur and hospitality.
Playing host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, and 2019 Solheim Cup, the PGA Centenary Course is a classic tournament layout with sweeping fairways, undulating greens and perilous water hazards. With the Perthshire Straths, Ben Vorlich and the Grampians acting as a beautiful backdrop, this is a stunning setting for golf.
Then there’s the King’s Course – a James Braid masterpiece, carved through the pines and set over springy, moorland turf. And, the Queen’s Course - Set on the high ground of the Estate where narrow and rolling fairways pass woodland, lochans and ditches to small, sheltered greens.
With 232 rooms, including 26 suites, the hotel at Gleneagles blends tradition with sophistication. This is one of the great hotels of the world and to stay here is to experience the highest levels of luxury and comfort.
There’s a top-class Equestrian school, tennis school as well as falconry and gundog schools, fishing and shooting.
The Grove, London’s Country Estate
Set in an elegant 18th Century house just 18 miles from central London, The Grove in Hertfordshire blends the traditional with high-tech features.
The golf is fabulous, over the Kyle Phillips-designed layout that has played host to a WGC event won by Tiger Woods.
Accommodation is in 217 rooms, all beautifully finished and appointed, while dining, whether in the award-winning Colette’s, the more relaxed Stables or The Glasshouse, is first-rate.
The Sequoia Spa offers pool, fitness studio and treatments for the ultimate in relaxation.
Golf Breaks in the UK: Head for Scotland
There’s greater availability at many of the top Scottish venues right now owing to a reduction in the number of U.S tourists making it over.
Almost everywhere you look in Scotland, a top-level golf course is within striking distance.
The Auld Grey toon is home to the famous links with The New, Jubilee, Eden and Strathtyrum courses sitting beside The Old, then there’s the Castle Course and a huge number of other tracks within a short drive – Kingsbarns and the new links at Dumbarnie for example.
Or Northern Ireland
Getting on a ferry or flight to Northern Ireland, you feel like you’re properly getting away. Much like Scotland, there’s decent availability to be had right now and there’s a wealth of golfing opportunity to experience.
Nestled between the awe-inspiring Mountains of Mourne and the Irish sea, Royal County Down is one of the finest courses in the world - ranked 1 in Golf Monthly's 2021/22 UK and Ireland ranking.
Then there’s Portstewart, epitomising links golf and delivering incredible views.
After a night on the black stuff, Royal Portrush could be the next venue – Host to the incredible 2019 Open, it’s another exceptional links.
And there’s so much more to experience in Northern Ireland – Galgorm Castle, Ardglass, Lough Erne, Ballycastle – there’s a feast of golf to enjoy.
It’s a busy time for domestic golf right now but there’s a great selection of golf breaks in the UK that you can book right now.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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