Top 50 places to stay & play - No.41 to No.50

Golf Monthly brings you the Top 50 places to stay and play in the UK & Ireland as compiled by our experienced and well-travelled writers

Old Thorns Golf Course

No.41 Close House, Northumberland (NEW ENTRY) Rooms & Suites: 19 Price: £197.50 Courses: 2- Filly, Colt W: Best for: Luxury, Couples, Small Groups

Just 15-minutes drive from Newcastle, Close House is an elegantly restored 18th century mansion with 19 unique bedrooms and an award-winning restaurant. There are two courses at Close House - The Filly and The Colt. The former originally dates from 1964, but it has been recently renovated and it re-opened in 2007. It's a parkland layout with great views of the Tyne Valley. The Colt is a more recent addition, opened by Lee Westwood in May this year - Westwood is the attached tour professional at Close House. The Colt course is a longer and more testing track inspired by the work of the great course architect Harry Colt.

No.42 De Vere Carden Park, Cheshire (2008 position 30) Rooms & Suites: 196 Price: £165 Courses: 2 - Nicklaus, Cheshire W: Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups, Big Groups

Designed by Jack Nicklaus and son Steve, The Nicklaus Course at Carden Park provides a solid strategic test with numerous water hazards to negotiate and some good risk/reward holes to test your bravery. Par 4s like the 6th and 17th invite you to have a pop at the green, but you must carry water all the way to succeed. The resort's Cheshire Course has more of a heathland feel with superb views of the surrounding Cheshire countryside and over to the Welsh mountains. Off course, there are many activities to try, from the relaxing spa and swimming pool to quad biking and archery. The hotel has five places to eat including Redmonds Restaurant, which has quickly established itself as one of the destination restaurants in Cheshire.

No.43 The Vale, South Glamorgan (2008 position 32) Rooms & Suites: 143 Price: From £125 Courses: 2 - Wales National, Lake W: Best for: Value, Couples, Families, Small Groups, Big Groups

A number of the Vale's tastefully furnished ensuite rooms overlook the Lake course's 9th and 18th holes. The Wales National course, rolling through beautiful countryside, may be one of the UK's longest, but a sensible array of tee boxes means those not blessed with John Daly's length can still enjoy the challenge. You'll need to be deadly accurate on the par-5 10th though where a narrow fairway and water mean discretion is probably the better part of valour. You can watch your steak being cooked to order in The AA Rosette Vale Grill, while extensive health and fitness facilities, complete with pool and 19-room spa, round off the Vale package.

No.44 The Roxburghe, Roxburghshire (2008 position 33) Rooms & Suites: 22 Price: £210 Courses: 1 W: / Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups

On the banks of the River Teviot, The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. The course is one of Scotland's best inland layouts. It has been the venue for the Scottish Senior Open five times. There's a country house atmosphere at the comfortable hotel giving the feeling of staying in a private home. Off course there's shooting, mountain biking and hiking to be enjoyed as well as salmon fishing on the nearby River Tweed.

No.45 De Vere Oulton Hall, West Yorkshire (2008 position 39) Rooms & Suites: 152 Price: £155 Courses: 2 - Park, Hall W: Best for: Luxury, Couples, Small Groups, Big Groups

An impressive 19th century mansion set in beautiful countryside, Oulton Hall has an interesting history. Originally it was a family home, but it was then turned into a hospital and then a mental asylum before falling into disrepair. De Vere acquired the property in 1991 and spent £20million restoring it. There are 27-holes of golf on the estate, designed by Dave Thomas - the 18-hole Park Course then a further nine called The Hall.

No.46 Marriott Breadsall Priory, Derbyshire (2008 position 42) Rooms & Suites: 112 Price: £155 Courses: 2 - Priory, Moorland W: Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups, Big Groups

The original priory, parts of which date back to the 13th century, forms a wonderful centrepiece to this hotel a short distance from Derby. The more formal Priory restaurant looks out over stepped lawns, while the informal Tempo restaurant caters more for lighter bites. The two golf courses contrast markedly - the gently undulating Moorland living up to its name and the parkland Priory making its way round the hotel through a series of pronounced elevation changes, with positional play often the order of the day. A pool, gym, spa, jogging trail and tennis courts are among the off-course attractions available. The rooms housed in the Priory retain their original architectural character, while there are also a variety of period, ‘farmhouse style' and premium rooms.

No.47 Old Thorns, Hampshire (2008 position 49) Rooms & Suites: 33 plus new Eco Pods Price: £159 Courses: 1 W: Best for: Value, Small Groups

Designed by eight-time Ryder Cup player Peter Alliss together with Dave Thomas, the course at Old Thorns Manor Hotel features a number of elevated holes giving panoramic views of the surrounding Hampshire countryside. Set in 400 acres, it's a tight layout demanding accuracy from start to finish as the holes wind past mature trees and natural springs. The hotel offers a variety of bars and restaurants - there's even a Starbucks on site! Old Thorns has also installed some eco friendly camping pods which have become a huge success with both campers and leisure guests. Pods are well built, insulated wooden huts that provide basic accommodation, much in the way of a tent.

No.48 Forest Pines, Lincolnshire (2008 position 48) Rooms & Suites: 188 Price: From £119 Courses: 3 nines - Forest, Pines, Beeches W: (opens in new tab) Best for: Value, Small Groups, Big Groups

North Lincolnshire's Forest Pines (opens in new tab) has acquired an enviable reputation for the quality of its three loops of nine - Forest, Pines and Beeches. Majestic pines flank many fairways, yet there is also a heathland feel in places, plus one or two water hazards to negotiate. The rooms are large, modern and well-equipped and away from the golf there's a comprehensive spa, leisure club and pool to keep you occupied, plus beautiful woodland walks to enjoy in the grounds. The Eighteen57 restaurant is the pick of the dining options courtesy of its AA Rosette, but you can also eat in the Grill and Lounge bar or Pines bar, which is popular with golfers pre- and post-round.

No.49 Formby Hall, Merseyside (2008 position 47) Rooms & Suites: 62 Price: From £139 Courses: 2 - Old, PGA W: Best for: Value, Small Groups, Big Groups

A modern parkland layout featuring large greens, tree-lined fairways and plenty of water, Formby Hall is one of the best new courses in the north-west of England. In addition there‘s a nine-hole layout of some quality, a PGA Golf Academy and a Harold Swash putting school. The hotel provides an excellent base to explore the golfing opportunities available in the Southport area. It's modern with one of the best restaurants in the region.

No.50 The Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire (NEW ENTRY) Rooms & Suites: 50 Price: £169 Courses: 1 W: Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups

The hotel opened last year to complement the 1993 Rees Jones-designed course. The course is among the best of the golf boom newcomers, providing an enjoyable and varied test with a number of thought-provoking water hazards. The par-5 17th, where two fairways either side of a lake provide alternative routes to the green, stand out. The Sakura restaurant serves up mouthwatering Mediterranean and European dishes.

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