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5 Alternative Destinations For a UK Golf Break

By: Golfshake Editor | Thu 07 Apr 2022

The phrase ‘hidden gem’ has become severely over-used when talking about some of the UK’s best courses, outside of those usually travelled to on a golfing getaway. Instead, let us suggest to you five of our favourite alternative destinations for a golf break, taking in some of the country’s highest ranking courses, as well as some that are definitely more off the beaten track … gems that are hidden, you might say!


Alwoodley Golf Club

Leeds might be the most underrated city in the UK for a golf break. It’s incredibly accessible via road and rail, and provides a fantastic central base for access to some of the country’s best inland courses. With the likes of GantonFulfordAlwoodleyMoortown, and Lindrick all within easy driving distance, you’ll struggle to find a stronger offering of golf courses anywhere in the UK. Despite having some of the most famous designers in the game, and several of the courses even hosting major events - such as the Ryder Cup, the layouts themselves aren’t overly strenuous for those walking. This means you and your group should have plenty of energy left to experience an evening or two in Leeds itself; boasting one of the most vibrant nightlifes in the UK, with some incredible choices of restaurant to boot.



Scotland in of itself can no way be seen as an ‘alternative’ golfing destination, with the home of golf seeing frequent golfing pilgrims from across the globe. However, whilst the majority of these congregate around St Andrews or Turnberry, a much smaller number make the journey down to Campbeltown and the Mull of Kintyre. The peninsula is home to some of the UK’s most natural links layouts, including MachrihanishMachrihanish Dunes, and Dunaverty. None of these courses are overly long, but given the strength and regularity of the wind in this part of the UK, you’ll need to be on your game to score well. Campbeltown was once known as the ‘whisky capital of the world’ with as many as 30 distilleries situated around the town. Today only three remain in production, although a visit to one of these the ideal post-round activity … with tasting including, of course!

North Devon


Almost 12-hours' drive from the Mull of Kintyre, the Barnstaple area of North Devon provides an equally idyllic area for a golfing getaway. The layouts here also feel natural, blending in with the backdrops and giving spectacular views across their landscapes. The two courses at Saunton (East & West) have a strong case for being the best 36-hole links facility in England, with a fabulously welcoming atmosphere to the club waiting for you on arrival. Similarly the layouts at both Ilfracombe and Royal North Devon also pride themselves on making those who have made the journey across to this region of southern England feel right at home. It’s agreed that Royal North Devon itself is the oldest golf course in England, despite the occasional protestations from Royal Blackheath, with the course here celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014. As such, those with an interest in the history of the sport will love spending time in the memorabilia-packed clubhouse.

Northern Ireland

Royal County Down

Plenty of golfers head to the Emerald Isle on golf trips. However, both British and American tourists tend to flock to the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ down the West Coast of the island. Despite hosting an incredibly successful Open Championship in 2019, Northern Ireland doesn’t see the same number of golfers making the trip across as the Republic of Ireland - and we think golfers are missing out! In terms of trophy destinations, Northern Ireland is tough to beat, with Royal County DownRoyal Portrush, and Portstewart three of the best links courses on the continent. However, with the likes of ArdglassCastlerock, and Lough Erne, as well as top resort courses such as Galgorm Castle and Templepatrick, Northern Ireland has strength across the country. Additionally, Belfast offers one of the best nights out in the UK for your evening entertainment, and those more tempted by natural wonder can also check out the stunning Giant’s Causeway whilst in the region. Furthermore, with golfers from England, Scotland and Wales having to catch a short flight or ferry across, every golf trip to Northern Ireland really does have that true holiday feeling about it!


Fairhaven Golf Club

Whilst often visited by large groups on both stag and hen dos, Blackpool might not be an immediate choice for a golf break. However, with easy access to some of the North West’s best tracks, it’s the ideal base for your next trip. Accommodation in the town itself is both plentiful and affordable, although there is a large hotel at Herons Reach with an onsite golf course for those looking for a more resort-based break. There are other local options such as Blackpool Park Golf Club and Blackpool North Shore too, with ample visitor tee times, and a group of four likely to see some change from £100.

However, the beauty of Blackpool’s location means that the fantastic links courses of Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Old Links are just a 15-minute drive away. Additionally, Fairhaven Golf Club is also close by, and oozes quality following years of usage both as an Open Qualifying Venue and the host of many leading Amateur events. Those wanting to really tick off the bucket list can be at the likes of FormbyHillside, and Royal Birkdale in less than an hour too.

Blackpool’s suitability for a golf break is further increased by the plethora of bars and restaurants to visit once the golf is finished. The town has plenty to offer for groups of all requirements, and you’ll struggle to find a livelier ‘19th hole’ than those found down by the seaside.

For more on where to find truly unforgettable destinations for golf, please visit our travel partners Golfbreaks.

Related Content: UK Scotland Northern Ireland golfbreaks Golf Courses England Courses

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