As Scotland prepares to welcome 250,000 visitors for The 40th Ryder Cup in September, there’s never been a better summer to grab your clubs and retreat to the Home of Golf. With new flight routes, regular ferry crossings and major roads into Scotland it’s really easy to enjoy breakfast at home and be on a historic golf course by lunch time.
Below are some handpicked ways to travel around Scotland to tee off on some of the country’s most magnificent courses.
Planes - new flight routes for 2014
You can now fly from London Stanstead to Dundee airport in 1.5 hours with Flybe – meaning you can be playing some of Scotland’s golf courses before lunch. Fares with Flybe start at £69 each way and from Dundee airport it’s only a 30 minute drive to the historic Carnoustie Golf Links, established in 1830. In fact, throughout Scotland there are more than 400 courses within an hour’s drive of an airport!
For those who want to go even further north, there are regular flights from all the UK’s major airports to the Shetland isles on Loganair, with up to five flights a day from connecting airports. For a memorable summer evening, catch an early evening flight up to Shetland and then tee-off on the most northerly golf course in the UK at midnight – as the islands are so far north it is still light enough to play during the night!
Trains – picturesque and relaxed
There are a number of picturesque train journeys that take in some of Scotland’s finest scenery and golf courses. One of the most spectacular is the journey from Glasgow to Oban where the journey takes you along the banks of the Clyde, up along the edge of Loch Lomond and through the Trossachs National Park and then beside Loch Awe. The train terminates in Oban and the station is right next to the CalMac ferry terminal, where you can take a ferry out to many of Scotland’s islands. Along the way you could play at The Carrick at Cameron House which enjoys a picturesque location on the banks of Loch Lomond and is also home to one of Scotland’s best spa experiences.
Automobiles – discover your own secluded golf spots
From the north of England some of Scotland’s finest golf courses are just a short drive across the border. One of the first courses you will meet is Eyemouth Golf Club, which is less than six miles from the border at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Famous for being home to the most picturesque hole in the UK, the 6th hole is a challenging shot across a gully with the waves of the North Sea crashing below you.
Away from the coast and into the Borders region, golfers will love The Roxburghe in Kelso. The course includes an elevated tee where you can admire the view over the River Teviot and a railway bridge with 14 arches, plus it’s a favourite course of previous Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance.
Dumfries & Galloway is within easy reach by car from north-west England and Ireland via the P&O and Stenaline ferries. The area is well known for being home to some of Scotland’s most magnificent wildlife and it’s also where you’ll find three golf trails – the Tiger Trail, the Challenge Trail and the Little Gems Trail. The Tiger Trail is for experienced golfers and includes the Southerness and Powfoot courses. On the Challenge Trail, you can golf while looking out to sea and tee-off on the parkland course Newton Stuart, where the 2nd hole takes you past Robert the Bruce’s castle. For family golfing trips or a quick golf game, the Little Gems trail includes 9-hole courses and several family-friendly clubs.
Throughout Scotland there are plenty of scenic drives including the famous route taken by Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. On the A82 near the striking peaks of Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, the secret agent’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 manages to get upstaged by the stunning atmospheric scenery – visitors can have their own Skyfall experience while on the way to golf courses in the Highlands and Islands.
Ride the waves or hail a postie!
Grab your clubs and hop aboard a CalMac or Northlink ferry the Inner and Outer Hebrides and to Orkney and Shetland where the wild ocean weather will test your skills! Visitors can take their car on most ferries and spend time island-hopping, taking in as many golf courses as they fancy. Anyone travelling without their own car should look into the post bus service which runs in several of Scotland’s most remote areas including the Outer Hebrides and the northern Highlands. The post bus is a great way to access golf courses including the Askernish Golf Club or Benbecula Golf Club in the Outer Hebrides, both of which border the Atlantic Ocean. The post bus service is cheap and allows you to see more of Scotland than if you were driving from your accommodation to golf course, plus you can chat to the postie about the area, find out top tips and have a dram in the clubhouse before travelling back to your accommodation.
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Notes to Editors:
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