Northern Ireland’s capital makes for a surprisingly arty city break, with convivial and cosy pubs, elegant architecture and cutting-edge cuisine.
Travel bucket list idea:
Royal County Down Golf Course
Newcastle, Northern Ireland, Ireland|www.royalcountydown.org
Royal County Down is no ordinary links. It’s arguably the world’s best golf course you can play without being a member.
It’s the kind of course that people play in their most ecstatic dreams, with an abundance of blind shots, long carries and nestling greens laid out like a velvet carpet.
It’s a golfing stage with few equals, a riot of gorse and heather skirting the Irish Sea and backdropped by the Mountains of Mourne – the inspiration for one of Ireland’s most famous folk ballads.
RCD’s beauty, however, comes with a bite: this is not a place to miss too many fairways, nor is it advised to venture out without some local knowledge – many a first-timer has lost their way in the penal rough or looking for a line that is invisible to all but the lucky, or the more experienced.
One thing is guaranteed; whether it’s your first or fortieth time, RCD is a place you’ll want to come back to, again and again.
Getting there & doing it
When to do it
The course is open all year round, seven days a week, but the best time to play is between May and September, when the weather is at its best. Visitors are welcome all day Thursday mornings, Sunday afternoons and all-day Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
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