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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 26 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Fionn Davenport

There’s real history to this seaside course, first laid out by Old Tom Morris in the 1880s, and reworked by Harry Colt in the 1930s.

Routed between the natural dunes and grassy hummocks of the North Antrim coast, this is one of Irish golf’s greatest challenges, and its most famous holes are part of golfing lore. ‘White Rocks’ – a downhill left-to-right par 4 – is the most beautiful; the 14th, a climbing par 3 with a huge chasm to the right, is the most daunting. (It’s fittingly known as ‘Calamity’).

Royal Portrush has hosted the Open Championship twice – in 1951 and in 2019 – further cementing its reputation as one of the best courses in the British Isles.

Price from: £240
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

Book tee times online, though the daily visitor tee times are strictly regulated and limited to certain times.

There are plenty of B&Bs in the area, as well as some of Northern Ireland’s top sites, including the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery. The course is 60 miles northwest of Belfast – close enough to pair with a city break. See our Belfast guide for recommendations of where to stay.

When to do it

The course is open year-round, but the best time to play is between April and September, when the weather is most forgiving.

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Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

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Giant’s Causeway

Bushmills, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)[8.5 miles]

Northern Ireland’s most famous natural landscape, this UNESCO World Heritage site is shrouded in legend and folklore.

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