Royal County Down Golf Club, County Down
A few high points among the Mournes.
Ardglass Golf Club
Your toughest opponent at Ardglass is always the Irish Sea, as it comes into play in a total of 8 holes. These are among the most picturesque and challenging holes anywhere on the island. You’ll play over rocky inlets and rugged coastlines with the sea and wind a regular hazard. Even the clubhouse is spectacular – the 15th century structure is the oldest building in the world that’s being used as a clubhouse. This is an unforgettable visit for any golfer.
Royal County Down
This course needs little introduction. Royal County Down is the world’s number 1 golf course (Golf Digest, 2017 & 2018). Originally laid out in 1889 by ‘Old’ Tom Morris from St. Andrews, the course is set in the beautiful setting of Murlough Nature Reserve. The 7187-yard championship course features narrow ribbons of zig-zagging fairways dotted with famous ‘bearded’ bunkers. This one is a must.
Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Right next to the world’s greatest golf course is a world-class spa resort. Slieve Donard sits in the stunning seaside town of Newcastle, where the majestic Mourne mountains meet the Irish Sea. As soon as you get here you realise exactly why it won five prestigious awards at the 2017 Irish Hotels Awards – its original Victorian features, luxurious modern interiors and beautiful spa are an absolute treat.
Shortcross Gin Distillery Tour
If you’re a gin fan, you can’t miss the Shortcross Gin Distillery Tour. Made on the Rademon Estate, this is Northern Ireland’s first premium crafted gin, and the most-awarded gin on the island of Ireland. You’ll soon see why, as the Shortcross experts teach you how they harvest local botanicals, distil with their copper pot still, and perfect the finished product.
Northern Ireland is Game of Thrones® Territory. This is where most of the world’s biggest TV show was shot, and the filming locations are a magnet for the show’s many millions of fans. Explore Castle Ward estate where many scenes were shot in Season 1. Dress like a Stark and try your hand at archery with Winterfell Tours. For the uninitiated , it’s a rare chance to uncover some of the show’s special-effect secrets, for a Game of Thrones® fan it is simply heaven.
Warrenpoint Golf Club
With the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough as your backdrop, you’d be forgiven for not focusing on your swing at Warrenpoint Golf Club. It’s a gorgeous 6173-yard parkland gem set in an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It’s also home to a world record - club member Jim Carvill holds the global record for the fastest ever round of golf (27 minutes and 30 seconds).
There are lots more golf clubs nearby, including Spa Golf Club in Ballynahinch, St Patrick’s in historic Downpatrick and Kilkeel Golf Club with superb views of the Mourne Mountains. Newcastle also boasts some great restaurants including Brunel’s, Vanilla and Villa Vinci.
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