5 Amazing British Golf Courses

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in B&B, Hotel, Places to visit | Posted on 19-10-2011

The Old Course at St Andrews Links dates back to the 15th century and is famous for being the oldest golf course in the world. It is home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, closely linked to the R&A, and has held The Open (known as the British Open outside the UK) a total of 28 times. Of the 18 holes, the Road Hole is maybe the most memorable. Players tee off by clearing a corner of The Old Course Hotel, and with hazards including an old stone wall and a tarmac road, this 17th hole stretches the meaning of ‘crazy golf’ to new dimensions. Five other 18-hole courses, and a nine-hole course alongside them, make St Andrews Links the largest public golf complex in Europe and provide golfing opportunities for beginners and old hands alike. There is also a wide variety of accommodation available here, ranging from campsites and B&Bs to a 5-star hotel.

Another historic Scottish course used in rotation for The Open is Muirfield in East Lothian, where the course was originally designed by legendary golfer Old Tom Morris in the 19th century. The course overlooks the Firth of Forth, and is home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the oldest organised golf club in the world.

If it’s a diamond in the rough you’re after, you could have a shot at Machrihanish Old Course on the western edge of the far-flung Kintyre Peninsula. With the Atlantic crashing away over your left shoulder and a seemingly endless stretch of beach to negotiate, the opening hole here has been described as the finest in Scotland, if not the world. Accommodation is available in the village of Machrihanish, although Campbeltown might provide a good base to explore other coastal courses in the area (including Machrihanish Dunes and Dunaverty) and serve as a starting point for trips to the islands of Arran and Islay which also have courses with stunning views of the ocean (and world-famous distilleries to loosen the joints).

Back on the fairway, Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent, was the first course to host The Open outside Scotland, and since then has seen a further 13 of these Championships unfold, including the 2011 competition. The undulating dunes and holes of the Club also provide the setting for the annual Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest trophies in golf. There are a number of Open venues along this coastline and plenty of hotels, so a nice relaxing golf weekend may well be on the scorecard.

And out into the rough again…the very hilly Church Course at St Enodoc Golf Club in Cornwall is set among towering sand dunes, one of which, known as the ‘Himalayas’, rises over 75 feet into the air. Some of the holes have more moorland and inland flavours, bringing variety to this seaside course. The course takes its name from a tiny 12th century church tucked away behind the 10th green where former poet laureate John Betjeman is buried.

All of these amazing courses could form part of a fantastic golfing tour of the UK. London car hire with Expedia makes this a hassle-free option for those starting their journeys in the country’s capital.

Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, the home of Shakespeare

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in B&B, News, Places to visit, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Warwickshire | Posted on 30-09-2011

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As every car sign tells you as soon as you on the approach the county, Warwickshire is Shakespeare Country. So not surprisingly, therefore Warwickshire visitors flock in their thousands to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the various Shakespeare sites including the Birthplace Museum (visitor centre and museum), Holy Trinity Church (where Shakespeare is buried) and the various theatres.

Stratford itself is actually quite an unassuming market town although a lot of it is now given over to the tourist trade.  However, don’t let the tourism stop you exploring the quaint streets, just try to avoid the middle of the day when it is most crowded!

Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon

Of course, while in Stratford-upon-Avon you should see some theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company really does offer superb quality theatre.  The RSC work on a reportory system so if you are staying a few days in the area you will be able to see many different plays and they not neccessarily all Shakespeare plays.

Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Mary Arden’s House

Although not in the heart of Stratford, but still worth a visit are Anne Hathaway’s cottage at Shottery and Mary Arden’s House at Wilmcote.  Anne Hathaway’s cottage was her home before she married Shakespeare and is well preserved farmhouse which is still furnished as it would have been in 1852.  Mary Arden was Shakespeares mother and the house she inherited as an unmarried mother is a great example of an Elizabethan farmhouse and provides a fascinating view of family life in this period.

Food and accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is at the heart of England and is easily reached by air (nearest airport Birmingham International), road (M40), train (trains direct from London) and bus/coach. Being a popular tourist destination means that is well served in pubs, cafes, bar and restaurants.  In terms of accommodation, there are a great selection of B&B’s and guest houses that offer good value for over night stays and short breaks.  See a selection of B&B’s in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Beyond Stratford-upon-Avon

There is plenty to explore in Warwickshire beyond Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare.  Our favourite is Warwick, just 8 miles away, and in particular the fabulous Warwick Castle.  Often considered the best medieval castles in Britain, Warwick Castle is an impressive site and in excellent condition… although historians will point out that it has been aided by ‘work’ during the 19th Century.

There is also some wonderful countryside and waterways to explore in Warwickshire once you get away from the towns and off the beaten track.

Sheffield – a City reborn

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in B&B, Hotel | Posted on 15-09-2011

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Sheffield, it seems, will forever be thought of as the UK’s steel city. At its peak it was at the forefront of the World’s steel production and a technological leader – there was barely a home in Britain with out Sheffield stainless steel cutlery.

Sadly, when this industry went in to decline in the 1980’s it was like the heart was ripped out of the City and it took many years for Sheffield to recover. However, Sheffield has experienced a re-generation that makes this City proud once again and definitely worth a visit.

The revival and regeneration has focussed on creating impressive architectural projects, gardens and buildings across the City. Of course, the spirit of the steel and industrial heritage can still be seen throughout the City and of course reflected in the many museums.

If you are heading to South Yorkshire then there are a good selection of Hotels in Sheffield, as well as guest houses and B&B’s to choose from. Many are within walking distance of the popular Winter Gardens and the Millennium Galleries.

For snooker fans, Sheffield simply means the Crucible, home to the World Championships for the last 30 plus years. Of course when not a snooker venue, the Crucible is a theatre which hosts among other things the annual Music in the Round festival of chamber music in May.

Sheffield also has a thriving café and restaurant scene which offer a good value lunch and night out, as well as clubs and bars you would expect in Yorkshire’s second city.

Relaxing holiday by the Sea at Newquay: stay at The Three Tees at Newquay Cornwall

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Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in B&B, Hotel, Places to visit | Posted on 23-06-2011

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Ideally located only a few minutes walk from the popular family beach at Lusty Glaze, Newquay and with easily accessible Porth Beach a few hundred yards further along the coast, The Three Tees is the ideal base for a relaxing holiday by the sea or perfect for a surfing short break.

The South West Coastal path runs along the headland behind the hotel, and a short walk across the Bronze-Age Barrowfields brings you into Newquay town centre. Tolcarne, Great Western and Towan beaches stretch towards the picturesque harbour, while the famous surfing beach of Fistral is situated at the end of town.

Thanks to its central location, Newquay also makes a great base for exploring the magnificent natural scenery and world class attractions to be found in Cornwall.

The Three Tees is a family-run nine bedroom licensed hotel with ample off-street parking, situated in the quiet Lusty Glaze area of Newquay.  The hotel is just a short walk to the beach, and 10/15 mins walk to the town centre.

The atmosphere at The Three Tees is relaxed and friendly – children & pets are most welcome. Resident proprietors Greg and Fiona look forward to extending you a warm welcome.