It is no surprise golf in Cumbria should be blessed with such beautiful backdrops, but there is great variety too with some stirring links out on the coast

The Best Golf Courses In Cumbria

It is no surprise golf in Cumbria should be blessed with such beautiful backdrops, but there is great variety too with some stirring links out on the coast. Below we have taken a look at nine of the best courses in the county.

Related: Golf Monthly UK&I Top 100 Courses

Silloth on Solway

The pa4-5 5th is one of the best holes at Silloth on Solway

The par-4 5th is one of the best holes at Silloth on Solway (Getty Images)

The links at Silloth, way out on a western limb, is the star of the golf in Cumbria show, and indeed the only Cumbrian course in our UK & Ireland Top 100.

I’ve played here several times, most notably for my final round as a single man the day before my wedding.

The 1st’s sunken green will leave you a little unsure as to the success or otherwise of your opening approach until you stride over the crest to be either delighted or disappointed, with the course then playing its way through a series of fine links holes, framed by colourful heather and gorse at the right times of year, and more than a healthy smattering of pot bunkers.

The 5th and 9th stand out both in themselves and for their fine views across the Solway Firth to the Galloway Hills in Scotland.

Related: Silloth on Solway Course Review

Seascale

A little way down the coast you’ll find another fine links set in the lee of the occasionally controversial Sellafield nuclear power station.

Don’t let this put you off though, for the course is as natural as the power station is unnatural – a true links that presents a thoroughly enjoyable and varied test all the way to a final elevated green that will test your powers of accuracy even though the hole is not long.

Keswick

The spectacular mountain backdrop to the 11th green at Keswick

The spectacular mountain backdrop to the 11th green at Keswick

Those eager to exert themselves on the Lakeland fells are often drawn to Skiddaw in the north, just east of which lies Blencathra, an impressive mountain dominating the skyline at Keswick Golf Club.

You play directly towards this dramatic backdrop as you tackle the long par-3 2nd, but an elevated tee means it doesn’t always play its full 244 yards. Before reaching the sanctuary of the 19th you’ll have to tackle a short, sharp cardiac hill, flirt with the disused Penrith to Keswick railway line, and steer your way through dense pine forests on two fine stretches taking in the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th holes.

This is golf in a truly spectacular setting, where the steeply rising mountains seem close enough to touch on the clearest of days.

Windermere

Windermere is short and delightful, but definitely no pushover!

Windermere is short and delightful, but definitely no pushover!

This modest 5,000-yarder is a joyous layout of meandering becks, sweeping descents, strenuous ascents, rocky outcrops, and swathes of luxuriant heather, especially on the front nine.

You start off up and over a blind crest, which sets the Windermere tone, then duck and dive your way through a series of wondrous holes, all the while accompanied by stunning Lakeland backdrops.

Total precision is the name of the game on the 5th, 6th and 7th, while the 8th tee serves up a glorious panorama from Coniston OId Man round to Red Screes

Penrith

The moorland course at Penrith in winter

The moorland course at Penrith with snow-capped mountains beyond

I’ve only played Penrith a couple of times and really love the feel of the place. The stretch across the road from the 5th to the 12th sticks in the mind for its views and its back-to-back par-3s which, though chalk and cheese in length, can prove equally tricky.

Length is the 9th hole’s key defence, while the 10th, at less than half the yardage, asks all sorts of questions should you miss its green – not that difficult if your short iron’s ball flight is at the whim of a capricious breeze.

Brampton

After crossing the road on the 6th the course at Brampton really opens up

After crossing the road on the 6th the course at Brampton really opens up

This lovely course in the county’s northern reaches starts with a downhill par-3, before turning back via a par 4 where you really mustn’t stray above the hole, then another a strong par 4 backed by pines that give it a real Gleneagles flavour.

You cross the road after the sharp uphill dogleg 6th whereupon scores of beautiful-looking holes open up before you.

The 13th and well-bunkered par-3 14th offer lovely views out over Talkin Tarn, while the steeply uphill par-5 17th demands another long drive up to a bowl near the crest to avoid the deflating sight of your ball retracing a disheartening percentage of its yardage.

Continues below

Carlisle 

Founded in 1908, it is believed that Theodore Moon and Philip MacKenzie Ross each had roles to play in its design. One of the most prestigious courses in the county, Carlisle has had the honour of hosting Regional Qualifying for the Open Championship on more than one occasion and also the English Seniors Championship.

At only 6,273 yards it is not the longest course and several of the par-4s are comfortable enough to be possible birdie chances. The pick of the bunch however is the shortest par-4 on the course at 285 yards, the fifth. A real risk-reward hole, the longer hitters may choose to have a crack at the green, but awaiting any errant shot is an island bunker right in the middle of the fairway that could gobble up many shots.

Ulverston

Harry Colt designed this spectacular undulating course set in South Cumbria. Offering views of the Lake District and Morecambe Bay, Ulverston Golf Club provides a stunning backdrop for your round of golf. Like Carlisle above, it may not be the longest course in the county, but is still provides a stiff challenge to your game, starting at the first hole. 341-yards off the whites, out of bounds lurks on the right and the practice area looms on the left so a straight shot is required with the first swing of the day. The second shot is also vitally important too because you simply have to find the right tier of this two-tiered green. Put simply, take a par and move on.

Appleby

(sent from club - Helen Swaby)

Appleby Golf Club dates back to 1894 but then nine years later the club was reformed and settled on its current location. Using the natural contours of the area, Willie Fernie designed the course that may only be 5,998 yards, but there are no par-5s so this course will test your game no doubt.

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