Few places in mainland Britain can match the south west for the quality of its golf courses and its spectacular scenery.
Banded together as England’s Atlantic Links comprising a tantalising trail of Burnham and Berrow, Royal North Devon, Saunton, St Enodoc and Trevose, this is golf as good as Cornish cream, Devon cider and Somerset Cheddar cheese!
Throw in ten days of perfect weather and who needs Marbella or the Algarve? With the option of flying from Newcastle to Exeter or Newquay or driving, we chose the road and the opportunity to sample some of the best golf courses, charming coastal delights such as Burnham-on-Sea, bustling market towns such as Wadebridge and Barnstaple, quaint fishing villages like Rock and Padstow and historic cities such as Bristol, Glastonbury, Wells and Bath.
It may have been a long drive, but it was more than worth it with unique attractions such as the fascinating Lost Gardens of Heligan and the very impressive Eden Project, a global garden set in giant biomes built on a former clay pit while Bath is a must-do, must-see as is lunch in the Pump Room of the historic Roman Baths and Spa
“Whilst England’s Atlantic Links boasts some of the finest links golf in the country, we are also lucky enough to be located within a region that offers an enormous variety of activities and attractions off the course,” said Peter McMullen, Saunton Golf Club‘s general manager.
“Moreover the current economic climate and the weakness of the pound against the euro mean that the Atlantic Links offer excellent value for money so we are finding that more and more families who enjoy good golf are heading to the nearby south west which has something for every member of the family.”
The gastronomic delights of the region are not to be missed either, from the exceptional Padstow seafood restaurants of famous local chef Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant on Watergate Bay and Damien Hirst’s 11 The Quay in Ilfracombe, to real English ale and authentic pub grub in abundance. Personally, I found the fish cakes in Squires in Braunton the best I’ve had and the food in the Imperial Hotel in Barnstaple of five-star standard.