City break: Edinburgh, ScotlandJanuary 14, 2019 Courses and Travel
Chris Bertram heads to Scotland’s capital for pedigree parklands, streets packed with pubs, and Britain’s best sightseeing outside London
Where to play in Edinburgh
Under 6,000 yards plus few bunkers and little rough –but gorse makes this a serious test.
You’ll adore the beautifully natural contours as you hit from from one crag to the next.
Amazing value too.
Close to 300 years old, so it is one of the oldest clubs in the world, this parkland course was designed by Willie Park Jr.
Expect lush, tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkering and slick greens. Just five miles from the centre but is tranquil.
More pedigree here. Bruntsfield was founded in 1761, making it the fourth oldest club in the world.
It has just finished a two-year renovation with the Mackenzie & Ebert firm to restore the bunkers to the original style left by Alister MacKenzie in 1922.
Founded in 1892, it is the city’s oldest course over which golf is still played.
Mature trees and whin-covered outcrops frame the course, which boasts Firth of Forth and Pentland Hills views.
Established in 1895 this parkland is set in the shadow of wonderful Arthur’s Seat.
First laid out by Willie Park, its 6,525 yards are tricky enough to permit Duddingston to host elite-level events.
The meandering Braid Burn is a key feature.
Two courses here, with the East the ultimate ‘Championship’ test at a monster 7,400 yards+ off the tips – so it’s much changed from the James Braid original.
The West is shorter but arguably more enjoyable, with sporty par 4s and neat par 3s – plus a par 5 which is the longest hole on either course.
What to do
So much to take in, from the iconic castle overlooking Prince’s Street to Holyrood Palace. Harry Potter fans young and old can take a tour of the sights that inspired JK Rowling’s famed books.
Take your pick from Scotland’s rugby union matches at Murrayfield every autumn or spring, or football every weekend at either city rivals Hearts or Hibs.
Rose Street runs parallel with Prince’s Street and is basically crammed with nothing but pubs. The Hanging Bat and the Beer Kitchen on Lothian Road and Lebowskis on Morrison Street are other good options. Hipsters should head to Candy Bar on George Street, Copper Blossom or Tonic on North Castle Street, and Grand Cru on Frederick Street.
Where to stay
Braid Hills Hotel
Sits on a hill above Pentland Terrace and Comiston Road with excellent views over the city. Built in 1886, it is in itself an Edinburgh landmark. It was originally a ‘Golf Room’, built to serve golfers playing the new Braid Hills course. There are now 71 rooms as part of a Best Western hotel. Was included in the pages of Muriel Spark’s ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’. A great option if you want city centre bustle.
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club
If you prefer a more tranquil base, stay here. Seven miles from the centre, it boasts 300 years of history and sits in 1,000 acres of parkland. The four-star hotel has 215 rooms and suites, a range of restaurants and bars and luxurious leisure facilities including a gym.