Top Sightseeing Attractions Close to British Open Courses

While you may be drawn to the courses in the British Open rota for a challenging round on the links, you’ll want to see some of the most famous cultural attractions that are nearby. We create custom golf itineraries that include local sightseeing, so you can see the world while you play golf at some of the most beautiful and historic courses in the British Isles.

Glamis Castle – 30 min from Carnoustie Golf Links

The self-proclaimed “most beautiful castle in Scotland”, Glamis Castle boasts 1,000 years of history, including being the childhood home of the Queen Mother. The castle itself is still home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, meaning that guided tours are the only way to view the interior of the castle. Luckily, they’re completely worthwhile, and include a deep-dive into the colorful history of the castle and surrounding estate. The gardens are worth a stroll as well, especially if you are a fan of Shakespeare’s MacBeth — an entire garden is filled with carved statues depicting scenes from the dark play. In fact, if you find yourself in love with the castle grounds, you can even invest in a property on the estate.

Giants Causeway – 20 min from Royal Portrush Golf Club

If you’re interested in some of the natural beauty of the coast of Northern Ireland, Giants Causeway fits the bill. The main attraction is a series of basalt rock formations that are the product of volcanic activity in the Atlantic Ocean over millennia, many of which have weathered away into recognizable shapes. The views are framed by dramatic North Atlantic coastline and Northern Ireland’s famous windy weather. You can choose the length and difficulty of your walk along the cliffs, or choose to spend a few hours in the modern visitors center.

Glenkinchie Distillery – 30 min from Muirfield

As one of only six distilleries in Scotland’s Lowland region, Glenkinchie is worth a tour and tasting. It’s also relatively close to Edinburgh, and there’s a shuttle bus from the city center directly to the distillery. As with many Scotch whisky distilleries, the history of the brand is not necessarily a straight line from its founding in 1825 to today, but the building is home to a museum and they provide several different tours and tasting options. You can even get a tour of the grounds to give you a better idea of how the surrounding environment affects the taste of the whisky.

Falkland Palace – 35 min from St. Andrews Links

Mary, Queen of Scots was said to have adored Falkland Palace during her tenancy there because it reminded her of the grand chateaux of her native France. If you’re looking for a quintessential Renaissance castle in Scotland, this is the one for you. The castle is in excellent shape, with well preserved furniture, paintings, and sculpture adding to the beauty of the original architecture. A stroll through the gardens and orchard will bring you back in time, and fans of tennis will be thrilled to see one of the U.K.’s oldest original tennis courts.

Burns National Heritage Park – 19 min from Troon/23 min from Turnberry

No trip to Scotland would be complete without learning more about Scotland’s favorite son, the 18th century poet Robert Burns. His birthplace has been preserved as a museum and heritage park, where you can learn more about Burns, his times and the environment that inspired his poetry. The grounds is larger than you might expect, and there are seasonal events and exhibitions to add to the experience, such as the Alloway Guid Fayre Market that runs from May to December and features food, drink, and crafts made my local Scottish artisans.

No matter your interests, we can come up with a great cultural tour while you’re visiting your favorite British Open course. Get in touch today for a free quote!