Bamburgh Castle - Northumberland - England

Bamburgh Castle Golf Club,
The Wynding,
Bamburgh,
Northumberland,
NE69 7DE,
England


  • +44 (0)1668 214321

  • Michael Robinson

  • George Rochester

  • None

“I imagine that the golfer’s eye must be more often taken off the ball at Bamburgh than on any other course,” wrote Bernard Darwin in his 1920s book Golf on the LNER, “the view is so compellingly beautiful that we really have to look at it, no matter how critical the shot. First of all of course there is the Castle which is gorgeous beyond words, as it stands huge and menacing on the top of its sheer wall of rock, looking out to sea. Then in the middle distance are the Farne Islands and away to the left across a stretch of water and sandy headlands we see another castle, small by comparison, but looking very splendid, perched on its stony pedestal, Holy Island, Lindisfarne. Altogether there may be prettier golf courses, but I really don’t think that I have ever seen them, and I have seen a good many by this time.”

There are many scenic golf courses around England’s long coastline but there are none more glorious than Bamburgh Castle. Its elevated cliff top site provides a natural platform from which to drink in the 360-degree views and also the topography provides for some truly memorable holes. We think Bamburgh Castle has a unique opening series of holes, at least we can’t think of any course that starts with two back-to-back par threes followed by two par fives.

According to the R&A Golfer’s Handbook, George Rochester originally fashioned Bamburgh Castle. The course opened for play in 1904 and was apparently later revised, but the vast majority of this 5,621-yard par 68 layout remains as it was back in the times of Bernard Darwin all those years ago… including the warm welcome in the old pavilion styled clubhouse.

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Reviews for Bamburgh Castle

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Description: "There is surely no lovelier view from any golf course" wrote Darwin. Bamburgh Castle Golf Club, whilst not long, is fun with a capital F. Rating: 6.8 out of 10 Reviews: 18
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Darren

Another early Sunday start, another great Northumbrian links course ahead of us. This week we were at Bamburgh Castle Golf Course, located in the shadows of the impressive Bamburgh Castle, you can't help but feel a little rush of anticipation whilst approaching along the windy roads from the A1.

Bamburgh is not the longest course by any means, but it certainly should not be underestimated, playing just under 5300 yards from the yellow tess and with more par 3’s than you might be used to, the course offers an exciting challenge with many interesting risk/reward holes that require a lot of thought.

The exposed, cliff top location meant we were dealing with a constant 40+mph wind coming straight in from the North Sea, making it a tricky round for all of us. With the wind in play this is easily one of the most challenging links courses in the region with thick gorse, rough, heather, large sloping greens and well placed sand traps. Accuracy, not distance from the tee is crucial!

Despite what feels like weeks of rain the course was in great condition, with almost no water logging. Superby maintained fairways, fast greens and only a couple of tee box mats for the par 3s. This course really does hold up well to the worst weather the North East has to offer, a great winter course.

The par 3s at Bamburgh are excellent, every one offering a unique challenge. You will be playing shots to greens perched on the edge of cliffs, small tight greens to large/sloping island greens, varying levels of elevation and distance, all of them offer something different.

The last three holes offer an enjoyable end to the round, 3 relatively short par 4s offer a good chance to finish your round on a high. Teeing off from the raised tee box on the 17th again allows for a superb view of the coast line and the imposing Bamburgh Castle in the background. This hole also offers the enticing opportunity to drive the green on a par 4, a short one at 235 yards, a really decent birdie opportunity before going down the last

One of the standout features of this course is undoubtedly the views. Every hole has simply great views, be it the beaches and North Sea coastline, Bamburgh Castle, the Lindisfarne or even the snowy peaks of the Cheviots in the distance, our pictures really couldn’t do it justice. I often found myself scanning the view as I wondered from shot to shot, it never got boring, it has to be the best course in the region for its views.

There are a few blind tee shots and approach shots to play but they are well posted and we were able to navigate these with little issue. Also, a few of the tee boxes are housed right up next to the previous green, which could be a problem especially in strong winds but it’s nothing to be too concerned about if you are aware of what’s going on around you.

The clubhouse is an old pavillion style building which is perfect for the setting of the course, with a friendly atmosphere and again excellent views out over the bay. I can only imagine how good it would be in the summer! We are told the food is great too!

Overall the layout is excellent, the variety in every hole allows for a thoroughly enjoyable round, a truly unique challenge, we will be back.

February 25, 2020
9 / 10
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Dan Hare

Bamburgh Castle has had lots of varying reviews, and as with many similar courses this indicates that it is a course worth visiting and making your own mind up. Personally I love the course for its scenery, elevation changes and sheer fun. It's a sporting course that would never be made these days. Often we play a traditional course and compare a hole to one at Bamburgh, particularly if it has an elevated tee playing across broken ground to a green nestled amongst rocks - superb fun ! It's a quick, great value, supremely enjoyable game of golf to be included in any itinerary in the area or if heading up to or back from Scotland. Not to be missed.

April 12, 2017
8 / 10
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Tom

I've played Bamburgh a handful of times now over the years, and it remains one of my favourite courses in the country. It is the epitome of what golf should be about - natural, fun and transportive. Yes, it is short, but never boring, and I don't have much truck with people who measure the test of a golf course on its length anyway. And if you play here when there's a 4 club wind (which there often is!) you will have played magnificently if you've played to handicap. If there is a course with better views in British golf, I'd like to know about it! Surely worthy of nudging ahead of some of the unremarkable tracks languishing near the bottom of the English Top 100?

March 14, 2017
8 / 10
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Ed Battye

Bamburgh Castle most definitely falls into the ‘odd sock drawer’ of golf courses… and that’s a good thing!

Sporty in nature this entertaining course was in fantastic condition towards the end of February 2015. It’s an unusual course and whilst I don’t think I would personally wish to play it ‘week-in and week out’ my first round here was highly enjoyable and I would return to play again without any hesitation.

It is very much what I would class as ‘old fashioned’ golf. The terrain is undulating which requires a lot of shot-making and the course boasts exceptionally fine turf; although not a true links it certainly walks and talks like one on many of the holes. The views along the Northumberland Coast and across the sandy beaches out to the North Sea are simply breathtaking too.

The oddities start from the off as you commence the round with two par three’s followed immediately by two par fives! I only found this out for sure after my round because it was a windy day and the scorecard I picked up from the recently refurbished clubhouse was already drifting out to sea by the time I had reached the first green.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

March 13, 2017
5 / 10
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Alistair
Played this course last week. Thought I was going to enjoy it as I love courses with views and undulating land and was delighted to have my expectations surpassed.It is true that this is not a championship course. Too short, too many blind shots and too many cross crossing holes for the professionals. These "downsides" were more than compensated by amazing views, good conditioning, a test of all parts of the game, and a genuinely fun mix of holes. This should rank up there with North Berwick and Lahinch in the fun lists in my view. Both my playing partner (casual golfer) and I (handicap 9) thoroughly enjoyed the round despite not playing at our best and with a three club wind.Back to the location - as good as Pebble Beach, Turnberry, Royal County Down and New Sourh Wales. And Lindisfarne to the north and the castle to the south. If only the same quality could be provided by the weather!Favorite holes - 2nd (a driver into the wind!), the maligned 8th (fair in my opinion), 15th, 16th and 17th. The fact that I can clearly recall all of them is instructive.On the subject of lists, it is outrageous that this is not a top 100 course in the UK (I've played around 60). It is probably in my top ten courses in the world. Fun should clearly be given more weighting by the judges.In short, all expectations were exceeded. Highly recommended.
July 27, 2015
10 / 10
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BC Holder
February 28, 2017

Great location: yes

Great condition: yes

Six stars: No! A decent 3.5 stars and maybe 4 if I'm being generous but Bamburgh is nowhere near as good as Pebble Beach, RCD!! I'm rolling around laughing at the thought.

I can only surmise that the six star review was a loyal Bamburgh member after a couple too many beers post-round. Sincerely, Becky (+2 handicap)

Charles Farquharson
I play here a couple of times a year and have followed the mixed ratings it gets with interest.. If you believe golf should be fair and that everything should be clearly set out in front of you then this will not be your cup of tea. However, if you regard the layout, the condition and the surroundings on a "good to be alive" scale, this one is off the charts. I will keep going back as often as I can! CF
September 03, 2014
6 / 10
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Steve Kelly
What a stunning golf course Bamburgh Castle is. Played it recently in a VERY strong wind which then makes this relatively short course extemely difficult. Some delightful holes and superb par 3's (of which there are six). The 15th and 16th were played directly into the wind but the views from the 15th and 17th tees were nothing short of fantastic.With the strong prevailing wind I am sure that the 17th and 18th holes have ruined many a good card!! Lovely clubhouse with very friendly staff. All in all an excellent day out.
May 13, 2014
8 / 10
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Paul Mortlock
Played Bamburgh today on August Bank Holiday Monday with 3 family members (handicaps of 5, 6, 8 & 11). Fully agree with the previous comments that the views from this course really are superb. We played it on a warm sunny day with a 2-3 club wind. We received a nice warm welcome from the clubhouse and were pleased to be able to play it off the white tees given it is pretty short (5,645 yards - par 68) containing no less than 6 par 3s! Indeed the course starts with 2 par-3s and then 2 par-5s. It's a fun cliff top layout (rather than links) and they make good use of the very undulating land. The greens definitely needed a shave as they were very slow and a bit bumpy but otherwise it was in pretty good nick. The only thing that I didn't enjoy so much was the volume of blind tee shots (maybe 5 or 6) but otherwise it is a good mix of some short par 4s with some challenging par 3s. To sum up... a good fun holiday track but not one that will take your breath away, although the views certainly did.
August 26, 2013
6 / 10
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giles cooke
Just got back from this course and have been inspired enough to do a short review. It’s a course that will divide opinion depending on the factors you rate as most important on a visit. In short, scenery yes no words can do the views justice. Layout, very quirky and definitely 400 yards too short overall we had a group of handicaps from 5 to 20 and that was the general consensus. It was a reasonably calm day but no one is going to find this too much of a challenge, not that that is a bad thing as we have also played our share of courses that were too tough to enjoy. Not as many blind shots as some are making out and not an excessive number for a links, can’t say any of my group over 2 rounds lost a ball that didn’t deserve to be lost. Not the easiest walk and some of the steep concreted paths look downright lethal in the wet. Condition, in the height of summer, was good overall, greens a little off colour in a typical links way but putted fine, fairways slightly worn and tees a bit scruffy in places. Clubhouse was small and pleasant, only one member of staff apparently doing everything but she was coping, perfectly adequate changing facilities and good value catering. Small but accessible warm up/practise area.Would I go back? A qualified yes, but being new to the area I would like to see some of the other well regarded links first to compare. The next day we actually played Dunstanburgh, which was considerably cheaper and we actually overall rated higher. The layout was somewhat stronger, the walk considerably easier, and the views 95% as good. Bamburgh ask £50 for a days golf, which is certainly not bad but looks a bit expensive by comparison
July 25, 2013
6 / 10
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Gert Mulder
Just came back from a holiday in England and played 9 Top 100 courses ranging form Royal Lytham to the Addington. This brings my total to 45 courses. The first reason to come to Bamburgh was its status of most scenic course in Britain but what a suprise. I love rustic original courses that give you the feeling to play in and against nature. This course is one of the best examples I have seen. Rugged, original, thinking mans course. Of course you are challenged with some unusual features but that's whats it all about. When we played in mid July the winds were very strong, we were blown out of our shoes so to speak. But we ( I play off 7) still managed to get a reasonable score. My good mood must have come from driving a green for the first time in my life (the 18th). I three putted (naturally) but left Bamburgh with a warm and unique memory I will cherish for a long time.
August 07, 2010
8 / 10
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Kris
July 15, 2011
Play Bamburgh Castle and find out how good it is. It is not the longest, but has the most spectacular views bettered only by Pebble Beach and Kapalua. Set around Budle Bay with Lindisfarne, The Farne Islands and Bamburgh Castle as a backdrop this is a hidden gem. Although only a par 68 the course record is 64, and when the wind blows 84 is a good crack. I have played this course more than 200 times and never get tired of this beauty.