2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
Here is my pick of 18 of the finest domestic courses you can play, featuring a mix of those that regularly top rankings and some personal favourites. But you can’t cross the Irish Sea to play in Northern Ireland without heading south to seek out some of Ireland’s other gems, so I have included those as well.
St Andrews Old Course 18th hole –image courtesy of Peter Ellegard
History abounds on Scotland’s fairways, none more so than at the Old Course, St Andrews. Known as the “Home of Golf”, golf has been played here since the 1400s and nowhere matches the excitement of teeing off in front of golf’s HQ, the Royal & Ancient Club. It takes no prisoners with gargantuan double greens, deep sand traps including the aptly-named Hell bunker and the notorious Road Hole 17th, doglegging around the Old Course Hotel. But don’t forget to smile for the obligatory photo stop at the 18th hole’s famous Swilcan, or Swilken, Bridge.
Just along the coast is Kingsbarns, an upstart at just 15 years old by American designer Kyle Phillips that is regarded as a must-play modern classic.
The Open Championship has produced many legendary moments, but who can forget the unfortunate Jean van der Velde’s disastrous final round at Carnoustie in 1999? Having landed in the Barry Burn on the 18th hole, he took his shoes and socks off to play the shot and blew his lead, losing the subsequent playoff to Paul Lawrie. Avoiding the snaking burn is tricky, but don’t be tempted to do the same.
Alisa course, Turnberry – image courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Now owned by Donald Trump and renamed the Trump Turnberry, its Ailsa Course is where Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 “Duel in the Sun” Open but agonisingly missed an eight-foot putt to claim the Claret Jug again in 2009. The course closed at the end of September for a revamp that will turn its iconic Lighthouse hole, the 9th, into a spectacular par 3 when it reopens in June, 2016.
Relive the excitement of Europe beating the USA in the Ryder Cup for the third time consecutively at Gleneagles by playing its PGA Centenary Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus. Purists might prefer its more traditional Kings and Queens courses.
Royal Lytham 18th hole – image courtesy of England’s Golf Coast
The rain-swept links of Kent’s Royal St George’s produced a home winner in Darren Clark at the 2011 Open. Elements aside, the biggest scorecard wrecker for many golfers is the towering Himalaya bunker on the 4th hole.
Lancashire’s Royal Lytham & St Anne’s is another Open venue that’s a joy to play. Veteran Ernie Els rolled back the years to win there in 2012, and Great Britain’s amateurs have just triumphed over the USA on it in the Walker Cup.
Follow in the spike marks of legends at The Belfry, the North Warwickshire golf club that has hosted more Ryder Cup matches than anywhere else. Its Brabazon course reeks of magical moments, while the PGA National is England’s only PGA-branded course.
West Course, Wentworth – image courtesy of Peter Ellegard
Two-time Ryder Cup venue Wentworth is perhaps as famous for its crenelated clubhouse as for the championships it has hosted, including the World Matchplay Championship and BMW PGA Championship, still played on its tree-lined West Course, one of three beauties there.
Cornish fishing village Rock, popular for its long, sandy beach, boasts a wonderful golf course giving glorious views across then Camel Estuary to Padstow. But the most unusual aspect of the James Braid-designed Church Course at St Enodoc lies in the cemetery of the crooked-spired church which it winds around – the grave of long-time Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.
1st hole, Royal Porthcawl Golf Club – image courtesy of Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
Host to the 2014 Senior Open, the first Major to be held in Wales, Royal Porthcawl is a lovely old links course bordering the Bristol Channel that bites with its lurking pot bunkers.
Rain made for more Ryder Cup drama on the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort in 2010, forcing the match to go into a Monday for the first time and producing a nail-biting Europe victory. Edged by the winding Usk River, it is one of three courses at the resort.
Nefyn and District Golf Club Old Course and Porth Dinllaen Peninsula – image courtesy of Visit Wales
While you won’t find Nefyn & District near the top of ranking lists, this North Wales course deserves to be played for its sheer drama alone, laid out in part on the clifftop of a rocky peninsula. Make sure you stop off for a pint at the beachside Ty Coch pub below the 12th hole.
5th hole, Royal Portrush – image courtesy of North and West Coast Links
Regarded by many as the best course in the UK, historic Royal County Down is nothing short of an epic layout with spectacular views of the nearby Mourne Mountains – if the weather is kind enough to let you see them.
The only Northern Ireland course to have played host to the Open, in 1951, Royal Portrush is back on the Open rota once again and offers golfers top-notch golf in a majestic seaside setting.
Lahnich Golf Club, County Clare – image courtesy of Peter Ellegard
Lovers of old-style links courses will adore the venerable Alister MacKenzie-designed Lahinch on the shores of the Atlantic, even with its sometimes-quirky layout and blind shots.
Formerly Doonbeg, Trump International Golf Links is a modern masterpiece by Greg Norman laid out over daunting grassy dunes on the wild Atlantic coast of County Clare that now forms part of Donald Trump’s collection.
Trump Links Ireland – image courtesy of Peter Ellegard
And alongside the Irish Sea in County Wicklow, Journalist-turned-designer Pat Ruddy has created a 20-hole – there are two extra par 3s you play for fun – marvel in The European Club that is both stunning and brutal if you stray off the fairways.
2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
The passing of a life-long partner is, of course, devastating and changes your life irrevocably. Regardless of how near they lived to you, or how resilient your character, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable following your loss. ...Read more
With darker days and cooler weather heading our way, there are plenty of interesting and exciting things you can do with your grandchildren this winter. ...Read more
From recipes that grandchildren will want to make, to seasonal dishes ideal for a night in, our selection of Halloween themed recipes will bring out everyone’s wicked side. ...Read more
Plant containers are a space-saving option for the garden that's easier than working the soil. Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Advisor for the RHS tells us all that's needed to know about upcycling them. ...Read more
Marie Bird, who is 91 and a homeowner at Bilberry Place, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, tells us how moving to a Retirement Living PLUS development has helped her achieve her ambition of living the retirement she always wanted....Read more
Property owners, Cecilia Smith and Jean Ryder, both 64 live at Charlotte Court, Ainsdale, Southport and Grove Court, Crosby, Merseyside. Here, they tell us why moving to a development has transformed their lives for the better....Read more
Stylish apartments, exclusively for retirees who are looking to enhance their lifestyle, are McCarthy & Stone’s trademark. Here’s what to expect from our property types on offer....Read more
September 23rd marks the first day of autumn with cooler days, darker nights and annual harvests ahead. But how can you prepare for the season? ...Read more
As summer fades, England’s largest history and culture festival is back. This September, hundreds of historic monuments and buildings throughout England – including many usually closed to the public – will throw open their doors for free. ...Read more
Discover Inspirational Generation winner and former Olympian, Marjorie Carter’s inspiring story, with a sports career that spanned over 70 years and a refusal to ever give up gymnastics! ...Read more
Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more
Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at The Royal Horticultural Society shares her advice on creating the perfect environment for butterflies, by making the most of your outside space no matter what its size. ...Read more
It’s sociable and fun, and it’s good for your health and your brain – time to put on your dancing shoes ...Read more
What do you do with yourself now? It’s a question that retirees are often asked. And actually it's when the fun really starts, say these McCarthy & Stone homeowners. ...Read more
Baby boomers broke all the rules. Why should they change now they’re older, says Terry Tavner ...Read more
It’s never been easier to keep your most precious memories alive. From personalised photo albums and keepsakes to specially commissioned biographies and films, there are many ways to create a very special legacy – and have a lot of fun while you’re doing it. Here are a few ideas to inspire you ...Read more
Homeowners can book guest suites in McCarthy & Stone developments all over Britain from as little as £25 per night ...Read more
We look into the perfect recipes to pair with a royal wedding. We've picked out the most delicious, as well as the quintessentially British for the special occasion! ...Read more
Shirley Tyler was struggling with the upkeep of her large home. Now she’s happier than ever ...Read more
A huge amount of care goes into every McCarthy & Stone development. Take a look at what goes into the planning, building and designing interiors of each development we build.
Now is a great opportunity to get out on the fairway and get practising. We've looked into some of the best golf courses in the UK, including golf courses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to get you ready and eager to tee off this spring and summer. ...Read more
Creating a beautiful outdoor space on a balcony can bring a lot of pleasure to you and your visitors for minimum effort. Balcony gardening offers the joy of plants but without the work that usually goes with a garden – you shouldn’t have to do much weeding for a start, you won’t get slugs, and there’s no lawn to worry about! ...Read more
It was the shop that gave Brits a passion for interior design, introducing us to flat-pack furniture, bean bags and a peculiar item of bedding called the duvet. ...Read more
After her family convinced her to look at a new McCarthy & Stone development in Bromsgrove, West Midlands Shirley Tyler was surprised at how quickly she settled into her comfortable new apartment. ...Read more
Let’s be honest, we’d all love a gorgeous garden that would blossom with just the wave of a weed-wand. But I can’t be the only one who finds that a few minutes pottering turns into hours of pruning, trimming and raking at times. ...Read more
Nearly half of Britain’s pensioners would like to downsize, which could transform their lives and their emotional wellbeing ...Read more
Finding an activity that the whole family can enjoy together can sometimes feel like a tall order, especially amongst the hectic schedules of our day to day lives. However, spending time together in the great outdoors is the perfect way to leave behind those digital distractions and create some precious family memories that will last a lifetime. ...Read more
You may wonder just how you will spend your retirement or worry that you will not find enough activities to fill your time. This can be far from the truth, these active retirees share their inspirational retirement stories ...Read more
Here we tell the wonderfully colourful stories of two inspiring women who both have amazing stories to share of a career in aviation and being honoured by the Queen. ...Read more
It's just one tiny word but it can make enormous changes to your life, says Terry Tavner ...Read more
Love in later life can seem daunting. If you’ve been married for some years and are recently divorced or widowed, looking for love is a whole lot different today than it was back when you were young. But that’s no reason to be put off – you’re never too old to fall in love! ...Read more
There’s a vast team working all year round at McCarthy & Stone to make sure that every homeowner in every development receives the best of the best. Here we talk to three of them… ...Read more
Remember when trailing greenery hung from macramé pot holders in every bay window in the country? Well, the good news is house plants are back in vogue. Here’s how to make the most of them ...Read more
Having moved to a McCarthy & Stone development, many homeowners feel they’ve had a new lease of life. Rachel Halliwell speaks to three of them ...Read more
Escape to tropical climes this winter at RHS Garden Wisley with their glasshouse of butterflies!...Read more
Many people feel apprehensive about selling their family home, says Rachel Halliwell. Yet McCarthy & Stone managers see the worry and weight being lifted from the shoulders of homeowners once they move in. It’s like being on a permanent luxury holiday, said one ...Read more
Many people have misconceptions about what retirement living means. So we've answered your most commonly asked questions ...Read more
We asked you to vote for the top 10 best Christmas markets in the UK. Find out which town you voted as your favourite! ...Read more
House Manager Sue McGrath gives an insight into the life of Mallory Court's homeowners with their 'pot nest' creations! ...Read more
It was the most devastating storm to hit the UK in 300 years, claiming 18 lives, destroying 15 million trees and leading many people to wonder whether they could ever trust a weather forecast again ...Read more
Moving house is always daunting and even more so if you're planning to downsize from a family home. We look at the best ways to make moving home stress-free. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone has a vast team working round the clock to make sure that every homeowner in every development receives the best of the best. Here, we talk to three of the key players......Read more
There’s nothing more bonding for a family than spending quality time together. And a holiday is the perfect setting. With the growing trend for 3G (no, not mobile coverage – three generations!), there’s a huge variety of options. ...Read more
Mary Kent lived at the first McCarthy & Stone Development to be built, Waverley House in New Milton. Here, her granddaughter Tania Harland shares wonderful childhood memories of spending time there, which inspired her to work for McCarthy & Stone when a job opportunity came up 10 years ago. ...Read more
In her latest blog, Carrick Court's House Manager ponders the adoption of modern technology - particularly the latest smart phones! ...Read more
Why go abroad when we’re lucky to have so many beautiful islands of our own? ...Read more
Discover coastal properties for sale all around the UK and Ireland with McCarthy & Stone’s unique locations and luxury developments. ...Read more
Whether you've been a gardening enthusiast for years or only recently discovered the joys of green fingers, getting your hands dirty in the garden can become more difficult in later life. We look at tools that can make this hobby easier. ...Read more
It was a year of social unrest, high inflation, patriotism and punk rock. It was also the year that John McCarthy and Bill Stone built their first retirement apartments. As McCarthy & Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary, we take a look back at the highs and lows of 1977. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone aims to raise £130,000 for Royal Voluntary Service this year. It’s a partnership of shared values, says Rachel Halliwell ...Read more
Retirement can be a time to reinvent your life, as Judy Robinson and Gwynneth Pedler discovered ...Read more
Whether it’s making your own cards, pottery, wood carving or knitting, anything hand-crafted is having a bit of a renaissance ...Read more
Discover some of the most historical houses in Hampshire with McCarthy & Stone! Explore these beautiful homes all year round! ...Read more
See how part exchange has changed this family's life in more ways than one! Discover Part Exhange with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
Wrap up warm and get walking this winter with us! Discover new trails across the country and explore new scenery with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
This year looks to be a bumper one for the arts, with no shortage of blockbuster films, riveting reads and fantastic festivals on the horizon. ...Read more
Celebrate 40 years of retirement living solutions with McCarthy & Stone. Discover how we are commemorating this special event here! ...Read more
Discover your next day out in the UK with our list of top attractions up and down Britain! Plan your next adventure with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more
A new poll by McCarthy and Stone has revealed the simple pleasures that over 60’s most treasure about their childhood. ...Read more
It’s turning cold and you want your home to be warm and cosy. But that involves some tiresome maintenance tasks – unless you live in a McCarthy & Stone Retirement apartment of course ...Read more
The easy way to sell your old home and move into a brand new McCarthy & Stone apartment. Enjoy a new lifestyle with minimum inconvenience! ...Read more
See how Part Exchange changes lives at McCarthy & Stone! Experience how wonderful downsizing can truly be with us today! ...Read more
Rhoda tells us all about her journey to her brand new retirement apartment and how Part Exchange made it easier... ...Read more
We caught up with homeowner Mrs Pinkney in Lincolnshire to hear how she found using McCarthy & Stone's Part Exchange Service ...Read more
Chief executive Clive Fenton speaks about his pride in McCarthy & Stone’s philosophy, and how our developments change people's lives. ...Read more
Expectations are revisited at two of our properties in Yorkshire, where you can findfriendship, fine food and plenty of humour. ...Read more
See how McCarthy & Stone homeowner Roland is keeping active during retirement by volunteering at the NCI! ...Read more
Take a look at our top 10 picks for an Autumnal cruise this October! Evade the cold and soak up some last-minute sun before Winter! ...Read more
Discover whether downsizing is the right option for you with McCarthy & Stone. See what our brand new developments can offer you here! ...Read more
Is it the right size? Over-60s are being blamed for a lot at the moment: lack of jobs, the NHS crisis, and the high cost of housing ...Read more
Tony Watts delves into downsizing following the Generation Stuck report, and talks about why we have downsizing all wrong. ...Read more
Take a look at our favourite Christmas Markets across the UK ! Make sure you get into the Christmas-spirit and make a few trips this festive season! ...Read more
Gone is the grey army - retirees say life is colourful, vibrant and active. We ask retirees for their views on what living life in retirement today is like. ...Read more
Clear out the clutter in your life and live simply with McCarthy & Stone’s easy tips on clearing out the mess in your life! ...Read more
Experience the excitement of the amazing Goodwill Revival! See what it's all about, and how much fun it truly is this year! ...Read more
What does happiness mean to you and those in your life? See what people had to say about their idea of happiness here! ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone go the extra mile with all their customers. Hear how Ruth traveled to meet new customers to go over downsizing plans! ...Read more
By moving to a McCarthy & Stone development, Don has able to carry on his passion for writing whilst making sure his wife has great care 24/7. ...Read more
Discover the charming town of Essex and all it has to offer with a brand new McCarthy & Stone retirement development. ...Read more
Read Mary's letter to her 21-year-old self, and see what lessons life she would give her younger self all those years ago. ...Read more
Experience the beauty of Cheshire with a selection of retirement apartments in multiple locations across the county with us today! ...Read more
Discover the answers to all your questions about retirement with our guide to later life! Download the PDF on Life & Living! ...Read more
Read up on what our GLAB member Ian has to say on retirement, and why they think retirement needs to be re-thought. ...Read more
Check out McCarthy & Stone's new assisted living property announcement for Scotland and Wales! This is an exciting one for all our residents! ...Read more
Check out our amazing garden, created by award-winning Chris Beardshaw, for McCarthy & Stone and Life & Living! ...Read more
Discover the British inspiration behind our brand new development in Poole. See how architects enhanced the buildings exclusive location here. ...Read more
Discover Edwina Currie’s life advice on retirement living, and why she refuses to be deemed as ‘old’ in life’s lottery. ...Read more