Must Play North Devon Golf Courses Near Barnstaple - Golf Breaks with GSW
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A Guide to Golf Breaks in North Devon

North Devon Golf Courses

North Devon is home to some seriously good courses… we mean seriously good!

From a course that has been talked about in the same breath as Royal Birkdale, Royal St Georges and Royal Troon, to the oldest golf course in England, the North Devon region of Barnstaple and surrounding towns is a must visit for your golf society or group!

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A guide to golf breaks in North Devon

The pride of Devon. Saunton East provides 18 holes rarely matched across the whole of the UK. This links has built up a formidable reputation over its 120-year history and it has been said that if the West Country was to host an Open Championship, Saunton East would be top of the list. 

From the opening tee shot from a raised tee box to the uphill approach into the 18th green with the clubhouse providing the backdrop, Saunton East provides nothing but an unforgettable round of golf.



Proudly the oldest club in England, no other course in the country has a longer history! That said, it’s a fact unlikely to be on your mind as you take on the open and rolling links in the dramatic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Regarded as the “St Andrews of the South”. RND has been included in many prestigious lists and perhaps none more flattering than Golf World’s “Top 100 courses in the World that a golfer must play”.


Ilfracombe has a unique claim… you can see the sea from every tee! 

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Ilfracombe is one of the most spectacular places in the country to play golf. Situated on the rugged North Devon cliffs providing the views across to the Welsh coastline and the Atlantic Ocean.

Aside from the setting, Ilfracombe is an excellent golf course in its own right with a memorable layout and some unforgettable holes. It is also a truly year-round course welcoming visitors 12 months of the year.

Whilst Ilfracombe may not be as much of an instantly recognisable name as it’s famed neighbours, it certainly holds its own. Our clients regularly play Ilfracombe as part of a 4 round North Devon Atlantic golf tour and praise is always very high for the golf, facilities, service and of course the setting!


The younger brother of the East Course at Saunton, but certainly not in its shadow.

The West course at Saunton may well share characteristics of its older brother, however certainly has its own distinctions and feel. This course is in its own right a true test of golf and has been designed to a level which puts it right up there with the East, making Saunton a truly 2-course golfing destination.

Some even claim to prefer the West course at Saunton due to the variation on the back 9. The number of par 3, 4 and 5’s is shared equally meaning birdies are possible and scoring can be exciting. That said, as with any good golf course, trouble is all around and there are plenty of streams and bunkers strategically placed to try and ruin your card!

The quality of this links is validated in its new ranking of the 56th best course in England.



The only parkland course on this list. Add a bit of variety to a North Devon tour with a round at Highbullen. The course offers spectacular views across Dartmoor and Exmoor and also offers a softer test than the unforgiving links of Saunton and Royal North Devon.

Measuring in at a length of just over 5,800 yards, par 68, this course is an enjoyable test for all levels of golfer and perfect for groups. If your golf tour has taken you to some of the big names in the region you may well be grateful for the reduced difficulty. That said, do not think you are arriving at any old resort course, Highbullen is well maintained, located in beautiful countryside and has a reputation as a bit of a hidden gem in a region dominated by coastal golf.

Highbullen Golf & Country Club


It’s not just North Devon. At Golf South West we are the West Country Golf Travel Specialists. Check out all of our tours across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.



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