Which golf courses in Aberdeenshire offer historic castle views?

11 June 2024

When you think of Scotland, you can't help but envision lush, green landscapes dotted with ancient, majestic castles and an abundance of world-class golf courses. Imagine combining these quintessential Scottish experiences: playing a round of golf while soaking in the historic views of enchanting castles. If this appeals to you, then the golf courses in Aberdeenshire should be your next destination. Boasting a lineup of top-rated golf courses, Aberdeenshire will surprise you with its unique offerings. In this article, we'll review the best golf courses in Aberdeenshire where the charm of ancient castles complement your golfing experience.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

Our journey begins at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. Situated on the north-east coast of Scotland, it's one of the oldest clubs in the world, offering a rich, historical golfing experience. The panoramic ocean views from the tee box are breathtaking, but it is the view of the majestic Silver City that truly stands out. This golf course's layout is designed with the front nine hugging the coastline, offering mesmerizing views of the sparkling North Sea.

The Royal Aberdeen's Balgnie Course is particularly noted for providing stunning views of the historical city of Aberdeen with its myriad of ancient architecture, including several castles. The back nine, nestled in the dunes, boasts a different, but equally captivating view, taking on a more rugged and undulating character. With its long history and scenic beauty, the Royal Aberdeen offers more than just a round of golf – it's a journey through Scotland's rich past.

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Next on our list is the Cruden Bay Golf Club, an extraordinary golf course that offers not just a challenging game but also breathtaking views of the ancient ruins of Slains Castle. This historical ruin perched on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea adds an air of mystique to your golfing experience. The course layout takes you on a tour through rolling dunes and deep bunkers, testing your golfing skills while the ruins keep a silent watch.

Cruden Bay's unique course design, coupled with the dramatic castle views, is a testament to Aberdeenshire’s rich history and its commitment to preserving the area’s natural beauty. It's no surprise then that Cruden Bay is consistently ranked among the best golf courses in the world. The club also hosts a well-appointed clubhouse where you can relax and enjoy a hearty Scottish meal while reminiscing about the day's play.

Murcar Links Golf Club

The Murcar Links Golf Club, a true championship links course, offers an exciting and challenging round of golf. However, it's the club's striking views of the iconic 15th-century Balmedie Castle that truly steal the show. The castle, a magnificent stone fortress, stands as a silent sentinel to history, its grandeur perfectly complementing the sprawling greens of the golf course.

At Murcar, you'll find a golf course with a layout that has remained true to its original design since its inception in the early 20th century, presenting golfers with a traditional Scottish golfing experience. The holes are strategically placed among natural sand dunes, providing an authentic links-style challenge. As you traverse the course, the ever-present view of Balmedie Castle enhances the experience, making your round of golf at Murcar a truly memorable one.

Trump International Golf Links

Our final stop is the Trump International Golf Links, a relatively new addition to Aberdeenshire’s golf scene, but one that has quickly gained international acclaim. The course’s design, masterminded by renowned golf architect Dr. Martin Hawtree, is a stunning tribute to Scotland’s golfing heritage. As you tee off, you'll be enthralled by the captivating view of the historic Menie House, a 14th-century baronial manor that now functions as the club's lavish clubhouse.

The course layout cleverly winds through the wild and rugged dunes, offering undulating fairways and challenging greens. But it's the views of the historic Menie House that add an extra layer of charm to your game. The house’s ancient stone walls and towering turrets rise above the course, serving as a constant and awe-inspiring reminder of Aberdeenshire's rich history.

In summary, for those seeking a unique golfing experience where the past and the present co-exist in harmony, these Aberdeenshire golf courses promise a memorable journey. Whether it's the ancient ruins of Slains Castle at Cruden Bay or the majestic Menie House at Trump International, these historical landmarks enhance your golfing experience, making each round of golf a journey through Scotland's rich history.

Newburgh on Ythan Golf Club

We now move on to the Newburgh on Ythan Golf Club, a hidden gem located on the Ythan Estuary and adjacent to the beautiful Sands of Forvie National Nature Reserve. This golf club, though not as famous as some of its counterparts, offers a unique and unforgettable golfing experience, enriched by the views of the historical Udny Castle.

Founded in 1888, this semi-private golf course provides a challenging test of golfing skills with its 18-hole layout. The front nine is a true links course, with the holes running along the North Sea coast, while the back nine, though a bit more sheltered, offers its own set of challenges. Throughout the course, the view of the 16th-century Udny Castle, one of Aberdeenshire's lesser-known castles, provides an enchanting backdrop.

Udny Castle, a tower house castle, stands as a symbol of Scotland's past. Its sight, coupled with the sea breeze, and the beautiful Scottish landscape, adds a touch of nostalgia to the golfing experience. After a round of golf, golfers can unwind in the club's inviting clubhouse, offering a selection of local delicacies and the opportunity to reflect on their game and the rich history surrounding them.

Peterhead Golf Club

Our list would be incomplete without mentioning the Peterhead Golf Club, home to the Craigewan Links course. Established in 1841, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and its 18-hole course lies between the North Sea and River Ugie, offering breathtaking views of the ruins of Old Slains Castle.

The Craigewan Links course design incorporates natural sand dunes, rugged terrain, and challenging greens, to deliver a golfing experience that is both challenging and enjoyable. The sight of the Old Slains Castle ruins, which inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, adds a touch of mystique to the course. This castle, dating back to 1597, is far more than mere scenery; it is a beautiful reminder of the rich history that has shaped Aberdeen Scotland.

As you navigate your way through the course, the combination of the rumbling North Sea, the rough, yet beautiful Scottish landscape, and the silhouette of the Old Slains Castle, create an atmosphere that is both relaxing and invigorating.


Aberdeenshire, with its picturesque landscape and rich historical backdrop, offers an unparalleled golfing experience. The golf courses in this region are not just about golfing; they present an opportunity to connect with Scotland's past while enjoying a challenging round of golf.

Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a novice, these golf courses - Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Murcar Links, Trump International, Newburgh on Ythan, and Peterhead - offer something unique. Their semi-private nature ensures that golfers can enjoy their experience without feeling rushed, and the well-maintained greens and fairways ensure a quality golfing experience.

The charm of Aberdeenshire's historic castles and landmarks adds a magical touch to the experience. From the majestic Menie House at Trump International to the mysterious ruins of Old Slains Castle at Peterhead, every golf club provides a unique, historical view. So, the next time you are planning a golfing vacation, consider Aberdeenshire. The combination of world-class golf, stunning landscapes, and captivating history is sure to make your trip memorable.

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