The Lowlands

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Destination Information

The Lowlands are the non-Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland. This comprises not just the tract of country north of the English border and south of a line between Glasgow and Edinburgh but also the eastern coastal plain as far north as the Moray Firth. Although lacking the drama and grandeur of the Highlands, much of the rolling terrain is still extremely beautiful. The Lowlands contain fertile land suitable for agriculture and beef cattle. Although this region cannot boast a wealth of distilleries, there is a Lowland style of single malt. Auchentoshan, just west of Glasgow, makes a gentle, almost floral whisky, while Glenkinchie, east of Edinburgh, produces one with a slightly smoky character.

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An Exclusive Golf Club

The golf club at Muirfield is not only the oldest in Scotland — its records date to 1744 — but arguably the most exclusive, with an atmosphere not unlike that of Augusta National. Built in 1891, the clubhouse is a traditional place, with jacket and tie required in the smoking and dining rooms after 10 a.m. On the course, white socks are mandatory. Additionally, Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three Open Championships at Muirfield in 1966, the year that he completed his first career Grand Slam. In his view, Muirfield is ‘the best golf course in Britain.’

Additional Golf Options

When making a golf pilgrimage to Turnberry, with its marvelous Ailsa course, visitors should not neglect the excellent Prestwick Golf Club, 20 miles to the north. A classic links course that opened in 1851, Prestwick hosted the first British Open, in 1860. Today, the course is a first-rate track with varied and interesting holes, such as the famous par-3 fifth, dubbed “Himalayas,” whose blind tee shot over a mountainous dune has been copied by modern course architects for decades.