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New Suffolk Ale & Golf Trail in Southern England


A hotel in England has launched the first-ever Suffolk Ale and Golf Trail. The Trail combines golf at seaside links with old English pubs and a brewery tour and tasting at a 140-year-old brewery specializing in dark, hoppy English ales.

TA Hotel Collection, owners of Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club in Suffolk, has launched the tourist trail. Visitors stay at Thorpeness Golf Club's 36-bedroom hotel, play golf at Thorpeness and nearby Aldeburgh golf clubs and tour Adnam's Brewery and Distillery at Southwold or the Green Jack Brewery in Lowestoft.

Grahame Tinnion, managing director of TA Hotel Collection, said of the Tour, "Golfers are discerning people and the U.K. is one of the most popular golf destinations in Europe and the world. It's important to stand out in a busy crowd and we believe that Suffolk is somewhere that should be on the must-play list for golfers worldwide. What better way to achieve this than by talking about two of our greatest assets, our ale and our seaside golf trail?"

Thorpeness Golf Club features a James Braid designed 18-hole coastal heathland course and is situated in the village of Thorpeness, a tourist hot-spot in Suffolk.

Thorpeness golf operations manager and head pro, Chris Oldrey, said of the facility: "Suffolk's seaside courses are a well-kept secret in golfing circles because they are slightly off the beaten track. They don't carry the hefty price tag of Open Championship courses, or big-name trophy links, but share the same beautiful settings, firm sandy turf, gorse and sea breezes that epitomize golf played in its most natural form."

Opened in 1922, Thorpeness Golf Club is bordered by Suffolk's famous "House in the Clouds" - a water tower converted into a private residence that appears to float in the skyline. The course is near Thorpeness Meare, a manmade lake with connections to author J.M. Barrie and part of the inspiration for his fictional child hero Peter Pan.

The Trail also involves Aldeburgh Golf Club, which originated in 1884 and is Britain's second-oldest heathland layout, offering views over the Alde Estuary. It's a private member's golf club and one of only a handful of "two-ball" courses left in Britain that promote foursomes (where two golfers take alternate shots playing one ball) as the main format.

This quicker version of the game leaves players with more free time to enjoy the county's ales, which are traditionally bitters and "milds" with a "hoppy" character, made from locally malted wheat and barley.

Suffolk - A Real Ale Heaven

According to the Suffolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), there are around 800 public bars in the county, 700 of which serve real ale. Add to this 24 breweries, including its most famous - 100-year-old Adnam's in Southwold, 400 village pubs and a claim to Britain's smallest pub - the Nutshell in Bury St. Edmund's - and there are plenty of places to enjoy a pint at the 19th hole.

Golfers booking on the Suffolk Ale and Golf Trail can also tour the Green Jack Brewery in Lowestoft or visit the Adnam's Copper House Brewery in Southwold.

Green Jack's ales include:

Excelsior Golden Brown
Orange Wheat beer
Trawlerboys Best Bitter
Lurcher Stout
Ripper - voted Supreme Champion Winter Beer in the UK in 2007

Golfers on the tour will learn about malts, grains and hops and the brewing process, and receive a complimentary pint and pork pie at Green Jack's Stanford Arms pub afterwards.

Adnam's ales include:

Southwold Bitter: coppery, dry and hoppy, a big-selling ale
Broadside: Pale Ale malt, dark ruby-red beer that smells like fruitcake
Explorer: light, refreshing and citrusy, with a hint of grapefruit

Suffolk Ale & Golf Trail Package Details

Two nights, two rounds of golf, full English breakfast, evening meal and a choice of brewery tour between the Green Jack Brewery and Adnam's. Prices start at 228 ($340 in U.S. dollars) per person.

For more information about the Suffolk Ale and Golf Trail package, visit http://www.thorpeness.co.uk.