Trip of the Month: November 2023

 In Golf & Travel, Scotland

Northern Scotland and the Scottish Highlands is home to enough great golf to fill just about any length itinerary and this trip that our clients booked for May 2024 incorporates all that is great about the area. Big name courses like Royal Dornoch and Cruden Bay are no-brainers. However, it’s just as important to include some lesser-known hidden gems like Moray, Fraserburgh, and even the nine-hole Covesea links, to ensure a complete, all-encompassing golf experience. Likewise, no trip to the area is complete without some non-golfing adventures, and whisky-tasting (in Scotland’s primary Scotch-producing region!) plus a few castle visits (in Scotland’s “Castle Country”) surely add to the experience. This is a trip we were excited about that has it all!

Scotland: The Best of the North

Travel Dates: May 2024








From $4,527



Day 1

Day 1

Arrive at the Edinburgh Airport and drive 3 hours north to Inverness.

Check-In: Kingsmills Hotel (5 Nights)

The Kingsmills Hotel is a 4-star hotel in Inverness, in the heart of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The hotel’s history actually dates to the 18th century, but today serves as a luxurious holiday retreat with a variety of rooms that mix classic and contemporary features, an indulgent spa, two great eateries – the Inglis and the Conservatory, plus the best stocked whisky bar in town. It’s good old-fashioned Scottish hospitality at its finest.


Day 2

Day 2

Drive 35 minutes northeast to Nairn.

Golf: Nairn

The Nairn Golf Club is definitely the hidden gem of the Scottish Highlands. The beach sits ominously along the right side of the first seven holes, and then it’s the gorse that becomes the real hazard. With greens that are some of the best in Scotland and views of the Moray Firth from every hole, it’s simply a joy to play.


Sightseeing (PM): Explore Nairn

Heading east from Inverness towards Nairn sits Cawdor Castle, a historic 14th century castle known for it’s beautiful gardens and connection to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Nearby, you’ll find plenty more that showcases the beauty and rich military history of the area, including the Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns, Fort George, and so much more.


Day 3

Day 3

Drive 1 hour and 15 minutes northeast to Lossiemouth.

Golf: Moray

Moray Golf Club was founded in 1889 and Old Tom Morris himself laid out the venerable old track. Deep revetted bunkers and undulating gorse lined fairways protect par on the natural-feeling layout, which starts and finishes in the heart of Lossiemouth and sits adjacent to the town’s Royal Air Force base. It’s unpretentious and welcoming and quintessential Scottish golf at its finest.


Drive 5 minutes west to Lossiemouth.

Golf: Covesea (9 holes)

Just down the road from the venerable Moray Golf Club, the aptly named Covesea is a true hidden gem along Scotland’s northern Moray Coast. 9 holes bop and weave amongst spectacular rock formations in a setting that is truly hard to beat.


Day 4

Day 4

Drive 1 hour north to Dornoch.

Golf: Royal Dornoch – Championship Course

If you have looked into course rankings, you know the critically acclaimed Championship Course at Royal Dornoch has a lot of fans. Somewhat secluded in the Scottish highlands, the setting feels timeless but despite being one of the Scotland’s oldest golf clubs, the out-and-back course design feels a bit more complex that many of its contemporaries. The trademark raised greens actually match the shape of the entire property, so both your touch and endurance will be tested.

Royal Dornoch

Sightseeing (PM): Visit the Glenmorangie Distillery

The Glenmorangie Distillery is located just south of Dornoch in Tain, alongside the Moray Firth. Swirling with aroma and flavour, the facility is the beating heart of whisky making that dates to 1843. Immersive distillery tours pull the curtain on Scotland’s tallest stills, with expert guides willing to share knowledge built across generations.


Day 5

Day 5

Drive 15 minutes northeast to Castle Stuart.

Golf: Castle Stuart

Unlike most traditional Scottish clubs, which had to be built in or near local town centers for logistical reasons, the site on which Castle Stuart sits was selected solely for its aesthetics. The property sits overlooking the Moray Firth and Black Isle beyond, and it’s evident that both the course and the clubhouse were designed to feature the views. Its not all looks though, as the genius of Gil Hanse crafted a championship test that has now hosted four Scottish Opens, and counting.

Castle Stuart

Sightseeing (PM): Cruise Loch Ness

The legitimacy of monster sightings might be debated, but there is no doubting the stunning beauty of the British Isles’ largest lake. Cruises depart from various loch harbors and feature tales of history, scenic views of Urquhart Castle and, of course, possible Nessie sightings.


Day 6

Day 6

Drive 2 hours and 30 minutes east to Aberdeen.

Sightseeing: Tour the Distilleries of Speyside

Undoubtedly Scotland’s greatest whisky-producing region, the small Highlands region of Speyside is home to over half of all Scotch distilleries and produces many of the world’s best single-malts. The area along the River Spey is beautiful and important, as Scotch production has played a huge role in shaping the local economy for centuries. Its a must-visit for the attentive visitor.

Speyside Distillery

Check-In: Marcliffe Hotel (3 Nights)

The Marcliffe Hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the leafy suburbs 15 minutes west of Aberdeen. The property is a passion project of dedicated owner Stewart Spence and he leaves no stone unturned to ensure a luxurious experience for visiting guests: stylish rooms and common areas full of character, fine-dining at the Conservatory Restaurant, an extensive wine and whisky list, a relaxing spa, and outstanding, friendly service that keeps guests coming back year after year.


Day 7

Day 7

Drive 20 minutes northeast to Aberdeen.

Golf: Royal Aberdeen – Balgownie Course

The club’s championship Balgownie Course shares a lot of the same attributes as Scotland’s more famous Open hosts and itself hosted both the Senior Open and Scottish Open. It’s a historic members club, one of the oldest in Scotland, and the history is palpable in the venerable old clubhouse. The demanding course itself is obviously the main attraction though, and many have suggested the front nine, which plays closest to the North Sea through imposing dunes, is the best in Scotland.

Trip of the Month: November 2023

Sightseeing (PM): Tour the Castles of Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire, Scotland’s Castle Country, has more castles per square mile than any other part of the country. A day along “Castle Trail” surely starts with the cliff-top Dunnottar Castle but any number of popular castles are also nearby (Drum, Crathes, Fraser and Fyvie, Slains). Adventurous castle goers could also head west past the fairytale Craigievar Castle to the mighty Balmoral Castle, home of the Royal Family.

Dunnottar Castle

Day 8

Day 8

Drive 50 minutes north to Cruden Bay.

Golf: Cruden Bay

Cruden Bay is our pick for the most underrated course in Scotland. The club itself is authentic and welcoming. The scenery is stunning with views of the North Sea from elevated coastal terrain. And most memorable is the layout itself, which is quirky and tons of fun.

Cruden Bay

Drive 40 minutes north to Fraserburgh.

Golf: Fraserburgh

The links of Fraserburgh are home to the world’s 7th oldest golf club (which dates to 1777!) and are beautifully and naturally set near Scotland’s northeast coast at the windy convergence of the Moray Firth and the North Sea. The great James Braid helped with the design, which tumbles across undulating fairways amongst substantial coastal dune and truly epitomized the classic Scottish links experience.


Day 9

Day 9

Drive 1 hour and 30 minutes south to Carnoustie.

Golf: Carnoustie – Championship Course

The 7-time Open host showcases all that is wonderful and challenging about links golf: undulating terrain, riveted pot bunkers, firm and fast fairways, and of course the Barry Burn which famously swallowed Jean an de Velde whole during his infamous collapse at the 99 Open. You will struggle to shoot your handicap and you will love every minute of it.


Drive 1 hour and 30 minutes southwest to the Edinburgh Airport.

Check-In: DoubleTree by Hilton (1 Night)

The DoubleTree by Hilton at the Edinburgh Airport is just a half-mile from the Edinburgh Airport and features updated rooms, a pool and spa, The Space bar and lounge with seasonal dining options, plus a complimentary airport shuttle. It’s ideal for a stress-free final night in Scotland.


Day 10

Day 10

Depart via the Edinburgh Airport.


Coach With Full-Time Driver

Transportation will be via a large luxury motor coach, configured for groups of golfers with tables, reclining leather seats, a large fridge, and on-board wifi, along with a full-time* driver who would act as your group’s assistant. Cloud 9’s drivers offer welcoming hospitality along with local knowledge and can be invaluable components of a successful trip. The vehicle and driver will be available for your group’s sole use for the first 9 days in Scotland.



• 9 nights stay in twin/double rooms (standard unless otherwise stated) at the accommodations shown above
• 8.5 rounds of golf
• 9 days of a luxury vehicle with driver/assistant (all vehicle costs covered)
• Breakfast daily
• Trip-planning services of Cloud 9 personnel and comprehensive pre-trip documentation through the Trip Plans App
• Taxes and service fees

Not Included

• Airfare
• Travel insurance
• Tips and gratuities
• Rental clubs
• Caddie and cart fees
• Meals other than breakfast

Per Person Pricing*

*pricing based on 12 participants traveling in May, 2024

Golfer – Shared Room:

$4,643 per golfer ($1,000 deposit due)*

*The prices shown were valid for 14 days from October 20, 2023.