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Pubs will be alive in Edinburgh when the World Cup of Rugby comes to town this fall.
Pubs will be alive in Edinburgh when the World Cup of Rugby comes to town this fall. (Brandon Tucker/GolfPublisher.com)

Scotland is alive with events and festivals off the golf course this fall

Brandon TuckerBy Brandon Tucker,
Managing Editor

This fall, Scotland hosts numerous events and festivals, like the Rugby World Cup, Blas Festival in the Highlands and an Andy Warhol art exhibit in Edinburgh. Here are a few reasons to bring the family to Scotland this fall so you can sneak in some golf too.

So you're in a pickle: you promised the family a vacation this fall, but, on the other hand, you don't want to have to pass up on that golf trip you've been craving.

Don't worry, Scotland has you covered on both angles with a loaded fall line up of events and activities. And of course, the historic links golf courses aren't going anywhere.

Here's a look at some of the best fall excuses to bring the whole family to Scotland, as well as where to play in the area you choose.

Fall events in Edinburgh

The largest display of Andy Warhol pop art is being shown at the National Gallery Complex through Oct. 7 in Edinburgh. It's the first of the Bank of Scotland TotalART series, which plans to feature a variety of pop artists over the next year.

Rugby World Cup Games

Edinburgh is a lively city filled with pubs and colorful characters, and it takes it up a notch during the Rugby World Cup Matches. Edinburgh hosts two August test matches, then the real deal in September: Scotland hosts Romania Sept. 18 and then New Zealand Sept. 23 at Murrayfield Stadium.

Golf in Edinburgh: Edinburgh and the East Lothian region are home to some of Scotland's most prestigious golf courses. The most famous is British Open host Muirfield, but even if you can't get a tee time there, North Berwick is considered one of links' best, just a little too short to host an Open.

If you're short on time (or money), you can swing by the Old Golf Course at the Musselburgh Links. It's just nine holes, enclosed by a horse track. It's no longer a championship test, but it was a host to the British Open and is considered arguably the oldest golf course in Scotland. It's also just £9-13 per nine.

Fall events in the Scottish Highlands

Spirit of Speyside Dufftown Autumn Whisky festival: Sept. 28-Oct. 1

The Highlands host an abundance of Scottish whisky distilleries, and many of them will be joining forces for this festival full of tasting, tours, specialists, auctions and more.

Blas Festival, Highlands: Aug. 31-Sept. 8

Blas Festival is an emerging traditional and Gaelic music festival featuring scores of international artists that takes place in indoor and outdoor venues across the Highlands (for dates and locations: www.blas-festival.com).

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: The Highlands' top links course and a perennial mention among the British Isles' best is renowned Royal Dornoch, about a two hour drive north of Highland capital Inverness. The 1999 Walker Cup host Nairn Golf Club is about an hour south from Dornoch. For those who will be way, way up north, there is Brora Golf Club, a traditional links that has sheep grazing the fairways to this day.

The Highlands are also seeing an influx of modern resorts, like Spey Valley at Aviemore, which just opened a new, posh parkland course that winds along the River Spey.

Retro Fest, Ayr: Sept. 1 & 2

Looking for music that's a little hipper than traditional Gaelic? Retro Fest at the Culzean Estate in Ayr is boasting the biggest lineup of 80s bands since Live Aid: acts such as The Human League, The Blockheads, Belinda Carlisle and Kid Creole & the Coconuts. Tribute and cover bands need not apply, as all acts expected at Retro Fest are the real deal.

Golf in Ayrshire: In Ayrshire, you're a quick drive from Prestwick, sight of the original 1860 British Open, as well as next door neighbor Royal Troon. Just down the road is 2009 Open host Turnberry. Further north is Western Gailes.

Classic Car Fest

Classic car fest is a countrywide celebration of classic automobiles. There are three trails of roads spanning 1,800 miles (for more information: classiccars.visitscotland.com).

Fast fact

For more information on fall events in Scotland, check VisitScotland.com

Tee times: 44 (0) 1577 866716 or 44 (0) 1383 727 999

Click here for a free Scotland golf vacation quote.

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Channel Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.

 
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