Appleby: A gloriously minimalistic moorland

This is a moorland where at least some of the greenkeeping is carried out by the sheep who call the course their home.

The course is set remotely on glorious expansive moorland from where there are panoramic views of Lakeland Fells.

The cleverest thing about Appleby is that it is so natural, so minimalistic, that you almost can’t see it from the road.


The minimalist design was produced by 1883 Open champion Willie Fernie, and he left a handful of bunkers, all of them greenside, but the real defences here come with the contours of the land and the ever-present breeze up on Brackenber Moor.

Soon after opening, the course was described by the Manchester Guardian as "a champion's course" and "The Sunningdale of the North.

What makes it special

You have to embrace the minimalist nature of 1883 Open champion Willie Fernie’s design. It’s very clever and there’s way more going on than you might first think as you survey the surrounding moorland.

If you're visiting Appleby in early June, you simply have to check out the world-famous Appleby Horse Fair which is a colourful annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers.

Where is it?

Situated alongside the A66 with easy access East & West, Appleby Golf Club is situated just outside the small hamlet of Brackenber in Cumbria.

Where does it rank?

112th in England, 3rd in Cumbria, 69th in Fun

Get in touch with Appleby

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 017683 51432.

Have you played Appleby before? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.

Subscribe to NCG