The UK and Ireland are hugely popular destination for travellers from all over the world. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – four incredible countries, each with a wealth of fascinating attractions. But what are some of the treats in store for travellers?
The UK and Ireland are both hot-spots for history-buffs. Thanks to the spread of culture in centuries past, this is where much of the western world took its cues, in everything from language to architecture. The cities of the UK and Ireland offer a charming mix of historical buildings and modern design. Marvel at the spires of York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Stroll through the cobbled streets of Edinburgh and gaze up at the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Punt along the canals of Cambridge (one of the world’s most famous university towns). And in Ireland, see Bunratty Castle, which dates back to the 1400s, and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle! Of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without seeing some of the landmarks associated with its turbulent history. For a taste of musical history, stroll the streets of Liverpool, home of The Beatles. When you’re done, rest your legs in one of the many historic pubs – there’s certainly no shortage of those in the UK and Ireland!
Along with the cathedrals and castles, there are also many museums to explore, and a range of exquisitely-curated art galleries. You’ll find some of the most respected artists and performers in the world coming to the UK, so be sure to check local publications ahead of time to see who might be there when you visit! The live music scene in the UK and Ireland is also a big part of the culture, with local music venues hosting everything from traditional folk singers to modern rock bands and DJs. There’s also a huge respect and patronage for the world of dance, with many respected dance companies touring in the UK and Ireland throughout the year.
The rolling green hills of England and Wales, the highlands of Scotland, and the wild charm of Ireland’s western coast – this region is famous for its countryside scenery. It’s not hard to imagine legions of iron-clad knights riding around in olden times, and it’s not just us that think so – Northern Ireland was used extensively in the popular Game of Thrones series, and countless other films make use of the UK and Ireland’s beautiful scenery too. The Cliffs of Moher (above) are one of the most famous attractions in all of Ireland – and it’s not hard to see why!
When one thinks of the cuisine of the British Isles, one normally thinks of comfort food. Fish and chips, bangers and mash, black pudding, haggis, Irish stew – all these (and many more) are traditional favourites, and are usually washed down with a pint of beer. There’s probably no better way to while away a rainy afternoon than setting up in a comfortable old pub and enjoying some of the traditional cuisine. But modern British cuisine has come a long way from these fairly basic starting points, with influences from around the world now informing many of the choices you’ll find on your local menu. Look around in each city, and along with the traditional favourites, you’ll find brilliant Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, West African, Caribbean and modern European restaurants – the British Isles are a great place to sample foods from all over the world.
The British Isles are famous throughout the world for the sports that are played there. After all, this is the home of the Premier League! England is also the birthplace of rugby (named after the town of Rugby), and the seeing that the Rugby World Cup is being held here in 2015, there’s no better time to visit if you’re a fan of the game. Cricket is also a quintessentially English sport, with many famous stadiums in England. Golf had its start in Scotland, and is now one of the world’s most popular sports. And let’s not forget Hurling, a game with ancient Gaelic and Irish origins, which is a bit of a mix between field hockey, baseball and lacrosse – and is believed to be the world’s oldest field game. Interested? Watch a video here.
Fancy a tour to the UK or to Ireland? Take a look at our UK & Ireland tour, Irish Explorer Tour or both, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure! To get a feel of our tour watch our Great Britain video below: