Even if you’ve never been to London before, you will be sure to recognise some of its famous landmarks. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London are all historical monuments that you are going to want to see for yourself. Don’t forget your camera, so that you can grab a selfie with one of Her Majesty’s Guards, or take a photo out over the Thames while riding on the London Eye.
There are plenty of indoor pursuits to explore, as London is not renowned for its dry and sunny weather. Madame Tussauds gives you a chance to get up close and personal with the stars (albeit wax versions of the real things), while the London Dungeons will leave you quaking in your boots with live re-enactments of famous events in the capital’s history. Kids will love the London Aquarium, with its fantastic display of brightly coloured fishes, magnificent rays and fierce sharks; and then you can take them for a spin on one of the red open-topped buses to get the grand tour of what the rest of the city has to offer.
And while you are there, it would be criminal not to experience a west-end show, or a comedy performance. Or if music is more your thing, you can experience live bands nearly every night of the week. And make sure you take a trip down Oxford Street and Carnaby Street for the best shopping experience.
This gorgeous Irish city has much more to offer than a pint of Guinness (although this is the home of the Guinness Storehouse where you can discover all there is to know about the black stuff, and even pour your own glass!) With a busy, bustling cultural quarter, vast open spaces and imposing historical buildings, it really is the jewel of the emerald island.
The Kilmainham Gaol is always a popular attraction, as the prison which held big political names such as Robert Emmet, Eamon de Valera, and Charles Stewart Parnell, among others. There are museums and galleries a-plenty for those who want to immerse themselves in Irish history and art, and fans of live music will not be disappointed, as there are daily events held in Dublin’s traditional bars and pubs.
Shopping enthusiasts will love popping into the quaint boutiques and browsing the outdoor markets that are scattered around the Temple Bar district, and the grandiose Dublin Castle is a must-see. But what sets Dublin apart from our other city breaks is its glorious sandy beaches. Laze in the sun, paddle in the sea, or take a walk along the coast with an ice cream. You won’t be disappointed.
These three cities really do represent some of the best our islands have to offer. So wherewill you visit first?
Travel north of London and experience the delight that is Edinburgh. Scotland’s beautiful capital city has so much to offer that you will never want to leave. With its own extinct volcanoes providing the backdrop to the city, and lush green parks that seem to stretch for miles, there are plenty of photo opportunities for those who want them.
The rolling hills are a great spot for those who enjoy a bit of trekking, and the views from the top are well worth the walk. But before you set off on your trip you’ll need some much-needed fuel in the form of a traditional Scottish breakfast. There are a variety of pubs and cafes that serve up haggis, eggs, bacon, sausage, white pudding, beans, mushrooms and tattie scones, and it is one meal of the day worth trying.
Shopaholics will love Victoria Street, with its numerous fashion boutiques and independent food stores, while those who delight in architecture will need to visit the Scott Monument – a spooky looking building dedicated to the memory of Sir Walter Scott.
And, of course, Scotland is a place full of culture. Take a trip to Edinburgh Castle, or wander through the Scottish National Galleries. You can visit one of the city’s many theatres or appreciate live music at one of the many gig venues. And if you visit at the right time of year you will get to experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the biggest arts festival in the world which lasts for nearly a month.