Customer Relations Representative Lori visited England, Scotland, and Ireland on a multi-country tour, and had nothing but great things to say about her experience. For those looking to travel to these three countries, Lori shares her can’t-miss highlights.
Traveling to multiple new countries can require lots of tedious planning, but choosing to travel on a multi-country tour of Europe makes it much easier to focus on enjoying your trip without worrying about the planning. The Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland tour really covered everything I was hoping to see and more, while keeping a steady pace with free time for my own planned activities. Below are some of my can’t-miss highlights from this tour.
1. Seeing London for the first time
London is classic. The red double decker buses zooming through the streets, old-school phone booths on every corner, and the general royal feel of the city captivates millions of travelers each year, some for the very first time. If this is your first time to London, there is a certain familiarity of all of the landmarks and sights; it almost feels like you are visiting a long-lost home for the first time! It was every bit as tremendous as I expected.
2. Eating haggis in Scotland
Italy, France, and Spain are places typically known for their amazing and cultural cuisine. Scotland? That wasn’t on my list. It does, however, have a taste all its own, which is actually quite delicious! While in Scotland, you must order the Haggis with neeps and tatties. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish that they refer to as “pudding,” but it’s nothing like the pudding we are used to here in the U.S. It’s savory, a bit spicy, and made from parts of a sheep that we don’t typically eat. The neeps and tatties are a little easier to try if you’re not a meat lover—that’s just Scot-speak for mashed turnip and potatoes. It’s definitely something you can’t leave Scotland without trying!
3. Hiking up Calton Hills for the sunrise
Edinburgh will steal your heart. Scotland’s capital is made up of a medieval and gothic Old Town, and a modern, yet Georgian style New Town. The best way to see the two sides of the city (without packing your hiking boots to climb Arthur’s Seat) is by going to the top of Calton Hill. From the bottom, it is about a 15-minute uphill walk to the top, where you’ll see an amazing panoramic view of the city and unfinished monuments from the 19th century. I recommend getting up early and walking up for the sunrise. There is nothing like waking up to a view of a new city!
4. Visiting Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales
Yes, you read that correctly. That is the name of a town in Wales, the longest name of any place in the U.K., to be precise. On this tour you make a stop here at a local woolen mill for some nice Welsh souvenirs, and you can even get your passport stamped to prove that you’ve visited Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. If you’re lucky, your Tour Director might even teach you how to say it, so you can bring back a bit of Welsh with you.
5. Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
The Guinness Storehouse is an Ireland staple that attracts millions of visitors each year. Think of it less as a brewery tour and more of a museum. The self-guided tour takes you through learning about how beer is made, the history of Guinness, the ins and outs to the perfect pour, and the advertising of Guinness through the years (my personal favorite), ending at their Gravity Bar, where you get to enjoy a complimentary pint with a panoramic view of Dublin. This attraction might be a little “touristy,” but it’s well worth it for the beer, the history, and the view!
6. Taking it all in at the Cliffs of Moher
This is one of the biggest highlights of Ireland in general. Walking up and seeing the massive cliffs is an unbelievable experience. To me, it was one of the most tremendous sights in the world that I could spend all day staring at. My Cliffs of Moher tip is to try to walk in both directions if possible. When you arrive at the cliffs, you can go in either direction. To the right is a nicely paved set of stairs leading up to the O’Brien Tower, which is worth the two euros to climb up and take in the classic views. To the left you’ll get a different view of the Cliffs, including Hag’s Head, and a great view of O’Brien’s Tower. You’ll also want to be sure to stop by the visitor center to take advantage of the interactive exhibits and displays.