United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
Few countries pack in as much scenery, history, and culture as the United Kingdom does.
Perhaps England’s most legendary city, London is filled with famous buildings and landmarks. Westminster Abbey is a can’t-miss, with Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament looming in the background. The Tower of London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a main tourist attraction, along with the London Eye, Europe’s tallest observation wheel. Hit the theatre for some after-dinner entertainment, and end the evening with a pub crawl. World-renowned museums tie it all together; check out the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. We suggest checking out The Milestone Hotel, The Savoy, or Taj 51 Buckingham Gate for accommodations.
Leaving London, head west to Bath for a visit to the Roman Baths and world-famous Stonehenge. Along the way, you can stretch your legs at Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy for nearly 1,000 years.
Edinburgh, the nation’s capital, is a city soaked in culture and history, and at the same time, filled with crowded pubs, drunk poets, and raunchy comedians. A few can’t-miss stops are Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, the National Museum of Scotland, and the haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults. For a more relaxing afternoon, head to Stockbridge or St. Andrews Square for some shopping. We recommend The Balmoral Hotel or Principal Edinburgh George Street for overnight accommodations.
Glasgow features Victorian architecture differing from the Gothic style of Edinburgh and is home to the world’s oldest surviving music hall, the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Celtic Connections festival each winter. Stay: Dakota Deluxe Glasgow
Just north of Glasgow is St. Andrews. Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and St. Andrews is the place to play it. Fairmont St. Andrews features two world-famous, clifftop championship golf courses, and is the perfect place to rest your head for the night.
Wales has hundreds and hundreds of castles. You could visit a different one every day for a year and still not see them all. Cardiff Castle is one of these, located in the capital city. Also located in the capital is the National Museum Cardiff. In addition to tons of history, Cardiff also makes a great base for day trips to the surrounding valleys and coast. Try The Quay Hotel & Spa for accommodations.
Set on the 5-mile sweep of Swansea Bay, Swansea (Abertawe) has a large student population and is the second-largest city in Wales today. The area also has some of the UK’s best locations for hiking, biking, watersports, and golf. B&Bs are extremely popular here. Check out the Langland Cove Guesthouse or The Mirador Boutique Town House.
There are many beaches to enjoy in Wales, and the beauty of the British coast is truly underrated. Start your day off with a hike on the Wales Coast Path, which traces the country's entire length, and relax afterwards with an afternoon on the beach.
Made popular by the recent HBO series Game of Thrones, Northern Ireland has hundreds of GOT-inspired tours and excursions to choose from. Meet the Direwolves, see the filming locations, including the Dark Hedges, and even partake in an archery experience.
Belfast is the capital and home to the Titanic Quarter, the location where the world famous Titanic ship was built. Today, it’s one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects and Belfast’s main tourist attraction. In addition, the Ulster Museum, Crown Liquor Saloon, and Cave Hill are all quite popular stops. We recommend The Merchant Hotel for accommodations.
The Walled City of Derry (Londonderry) is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the only city in Ireland with completely intact walls. The walls measure 26 ft high by 30 ft wide and are the main attraction for visitors here. Other popular stops include the Museum of Free Derry and The Siege Museum.