England typically conjures up images of: quaint village pubs; red double-decker buses; the Queen’s dizzying collection of eccentric hats; and, of course, copious amounts of tea. While England offers all of these cliches in abundance, the country’s real attraction is in the diverse variety of cultural and historical attractions on offer. A walk through England can feel like a walk through history. Marvel at the mystery of Stonehenge, walk the battlements of a medieval fortress, explore grand manors and royal castles, or visit London’s magnificent reconstruction of Shakespeare’s historical globe theatre. While preserving this rich heritage, modern English cities bustle daily, filled with some of the some of the finest shops, galleries and museums in the world. Once night falls, state-of-the-art nightclubs, theatres and world famous live music venues spring to life and offer an endless array of captivating diversions. No matter how high your hopes, England won’t fail to exceed your expectations.
Despite its small size, Ireland has many treasures packed into its compact territory. Its magnificent natural landscapes are strewn with spectacular Nordic castles and gorgeous Georgian country houses. Its a vibrant cultural heritage includes a lively traditional dance and music scene, a rich literary tradition and some of the world’s coziest pubs serving up large portions of delicious and hearty pub food. Many Irish adventures begin and end in the popular and bustling city of Dublin and, while the capital certainly offers up plenty of stately architecture and quaint riverside charm, it really only tells a small part of the legendary Irish story. Beyond the cities, the countryside boasts vast areas of unspoilt wilderness, dotted with romantic ruins, remarkable cliffs and and hauntingly beautiful limestone landscapes. Add to this, some of the world’s most hospitable and humourous locals and it’s no wonder that Ireland appeals travellers of all ages and from all walks of life.
Few countries can boast a traditional culture as distinctive and idiosyncratic as Scotland. From haggis and whiskey to men in tartan kilts playing the bagpipes, this proud country’s local customs and products are recognised throughout the world and there is nothing quite like witnessing them firsthand in their natural habitat. Scotland is a land of imposing hilltop castles, formidable fortresses, glorious glaciers and mist-cloaked glens. And let’s not forget legendary monster inhabited lochs! With some of Western Europe’s largest areas of wilderness in their backyard, the Scots are blessed with a host of outdoors pursuits including hiking and mountain-biking in the hauntingly beautiful, rugged terrain of the Northern Highlands, whale and dolphin watching off the coast of Mull or sea-kayaking among the seal-haunted isles of the Outer Hebrides. With all this wilderness on offer alongside some of Britain’s most fascinating cities, it is no wonder that the Scots are so fiercely passionate about their remarkable country and its rather eccentric heritage.