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UK Ireland

United Kingdom and Ireland

The United Kingdom and Ireland, unique nations rich in tradition, diverse in culture and fascinating to discover. Rolling countryside with patchwork fields, circled by stunning coastline, plenty of vibrant cities, and masses of heritage and royal connections. With 5000 years of multi-layered history, tick off the iconic landmarks then go exploring for hidden gems - hire a canal boat and meander through the waterways, rent a car and drive down stone lanes to quaint fishing villages, have a pint in a local pub by the fireside. Adventure awaits, from cycling, caving and abseiling, to wildlife spotting. Or follow a heritage walking trail around Coastal Wales, a country path through the Cotswolds, or explore secret coves around Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. There’s always a festival, anything from flowers, music, sailing, tennis, or the weird and wacky like cheese rolling, fireball whirling or pancake races – there’s something for everyone on these fascinating islands.

Our Favourite Places to Explore

The English are fond of some very odd food – think jellied eels, bread and butter pudding and toad in the hole. However, celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearney-Whittingstall have led the charge in changing the way we think about English cuisine – it’s all about taking the freshest of local ingredients and using them in classic regional recipes. Those local eccentricities that have given England such a varied culinary landscape are also what makes it so diverse and a fascinating place to visit. You may struggle to understand a West Country accent to begin with, but spend an afternoon in a village pub, washing down Cornish pasties with local cider among friendly locals and you’ll soon be in the swing of things. Geographically, it’s also incredibly diverse with variety and sheer jaw-dropping beauty – a day exploring the Lake District or the Cotswolds is likely to be one of the most memorable you’ll ever spend.


Where to start in a city with an incredible history dating back thousands of years, some of the most iconic attractions on earth and over 30,000 shops?


Pedn Olva
South West England

The south west of England is a rural peninsula with a beautiful coastline along both the Bristol Channel and the English Channel. The eight regions - Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Cotswolds, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and Isles of Scilly...


Southeast England
South East England

Head into Kent for impressive castles and gardens, drive past sandy coastlines and towering cliffs to the pebble beaches of Brighton; Sussex and Hampshire delight with a mix of preserved historic villages and unspoilt countryside.


The Costswolds
The Cotswolds

This is the largest area of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales. Idyllic villages of honey coloured limestone such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Broadway, grand stately homes and castles and world-famous gardens nestled in rolling hills. 


North England
Northern England

This part of England was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, today the cities ‘up north’ are more famous for their great nightlife and history and the countryside dazzles with rolling green fields, drystone walls, majestic mountains, tranquil lakes. 



Our Favourite Places to Explore

Scotland overflows with iconic images – tartan and bagpipes, whisky and thistles. Their origins may be lost in the mists of time but even today they speak of a proud and unique culture. Born in a land with a robust, wild climate, the Scots are feisty independent people who treasure their heritage which includes Neolithic farmers of Skara Brae, the Romans, legendary Robert the Bruce and the tragic monarch: Mary, Queen of Scots. Edinburgh is an ideal place to begin to explore Scotland’s past and maybe to start tracing your own Scottish roots. But the true essence of this land lies among the heather and lochs of the highlands and islands. There’s a taste of it in Speyside, home to more than half Scotland’s famed distilleries, or on legendary golf courses. Gaelic culture thrives in the Outer Hebrides, pilgrims flock to Iona and the Isle of Skye breathes romance. The remote Shetland Isles are home to the puffin birds and are steeped in Viking lore. Outside the cities are fairytale castles with turrets and towers, and sites echoing with bloody moments from Scottish history. Stand among the ramparts of Urquhart Castle, gaze at the waves and you too may believe a monster lurks in the loch’s depths.


When a city’s New Town dates back to the 18th century, you know you’re in a seriously historic city; it’s Old Town is medieval by the way.


Northen Highlands
The Highlands

We’ve all heard how rugged and unforgiving the landscape is, how torrid the historic battles and clan warfare were, and how hospitable the Scots are.


Rugged Scotland
Scottish Isles

Landscape and unspoilt breath-taking scenery. Discover rich farmlands, historic castles, and the islands on the most north westerly edge of Europe.


Our Favourite Places to Explore


When a country’s border is predominantly coastline, it’s no wonder there is a fascinating coastal heritage bursting with myths and legend. You’ll find pirate trails (think ‘Black Bart’ the designer of the skull and crossbones or Captain Henry Morgan) and plenty of ancient castles to explore. Hear tales of wizards and dragons told in one of the oldest living languages in Europe. The Welsh language is spoken by 20% of the population and is seen, with English, on all signs. The landscape is dotted with places connected to one of Britain’s most enduring legends – King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

You’ll eat regally too in gastropubs and country cafés as Welsh chefs serve up regionally-sourced produce - abundant seafood, tender Welsh lamb, dry-aged black beef and a delicious array of cheeses. Along the stunningly beautiful Pembrokeshire coast there are many seaside pubs where fresh fish, mussels, scallops and shrimp can be savoured with harbour views. Kayak with the seals or go dolphin spotting.

Venture inland through mountainous landscapes and national parks to discover heritage rail lines, steam trains and adventure activities intertwined with Wales’s slatemining past. Explore the heart of Wales with a choice of gentle walks, the wildest being Glaslyn Nature Reserve where you can see moorland birds, red kites and falcons, or a walkers’ paradise in Snowdonia National Park. Let’s not forget Cardiff, a vibrant, cultural city with deep roots in the past and where literary legend Roald Dahl was born.

Our Favourite Places to Explore

A land of magic and legend, richly steeped in religious heritage and wild romantic landscapes. Ireland can turn almost anyone into a poet. It’s not a large island, you could drive around it in four or so days but don’t be deceived – this place tempts travellers to tarry amongst its stunning views, breath-taking history and its famed hospitality.

Dublin is one of Europe’s most happening cities - where better to ease oneself into the legendary Irish pub scene? But beyond lie the cliffs and seascapes of Kerry, mystical Connemara, Gaelic speakers of Donegal, Galway, Cork and Limerick; every place name evokes stories of Ireland’s past.

Stroll through almost any town and follow the sounds of Irish music into a welcoming pub, work out the secrets of Gaelic football, taste soda bread and savour a creamy Guinness – devotees insist it has a unique taste unlike anywhere else in the world.

If you have no Irish blood in your veins, after a few days in this country you’ll wish you had. And if you have local ancestry, trace your Irish roots back into the peaty soils of your home county.


Even if you’ve never fancied Guinness before, there’s something in the Dublin air that is going to compel you to sip a sample of Ireland’s most legendary liquid. This dynamic European capital’s history stretches back 1000 years and Viking, Medieval and...


Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

With over 200km of diverse coastline and a strong maritime history, Northern Ireland is the perfect destination for a relaxing touring holiday. Home to some truly beautiful harbours and coastal villages and known for its castles, glacial valleys...


Wild Atlantic Way
Wild Atlantic Way

Enjoy a week long scenic journey at a relaxed pace, allowing you to explore ancient sites, lakes and mountains, traditional villages and towns complete with thatched cottages and stone walls. Marvel at the dramatic coastline of dancing light and...


Ancient East Ireland
Ancient East

Explore places filled with quirky and memorable experiences, a region of legends and stories from ancient times to modern day, brimming with culture, attractions and festivals. From Viking invaders and Norman knights to high kings, monks...



Our Favourite UK & Ireland Experiences

Exploring the UK and Ireland by car is easy. The roads are excellent, well sign-posted and spacious. Just remember the centre line should be by the driver! Below are just four of our favourite self-drive itineraries.


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Our UK & Ireland Holiday Packages & Deals

Our best Great Britain and Ireland packages right now, created by our travel experts to offer you incredible holidays at serious value. Find even more deals on accommodation, flights, touring and sightseeing on our UK & Ireland On Sale section.


UK & Ireland holiday planning articles

Are you planning your next trip to the UK and Ireland? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on the UK and Ireland.



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