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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 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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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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