Guest Story by Stephen Flanagan
When planning a holiday in the U.K. and Ireland, there are a number of not-to-be-missed attractions and destinations that should appear on the trip itinerary. Here are the best of Ireland and the UK. London is an obvious choice; its historic palaces and iconic landmarks are among the best-known and most popular tourist attractions in the world. For travelers looking a little further off the beaten path, here are four holiday destinations that offer unique sightseeing and entertainment options to make the trip a memorable one.
As the capital of Ireland, Dublin offers a diverse mix of activities and options for visitors to this historic city. Golfers will love exploring more than 40 courses located throughout the city and surrounding areas. The history of Ireland is retold at the National Museum of Archaeology and History with a focus on the medieval period of this beautiful land. The beaches and shorelines of Dublin offer plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun in tranquil surroundings. Scenic Phoenix Park is home to the world-famous Dublin Zoo, a perfect family-friendly destination. For short breaks and extended stays, hotels in Dublin city centre comprise an eclectic mix of quirky bohemian accommodations and five-star hotels to suit any budget or personal preference.
For football fans, the National Football Museum in Manchester is an experience not to be missed. The home of the Football Hall of Fame and of the famed Manchester United football club, Manchester also offers a wide range of cultural and entertainment choices for guests to this cosmopolitan city. As a centre for commerce and industry, Manchester boasts a number of museums and other attractions dedicated to its industrial heritage. For a bit of spooky fun, Flecky Bennett’s Manchester Ghost Walk is a look at the supernatural history of the city. Travelers seeking the best accommodation in Manchester City have an extensive list of choices; this vibrant business centre boasts several five-star hotels as well as a number of smaller bed-and-breakfast establishments located throughout the area. Although if you’re just here for the football, Manchester United is probably your destination.
The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh offers unique attractions for visitors to this historic city. One of the most intriguing is the Camera Obscura tower in the Old Town district. This scientific marvel projects the light from the top of the tower into a reflective parabolic dish, providing a panoramic view of the entire city of Edinburgh. The Royal Botanic Garden is an ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon. If it rains, as it does so often in this part of the world, the Rosslyn Chapel is located in the southern part of the city and is a favoured destination for students of religious history. Travelers can enjoy easy access to all the city’s attractions from the Royal Mile, which boasts a number of five-star rated hotels and less expensive accommodations.
Cork County, Ireland
The home of the legendary Blarney Stone, Cork County has many other attractions for travelers to this enchanted region. Druidic influences are still evident in the area, and the Rock Close is an exceptionally well-preserved example of these ancient ruins. Located on the grounds of Blarney Castle, the Poison Garden includes a wide range of interesting and deadly plants. More traditional garden settings are also available for romantic strolls or quiet contemplation. In the scenic village of Blarney, guests can stay at the Blarney Castle Hotel, a lovely family-owned business with all the modern amenities, or choose one of the numerous accommodations located throughout the county of Cork.
These scenic retreats and exceptional cultural offerings can provide a holiday experience that will be remembered for many years to come.