The Most Popular Destinations in the UK and Ireland this year
The United Kingdom never disappoints. Well, maybe the weather at times, but the history, the food, the scenery, the people, and the overall feel of it just gives travellers that experience they were looking for. Ireland doesn’t disappoint either! With its amazing culture, its quirkiness, and its lush green fields, you simply cannot go wrong with a holiday to this beautiful European nation. My travel writer BFFs agreed and nominated these Destinations in the UK and Ireland to visit this year.
Nominated by LC of Bird Gehls, Facebook
London is one of the greatest cities you can travel to in the world, for so many different reasons.
The city is rife with history, evident in its streets, buildings and historical monuments (think Tower Bridge, Buck Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London). It’s easy to wander around London and imagine the lives of people who’ve walked the same streets before you, over hundreds and hundreds of years.
It’s the kind of city you could never be bored in… although you could go broke. There’s always something happening – new shows, restaurant openings, pop up bars. You can eat in the dark, dance to silent disco in a giant, historic, old ship, take a mouse taxidermy class, explore disused tunnels of the Underground, or participate in an axe-throwing tournament.
As far as tourism is concerned, London barely has to lift a finger. It’s the type of city that can sit back and wait for the people to come to it. And they do, in droves. It’s the second most visited city in the world, seeing around 20 million international visitors a year.
The only downside of this, is locals get a little bit too sick of the visitors who are forever flocking to their city. As a result – London is one of the easiest cities to feel lonely in, despite its population of eight million. People only talk to each other if they have to and if you make eye-contact with anyone on the Tube – goodness help you.
Book a Tour: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise
Galway, Republic of Ireland
We nominate Galway for Best Travel Destination for the eclectic mixture of old and new, its charming city streets and stunning surrounding scenery. Galway is known throughout Ireland for the best “craic”: good spirits, conversation and fun.
Founded by the Normans during medieval times, it was once a walled city, with a history intermingling Vikings, the Spanish Armada, Christopher Columbus, Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, Oliver Cromwell, Jane Eyre, and John F. Kennedy. Home to the National University of Ireland, a mass influx of students each year brings all things new into this diverse historic environment. The result is a funky vibe unlike anywhere else.
Visitors can experience castles and cathedrals, museums and tours, but the best Galway experiences are found in less formal settings: the streets of Eyre Square, the cobblestones of the Latin Quarter, the Spanish Arch, and the banks of the River Shannon. Traditional music floats through the air, as young and old from near and far enjoy laughter and revelry.On Saturdays, the Galway Market becomes a hub of activity, where fresh produce and traditional crafts can be purchased from locals in front of St. Nicholas Cathedral.
The surrounding scenery is stunning in all directions, and there is an abundance of day trip options when one needs a break from the buzz of the city. The verdant green mountains of Connemara, the dramatic plunge of the Cliffs of Moher, the surreal landscape of The Burren (a UNESCO GEOPark,) and pristine Atlantic beaches, are all a short drive away. Galway has something for everyone.
Liverpool has to be one of the friendliest, most beautiful cities around. An amazing city of music, art, culture and diversity the people of the city are proud of their heritage. Stuffed to the rafters with amazing architecture, art galleries, museums, great food and drink you’ll always have something to enjoy here. Top of your list to visit whilst here should be the World Heritage waterfront and Albert Docks; full of amazing things to see and do. Why not get out on the river while there and check out the world famous ferry across the Mersey!
Don’t look down while walking around the city too, you might miss some of the amazing listed buildings and architecture the city boasts. There over 300 years of British history alone in those buildings! The city has been beautifully updated and modern architecture flows stunningly well with historic masterpieces all along the waterfront and city itself. A perfect example of this are the two cathedrals. The modern looking Metropolitan Cathedral and traditional amazing Anglican Cathedral sitting at opposite ends of the aptly named “Hope St”. Hope St itself has a fantastic night scene, and is home to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, a place to enjoy the superb sounding Orchestra.
Liverpool is an absolute must see, and the people make it. Always friendly, always welcoming, they’ll be sure to make your visit an amazing one.
Book a Tour: Self-Guided Day Trip to Rock & Roll Liverpool
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nominated by Faith of XYU and Beyond, Facebook
A tourist boom has sent the tourism industry soaring into the stratosphere and Belfast has become a magnet for those visiting Ireland.
From the brilliant Titanic Experience, to some of the best restaurants and food in the world Belfast is the place to see it, do it and experience it. On top of all that Belfast is only a short drive away from some of the world’s most stunning areas of natural beauty. These landscapes have drawn filmmakers here to create lavish movies as Star Wars and the TV phenomenon known as Game of Thrones.
The City is a treasure chest of historic sites from the building of the Titanic to Museums with religious relics from St. Patrick and prehistoric Bronze Age finds. You can visit a working linen mill check out Parliament at Stormont, take a boat tour of Belfast Harbour, enjoy the beauty of the shoreline, and see a few seals hanging out.
For foodies craft brewers of beer, whiskey and gin have opened in the City and are serving some amazing brews and cocktails. A must try is an Ulster Fry for breakfast – leave your cholesterol worries at home when you chow down on this massive breakfast of bacon, black pudding, sausage, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs and potato bread. Irish food is proud to be locally produced and sourced and from the magnificent butter to some of the best beef in the world it can all be found in Belfast. World-class food, entertainment, historic and UNESCO sites are all waiting for you in Belfast.
Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland
Nominated by Natalie of Marquestra, Facebook
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Fill My Passport collaborated with other travel writers on this post. All opinions are our own and none was influenced by Fill My Passport.