Destinations

Discover the Charms of Ireland, Scotland and Wales: A First-Timer’s Guide

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Ready to trade in the sunburn and surf for a bit of Celtic charm? Ireland, Scotland and Wales are your ticket to a world of stunning landscapes, rich histories, and delightful quirks and there is no better time to visit than the warmer months. Rolling green hills, blooming wildflowers and lush forests make this countryside a photographer’s dream.

Our guide will take you through the must-see spots that will make your journey truly unforgettable. No trip is complete without trying some of the local cuisine so you’ll also find suggestions on tasty ‘scran’ to fill your belly – this region is known for its hearty fare so you certainly won’t go hungry!

Heads up, the lingo can be a bit different in the highlands. So, grab yer passport, pack yer bags and get ready for a bonnie adventure through Ireland, Scotland and Wales!

Ireland: The Emerald Isle Awaits

  • Dublin: Ireland’s lively capital city is filled with culture and history. Visit the impressive Trinity College Library, explore the bustling Temple Bar area, and take a stroll through the picturesque St. Stephen’s Green.
  • Cliffs of Moher: These awe-inspiring cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a walk along the cliff path and soak in the dramatic scenery that has inspired countless artists and writers.
  • Ring of Kerry: Take a scenic drive on one of Ireland’s most famous routes to discover stunning coastal views, charming villages, and lush landscapes. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of rural Ireland.

Where to Get Great Food in Ireland

  • Traditional Irish Stew in Galway: This hearty dish, made with lamb or beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions, is a must-try. Pair it with a pint of the local brew for the full Irish experience.
  • Seafood Chowder in Cork: The coastal city of Cork is the perfect place to enjoy a bowl of creamy seafood chowder, packed with fresh fish and shellfish.

Scotland: The Land of Legends

  • Edinburgh: Start your Scottish adventure in the capital, where the historic Edinburgh Castle towers over the city. Stroll along the Royal Mile, explore the quaint streets of Old Town, and don’t miss the chance to hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views.
  • Isle of Skye: This magical island is famous for its rugged landscapes, medieval castles, and charming villages. Visit the Fairy Pools for a refreshing dip and enjoy the stunning views at the Old Man of Storr.
  • Glencoe: Known for its dramatic scenery, Glencoe is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re tackling the trails or simply soaking in the views, this valley’s beauty is unmatched.

Scottish Highland cow

Where to Get Great Food in Scotland

  • Haggis in Edinburgh: Don’t leave Scotland without trying haggis, the national dish. It’s a savory pudding made from sheep’s pluck and spices. For a less adventurous option, try the delicious smoked salmon or a hearty bowl of Cullen skink, a creamy fish soup.
  • Seafood in Oban: This coastal town is known for its fresh seafood. Indulge in a platter of locally caught shellfish or enjoy some fish and chips by the harbour.

Wales: A Land of Myths and Mountains

  • Snowdonia National Park: Home to Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, this national park offers some of the best hiking in the UK. Whether you’re a keen hiker or prefer a gentle stroll, Snowdonia’s landscapes are not to be missed.
  • Cardiff: The capital of Wales boasts a vibrant cultural scene and a rich history. Visit Cardiff Castle, explore the National Museum, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Cardiff Bay.
  • Pembrokeshire Coast: This stunning coastal area is perfect for those who love the sea. With its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming villages, Pembrokeshire offers a mix of relaxation and adventure.
  • Gower Peninsula: Surfs up! This beautiful area offers some of the best surfing in the UK, along with stunning views of the dramatic coastline cliffs.

Where to Get Great Food in Wales

  • Welsh Rarebit in Cardiff: This traditional dish, consisting of toasted bread with a rich, cheesy topping, is a must-try. It’s comfort food at its best.
  • Laverbread in Swansea: Made from seaweed, laverbread is a unique Welsh delicacy. Try it as part of a traditional Welsh breakfast with bacon, cockles, and eggs.

Hot Tips for Travelling in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales

  1. Pack for All Weather

The weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers and a good rain jacket. You never know when a sunny day might turn into a rainy adventure!

  1. Embrace the Local Culture

Learning a few local phrases or greetings can go a long way. Whether it’s a cheerful “Sláinte” in Ireland or a friendly “Croeso” in Wales, a little effort is always appreciated.

  1. Be Respectful of Nature

These regions are known for their stunning landscapes, so be sure to respect the natural environment. Stick to marked trails, take your litter with you, and be mindful of wildlife.

  1. Try the Local Cuisine

Don’t miss out on trying the local specialties. From haggis in Scotland to seafood chowder in Ireland, each region offers unique and delicious dishes that you won’t find anywhere else.

  1. Explore Beyond the Cities

While the cities are full of charm and history, the true beauty of these regions often lies in the countryside. Take the time to explore the rural areas, where you’ll find hidden gems and breathtaking scenery.

Conclusion

Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are bursting with history, culture, and natural beauty, making them perfect destinations for any traveller. Whether you’re hiking through the Highlands, exploring ancient castles, or enjoying a hearty meal in a cosy pub, your journey through these Celtic lands will be filled with unforgettable moments.

Travel Insurance

We all know that the good times can take a slight detour when travelling. When the going gets tough, Travel Insurance Direct policies aim to do the heavy lifting and may assist with travel insurance cover to Ireland, Scotland and Wales to help keep your trip moving in the right direction, so you can refocus on the fun.


Author

TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

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