Last fall, Jordan and I were able to travel to a magical land over the ocean full of cottage gardens, steak and Guinness pies, highland cows, and haggis. IT was AMAZING! We travelled through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland in 15 days. It was very fast paced, however we saw the most incredible landscapes. We plan to return one day.
Day 1 & 2: We arrived in London early in the morning, and started off our day with a classic English Breakfast. We saw the Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, The Tower Bridge, Neal’s Yard, Shoreditch, Buckingham Palace, and Shakespeare’s Globe. If you’re ever in London, you gotta get tacos at DF Tacos! I’m not sure if it was because of the jet-lag, hanger (hungry anger), sore feet from trying to break in new boots (big MISTAKE) but this place was absolutely divine. Definitely a must see for all you taco freaks out there! I could have stayed here all day, but my husband leaves no corner unexplored and forced me to carry on with our fast paced tour of London bribing me to pick up the pace with M&M chocolates.
Also, Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) was under construction when we were there which was pretty heartbreaking as it is soooo iconic. I guess I’ll have to go back.
Day 3: From London we took a bus to the Bath, and spent the day in the rain exploring the Roman baths.
We picked up our rental car, drove through the cute town of Bibury and had to stop for some Trout at the Catherine Wheel Pub. We then drove to an adorable Shepherds hut in Little Compton. This hut was right smack in the middle of a pasture, where chickens and horses roamed. Nothing like waking up in the country side in the Cotswolds!
Day 4: We woke up and drove to Stow on the Wold. This was one of my favourite stops in England. We toured the cute little town and shops in the rain, stocking up on chocolate and treats. I obviously had to have an afternoon tea at Lucy’s Tea Room. After filling our bellies with the yummiest of food, we went to Sudeley Castle and perused the ancient architecture and gardens. This castle filled my head with gardening ideas. It was such a treat for a flower lover.
We then drove to Chipping Campden to see the Old Market Hall, and then arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon for the night. We made it just in time to see Anne Hathaway’s cottage. We explored the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, and ate the most delicious Indian Food at Thespians. Thespians came highly recommended by our English friend Josh, and I definitely know why he raved about it. SO GOOD!
Day 5 & 6: Time wasn’t really on our side this trip, so we boarded an early plane from Birmingham airport, to arrive in Edinburgh for lunch time. We checked out The Old Town, The Royal Mile, Victoria Street (J.K. Rowling drew inspiration for Diagon Alley from this street), The Edinburgh Castle, and Grey Friars cemetery. We spent two nights in Edinburgh taking in all the history, architecture and comedy shows. The comedy shows at The Stand Comedy Club, and The Monkey Barrel Comedy Club were the highlight for me.
Day 7: We then rented a car and drove across Scotland making an impromptu stop at Glen Roy to see the Parallel Roads.
We finished our day on the Isle of Skye eating fish and chips in the harbour in Portree. We stayed two nights in Uig, which was a peaceful place to spend the night. It was also a very short drive to the Fairy Glen. We made it to the Fairy Glen just in time for the sun to go down. What a magical experience that was.
Day 8: We woke up super early to get to the Old Man of Storr for sunrise. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!! We ended up beating the crowds, and got the best lighting! We then drove to the Fairy Pools and hiked them as well ending the busy day with some fresh oysters from The Oyster Shed.
Day: 9 On our way off of the Island, we did a quick morning hike to the Quiraing. This was one of my favourite things we saw on our entire trip. SO COOL!
We also quickly stopped and saw the Mealt Falls on our way to Fort William for the night.
The Isle of Skye is one of my all time favourite destinations. As a photographer, I was blown away by the beauty, and tranquility of the island.
Day 10: We woke up in Fort William and did a mad dash to see the Jacobite Express cross the Glen Finnian Viaduct. The parking lot and any spots along the road were completely full, so when we finally found a spot to park we only had minutes to make it in time to see the Jacobite Train (Hogwarts Express) cross the viaduct. We ran like mad to get there in time, it was totally worth all the sweat. After Glen Finnian, we made our way to Glasgow, stopping at Glen Coe, the Three Sisters Viewpoint, and the Meeting of Three Waters along the way.
Day 11: Honestly our time in Glasgow was cut WAY too short. It’s definitely a cool city, that I would like to go back to one day.
We woke up and immediately hopped in the car to make it to Cairnryan in time to catch our ferry to Belfast. We checked out the corn market, ate and drank at the Crown Liquor Saloon (dates back to the 1880’s and is VERY cool, make sure you make a reservation.) We then continued our sightseeing by doing a biking pub crawl tour with Wee Toast Pedal Tours. We meandered through the streets checking out pubs along the way and woke up with chicken nugget sauce on our shirts. Fortunately there is no photo evidence from this night.
Day 12: We explored the Causeway Coastal Route. Starting the day off right with a coffee at the Bally Castle Beach. We then headed to the Kinbane Castle Ruins, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and had supper at the Fullerton Arms Ballintoy (definitely check this out if you’re into Game of Thrones). After supper we went to see the Giants Causeway (SO AMAZING!) and the Dunluce Castle.
Day 13: We saw the Tollymore Forest Park and the Silent Valley Reservoir and then drove south towards Ireland. This was when Hurricane Lorenzo (downgraded to a tropical storm by this point) hit the island. It was so insane!
We spend the night in Athlone, and went to a nearby pub to let the storm pass by. We also had to stop and see Seans Pub, which is the oldest pub in Ireland (900 A.D.).
Day 14: We woke up and drove to Doolin. We made a quick stop at Dunguaire Castle on the way. The last stop of the day was at the majestical Cliffs of Moher. The cliff’s drop off was INSANE, I’ve never walked so gingerly in my entire life. We finished off our day at the Doolin Pier for a spectacular sunset view.
Day 15: We headed to Dublin, where we toured the Guinness Storehouse (very touristy, but Jordan liked it). We then spent a good portion of our last night trying to decide where to eat. Not gonna lie, the exchange rate to eat in Dublin was pretty brutal on the old Canadian pockets. Our time in Dublin, was very short, and we didn’t really get to experience it to it’s fullest potential. With that being said, I would definitely return.
Our trip crammed a bunch of things into a short time frame. It was an amazing trip, that left us wanting more!