The UK & Ireland Ranked

Hi all! Sorry for the month-delay in posting – I’ve been busy, busy, busy since returning from our backpacking trip, which was amazing by the way! I was able to post some photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so be sure to follow us if you’re not already!

Bulmer's Irish CiderDuring this trip we visited London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin. I had previously visited London way back in 2003 and Dublin in 2008, so long enough to still see each city through new eyes.

If you’re thinking about taking a backpacking trip to any of these places, I recommend seeing them all, and then some! But if you’re limited on time and can only pick one or two, I thought it might help to rank them by my overall favorites:

1. Edinburgh: Edinburgh CastleThis city is just so fascinating and beautiful. From the minute you get out of the train station (or airport, or car) you feel like you’ve been transported back in time to another century. Everything is so amazing and old. At the same time, there is so much to do here! From the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle to the Cowgate area, you definitely won’t be bored! My favorite highlights were the tour of the Edinburgh Castle, a night of drinking in the local bars near the Cowgate area, and all of the scotch that I really learned to appreciate by the end of the trip!

2. Dublin: I loved Dublin during my previous visit and this time was no different. The people here are just so nice (“Irish hospitality” is a real thing) and the music itself is enough reason to visit (definitely see some real live Irish music while you’re there). The city is big enough that it feels like you’re in a metropolitan area while still having enough history to make it very unique. The highlights of this city (aside from drinking a lot of Bulmer’s Irish Cider) were hearing live music at Gogarty’s, taking a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery, and doing the Guinness tour!

Guinness Academy

3. London: London is a great city in its own right – it’s very large and feels akin to New York City. There is a ton to see here, from the London Eye to Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. While London isn’t historically known for its food (aside from maybe fish and chips) we had one of the best meals of our trip at Dishoom, an Indian restaurant in SoHo. Aside from seeing all the historic sites again, that meal was the highlight of London!

London Eye

4. Glasgow: We only spent one night in Glasgow, so I didn’t really get to see the city enough to do it justice. We were lucky to visit on a day that was 60+ degrees and sunny, so walking along the river and enjoying some drinks at the local beer gardens was definitely the highlight. I would love to spend more time in this big city to see what more it has to offer!

Glasgow River

During our next trip to the UK and Ireland, we’d like to spend more time outside of the major cities. Scotland has a ton of scotch distilleries along the coastline, which would be a fun trip in and of itself, and I’d love to see all that the countryside of Ireland has to offer as well.

Stay tuned, as I plan to write more in-depth articles on each city. We saw, ate, and drank some amazing things that I’d love to share with you all!

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