Later this week, I am heading overseas on holidays for three glorious weeks. I am hitting England, Ireland and Scotland for the first time which I am pretty excited about. I will be mainly sticking to London, Dublin and Edinburgh, but it is quite possible I will spend a little time somewhere a little more regional in Ireland and Scotland.
Anyhoo, I know some of you guys live in these countries and no doubt more have visited, so I was after any hot tips you may have. I will use somewhere between zero and all of them. I have left my planning and researching to the last minute as is my way, so any cool suggestions you have would be gnarly. I am into the following things:
- Beer. Any cool pubs or microbreweries in these places.
- Whisky. I am intending on visiting a couple of distilleries. Most likely Bushmills in Ireland and one or two yet to be decided in Scotland. Any suggestions? Also, given I won’t be able to go to every distillery I would love to thanks to time constraints, if you know of any sweet whisky bars then let me know.
- Vegan friendly food. Cause a man has to eat.
- Awesome movie stuff. Aiming to get to the BFI and also want to hear of any cool, small cinemas playing interesting stuff. Probably won’t go to too many multiplex style places, but who knows, I may just want a cruisy night in front of some hollywood trash. So let me know if you have any suggestions for those.
- Sweet museums or galleries. What is good out of the big mainstream ones and the awesome quirkiness.
- Communication tips – is free wi-fi common, what is a good local sim card to buy (preferably with a little data included).
- Sports. I know it is the wrong season, but are there any cool sporting events going on over the next month.
Thanks for any and all ideas. You’re a bunch of legends.
Given I am heading off, activity on here and on other people’s sites will probably be pretty minimal for the next four weeks or so. I am aiming to post another Friday the 13th review and Worth Watching for July before I go. But no guarantees. I will also aim to catch up in responding to all the comments on here I have neglected too.
Have a great time! Dublin: You must go to the Guinness Brewery and St. James distillery.
Ireland, Scotland, and England are a drinker’s paradise. You won’t have any trouble finding a pub on every corner. 🙂
Cool have fun. Be warned each of the countries drink heavy. I’m English I know 😀
Reporting for Dublin here! As Cindy said, the Guinness Brewery and the St. James distillery are a must for tourists. If you want Bushmills I take it you’ll be heading up North, too? If you get any further than Dublin into the countryside the Dingle Distillery in Co. Kerry was a lot of fun, and in Dingle you’ll get a great taste of Irish country life as well as some tasty whiskey. The best pint of Guinness I’ve ever had was in Dingle. There’s also the Cooley Distillery and the Midleton Distillery but I’ve been to neither as of yet so I can’t really comment in-depth, but I’ve heard great things.
For microbreweries in Dublin there’s J.W. Sweetman’s and The Black Sheep. I love Leffe Blonde, but anywhere you can have an Erdinger will do the job. Those are the only ones that come to my mind at the moment, but I’ll get back to you. In Galway, you have the Oslo Bar and microbrewery, but in general, Galway is great for the draught and great craic in general for a night out. We’re getting good weather here at the moment, so if you’re in need to a list of good beer gardens here in Dublin, let me know. I heartily recommend spending a lazy afternoon over a few pints.
For veggie/vegan in Dublin try Cornucopia. They’re primarily vegetarian but they do cater for vegan, and my vegan cousin loves the place. Govinda’s is nice too; has more of an Indian inspired vegetarian menu.
When exactly will you be in Dublin? Jameson does Movies on the Square for July/August, and also there’s GAZE next month, too. There’s the Galway Film Fleadh next week: http://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/. And I’m a big fan of the Light House Cinema in Dublin. There’s a lot more going on for music in July than there is film, though.
Wi-fi – hotels will have it, some free, some not, some bars will, ask for the PW. For cheap sim with a data plan I think the 3 network are offering the best pay as you go deals at the moment, but I myself use Meteor, so check them both out.
Every pub you go into in Ireland will be showing some manner of sport. World Cup is everywhere, you’ll also get some places showing Wimbledon, and then of course there are our native sports of Gaelic Football and Hurling. For a real taste of what an Irish trad music session in Dublin is, hit The Celt.
Sorry! Meant to add: O’Neill’s or 37 Dawson Street (though it’s separate from the main bar) for whiskey. Be prepared to pay through the nose, but O’Neill’s in particular has a very extensive sampling list. There’s also Bison Bar & BBQ and The Discovery Bar which you can get to as part of the Old Jameson Distillery tour.
Hurrah for holidays! I live in Brighton, about an hour from London on the train, and we have two Picture House cinemas which I love (nerd fact: the Duke of York’s Picture House cinema is the oldest working cinema in the UK). I’ve never been to any of their London cinemas but if they’re anything like the Brighton cinemas they’ll be worth a visit. They show a good mix of classics, cult hits and blockbusters plus nice food and bars aaaaaand you can take booze into the film. Result! http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/
If you’re looking for a little culture while you’re in London, I’ve got a soft spot for the Tower of London and you can get 2-4-1 entry if you’re travelling by train and can print out the online voucher http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/tower-of-london. This website has lots of great deals but you can also see lots of attractions for free. For example, the Victoria & Albert Museum is full of amazing things and there’s a huge variety in the type of things on show. The Natural History Museum is across the road too, and that’s also free. The National Portrait Gallery is also excellent and also free.
If you aren’t fussy about what you see, there are so many shows and plays on in the West End that you can always pick up discounted tickets.
I never really go drinking in London, we’ve got too many pubs here!
If I think of anything else, I’ll come back. Otherwise, have a wonderful trip!
My travel tip would be to scrap the rest of the destinations and spend the entire time in london
Ah, so cool! Afraid I can’t help you since I never been to any of these countries but hope you have a fantastic time!
York i would recommend. Neat place
Have a great time!! In Edinburgh the whisky bar downstairs at The Scotch Whisky experience is very good. They have a massive selection with very knowledgeable staff and it’s pretty reasonably priced. Here’s the link so you can find it: http://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk/index.php
Wait. You’re into beer. . .? 😉
My only suggestions are related to some outdoor activities. I love getting out and hiking around, and the Peak/Lake Districts are bloody excellent. Not sure how much time you’ll have set aside for anything like that, but if you feel like getting out and stretching your legs, those regions will have you set.
Speaking from experience from recent trips back to my home country. 🙂
Sorry, that’s my home country of ENGLAND, that is.
You should check out my blog. My last post was about Dublin, and there are a few posts about Cork too. I don’t know if you have time but West Cork is stunning if you get the chance to go to that part of Ireland. I’m happy to give you some recommendations. Emma.