Monday, September 26th, 2016

UK Travel: Ranking the Top Destinations

In the past year and a half, I’ve spent quite a bit of time traveling in the UK.  (Not to mention living in both London and Chester.)  Exploring this country, from southern En has been an absolute treat.

My 5 favorite destinations:

Conwy Castle

5. North Wales

As soon as you cross the border from Northwest England into North Wales, the landscape changes.  Suddenly it’s greener, more lush, and far more beautiful.  The beaches are more pristine.  The woods are somehow more majestic.

I visited Conwy and Llangollen, climbed Mount Snowdon, and made brief visits to Wrexham and Mold.  It was an absolutely lovely part of the UK and I’d love to see more of it.

Shetland

4. Shetland

I called it “the strangest place I’ve ever been,” and I stand by that.  Shetland was cold and breathtakingly beautiful, but home to real life Vikings, stores with missing letters from their signs and people whose accents are impossible to understand.  It was strange and I loved it.

Celebrating Up Helly Aa with thousands of jovial Vikings and enjoying the fire and all-night dancing was one of the best experiences of my life, travel or otherwise.

Kilt Rock

3. Isle of Skye

As beautiful as Shetland is, I think I would have to put Isle of Skye ahead in terms of sheer beauty.  Just look at the luscious colors of Kilt Rock and the waterfall — and that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Skye meant a lot to me because my ancestors came to America from Skye centuries ago, along with the Scottish Highlands.  No matter where you stay in the Highlands, there are plenty of cottages on offer.

Shoreditch

2. London

Looking back at the crazy path that got me there, I’m surprised that I ultimately decided to settle in London!  And I love it — there are so many distinct neighborhoods to explore, it’s so easy to get around, and the food is fantastic.  Forget all the stereotypes about British food when you get to see all the ethnic cuisines London has to offer!

High Street, Edinburgh

1. Edinburgh

And reigning in the #1 slot is the small city that I love so much, I’ve visited five times in a little over a year.  What is it that I love about Edinburgh?  Visiting is like getting a hug from an old friend while wearing a big fuzzy sweater.

Where’s your favorite place in the UK?