Going abroad to England always remains a popular option for vacations, but have you considered castle tours in Scotland or Ireland as well? Scotland’s population is slightly larger than that of Ireland (as of 2011, there were a bit over five million people living in Scotland, compared to just over 4.5 million in Ireland), and though there are similarities between the two countries, they’re quite distinct in history and culture. There are also plenty of Ireland vacation packages or Scotland vacation packages, if you’re looking for a more all-inclusive kind of tour. But castle tours in Scotland are not to be missed, especially if you’re a history or architecture buff. We’ll discuss what’s often included in castle tours, and why you should consider visiting Ireland or Scotland as well as England.
What’s in Castle Tours in Scotland for Me?
One of the huge perks of castle tours in Scotland is that most of the tours include at least a night — if not the whole trip — of staying in the castle. If one’s ever had fantasies about being a king or queen and staying in a castle, here’s your chance! Others may find themselves awed by the history they find themselves surrounded by.
Castle tours are also usually part of a larger vacation package; some meals may be included and often you’ll have guided tours around other areas of interest near the castles you’re staying in. If you’ve been trying to arrange a trip with some other friends, this kind of small group tour might be a great way to all get away together.
You’ll be treated to incredible views, a wealth of history, excellent food, and guided tours during your trip for a package price, so you’ll know more or less exactly what you’ll be spending.
Why Go to Ireland?
Many visitors go to Ireland for familial or ancestral reasons — their grandparents or great-grandparents might have emigrated and now they want to see the country where they grew up.
However, for anyone who loves history, literature, and architecture, Ireland is a wonderful place to go and soak it all in. There’s so much culture and history available at one’s fingertips, no matter where you are in Ireland.
For the outdoorsy types who are seeking adventure, there’s plenty of rugged countryside and cliffs to hike in, as well as more aquatic adventures like surfing or sea kayaking. It’s also another great opportunity to take in the gorgeous landscapes.
The scenery is also breathtaking — bring a good camera along, because you’ll want keepsakes from this trip! Basking in Irish folklore and enjoying pub culture are other great reasons to visit Ireland. And you can’t miss visiting Dublin while you’re there — it’s a vivacious and unique city with plenty to offer visitors.
Why Go to Scotland?
The coast and islands of Scotland are not to be missed. There’s over 6,000 miles of coast and almost 800 islands, which are grouped into four main categories: Orkney, Shetland, Inner Hebrides, and Outer Hebrides.
Just like with Ireland, it would be remiss to leave castles off the list of reasons you ought to visit Scotland. They’re impressive structures with long histories and one can often find museums inside as well, if they want to learn more.
The food (and let’s be honest, the whiskey) in Scotland is also not to be missed — fresh seafood is abundant and delicious here. And of course, Scottish whiskey is world-renowned. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen are delightful hubs of activity and modernity, while still retaining their old world charm.
Similarly to Ireland, Scotland also offers visitors a rugged and gorgeous landscape, perfect for adventuring or simply taking in. From island explorations to hiking, there’s plenty to do and your tour guides may be able to suggest small day trips or activities nearby.
As you can see, there are abundant reasons to visit this part of the world and take in all it has to offer. You won’t be disappointed by any stretch of the imagination.