Part of me never thought I’d travel overseas, so the fact that I was going on a trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom seemed very surreal through the entire planning process, up until the moment we were in the airport and saw “Bank of Ireland” and began hearing all of the Irish accents.
Dublin and London were our home bases while in Europe this September, but we saw a lot around both counties by taking bus trips.
Ireland was truly beautiful. Dublin was such a charming and cute city. Not too big, but not too small. Though I was jet lagged upon arrival, I instantly felt at home and happy there. Our Airbnb host owned the cutest bakery, called Fothergills, where we got coffee/tea and various pastries most mornings.
Through day trip bus tours, we got to see The Wicklow Mountains, Galway, Blarney Castle (I kissed the stone!), Co. Cork and the amazingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher. We were there during what the locals told us was a “total heatwave,” with temperatures in the 70s (F) and clear skies. I feel fortunate for the gorgeous views and weather we had.
In the city, we explored Guinness Storehouse, where we got our faces printed on top of a pint, and the Library at Trinity College, as well as some awesome free museums. We also had a nice lunch and dessert, with tea, at the beautiful Bewley’s Cafe, and visited local pubs and bars.
We saw a lot of amazing things in England, from Stonehenge to the Roman Bath and the University of Oxford. London is awesome, but the countryside was so gorgeous.
Also while in the U.K., I had my first (and second!) afternoon tea in London, which were both amazing experiences. The first was more traditional and casual, at the English Rose Cafe and Tea Room, which we enjoyed on our first day in London. Later in the week, we enjoyed a fancier, more whimsical tea at St. Ermin’s Tea Room.
The trip still was not super cheap, but this is how we did it on a budget:
- Stayed at Airbnbs with kitchens so we could grocer shop and cook some of our meals.
- Flew through Iceland Air.
- Did bus tours instead of renting cars, and saw so much of both countries.