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Nearby Nations: The British Isles offer truly international trips

Check five countries off your travel list with one vacation!

Love a two-for-one deal? What about 5-for-1? 

With some destinations, the proximity to other great places means you can easily travel internationally without extra flights! The world feels smaller when you get to experience different countries and their cultures, so seeing multiple countries in one trip is a major plus.

In the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England all share the same head of state, but these different countries have their own distinct culture, histories, and attractions. So does their neighbor Ireland. Consider this a five-for-one chance to soak up more culture and adventure on your next trip: 

St. Patrick’s is the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland and dates back to 1191!


Ireland’s capital Dublin is packed with must-see historic spots, like the country’s largest church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and another famous landmark, the Guinness Brewery. To the South, Cork is home to the Blarney Castle and the famous Blarney Stone, said to bestow “the gift of gab” if you give it a kiss!    

Country Hopping: Ride ferries to both Wales and England, or a train from Dublin to Belfast. 

This Northern Ireland “road” is said to have been built by giants.

Northern Ireland

You can actually visit another country on the same island—Northern Ireland, which has its own unique history, like the Titanic museum in Belfast. And the famous “Giant’s Causeway” is made of 40,000 interlocked columns, said to be made by an Irish giant trying to fight a Scottish foe across the North Channel—a really big event!   

Country Hopping: Catch a train south to Dublin or a ferry across to Scotland or England.

You can see Edinburgh Castle from most parts of the city.


Across the water in Great Britain, Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh can take you back in time. Edinburgh Castle towers above the city on Castle Rock and hosts the Scottish Crown Jewels. And Stirling Castle, on top of an extinct volcano, lets you follow the Scottish Wars of Independence and relive Braveheart

And up north in Invergordon, you’ll have access to the finest Scotch whisky distilleries and the infamous Loch Ness—plus its famous, mythical inhabitant.  

Country Hopping: Edinburgh and Glasgow are high-speed train hubs and a ferry connects southern Scotland to Belfast. 

Did you know that “Big Ben” is actually the name of the large bell?


In London, England, you can find some of the world’s most famous architecture, like the extensive Palace of Westminster (or British Parliament) overlooking the River Thames. Though people often say they’re going to “see Big Ben”, they can actually only hear it! “Big Ben” is the name of the bell inside the iconic Elizabeth Tower, which features a large clock. 

You can also catch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, or see medieval structures and the ancient Netley Abbey in Southampton.  

Country Hopping: Catch trains throughout Great Britain and ferries from Liverpool to Dublin or Belfast. 

Wales offers up rugged beauty for miles and miles.


Wales has its own charming streets and pubs, and distinct Celtic history, but the rugged nature and numerous waterfalls are a draw too. Snowdonia National Park in the north covers more than 10% of the country, offering panoramic views from atop its many hills and mountains. 

In the nearby coastal town of Caernarfon, you can see Caernarfon Castle, an impressive medieval structure and site of famous battles.  

Country Hopping: Ferries connect the south of Wales with southern Ireland, as well as Dublin and Holyhead. Trains easily connect London.