In Dublin’s Fair City You’ll find Guinness and Beer Aplenty

The Temple Bar- the most photographed pub in the world

Faith and begorrah! Conquering Dublin’s renown Temple Bar pubs just can’t be done. To be sure, it’s not really the sort of place where you should attempt to stagger from bar to bar, slugging back a quick beer at each (although many have tried and failed). It’s more the place where you go to sit and enjoy the friendly ambience of an authentic Irish pub for an evening, before trying another on the ... Read Full Article

The Subtle Palette of Scotland’s Isles of Harris and Lewis

As the fog dispersed we saw a typical inlet of The Bays region on Harris’s southeast coast.

I ripped open my package from the Isle of Harris. As I pushed my nose into the fabric, it smelled of lanolin and scratched my face. I had chosen it a month before because its color would forever remind me of the heather, sky, and rock that cover this Hebridean island. The fog was thick as my husband and I awaited the ferry to take us to the most northerly of the Western Isles. This ... Read Full Article

Edinburgh’s Rose Street—A Beer Aficionado’s Nirvana

the Kenilworth, one of Rose Street's most popular bars, named after a novel by Sir Walter Scott

The medieval stone city of Edinburgh boasts a staggering 700 pubs for its population of just under 500,000, the highest concentration of pubs in Great Britain. And the epicenter of Edinburgh’s beer sampling scene, as any local will tell you, is Rose Street, only a brisk 10-minute walk down the hill from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Now a lively pedestrian walkway, Rose Street lies between ... Read Full Article

Getting Nautical in Greenwich

The grand buildings of Greenwich contrasted with the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf on the other side of the river

There are many ways to reach the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London. You can take the bus, or the underground, or the futuristic Docklands Light Railway. Or, in keeping with the strong naval heritage of the area, you can take a boat. Along with the profusion of tourist cruises on offer, commuter boats stop at Greenwich pier, and it is by far the best way to get an overview of the area. ... Read Full Article

The Spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Massed Pipes - ©The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The opening sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Tattoo are spectacular, set against the backdrop of ancient Edinburgh Castle. In the distance, behind the castle walls, I hear the sinister rattle of dozens of snare drums followed by the wail of a single bagpipe. Then, suddenly, 600 pipers fire up their instruments in a loud cacophony of noise that echos across the esplanade. The excited crowd goes ... Read Full Article

The Crazy Days! ‘Carnival’ All Over Europe

Carnival in Venice

The ritual of ‘Carnival’ has been a prominent institution of cultural life since well beyond the days of antiquity—Ancient Greeks and Romans honoured deities Dionysus and Bacchus with wine feasts and orgies; Germanic Tribes chased wild winter spirits during the smoky nights of the ‘Rauchnachte’; Christians continued on with festivities of their own, with countless offshoots of festive tradition ... Read Full Article

National Museum of Scotland Displays The World

Ancient Roman cameo glass, 'Portland vase'

Scotland has scores of museums, all of them interesting, but the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh, is truly exceptional. Its collections of thousands of objects cover natural history, world cultures, geology, archaeology, science and technology, and of course the entire story (pre-history included) of Scotland. The museum is set in the heart of the city, on Chambers Street near the George ... Read Full Article

A Wee Jaunt to Arran and Tiree

Not all tartan is made into kilts!

I knew I’d arrived when my taxi driver said, “Enjoy your wee Hebridean jaunt.” But I was left in no doubt when I discovered tartan carpets and upholstery in my room. Later, I even saw tartan VW vans! In fact, my adventure was not wee at all, but fifteen islands and three weeks long. I began in the south on the Scottish Isle of Arran, an easy drive and ferry ride from Glasgow ... Read Full Article

A Small Ship Cruise in the Scottish Hebrides

Glen Tarsan anchored off the Isle of Staffa with a misty Mull in the background

Every September morning I wondered why I hadn’t explored the Scottish Hebrides before. White sand beaches and turquoise sea, purple-washed mountains and golden glens lured me every day. Dry weather heightened my enchantment as I lapped up the islands’ ancient history wherever I found it. The Hebridean islands, formed by ancient volcanoes and sculpted by the restless Atlantic, run north-south off ... Read Full Article

Touring the Roman Gold Mines in Wales

We’re overlooking a huge valley opposite where another mining technique, called hushing, was used by the Romans.

Welsh gold. This rare and soft lustrous gold is the most expensive gold in the world. It fetches up to $4500 per ounce, or three times what standard gold sells for in the London market. Pure Welsh gold is worth more than platinum and is considered by many metallurgists to be the world’s most precious metal. So it’s no wonder the Welsh have mythical goblin-like creatures that hide in mines and ... Read Full Article