> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hillwalk Guides > Travel Destinations: United Kingdom and Ireland
POSTED BY March 28, 2022

The United Kingdom and Ireland have become increasingly popular travel destinations among tourists. So in this post, we investigate some of the most popular travel trends and must-see destinations around the British Isles?

Staying with locals

Day 5 began with a delightful breakfast with Nathalie and Annemie, two fellow Hillwalk Tours clients
Staying in a local Bed & Breakfast

A ‘homestay’ is no longer something that only belongs to countries like Vietnam. Thanks to AirBnb we can now arrange our own homestay in every country. Not only is it often cheaper than a hotel; with a bit of luck, the host can point you to the best spots in the area. In addition, staying in local B&Bs is a great option. These family homes offer the opportunity to meet locals to get insider tips and local history.

Irish Heritage

Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren

Ireland is known for its cozy pubs and impressive natural areas, but this year the country’s historic richness is in the spotlight. Did you know that Ireland has an archaeological site older than the Pyramid of Cheops? Few travelers have visited the 5,000-year-old tomb of Newgrange, north of Dublin.

Other emerging destinations are the Aran Islands, near Connemara, where remains of thousands of years old defensive forts can be admired. The karst landscape of the Burren in Co. Clare (also home to the famous Cliffs of Moher) has also increased greatly in popularity. Finally, the Skellig Islands have also been immensely popular since last year – partly because of the monasteries from the eighth century, but mainly because of the Star Wars film in which this island played a part.

Disconnect while traveling

Hillwalk Tours Kerry Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Windy Gap, Kerry Way

Although more and more people are documenting their travel experiences via social media, alternative travel trends are also observable. More and more people consciously choose to turn off their laptop, telephone and even camera during a trip.

In order to reconnect with the environment and population of a destination, the connection to the internet is increasingly willingly sacrificed. Those who still like to post their snapshots on Instagram might find a middle ground: only use social media in the hotel, but not outside.

Beach holiday in Cornwall

A hiker walks on the South West Coast Path in England. Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Walking on the South West Coast Path.

This idyllic English coastal region has always been popular but is without a doubt one of the destinations that has most increased in popularity recently. Cornwall has beautiful beaches, varied walking routes, such as the South West Coast Path, and a wide range of attractions for children. Families, surfers, bon vivants and solo hikers will each find their own version of a paradise here.

Edinburgh instead of London

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland
Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

Many of us have seen Big Ben by now, but not as many have been to Scotland’s capital. Edinburgh’s atmospheric cobbled streets and quaint houses are attracting more and more visitors – not to mention the explosive proliferation of affordable restaurants, hip bars and artistic events!

Sleeping in a church

holiday destinations 2017 travel trends sleeping in a church
One of the dozens of places in England where you can sleep in a church. Photo: The Churches Conservation Trust

A few years ago the phenomenon of ‘champing’ started in England. Churches that are not widely used, mostly in the English countryside, are converted into sleeping places for travelers. A number of mattresses on the ground offer a unique camping spot for those looking for accommodation with their sleeping bag. 

It is a win-win situation: the churches continue to be better maintained through this initiative. In recent years, this idea has been further developed and more and more possibilities have been added. From a simple mattress in a historic building to churches that have been converted into luxurious and attractive apartments.

Visit Belfast

holiday destinations 2017 travel trends belfast
Belfast City Hall in the center of the Northern Ireland capital. Photo: Roger Price / Wikimedia Commons

Not long ago, Belfast was on a list of places to avoid. From a place ravaged by terrorist attacks, the Northern Ireland capital has grown in a few decades to become one of the most inviting holiday destinations.

Game of Thrones has contributed to its recent popularity by luring Thronies from all over the world to Northern Ireland. But Belfast’s appeal goes beyond that. The Northern Ireland capital has a fascinating history, an impressive collection of museums and hospitable residents who love to tell their story.

We hope that you enjoyed this guide to Travel Destinations: United Kingdom and Ireland. If you are interested in taking a British Isles walking holiday, just get in touch for further information.