The Storied British Isles – in pictures

We were lucky enough to spend 10 days this month exploring Dublin, Howth, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast and Carrickfergus  (Northern Ireland) and Carlingford, Ireland. Here are some pictures of things that struck my fancy along the way. I was fascinated with the sheep for some reason, and the miles of stone fences dividing the fields. So much history, so many stories, such beautiful, lush green countryside … We found Dublin to be very expensive compared to the other places, and Edinburgh was our favourite city – the Portobello district is very like the Beaches in Toronto (but with much older houses/buildings). We encountered a few transplanted Canadians, including one woman who grew up in Montreal and had just opened Edinburgh’s first Montreal-style bagel cafe. I love to travel, but home is good, too:)

very cool piece of art at Guinness – the bottom is carved wood and the foam is embroidered fabric.
a job we thought Liam might enjoy – taste tester for Guinness – every day at 10:00 am
Dublin music shop
Molly Malone selling cockles and mussels on the streets of Dublin
Dublin was pretty much shut down upon our arrival due to Hurricane Ophelia – more of a windy day than a hurricane, but schools, banks, etc. were closed for 2 days.
I got to enjoy the balmy weather with some swans and unzip my pant legs:)













My best imitation of a book thief – behind me is a book cage in Marsh’s Library, the oldest public library in Ireland. They would lock people inside to prevent book thievery. Apparently Bram Stoker wrote part of Dracula in this ancient library.
I went for the blond…
Christ Church, Dublin
Church ruins in Howth, Ireland – we did not contact Mrs. O’Rourke about getting the key…
Found this guy at The Beatles’ Story museum in Liverpool
and these guys strolling along the Liverpool waterfront in the rain.







Strawberry Fields Forever – the gate is in front of what used to be a Salvation Army children’s home. They’re now fundraising 10M pounds to recreate it as a training hub for young people with learning disabilities.










Scottish music in the 21st century
Saw some truly amazing buskers – Mary Had a Little Lamb, I think


This castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline, plunging up out of the rock face






Old Town part of Edinburgh – very much like Quebec City, and lots of French restaurants, etc.
Arthur’s Seat (Edinburgh) – we climbed up the treacherous rocky side and went down the easy, grassy slopes.
Proof that we made it to the top of Arthur’s Seat (and just about blew off once we’d arrived)
And at the bottom, we chatted with this guy and his two imported Nova Scotia duck tollers – he told us his Canadian-born mother had four interviews before being allowed to purchase the first one as the breeders want to ensure the breed’s purity.
The Scott Monument, Edinburgh, Scotland – you could climb up a narrow staircase, but we opted out.
Warm and welcoming children’s section of the Waterstones Book Shop in Edinburgh.
Saw various political statements on our travels…
Scottish Storytelling Festival, where we heard some tall tales and someone playing the harmonium.
Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland – gorgeous campus
and lots of uniformed students everywhere.
Gorgeous staircase in The Linen Library, Belfast.
And this interesting sign on the front door of the Linen Library (and elsewhere).
Belfast version of Dollarama
Vintage train station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland (surely you know the song?) (Performed here by Charlotte Church) The train/bus system is truly amazing.


Downtown Carlingford
Channelling my inner Heidi in Carlingford, Ireland, a charming medieval village, my favourite place on the trip.

“The Irish Lads” didn’t start playing until after the soccer match ended at 10:00 pm on a Tuesday night. Everyone sang along!
Warming myself by a coal fire at Taaffe’s Pub, Carlingford (circa 1600)





10 thoughts on “The Storied British Isles – in pictures

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time, hitting so many great places. Don’t you just love the history? So cool that you visited Liverpool as well. I need to go to Ireland!

    1. If we go back to the UK, we’ll stick to the villages – they’re always more interesting than the cities, it seems. But first time around, you feel like you have to see the highlights:)

    1. Hi, Barbara – yup, so many interesting (and old) places to visit in the world! Good to have a wish list. I hope to go back and explore more of rural Scotland and Ireland one day.

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