In the spring of 2014, we packed our bags to celebrate one of Kira’s college friends’ nuptials in the UK! We were so excited to explore the whole UK region and celebrate a beautiful wedding with a lot of our American friends (and new UK friends). Below is a highlighted version of our trip. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below.

PLACES WE VISITED AND EXPLORED IN LONDON (DAY 1 – 4)

Our trip began in London, the capital and most populous city in England. We visited several of the main tourist attractions: Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Bridge, took photos in the classic red phone booth, and others. The weather was absolutely perfect and we kept joking that we might be the only people who have come to London and gotten a tan!

One of our favorite activities (if you can call it that)in London was afternoon tea time at the Crusting Pipe located in the Covent Gardens Market. Afternoon tea is an English tradition that is a light meal usually between 4pm – 6pm that originated in the 1800s among the wealthy classes. At the Crusting Pipe, we were served sandwiches, scones, desserts, bottomless tea, and an additional cheese/fruit/cracker plate (we like to eat!) all while watching/listening to live music performed by quartets, soloist, and other musicians. One thing we weren’t expecting prior to arrival in London about afternoon tea time were the prices. Because it is a popular thing to do in London, it’s quite expensive at places that offer the best experience. Our afternoon tea time cost us roughly $80 together but was worth every dollar…or should I say pound J

london eye on the river

ryan in front of the parliament

london bridge

ryan and kira in red phonebooth london

One of our favorite activities (if you can call it that)in London was afternoon tea time at the Crusting Pipe located in the Covent Gardens Market. Afternoon tea is an English tradition that is a light meal usually between 4pm – 6pm that originated in the 1800s among the wealthy classes. At the Crusting Pipe, we were served sandwiches, scones, desserts, bottomless tea, and an additional cheese/fruit/cracker plate (we like to eat!) all while watching/listening to live music performed by quartets, soloist, and other musicians. One thing we weren’t expecting prior to arrival in London about afternoon tea time were the prices. Because it is a popular thing to do in London, it’s quite expensive at places that offer the best experience. Our afternoon tea time cost us roughly $80 together but was worth every dollar…or should I say pound J

the crusting pipe sitting area

the crusting pipe ariel view of our food

Places we visited and explored in Wales (Day 4 – 6)

Wales was our second stop. Kira’s maiden name is Davis, which has a strong Welch history so she wanted to visit her homeland! Unfortunately, the only day it rained continuously on our trip was in Cardiff, Wales (yes – we couldn’t believe how lucky we got with the weather on our 17 day UK trip). We made the most out of our few hours at Cardiff Bay went on exploring in the rain!

kira at cardiff bay wales

We drove North for our second stop up in Snowdonia, Wales. We stayed at an adorable B&B at the foot of Mount Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales (elevation3,460ft)! You can walk several different paths up the mountain, but we chose the Llanberis Path. It is approximately a9 mile roundtrip walk. We would recommend this path as the terrain was not that difficult and the views were gorgeous.

kira starting to hike mount snowdon

mount snowdon railway and view

ryan and kira misty from mount snowdon

Back to England – The Lake District (Day 6 – 9)

The next day was the main reason for our trip to the UK. Our friends were getting married in the Lake District of England (about 6 hours north of London). The majority of the bride’s (American side) party were our friends from the States so it made the wedding even more fun! We had pre-wedding festivities involving a run and picnic with the whole family, another 10 mile hike up Scafell Pike, a beautiful wedding, and several post-wedding celebrations including a full hog roast. We felt so lucky and welcomed to be a part of such an amazing wedding with such amazing people.

katherine and phil getting married

ryan and kira at a uk wedding

hog roast in uk wedding

Off to Scotland for the Week (Day 9 – 13)

We spoiled ourselves in Scotland by staying at the Turnberry Resort. We were exhausted from all the wedding festivities and felt like we needed a honeymoon for ourselves 😉 We absolutely loved this place (more the location than anything). We took walks on the beaches (Kira had a yoga-pose shoot) and the golf course and relaxed on the benches as we watched the sunset.

panoramic of turnberry resort

ryan in front of turnberry resort

ryan watchign the sun set at turnberry resort

kira doing yoga in scotland

Off of the hotel grounds, we toured castles, went on hikes, ate ice cream and dessert (a must for my lady), discovered a whiskey tasting, and more.

 

ryan on a hike in scotland

ryan and kira visiting a castle

ryan eating ice cream

whiskey experience whisky shop

whiskey experience tasting

Here We Come Ireland (Day 13 – 17)

Our first stop in Ireland upon arrival into Dublin was of course, The Guinness Factory! Neither of us are huge beer fans; however, Kira really despises beer. We have been married for nearly three years now and this was the only time I’ve seen her take a sip. I love this picture of Kira drinking Guinness as it accurately represents her true love of beer.

ryan and kira in front of the guinness factory ireland

ryan and kira at the guinness factory ireland

Ireland exceeded my expectation in regards to natural beauty with the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Fogher Cliffs, and more.

The Ring of Kerry is a MUST SEE if you’re in Ireland. We also heard the Dingle Peninsula is just as good, if not better. You can join the discussions at TripAdvisor if you have any input 🙂

Standing on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher made us feel like we were looking out at edge of the world. There is a great path to walk along the edge of the cliffs and enjoy all the views!

the cliffs of moher

On our hike at the Cliffs of Moher, we came across a pasture with cows. I’m not sure why Kira wanted a picture with the cows so badly, but I think the picture turned out well 😉

kira with cows at the cliffs of moher

The next day, we drove to Mount Geogkaun where we hiked to see 360 degree views of the Skelligs, Dingle, Fogher Cliffs, the Atlantic, and more! I liked these views just as much as the Cliffs of Moher – maybe even more.

gaugkaun mountain lookout point

kira at the fogher cliffs

kira walking from the fogher cliffs with the atlantic

Conclusion

We loved our UK trip more than we had expected. The food was great (better than everyone had told us), the landscape was spectacular, and the people (including the wedding party) were top notch! Our personal favorite was Scotland. We hope to go back there some day and explore more of the country.