Inspiration found in Ireland and Scotland

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Colette Cooper

WE’RE all missing socialising with our loved ones, going out for a cup of coffee, or simply taking part in the majority of outdoor activities, but it’s important to keep the faith as we continue to move forward.

In saying this, you may be starting to reminisce on the times when you had the freedom of going out and about whenever you wanted, or perhaps you’re even starting to plan your next outing.

You may be stuck for inspiration as to where to go and which destinations to try, so here are some of the top Irish-Scottish related locations that are sure to inspire you for the days to come.

Pubs and Restaurants
It’s fair to say we are spoiled for choice when it comes to Irish bars and restaurants in Scotland. Whether we’re looking for a certain ambiance, live music, revisiting our Irish roots, or just somewhere to spend an evening with good company—there are many options available.

Malones Irish bar in Glasgow, for instance, may just be where you’re looking to go for your next fun-filled night out. From their home-cooked food and quizzes, to their acoustic music sessions, you won’t be stuck for things to do.

If you’re looking to stay out a bit longer, their live music continues until 3pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and for the sports fans amongst you—live sports are also available. If you’re reminiscing about your next social occasion, therefore, this lively venue may just be the answer.

If you’re searching for a change of scene, such as the historic Grassmarket in Edinburgh, Biddy Mulligans Irish Bar could be the place for you. This pub offers warm food, traditional Irish beverages, live sports and more.

You have the chance to discover new entertainment through their live music, and Biddys also has ‘The Wee Pub,’ which is known as Scotland’s smallest pub—albeit with a large atmosphere. Not only that, Biddys also offers the chance to celebrate events with your friends, such as hen parties.

Additionally, Biddy Mulligans has a ‘Corner Shop,’ which gives you the chance to try out various Irish treats. Plus, if you fancy staying in Edinburgh for a few days, or catching up on some sight-seeing, next door to Biddys is The Grassmarket Hotel—everything you need for an eventful weekend in the city.

Golf courses
As it was highlighted on tenontours.com, which composed the rankings of the top golf courses in both Ireland and Scotland from sources such as Golf Digest, ‘Top100GolfCourses.co.uk’, and Golf Magazine, their top listed golf clubs have much to offer, from great scenery to their historical backgrounds.

The Top Three Scottish Courses
These top Scottish golf courses were listed out of ten on tenontours.com, the first being The Old Course at St Andrews, the second Muirfield, and the third Royal Dornoch.

According to the site, The Old Course at St Andrews is not only one of the oldest and one of the most famous, but it is said to be ‘a magical track.’

Muirfield has also been noted on the site as the world’s oldest golf club and home to ‘The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers’, which was originally a committee of the ‘Gentlemen Golfers of Edinburgh’ who set out the first 13 rules of golf to compete for a silver golf club.

Scotland’s Royal Dornoch course was also highlighted by tenontours.com as ‘historic’ and ‘challenging’ with ‘beautiful views and an exciting routing along the North Sea.’ Not only that, but the course has also been described as ‘wonderful’ with a ‘magical feel’ and is worth the trip up north.

Ultimately, whether you’re a golfing expert or you simply love to explore, these courses are sure to keep your attention throughout your trip.

The Top Three Irish Courses
The top ten Irish courses were also listed on tenontours.com, the first being Royal County Down, the second Royal Portrush (Dunluce), and the third Ballybunion Old.

According to the website, the Royal County Down course is beautiful, difficult, and one of the oldest golf courses in Ireland—it is said to be ‘world class’ with ‘great facilities.’

If you’re looking for something particularly scenic, the second course, Royal Portrush (Dunluce), was noted as ‘well-conditioned,’ ‘natural,’ and is set next to the beach for even more viewing pleasure. For the golfing enthusiasts amongst you, the course is also said to be a bit of a challenge, as the holes are fairly spread out on the course.

Thirdly, Ballybunion Old has been highlighted as ‘a spectacular course with amazing scenery,’ this scenery is said to be available ‘along the course and from the 19th hole.’ This course is also sure to keep your attention with its ‘wonderful variety of challenges.’

Therefore, if you’re looking to stay active, explore, and visit some historic spots, these top Scottish and Irish courses may be for you.

National Parks
If you’re not as interested in golf courses but wish to explore the great outdoors, perhaps try one of Scotland or Ireland’s top national parks.

According to authenticvacations.com, there are a variety of national parks which offer many scenic opportunities. In Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are said to have ‘some of the most stunning scenery imaginable.’

As highlighted by the website, this national park contains a plethora of lochs, glens, hills and mountains, and for a grand view, Dumgoyne Hill is noted to have ‘panoramic views of the park’ and is located above the Glengoyne Distillery. The park is also said to support much wildlife, so, there is plenty to see at this Scottish destination.

If you’re visiting Ireland, there are many benefits of visiting national parks such as Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal (above).

For instance, if you’re a nature lover at heart this may just be the place for you, as it has been noted to have ‘enchanting native oaks,’ paths which weave through a pine forest, and lakes so clear that they can reflect the sky.

There is plenty to see, as not only does Glenveagh National Park have a waterfall, but there is also a late 19th century castle, which is noted as being pleasing to the eye.

Visiting one of Scotland or Ireland’s national parks may be a great way to spend time with friends and family.

Movie Locations
If you’re a movie fan and looking for more sightseeing opportunities, Ireland and Scotland are home to some very scenic locations, from popular movies such as Harry Potter and Braveheart.

According to britishandirishwalks.com, scenes from Harry Potter were filmed in Scottish locations such as Loch Etive, Loch Eilt, and Loch Arkaig. Not only can you visit these locations, but you can also step onboard The Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express.

It has been noted that Loch Etive, which is located in Scotland’s west coast, is 30 kilometres long and used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Loch Eilt, which was also used in many of the Harry Potter films, is a freshwater loch located in Lochaber, in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Additionally, Loch Arkaig was used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and has been described as a tranquil ‘hidden gem’ located off the ‘beaten track between Inverness and Fort William.’

If none of these locations take your interest, why not take a ride on the Hogwarts Express, also known as The Jacobite Steam Train, which journeys from Fort William to Mallaig? This has been highlighted by the website as a 90-mile round journey and the ‘greatest railway journey in the world.’

These iconic movie locations could be the day out you’ve been looking for, especially if you’re a Potter fan.

On more of the historic side of things, much of the Braveheart movie was filmed in both Scotland and Ireland. According to movie-locations.com, although various spots in Scotland were used, much of the movie was also filmed in Ireland, such as near the city of Dublin. Irish castles were even dressed up to ‘provide authentically solid backdrops.’

Ultimately, there are evidently many Scottish and Irish related locations which may give you the inspiration you need for your next adventure.

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