Britain and Ireland are the two main islands of an archipelago, the British Isles, just northwest of the European mainland. The archipelago also includes many smaller islands, one of which is the British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man. The Channel Islands are also Crown dependencies so they are included here even though they are not geographically part of the archipelago; they lie just off the French coast.
The term “Ireland” can refer either to the entire island or to the Republic of Ireland, the part that became independent of Britain in the 1920s. The island includes Northern Ireland, but the Republic does not; Northern Ireland is part of the UK. “Ireland” above refers to the Republic.
- 1 Belfast — The capital of Northern Ireland and a cultural meeting point between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- 1 Birmingham — Located in the centre of England, Birmingham is the economic powerhouse of the Midlands. It is the second largest city of Britain and Ireland.
- 1 Cardiff — The capital of Wales, Cardiff is a lively and exciting capital city.
- 1 Dublin — Home of Guinness and Western Roman Catholicism, Ireland’s capital is more than just a pretty face.
- 1 Edinburgh — Sometimes referred to as ‘the Athens of the North’, Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital.
- 1 Glasgow — The biggest city in Scotland, 40 miles west from Edinburgh and gateway to the western glens and lochs.
- 1 Liverpool — Home of the Scouse, The Beatles and the Three Graces
- 1 London — A truly iconic, global city, the UK’s capital buzzes with different cultures and a more than two-thousand year history to match.
- 1 Manchester — Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and Birmingham’s rival for the title of ‘second city’, Manchester is a lively, thriving destination.