1/1/2024     by Justin Gibson

3 Can’t-Miss Magical Sites Around the British Isles

The British Isles are home to a host of magic and whimsy … if you know where to look. We’ve compiled three sites to pique your interest at the enchanting promise of a vacation beyond the British Isles.

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Standing tall atop Castle Rock is the legendary Edinburgh Castle. This stronghold has played a central role in Scottish history since the 11th century — through the years it’s been a royal residence, an arsenal, a national archive, a treasury, a mint, a prison and a military fortress as well as the home of the Scottish regalia. You can trace the ebbs and flows of history across these war-worn stones; the 14th-century War for Scottish Independence, the Jacobite rising of 1745 and the Lang Siege of 1573 are just some of the conflicts that have helped Edinburgh Castle garner the distinction as “one of the most attacked places in the world.” Can’t-miss sights for your brief occupation include St. Margaret’s Chapel (dating from the 12th century, it’s the oldest still-standing structure on the grounds), the Scottish National War Museum and the Crown Jewels of Scotland.

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Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Situated in Wiltshire, Stonehenge has long captivated and enthralled the imaginations of those who visited … mystery is baked into the archeology of the modern-day site. Who’s to say how the original architects sourced stones from southwest Wales, 140 miles away? Or what the purpose of this site has been throughout the past 10,000 years? Half the fun of visiting is letting your imagination run wild! Thankfully, for the other half, some questions — like what’s the difference between the big stones and the little ones — can be answered with the help of informative displays and helpful guides.

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Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone

Set into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland, the Blarney Stone is local legend stretching back for centuries depending on the lore you subscribe to. Some say Cormac McCarthy pled to the goddess Clíodhna for her assistance on his way to the courthouse where he was being sued; Clíodhna told McCarthy to kiss the first stone he found on his way to court — he did so, pleaded his case with eloquence and won. Others say it was a gift from Robert Bruce: His thanks for help fighting against Edward II was a part of the Stone of Scone. Others still speak of a Queen of Fairies, who mourned the slaying of her love by crying and kissing the stone he was slain on. Whatever the case, the gist is this: There is a stone, set into the wall at the top of the castle, and if you kiss it — you’ll spend the rest of your life blessed with the gift of gab. For those who feel less compelled to attempt the maneuvering required to reach it, Blarney Castle is home to volume’s worth of engaging history and intriguing fable.

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An ideal way to discover each of these enchanting locales, and the rest of the British Isles, is on a cruise with Princess. Not only will you have plenty of time to experience the sights and flavors listed above, only Princess offers Local Connections: exclusive, personal experiences hosted by experts to give you an authentic taste of your destination. There’s something for everyone to love — Local Connections are part educational, part adventure and 100% fun. From legendary cuisine and culture to stunning natural beauty, you’ll get a unique perspective on this storied continent. Enjoy unforgettable culinary dishes and experience it all when you sail with Princess and see these legendary lands. Our agents know Princess well, so we can help you choose, plan and book your cruise vacation to perfection.

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