Monday, February 6, 2017

Home Away From Home

    So last post I talked about our flights and how we get them cheaper. Not cheap, but cheaper. But that was due to my love of direct flights. Today, I thought I'd talk about our stays! I started booking them a year ago as well. Can you see the theme here? Again, I was told, ITS TOO SOON! YOURE CRAZY! However, I was able to use that time to find some interesting places and not just last minute, here's whats available type places. And since we know no one in the UK...its obvious we have to book somewhere, everywhere. I had a lot of different ideas for where to stay in all our destinations. Some I wanted for the experience, others for the location, and yet others cause they were inexpensive. Let me break them down by area:
The very first place I booked for our entire trip was actually for our stay in Dublin! The criteria here was:

1. Close to sights; preferably walking distance to many.
2. Inexpensive
3. Provide a "Ireland" daily life feel.

This was my luckiest find. I found it on Air BnB after scouring tons of websites. The reason it stood out to me is that it has a balcony overlooking Patrick St and is right down the road from St Patricks Cathedral. Its also within just a few miles of Temple Bar and Ha'Penny Bridge, as well as the Guinness Storehouse. Since we will be there during the St Patricks Day festival, and the parade comes down Patrick St, its the perfect spot to watch the parade from. Right on the balcony!

Photo Credit:

Next up is our stay in Waterford, Ireland. This choice was a little bit more about my long time fantasy to live in the medieval ages and be a proper lady. :) Staying in a castle at some point was also on the list of must do's, so I chose Waterford Castle in Waterford. It sounded lovely! You have to cross Kings Channel to get to it, as it sits on a 310 acre private island. Its a 16th century castle! Whats not to love? 

Last for Ireland is our farm cottage stay in Fermoyle. The criteria here was that it be close to Cliffs of Moher, and be inexpensive. I found this stay pretty randomly. I stumbled across it on while searching an area south of it. Its cute, charming, and what my imagination thinks any good farmhouse in Ireland should look like. Meet, Fermoyle Farmhouse, our 350 year old cottage for 1 night.

Northern Ireland
For Belfast, the criteria was also pretty simple:

1. Close to sights
2. Inexpensive

I found our stay here because I was entertained by the idea of staying somewhere haunted. I know, I know. (I found one of my Scotland stays the same way.) The Dobbins Inn started its life in the year 1200 as a castle tower house. It has gone through some different stages, including being split up as 2 townhouses. The rumor is, its haunted by an early resident, who was having an affair, and upon her husband finding out, he murdered them both! 

Photo Credit:

The criteria for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland was:

1. Inexpensive
2. Scottish feel 
3. In old town

After relentlessly searching the internet for stays in Edinburgh, I located a flat in old town Edinburgh via Its a self-catering flat, close to the castle and other areas we want to see and I felt like this might be one of the closest ways to feel like I live there. Which is always my goal. Apparently this building was a 18th century coaching inn frequented by the cities candlemakers. Love that history!

Photo Credit:

Next was our stay in the Highlands for 2 nights. I didnt have too much criteria for it to meet except inexpensive. I stumbled across our stay here, the same way I found the Dobbins Inn. Looking at haunted locations. :) I'm pretty excited to meet the ghost of the Green Lady they say hangs out there, and it also checked off castle stay as well! So we get two castles! Yuuus! Queue me pretending to be a lady of Downton Abbey or, since we are in the highlands, queue me preparing to touch stones to see if I can travel back in time like Outlander. The stay in the Highlands is in Dingwall in the 12th century Tulloch Castle

Photo Credit: Tulloch Castle

And last but certainly not least our stays in lovely London. London is the first and last legs of our trip. Criteria for London was:

1. Location
2. Location
3. Location

We will be at The Rubens at the Palace on the first leg. Its right next to Buckingham Palace, with some rooms overlooking the palace. I'm super excited about this stay, also thanks to its great central location and close access to the things we want to see. 

Our last stay in London will be The Eccleston Square Hotel. Its a tech nerds dream. It comes with a iPad for use, walls of glass that you can swipe to make clear or opaque, etc.

All in all...I'd say I found some great places to be! Some have romantic histories, some have murdererous histories, some are haunted, and some are super modern. They all appeal to me in their own their way and I cant wait to explore and share them all!