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Boasting the “Global Command Center,” that is London, birthplace of some of the world’s most popular rock bands, and live music venues, featuring several heritage-rich urban centers, dotted with quaint villages, farmhouses, secluded chapels, ruined castles, and prehistoric monuments, and home to compact yet diverse nature that is just perfect for adventurous activity, today’s United Kingdom is a fascinating place. Comprised of the democratic countries/states that are England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, united into a kingdom that encompassed almost a quarter of the Earth's land surface and served as the largest empire in history by 1922 and still owning fourteen overseas territories as well as various ‘crown dependencies’, this first-ever industrialized nation undoubtedly marches to the beat of its own drum. The modern-day United Kingdom provides a mosaic of native and immigrant traditions while internationally it is still quite influential on a political, economic, and cultural level.

An “all shades of green” island graced with serene lakes, wetlands, coastal mountains, and panoramic vistas – all dotted with medieval castles, monasteries, and primeval monuments and featuring space for outdoor attractions such as cycling, hiking, surfing – brewing world-renowned Guinness beer, giving birth to rock bands U2 and the Undertones, and unsurprisingly home to a vibrant pub and live music scene, Ireland certainly has its distinct character. Although this European country arguably offers relatively low-key urban sightseeing destinations, visiting the Emerald Isle nevertheless provides for a rich experience for its nature and people alike. Familiarizing yourself with the Celtic culture alone merits a trip.

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