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5 Best British Isles Cruise Ports

04 Sep 2015 | by Sarah Clarke.

Updated: 21 May 2021

Embark on a cruise of the British Isles and you can expect a voyage packed with striking coastal scenery, historic landmarks and townships, buzzing city life and a truly diverse selection of flora and fauna. Ideal for cruises around the British Isles, it is a destination unlike anywhere else in the world, offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities, animated history lessons and quirky regional traditions. Observe as the accents change from one city to the next, try a different local delicacy from north to south and meet a whole host of captivating characters all on a cruise of the British Isles. Every port has something unique and enchanting to offer. Step ashore and explore some of our favourites.

St. Peter’s Port, Guernsey

Guernsey is a beautiful island with more than twenty stunning beaches and remarkable countryside just beckoning to be explored. Although not part of the United Kingdom, Guernsey still envelopes British country life with a fondness for Cornish pasties and cream tea. Stroll the quaint cobbled lanes and stop off in a local pub for a chat with the friendly locals. Those looking for active pursuits or adventure won’t be disappointed as there are many excellent spots for hiking, surfing, sailing and more.

St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

A popular stop on no-fly cruises, the Isles of Scilly are a beautiful archipelago located just off the south-western peninsula of Cornwall. Epitomising British island life the Isles of Scilly offer stunning surrounds, countryside charm and an endless supply of things to see and do to suit all tastes. St. Mary’s is the largest and most populated of the inhabited Scilly Islands but remains relaxed, never feeling overcrowded. The beautiful local beaches, archaeological sites, sea safaris and coastal country paths are just a few of the amazing things to experience during your visit.

Cork, Ireland

For a cruise stopping in Cork you will likely dock in Cobh, a colourful and quaint coastal town full of notable maritime history. A day exploring Cork City can easily be enjoyed whilst docked in Cobh via a direct thirty minute train journey. Cork is known for its picturesque appearance, irresistible foodie scene, bustling 17th century alleyways and cosy yet lively Irish pubs. The best way to experience Cork is on foot and a perfect day can be spent strolling the markets and admiring the historical churches before a memorable evening in an authentic Irish pub or at the Cork Opera House.

Liverpool, England

Step ashore in Liverpool and you’ll find yourself in England’s northern culture capital. With an abundance of museums and some of the best galleries in the country including TATE Liverpool within walking distance from the dock. You really don’t have to go far to pick up on the heartbeat of the city. Albert Dock sits proudly on the banks of the famous River Mersey and as a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site remains to be a popular visitor attraction with plenty to see and do. Beatles fans are in their element here and will love the Beatles Story museum plus historical Cavern Club. Liverpool’s nightlife is buzzing and inviting even on a Sunday night, so pack your glad rags and head on down to Mathew Street to dance with the locals. Liverpool is also an important port for cruise sailings from the UK.

See here for cruises from Liverpool.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland’s lively capital city is steeped in ancient history, celebrated traditions, wonderful viewpoints and absorbing nooks and crannies. As one of the top visitor destinations in the world, Edinburgh is bursting with exciting sites, sounds and amazing experiences. Explore the city on foot to discover the famous Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral and the stunning Princes Gardens. Revel in the addictive nightlife and roam the cobbled streets from one spirited pub to the next. Time your trip in August to experience the unparalleled Edinburgh Fringe Festival – a whirlwind of the arts, comedy and performance world. Or spend an unforgettable New Year at the three day Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations.

If visiting one of these fantastic destinations sounds like the perfect holiday, the best way to do so is on a UK Coastal Cruise. Departing from ports around the UK, this is the ideal way to discover hidden gem destinations you might not have visited before.

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