The Great Honeymoon Decision

After months of deliberation, we’ve finally committed to our honeymoon destination!

Hint: it’s one of the places we saw in miniature this past weekend at Times Square’s newest attraction, Gulliver’s Gate.

I think the most surprising part of the decision was how much of an impact our three-week jaunt across China had on our honeymoon plans. In China, we enjoyed full and exhausting days one after the next, walking for miles on a city wall one afternoon, and climbing up and down a mountain the next morning. By the end, we were too worn out to take full advantage of our last days in Beijing and Chengdu.

Coming home and getting back to planning our wedding and honeymoon turned out to be the travel version of shopping for groceries while you’re stuffed instead of starving. It’s not in our nature to travel too slowly, but we agreed that for our honeymoon, it would make sense to slow down at least a little.

So although I’ll probably always fantasize about it just a little, we aren’t taking that big backpacking trip from one end of the continent to the other. Instead, our first of what we hope will be many future European adventures will focus on a single region — the British Isles — with stops in six cities in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Here’s a little of what we’re looking forward to this fall:

London, England

We’ll be jetting off for London the day after our wedding! Unfortunately, our first choice Brixton AirBnB fell through, so we’re still trying to iron out where to stay, but we’re looking forward to walking for miles among London’s famous landmarks, getting lost in some of its many free museums, and sampling diverse ethnic cuisines. We’ll also take a day trip to Stonehenge, possibly in combination with Avebury.

York, England

After the bustle of London, we’ll spend a couple of days relaxing in York, where we expect to be charmed by the historic architecture, the specialized museums, and the city wall. (After spending time in Québec and Xi’an recently, York will be our third walled city on three continents in 15 months.) Maybe we’ll even get out to the moors for a day.

Edinburgh, Scotland

From York, we’ll head up to Scotland, where we’ll spend a few days in Edinburgh, possibly the city I’m most excited to visit. From Edinburgh Castle to Arthur’s Seat, we can’t wait to experience Edinburgh’s picturesque landscapes and rich cultural history. There are also day trips in every direction, should we wish to take them: from St. Andrews to the borders to Stirling to Inverness.

Glasgow, Scotland

After Edinburgh, we’ll head to Glasgow for a couple of days. We’ll use Glasgow as a springboard for a day trip to the Scottish highlands, but we’re also looking forward to getting a taste of its distinct flavor. Plus, our AirBnB here might be my favorite of the whole honeymoon: it’s a private garden studio overhanging the River Kelvin.

Galway, Ireland

From Glasgow, we’ll fly over to Ireland and head west to Galway. We chose Galway for how well-situated it is as a base for day trips ranging from Connemara to the Cliffs of Moher, but we also hear that it has a great music scene, and we’re looking forward to walking along the coast.

Dublin, Ireland

We’ll wrap up our honeymoon with a couple of days in Dublin before flying home. Dublin is actually the second most populated city we’ll be visiting (after London), but we expect it to be pretty laid-back for its size, which will be a good fit at that point in our trip. I expect we’ll mix the usual sightseeing with some local music and maybe a day trip to Newgrange.

It’s still months away, but I’m already looking forward to starting off married life by sharing this grand adventure.