7 must-see destinations
With Voyages to Antiquity

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Voyages to Antiquity's The Grand Circumnavigation of Britain and Iceland  combines the best of the UK with Iceland's jaw dropping geysers, volcanoes and glaciers. 32 days of living history and natural marvels, over 20 diverse destinations and a beautiful small ship that won't overwhelm but will always over-deliver.

We've picked seven of our favourite places covered on this one itinerary; a little taster into the splendours of small-ship cruising...

1. London​, England
London. The UK's capital of contradictions. Old yet modern; exhausting but relaxing, over-populated yet strangely intimate. Fortunately, you have an entire day to discover its plethora of opposites.  

A good way to find your London bearings is with a rotation on the acclaimed London Eye. There's no better way to scope out the sheer enormity of the city. Learned types should then make a bee-line for the interactive exhibits at London's acclaimed Science Museum. Centrally located on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, admission, like many of London's top museums, is 100% free. While those after a hearty London feed might want to try Blighty's traditional fish and chips. Tastes just like home. Until they add gravy, mayonnaise and grated cheese. The big question is, are you brave enough to add mushy peas? Or worse, neon coloured curry sauce?

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2. Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
It doesn't matter what time of year you visit the Shetland Islands, an icy wind will nip relentlessly at your ear lobes. Welcome to Scotland. In fact, welcome to Lerwick, Britain's most northerly town. Complete with northern bite. Distinctly maritime, in the town's pretty harbour bright wooden dinghies sit proudly aside pleasure boats and fishing fleets, while the water is quintessentially Scottish - steel grey and somewhat menacing. Soak up the laid-back charm of Commercial Street, the terraced houses and The Lodberries - where the foundations of 18th century warehouses still stand in the sea. Grab a strong brew in a quaint tearoom and peer out at the brooding Scottish sky. Dark, moody and painfully beautiful.

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3. H​eimaey, Iceland
Because puffins. And they too like to call Heimaey home. Discover the island's sheer cliffs and dense puffin colonies, where these plump little characters like to waddle, fly and glide. With curious eyes and bright orange feet, there's something wonderfully comical about both their appearance and demeanour; they'll win your heart within minutes.

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4.  The Golden Circle, Iceland
No one in their right mind would visit Iceland and skip The Golden Circle. Popular for a very good reason, this well-trodden tourist route combines three memorable attractions all within 100km of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.

This is where the ancient Icelandic parliament first convened in 930, and in case you're not a fan of mathematics, that's a whopping 1087 years ago. It's also the loop where you'll find Geysir, the spouting hot spring, and Gullfoss, a thunderous waterfall. And ole G-foss sure gives Niagara a run for her money. Nature doesn't get much more resplendent than this. And in case you doubt it, just wait until Geysir blows its lid; that's an earthly explosion of epic proportions. Mother Nature, we salute you.  


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5. Akureyri, Iceland
Nestled in the crook of the Eyjafjordur fjord and embedded at the foot of immense volcanic mountains, Akureyri is a speck of urban dust in a land of natural giants. A hub of cool Icelandic charm, the population barely breaks 20 thousand, the noise is mostly limited to a gasp of wind and when night falls, a blanket of stars envelopes the city. Watch your head, this low ceiling of starlight can feel remarkably close. As a gateway to Lake Mývatn, various waterfalls and Ásbyrgi canyon, choose to travel further afield to a mecca of pseudo-craters, lava and geothermal fields, or simply stay city-side and take in the cool cafes, restaurants and a handful of art galleries. The Laufás Turf Homes are a throwback to Icelandic ancient times, while the church, Akureyrarkirkja (and nicknamed the ice cathedral) is quite the show-stopper.

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6. Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Dublin city, where the streets are narrow but the opportunities are broad, the craic (Irish for fun) is in abundance and the people have a heart of gold.

Don't miss Dublin's iconic Grafton Street, located in the heart of the city. A hub of shops and cafés, wander aimlessly and meander through the labyrinth of cobbled streets. Alternatively, take a 40 minute walk along the River Liffey. This pleasant stroll will take you from one end of the city to the other and is nothing short of charming. Of course, it goes without saying when in Dublin, you've got to see the Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, the GPO on O'Connell Street and the famous Temple Bar. And if you're a fan of poetry, check out The Oscar Wilde House at 1 Merrion Square. Magic.

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7. Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the few places on earth which looks just as beguiling in a cloak of wintery grey, as it does in a summer's glow, Edinburgh is a handsome brute.

Boasting an enchanting landscape, complete with church spires, clock towers and brick chimneys, Edinburgh looks grand from every angle, but the best views are always from Calton Hill. Either that, or from the striking bluff from which its castle sits and stares at the sea. Whether you venture inside or not, take the route through the Royal Mile and its many narrow side streets. Absorb the stony architecture, replete with cafes, bijou stores and more tartan than you could throw a highland stag at. For quieter surroundings, Stockbridge is just a ten minute walk from Princes Street. Divide your time between the niche gift shops and sleepy cobbled laneways. Then head to one of the inviting gastropubs for a big ale pie. And an even bigger ale pint. 

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