To paraphrase one of Britain’s many well-known former residents, “though it be but small, it is fierce.” England, Scotland, and Ireland are amazing places with a lot to offer, so on this Valentine’s Day, I’m listing a few reasons why I love them. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

* Amazing shows at the National Theatre in London

* History, history, history!: Castles, ancient stone circles, Roman-era ruins–there’s something for everyone!

* The food: It gets a lot of flack from other countries, but the British isles produce some serious comfort food. Shepherd’s pie, sticky toffee pudding, scones and clotted cream–yes please!

* The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

* Borough Market

* The amazing bright green color of the grass

* The Tube (having grappled with public transport in the U.S., I really, really appreciate this)

* A pint of Guinness at a local pub that’s hundreds of years old

* A real-life royal family

* Black cabs and drivers who know where to find just about anything

* Free museums!

* Buskers in tube stations and Covent Garden

* And, of course, amazing actors, actresses, and television programs that aren’t afraid to push boundaries

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