UK and IRELAND

The very best, liveliest, most informative audio guides to the UK and Ireland anywhere, bar none.

CitySounds.Travel has criss-crossed England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to show you the totally different personality and cultural feel of the Saxon, Celtic and Norman lands of the British Isles.

We’ll visit the remote moorland country around Hadrian’s Wall, explore the great northern cities where the Industrial Revolution changed the whole world and there’s the history of how Britain grew into a world power in the eighteenth century… see and hear what we have on our “country” pages…

  1. Hear all about the literary pub tours of Dublin and the folk music scene…
  2. Hear about Glasgow’s great architectural heritage of Charles Rennie Mackintosh…
  3. Hear about the last foreign invasion of Britain in 1797…

Whitehall is where the power is in London. This is where the Government ministries are and of course the Prime Minister's residence and office in Downing Street off to one side. But Whitehall is also where the UK remembers its…

This guide tours you around the Palace of Westminster - what in the UK we call the Houses of Parliament. Hear all about Big Ben and the clock tower of Parliament, ancient Westminster Hall, the House of Lords and the…

Westminster Abbey is one of the two great national churches of the UK. It's where Kings and Queens have been crowned for a thousand years. It's here that the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 was held. Here is the…

This audio guide takes you through the best-known and biggest London museums - the Natural History Museum ( known as the home of the dinosaurs ), the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert for all lovers of culture and style…

These two London guides have been totally refreshed for 2015. There’s added content from the Cutty Sark in Greenwich; from the London Transport Museum which has just been celebrating 150 years of the London “Tube” underground railway; and much more…

These two London guides have been totally refreshed for 2015. There’s added content from the Cutty Sark in Greenwich; from the London Transport Museum this year celebrating 150 years of the London “Tube” underground railway; and much more from iconic…

Bath in the west of England is a UNESCO World Heritage City for its Georgian architecture. And that's what this third Bath gujide concentrates on - the Roayl Crescent, The Circle, Piul;teney Street all those exquisite pieces of architecture making…

The Scallop Shell has been open just a year and is already packed with appreciative diners through every service. Basically it's a cool, modern-industrial-style, fish restaurant with enthusiastic staff and a mainly fish menu. Eat in or take away -…

Bath in the west of England is a UNESCO World Heritage City for its Georgian architecture. But there's great shopping, some very fine museums as well as the Roman Baths and the mineral water Pump Room. The Abbey was one…

Bath in the west of England is a UNESCO World Heritage City for its Georgian architecture. But there's great shopping, some very fine museums as well as the Roman Baths and the mineral water Pump Room. The Abbey was one…

When I was in Bath most recently I got around to visiting the Bath Gin Club. Gin has become the artisan-crafted gin of the twenty-teens. This bar has hundreds to sample and compare from small gin distillers all around the…

Dublin - this is a pretty full look at what you can do in a few days. Open top bus tours - or perhaps you would like to sing-a-long with the Irishman who'll dress you in greeny tweeds and sing…

One of the twentieth century's most evocative and loved poets - Dylan Thomas - was born in Swansea in 1914. So his centenary year has now passed with celebrations in Swansea and the two Welsh towns where he spent the…

Great photo courtesy of Arnaud Malon.  Oxford is one of a handful of great tourist destinations in the United Kingdom. There is centuries of history in this city. It was the capital of England during the Civil War of the…

Oxford is one of a handful of great tourist destinations in the United Kingdom. There is centuries of history in this city. It was the capital of England during the Civil War of the 17th century when King Charles I…

Portsmouth is one of the UK's great historic cities. Overseas tourists usually just think of London and Bath, Oxford and Cambridge. But in my view Portsmouth has some of the best historic sites in the country. We cover the Historic…

Portsmouth is one of the UK's great historic cities. Overseas tourists usually just think of London and Bath, Oxford and Cambridge. But in my view Portsmouth has some of the best historic sites in the country. We cover the Historic…

In these three guides to the fabulously mountainous and rugged Snowdonia area Tim travels on two of Wales’s iconic narrow gauge railways – the Snowdon Mountain Railway up the highest mountain in England and Wales, and then on the much…

In these three guides to the fabulously mountainous and rugged Snowdonia area of North West Wales Tim travels on the Ffestiniog Railway, visits the Italian-style village of Portmeirion where the cult TV series the Prisoner was filmed... finds out all…

In these three guides to the fabulously mountainous and rugged Snowdonia area Tim travels on two of Wales’s iconic narrow gauge railways – the Snowdon Mountain Railway up the highest mountain in England and Wales, and then on the much…

In this programme we celebrate Swansea's natural attractions like its hilly, seaside location and the closeness of the beautiful Gower peninsula - Britain's first official area of outstanding natural beauty, but also the powerful Dylan Thomas presence. We visit his…

The bus company - First Cymru Bus - run a series of "Cymru Clipper" services which are comfier and longer distance trips than just crossing a city. This journey is from Swansea and up to the ancient industrial site and…

This delightful new garden has been developed by the Duchess of Northumberland close to historic Alnwick Castle, north of Morpeth. It follows the tradition of the great stately home gardens - with a major cascade like Chatsworth but with wonderful…

This piece is going to stay online deliberately after the fabulous Banksy exhibition closes at the Bristol City Museum at the end of August 2009. Banksy is one of the most stimulating, offbeat, controversial and downright clever artists painting or…

Beaumaris - very definitely pronounced on Anglesey as BEW-maris - is a charming little seaside town with a fine castle, loads of water-based activities on the Menai Straits and plenty of good places to stay. We tend to use the…

Bristol is one of Britain's most attractive and historic cities. It was a rich trading port from the Middle Ages specialising in the wine industry from France, Spain and Portugal. It developed elegant housing areas like Clifton in the eighteenth…

Bristol is one of Britain's most attractive and historic cities. It was a rich trading port from the Middle Ages specialising in the wine industry from France, Spain and Portugal. It developed elegant housing areas like Clifton in the eighteenth…

Bristol is one of Britain's most attractive and historic cities. It was a rich trading port from the Middle Ages specialising in the wine industry from France, Spain and Portugal. It developed elegant housing areas like Clifton in the eighteenth…

This journey covers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Wales and with views right the way up the line towards the mountains of Snowdonia. You cross the beautiful estuaries of the rivers Dyfi, Mawddach and Dwyryd on trestle…

Listen to the muted sounds of Cambridge's morning rush hour as thousands of bicycles create a gentle purring and rattling noise. This is so much more civilised than the huge cities of the world with their diesel pollution and traffic…

There's lots to discover in Canterbury - a city which has been at the heart of the Church of England for many centuries. House where St Thomas a Becket murderers gathered. 'Canterbury Tales' Chaucer walk-through show. Boat tours to Greyfriars…

This is another of my series of five Cymru Clipper comfy, longer distance bus trips across South Wales. This goes through delightful, well-off Cowbridge and heads for slightly raffish seaside resort Porthcawl with its Elvis Festival. It ends with all…

This is another of the series of interesting and comfortable bus tours I took on the Cymru Clipper routes run by First Bus. This one takes us through Llanelli with he fabulous restoration  of Georgian Llanelly House - then on…

Castell Henllys is an old TV star. It's a stone age village recreated in the north Pembrokeshire countryside and featured in a rather tough TV show where families had to survive with no more mod cons than existed  couple of thousand…

This is one of Britain's great stately homes where you can see how the wealthy and powerful lived in centuries gone by. The Howard family first came to prominence at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 - although they were…

This is a short driving trail around the Pontypool and Blaenavon areas. It covers the powerful influence of these villages in Torfaen on the Chartist Massacre which took place in Newport in 1839 as working men sought democratic reform... It…

Cheltenham is one of England's most elegant towns. It lags a bit behind Bath but not far. There are sweeping curves of Regency housing, well-tended public gardens and parks and spa water to take. The town comes alive each spring…

Chester has the most complete ancient walls in England. It has a Roman heritage, one of the most complete and outstanding Cathedral complexes and fine shopping. There's horse racing and riverboat trips. Chester has a cultured and charming centre. This…

This is one of the wildest, most beautiful corners of Ireland. The roads are usually quiet even in summer. The coastal waters are pure and the mountains breathtakingly unspoilt. Tim visits some leading Irish food producers and finds out about…

This guide shows just how beautiful and classy Essex really is when people aren't trying to do it down as "Chav Central" ! The gentle landscape of the River Stour around Dedham where John Constable painted the Haywain and other…

This is a fabulous corner of Ireland - green and unspoilt like almost all of it is ! Go walking on the 700 foot high Cliffs of Moher in the far west of Europe very rugged but warm, welcoming locals.…

Climbing to the Blarney Stone high on the battlements of Blarney Castle and leaning dangerously back to kiss it. It gives you the gift of the gab – fluent speech and eloquence. Cork has TWO great stout breweries – we…

Cragside is a wonderful Victorian house in an idyllic woodland location near Rothbury in Northumberland. It was the home of Sir William Armstrong the industrialist who build battleships on the Tyne for the world's navies. He was an innovator and the…

Cragside is a wonderful Victorian house in an idyllic woodland location near Rothbury in Northumberland. It was the home of Sir William Armstrong the industrialist who build battleships on the Tyne for the world's navies. The gardens are beautiful and…

This is one of three new guides in South Devon around glorious, riverside Dartmouth; funky Totnes and crafty Dartington. We'll be visiting Agatha Christie's summer home at Greenway mansion right above the river... taking boat trips on the green-banked River…

This is one of three new guides in South Devon around glorious, riverside Dartmouth; funky Totnes and crafty Dartington. We'll be visiting Agatha Christie's summer home at Greenway mansion right above the river... taking boat trips on the green-banked River…

This is one of three new guides in South Devon around glorious, riverside Dartmouth; funky Totnes and crafty Dartington. In Dartington there's a very eco-friendly set of shops - a great "upscaling" place where you can do courses in refurbing…

Dinefwr Park and its ancient Welsh castle and hundreds of acres of rolling parkland sit in the glorious Tywi Valley in Carmarthensire. You can visit the intriguing Newton House as well as walking throught the deer park. You could use…

Dunfermline Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce and plays a central part in early Scottish history. The town was also the birthplace of American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who emigrated and became extremely wealthy in the steel industry.…

All the tours start at Edinburgh Castle - so does this one - because it is the very essence of Scotland's identity. It has the Scottish crown jewels - and the annual military tattoo. The Royal Mile is well worth…

Both these towns are steeped in history - Colchester since the Romans created their first British settlement here. It saw the bloody rebellion of the Iceni tribe under Boudicea. Harwich is more recent but played a crucial part in British…

Exeter is a city with fascinating history and an exquisite cathedral, a delightful Quayside leisure district, some very fine dining and a standard of shopping way beyond what you'd expect from its size. Find out about Exeter's amazing guitar makers…

This guide will take you right around the Exmoor National Park from the quaint village of Dunster with its historic Old Yarn Market, some high quality shops – right through to the impressive castle. Then on through Minehead with its…

Most English people - and I mean English - think that the British mainland has not been invaded since 1066 when the Normans took over from the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. Wrong ! A French force a few…

Glasgow has once and for all shaken off its rough, tough image from the early twentieth century. It’s now a city with great galleries and museums; a string of excellent restaurants; buzzing nightlife but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. The…

Northumberland is one of England's most beautiful - and certainly biggest counties. There's a huge range of natural attractions from coastal castles and a National Park, plus England's largest man made lake with major water sport options - through to…

The Island of Bute is one of the most accessible of the islands to the west of Scotland. It’s no more than an hour from the centre of Glasgow and could easily make a couple of days added-on to a…

There's been a groundswell of publicity building up for the great British artist JMW Turner. The Mike Leigh, Timothy Spall film about Turner and simply called "Mr Turner" has opened in UK cinemas. He was almost single-handedly the father of…

Kelmscott was the country home of William Morris, the founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement. It was at this late sixteenth century manor house and farm that he re-charged his batteries and found so much of the inspiration for…

Cumbria's attractions are known globally - the Lake District National Park is probably England's most beautiful area. This guide takes you to many of the most interesting places in northern Cumbria - the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway; Muncaster Castle with…

Cumbria - pretty much the same thing as the Lake District for most visitors - is probably the most physically beautiful part of England. It's largely taken up with a National Park which protects the environment. There's loads to do…

Leeds is one of England's great Victorian industrial cities now enjoying a cultural, artistic, social and post industrial present. It's got hot shopping, some great galleries and museums and loads of first class eating. This lively, on-location guide runs to…

Royal Armouries Museum. Tilt yard for jousting, hawking, falcons, dog Hunting. Armourers, leather workers and hands on crossbows. Hall of Steel; 3,000 weapons. Fully armoured elephant. Different backgrounds for action scenes. War gallery, tournament gallery, foot combat ring for action.…

Lichfield is a delightful small, cathedral city. The cathedral itself has many fine elements for the serious visitor. Lichfield is also the birthplace of Dr Johnson - the lexicographer or dictionary writer and he's fully celebrated in the city.Local pubs…

Lincoln is yet another of England's great cathedral cities. Perhaps this cathedral is among the top three or four. The facade and its location high on a hill with so much flat, lowland countryside around it gives it added strength.…

Liverpool continues to re-develop itself at a fast pace. Loads of new shopping has opened in the last couple of years and with that the Museum of Liverpool. Visit the iconic Albert Dock restored with attractions and shopping. There's Tate…

Llanerchaeron is a national trust house from the 18th century and designed by the nationally distinguished architect John Nash. But it’s on a domestic scale with high quality restoration of its reception rooms, bedrooms and the “posh” side of the…

Whisky is the must have "souvenir" of the Highlands - and this is the place to get it if you're in the area. In Inveraray's main street the Whisky Shop has a mind-boggling selection as well as a blend of…

Ludlow is one of England's most architecturally and historically interesting towns lying in rolling, green countryside in southern Shropshire. It's also one of Britain's most "foodie" places with a food festival, quality food shops, producers and Michelin-starred restaurants. In this…

Ludlow is one of England's most architecturally and historically interesting towns lying in rolling, green countryside in southern Shropshire. It's also one of Britain's most "foodie" places with a food festival, quality food shops, producers and Michelin-starred restaurants. In this…

Machynlleth is one of Wales's most historic towns and it also sits where the River Dyfi widens out into a beautiful and wildlife-rich estuary. There's a lot to do in the area - the RSPB reserve at Ynyshir; the Centre…

Machynlleth is one of Wales's most historic towns. It's where Owain Glyndwr convened the first Welsh Parliament in 1404 and it also sits where the River Dyfi widens out into a beautiful and wildlife-rich estuary. This second guide looks at…

This bus trip takes us through Port Talbot where you can find out about three of the greatest actors ever... you can walk the Richard Burton trail, there's history to find out about Sir Anthony Hopkins and now Michael Sheen…

The historical growth of Malvern as a Spa. Horrible Victorian remedies ! Great hill walking country on the nine miles of the beautiful Malvern Hills. Market town of Ledbury where the church bells play a hymn tune on the hour.…

This is one of the Cambrian line routes. This line sweeps out of Shrewsbury past the historic Abbey and then weaves and undulates its way along the Severn Valley - through the two historic towns of Welshpool and Newtown (…

Beautiful old toys for extremely big boys ! The Mallard in gleaming royal blue is the world's fastest ever steam locomotive. See some other amazing pieces of Victorian and Edwardian enginnering and later too - there's a Japanese Bullet Train…

Newcastle - capital of the great land of the Geordies - is one of Britain's most distinctive and most characterful cities. Plunging down into the valley of the River Tyne as it does and to that iconic group of bridges…

Northumberland is one of England's most varied and fascinating counties. It's unspoilt, big and beautiful. Along its coast is a string of powerful castles in the most impressive locations... Tim Richards takes you to Alnwick, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and more... This…

Northumberland is one of England's most varied and beautiful counties - and one of the biggest  - with a national park, great castles, historic Hadrian's Wall built by the Romans and a marvellous coastline with wide, empty beaches, Holy Island,…

Northumberland is one of England's most wonderful, varied and beautiful counties. It's got Hadrian's Wall - the northern frontier of ancient Rome; superbly powerful and dramatic castles along its coast, great wildlife on the Farne Islands and the ancient religious…

Oban is a very attractive little fishing town and ferry port and the ideal starting point for a trip to the Western Islands. The harbour bustles with activity and you'll find a couple of quality fish restaurants to eat in.…

The Judges' Lodgings and the Offa's Dyke Centre are two of the most interesting attractions for tourists to Mid Wales. The Judges' Lodgings in Presteigne show exactly how it was on the assize Circuit in Victorian times. The courthouse, the…

This guide will take you to Robert Burns's birthplace cottage in Alloway in the south west of Scotland and also to Dumfries where he worked as a tax collector and wrote much of his great work.

Whether you’re a Shakespeare fan or not – the backstage tour of the memorial theatre in Stratford upon Avon is fascinating. The RSC has its own wig makers, armourers, leather workers – all geared to creating the world’s finest productions…

Instead of hanging out in bars drinking Guinness in the best of Irish traditions… Tim Richards takes to the water in this programme. He’s covering the Shannon Erne waterway – canals and lakes and navigable rivers - which sweep from…

Victorian follies hold a fascination for most people - and this strange little building in the woods near an old mansion house are no exception. The building is entirely lined with ornate patterns of shells gathered from the seashore. It's…

Southend literally has all the fun of the fair and those rip-roaring summer days on roller coasters, but there's much more... the world's longest seaside Pier at more than a mile ! Good eating round town - but within ten…

Southwold is a charming, cultured little "time warp" which feels more like the 1950s than the 21st century. The quaint beach huts, the unspoilt Adnams brewery pubs, the style of shops on the High Street - they are all so…

This is simply one of the great Victorian engineering feats. The SS Great Britain designed by Brunel and brought home and restored in her home port is beautifully displayed. She was actually built in this very dock !

Stokesay Castle is quite simply the finest and best preserved fortified medieval manor house in England. Set in peaceful countryside near the Welsh border and a couple of miles north of Ludlow, the castle, timber-framed gatehouse and parish church form…

This is a World Heritage Site writ very large indeed. Stonehenge is one of just a handful of places in Europe that travellers from outside Europe demand to see. It's spiritual and yet stunning in its huge presence. This guide…

Llandeilo is a charming little Carmarthenshire country town with outstanding shopping ( including a great ice-cream and chocolate makers). The journey on a Cymru Clipper service allows you to use wifi on the way. Half a mile out of Llandeilo…

"The British" was one of the world's - and certainly Britain's - most important early ironworks. It employed thousands and the derelict site high above Pontypool now makes for a fascinating history walk... runs to fifteen minutes.

There are few lovelier places in Mid Wales than the uplands around Tregaron. The Teifi Pools in particular are spectacular walking country where the River Teifi rises. In Tregaron itself it's rumoured an elephant - which died when a circus…

This walk with actors in character as you stroll the high ground around Trevethin above Pontypool - one of the cradles of the industrial revolution globally - will bring back the early days of Ironmasters and their servants and workers…

Warwick Castle lively history. 'Murder Holes' from which you don't escape. Excellent waxworks in castle rooms ...1898 dinner party ... King Edward VII, Lord Curzon. Lord Leicester Hospital built 1383. St Marys Church, Beauchamp Chapel. Doll Museum fascinating. Stoneleigh ...…

A quiet country farmhouse, comfy rooms and good food PLUS learning all the skills of dyeing, spinning and weaving cloth. The couple who run the breaks at Cilgerran have years of experience and students praise Martin's teaching skills. You are…

It’s invariably the dramatic “west” of Ireland which gets all the publicity. And indeed Kerry, Cork, Clare and Galway are all wonderful. But right up against Ireland's east coast little Wexford has a charming coastline, some interesting history of its…

This guide takes you to the historic and very pretty north Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby. Captain James Cook - the navigator who first mapped New Zealand and eastern Australia grew up in Whitby. It was here that Bram Stoker…

Wigan Pier is a genuine place - a busy industrial hub on the old canal network of Britain - although it became a bit of a joke as people thought they were going to see a seaside pier like Brighton…

Winchester is one of England's most delightfully unspoilt and medieval-feeling cities. It was King Alfred the Great's capital of Wessex before the Norman conquest but maintained its powerful historic position after 1066. It clusters around a marvellous cathedral but also…

Winston Churchill was born in 1874 in the middle of a posh Ball being held in his ancestral home - Blenheim Palace - in Oxfordshire. Churchill was a descendant of John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, who defeated the…

2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill's death. During heavy German wartime bombing from 1940 onwards Britain's War Cabinet, led by Winston Churchill, often met deep underground just a hundred metres from No 10 Downing Street. These are now run…

When Churchill wasn't working through the World War II from the underground Cabinet War rooms in London - or living life above ground in 10, Downing Street - he revelled in the pleasures of his country estate at Chartwell in…

York has history oozing up out of its cobblestoned streets. The Minster - one of Europe's greatest medieval cathedrals; Yorvik which recreates Viking York; narrow, characterful streets like The Shambles; the fascinating National Railway Museum; one of a kind shopping…