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Historic Places

Hidden Gems In The UK You Need To Visit Right Away

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Discover the UK’s hidden gems. In this travel blog, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover some of the United Kingdom’s best-kept secrets. From breathtaking nature reserves to enchanting islands and awe-inspiring natural wonders, prepare to be amazed by what lies within our very own backyard. So grab your binoculars and lace up those hiking boots. Let’s dive into the hidden gems in UK that await us!

Unveiling Nature’s Best-Kept Secrets And Hidden Gems In The UK

Are you ready to delve into the lesser-known wonders that the United Kingdom has to offer? Buckle up as we take you on a thrilling journey through some of the best-kept secrets and hidden gems UK has to offer. From tranquil nature reserves to majestic peaks and enchanting lakes, prepare yourself for an adventure like no other!

With the rise in the number of Brits wanting to spend their summer holidays in this country rather than go abroad this year, we bring to you twenty magnificent and unique spots across the UK. These top hidden scenic places in UK remain quiet and relatively undiscovered to the majority of people.

Hidden Gems In England

Here are my favourite hidden gems England has to offer, and are some of the most non touristy places in England that would be perfect to visit right now.

Ladybower Reservoir – The Peak District Derbyshire

Ladybower dam - Peak district

One of the most spectacular hidden gems of the Peak District is Ladybower Reservoir. This distinctive Y-shape reservoir in the Peak District is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes nearby. The spot also holds a unique history – the building of Ladybower Reservoir in the mid 1930s and 40s, saw the submergence of several villages. This means that in extreme dry conditions, the village of Derwent can be seen.

The Heights Of Abraham, Derbyshire

Also in Derbyshire is the next hidden gems of England. The Heights of Abraham are a wonderful place for a day trip. Situated in the cliffs above the quaint village of Matlock Bath, you can either walk or take a cable car to the top of this wonderful attraction. At the top, marvel at the views over the Derwent valley, see the caves that were worked by generations of miners, or enjoy the gardens and restaurant cafe.

Heights of Abraham - Hidden Gems in UK

Matlock Bath itself is also a fascinating place to visit on a day out all year round. It hosts a wonderful aquarium and lots of pretty shops.

Lundy Island, Devon

Prepare for an island escape like no other as we set sail towards Lundy Island! Just 10 miles from mainland Devon but lying in the Bristol Channel, Lundy Island is a small but fascinating destination of south west England. Visitors can book a cottage to stay on Lundy, and experience the attractive scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna.

This heavenly retreat in the Bristol Channel boasts unspoiled beauty with its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life. Dive into a world beneath the waves while snorkeling or scuba diving amongst seals and colorful fish. Hike along rugged trails leading to ancient ruins or simply bask in serenity on secluded beaches – Lundy Island truly is a hidden gem worth discovering and one of the most secret places in England.

Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay – North Yorkshire

Nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, North Yorkshire is home to an array of stunning nature reserves just waiting to be explored. Immerse yourself in tranquility at Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Or marvel at rare wildlife species at Bempton and Flamborough Headland Heritage Coast.

Staithes - North Yorkshire hidden gem uk

My own personal favourite hidden gem in this part of the UK is the coastland around Whitby. Both Staithes (pictured) and Robin Hood’s Bay are old fishing villages filled with ancient fossils and rock pools to explore along the sandy beach. With stunning coastal walks with views of the natural beauty of Yorkshire, these smuggler’s villages are both well worth a visit.

Whether you’re seeking vibrant wildflower meadows or captivating birdwatching opportunities, the hidden gems of North Yorkshire will leave you spellbound.

Elterwater and Langdale – The Lake District

Prepare to be captivated by one of Britain’s most beloved destinations – the Lake District! Nestled in northwest England, this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts breathtaking vistas, plus lakes and falls that inspired literary greats like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

Whilst a lot of the Lake District can become quite crowded, there are still lots of places that can remain tranquil and undisturbed. One of my favourite peaceful places is the walk around Elterwater.

Elterwater walk - Lake district hidden gems uk

Elsewhere in the lakes you can cruise along Lake Windermere or Coniston Water, surrounded by towering mountains reflecting on crystal-clear waters. For a unique experience, hike up Helvellyn or Scafell Pike – the highest peaks in England – and be rewarded with panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

The next of our secret places UK has to offer can be found at the furthermost south west corner of England off the beaten path. The Minack Theatre in Cornwall is a unique and breathtaking open-air theatre. Perched on the cliffs overlooking the stunning Porthcurno Bay, this iconic theatre offers visitors an unforgettable experience.

Minack theatre UK

Rowena Cade created the theatre, and began building it in the 1930s with the help of her gardener. They carved the theatre out of the cliffs using only hand tools and local materials. Today, it stands as a testament to their dedication and creativity.

The theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, ranging from Shakespearean plays to musicals and concerts. The natural backdrop of the sea and sky adds an enchanting element to every show, creating a truly magical atmosphere for both performers and audience members.

In addition to its performances, the Minack Theatre also offers guided tours for those interested in learning more about its history and construction. Visitors can explore the terraced seating areas, take in panoramic views of Porthcurno Bay, and even visit Rowena Cade’s former home on site.

Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for a unique cultural experience in Cornwall, a visit to the Minack Theatre is highly recommended. Its stunning location, rich history, and diverse range of performances make it an absolute must-see destination for locals and tourists alike. It is certainly one of the most unusual places to visit in UK.

West Wittering – West Sussex

Escape to West Sussex, where coastal charm meets idyllic countryside settings.

For a seaside adventure, head to West Wittering. Known for its stunning sandy beach and natural beauty, West Wittering is particularly renowned for its cleanliness and clear waters, making this picturesque village a popular destination for families, water sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike. The beach stretches for miles, providing ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, or taking leisurely walks along the shoreline.

In addition to its beautiful beach, West Wittering offers a range of amenities and activities to cater to visitors’ needs. There are cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals or grab a refreshing drink after a day of exploring the area. The village also has shops selling local produce and souvenirs.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, West Wittering is an ideal spot. The area is perfect for windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, or simply enjoying a swim in the sea. Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby East Head Nature Reserve with its diverse wildlife and scenic walking trails.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation by the sea or an active day out in nature, West Wittering offers something for everyone. Its natural beauty combined with its range of amenities make it a must-visit destination on the South Coast of England.

Elsewhere here in West Sussex, why don’t you explore the charming market town of Arundel, dominated by its majestic castle? Or lose yourself in the enchanting beauty of Petworth House and Park?

Knaresborough North Yorkshire

Knaresborough is a charming town located in North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the banks of the River Nidd, it is known for its picturesque beauty and rich history.

Knaresborough - North Yorkshire hidden gem in UK

One of the notable landmarks in Knaresborough is Knaresborough Castle, which dates back to the 12th century. This medieval fortress offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore its ruins and learn about its fascinating past.

Another must-visit attraction in Knaresborough is Mother Shipton’s Cave. This unique natural phenomenon features a petrifying well that turns objects into stone over time. The cave is named after Mother Shipton, a famous prophetess who lived in the area during the 16th century.

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Knaresborough offers beautiful riverside walks along the Nidd Gorge and tranquil boat trips on the river. The town also hosts an annual Bed Race, where teams compete by pushing decorated beds through the streets – a quirky event that attracts visitors from far and wide.

Knaresborough has a vibrant community with a range of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore. The town’s market square is bustling with activity on market days, offering fresh produce and local crafts.

Overall, Knaresborough provides a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and community spirit.

The Hadrian’s Wall Path

Did you know that you could walk pretty much the whole way alongside Hadrian’s wall? The Hadrians wall path is an 84 miles long route between Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in Northumbria. The path is very well marked and you are never too far from the wall or trail.

Visitors can walk along sections of Hadrian’s Wall, taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside while discovering remnants of ancient Roman architecture. Museums and visitor centers located along the route provide further insights into the history and significance of this remarkable structure.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, exploring Hadrian’s Wall offers a fascinating journey through time. It serves as a testament to both Roman engineering prowess and their enduring legacy in shaping Britain’s cultural heritage.

Bibury – The Cotswolds

Bibury is a picturesque village located in the Cotswolds that is definitely one of the prettiest hidden gems in the UK. Known for its charming and idyllic setting, Bibury attracts visitors from all over the world. The village is famous for its honey-colored stone cottages, which date back to the 17th century.

Bibury Cotswolds - hidden gems in the uk

One of the main attractions in Bibury is Arlington Row, a row of weavers’ cottages that have been beautifully preserved. This iconic landmark has been featured in numerous films and photographs, showcasing its timeless beauty.

In addition to its architectural charm, Bibury is also known for its natural beauty. The River Coln flows through the village, offering scenic walks and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the riverbank or explore the surrounding countryside on foot or by bike.

Bibury is also home to several quaint tea rooms and traditional pubs where visitors can indulge in delicious local cuisine and relax with a cup of tea or pint of ale.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, nature, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat away from city life, Bibury offers a delightful escape into quintessential English countryside charm.

The Farne Islands – Northumbria

One of my favourite UK hidden gems on this list is found in the north-east of England.

The Farne Islands, located off the coast of Northumberland in England, are a group of islands that hold great significance for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. These islands are known for their diverse range of bird species, stunning landscapes, and rich history.

Lindisfarne - hidden gems in UK

The Farne Islands are home to over 23 species of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and terns. These birds flock to the islands during breeding season, creating a spectacle that attracts visitors from all over the world. The islands also serve as an important breeding ground for grey seals, with thousands of pups being born here each year.

Aside from its abundant wildlife, the Farne Islands have a fascinating history. The islands were once home to a community of monks who built a priory on Lindisfarne in the 7th century. The ruins of this priory can still be seen today and provide insight into the island’s past.

Visitors to the Farne Islands can take boat trips from nearby Seahouses to explore these remarkable isles. Guided tours allow visitors to get up close and personal with the wildlife while learning about their habitats and behaviors. It is important to note that access to certain areas may be restricted during breeding season to protect nesting birds.

A visit to the Farne Islands promises unforgettable encounters with nature and an opportunity to immerse yourself in its captivating beauty.

And even just exploring the surrounding area you find castles such as Bamburgh and Alnick, glorious houses and gardens that are incredibly rich in history and wonderful to explore.

Hidden Gems Scotland

The next set of hidden gems in UK come north of the Scottish border.

Aberlady Bay

With sweeping views of the sea, Aberlady Bay is a stunning coastal area located in East Lothian, Scotland. Known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, Aberlady Bay is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and just half an hour away from Edinburgh, Aberlady Bay is home to a variety of habitats. In the area you can find sand dunes, salt marshes, mudflats, and grasslands. This unique combination of ecosystems provides a haven for numerous bird species throughout the year.

In addition to its avian inhabitants, Aberlady Bay boasts breathtaking views and picturesque landscapes. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the sandy beaches. Or explore the surrounding nature reserves that offer panoramic vistas of the sandy beach and bay.

For those interested in learning more about the local flora and fauna, there are educational centers nearby that provide information on the various species found in Aberlady Bay. Guided tours are also available for visitors who want to delve deeper into the rich biodiversity of this coastal gem.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or simply seeking tranquility amidst nature’s beauty, Aberlady Bay offers a truly unforgettable experience. Its unspoiled landscapes and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination. Especially for anyone exploring Scotland’s natural wonders.

St Kilda – Outer Hebrides

Also one of the hidden gems of Scotland is to be found in the Outer Hebridean islands. Now uninhabited, St Kilda is a remote group of islands in the Outer Hebrides of northern Scotland. Covered in historic ruins, unique flora and fauna, seabirds, as well as the rugged landscape, St Kilda is a must-see for visitors to Scotland this summer.

Hirta - St Kilda abandoned cottages - hidden gems of Scotland

The main island of St Kilda, Hirta, was inhabited for thousands of years until the last remaining residents were evacuated in 1930 due to declining population and harsh living conditions. Today, St Kilda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as an important breeding ground for various seabird species.

The rugged landscape of St Kilda offers breathtaking views with towering cliffs, sea stacks, and pristine beaches. Visitors can explore the island’s diverse wildlife, including puffins, gannets, and fulmars. The surrounding waters are also home to seals and dolphins.

In addition to its natural wonders, St Kilda has a fascinating history that can be discovered through its archaeological sites and abandoned village remains. These remnants provide insights into the lives of the former inhabitants who relied on fishing and bird hunting for their sustenance.

Access to St Kilda is limited due to its remote location, but guided tours are available from nearby ports such as Leverburgh on Harris or Uig on Skye. These tours offer visitors a chance to experience the unique beauty and cultural significance of this remarkable archipelago.

Whether you are an avid nature lover or history enthusiast, a visit to St Kilda promises an unforgettable experience immersed in stunning landscapes and captivating stories from centuries past.

Luskentyre Beach – Isle Of Lewis and Harris

Luskentyre beach is a stunning natural wonder located on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis and Harris in Scotland. Known for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Luskentyre beach is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Luskentyre beach - scotland

The beach stretches for miles, offering visitors plenty of space to relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The sand dunes that line the shore add to its charm, creating a picturesque backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

Luskentyre beach is not only visually stunning but also offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. From sunbathing and picnicking on the soft sands to swimming or even trying your hand at water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding, there is something for everyone.

Nature lovers will also appreciate the wildlife that can be spotted in and around Luskentyre beach. Seals can often be seen basking on nearby rocks, while various bird species inhabit the surrounding dunes and grasslands.

Whether you are seeking tranquility and relaxation or adventure and exploration, Luskentyre beach has it all. Its natural beauty combined with its peaceful atmosphere makes it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers alike.

Callanish Standing Stones – Lewis and Harris

The Callanish standing stones are also located on the Isle of Lewis and Harris in Scotland. These are an extraordinary Neolithic era monument comprising a stone circle with a central monolith and avenue leading away from it.

Callanish Stone Circle

Unbelievably, these ancient stones hold great astronomical significance. Dating back over 5,000 years, the Callanish standing stones are thought to have been erected for ceremonial or religious purposes. The precise reasons behind their construction remain a mystery, but their alignment with celestial events has led many to believe that they were used as an astronomical observatory.

The main stone circle consists of 13 large stones arranged in the shape of a Celtic cross. The tallest stone in the center is known as “the King” and reaches an impressive height of 4.8 meters (15 feet). Surrounding this central group are smaller satellite circles and alignments that further enhance the site’s complexity.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Callanish is its alignment with various celestial phenomena. For instance, during certain times of the year, such as summer solstice, sunrise aligns perfectly with some of the stones. This suggests that these ancient people had advanced knowledge and understanding of astronomical events.

Visiting Callanish today allows you to immerse yourself in this ancient landscape and witness firsthand its awe-inspiring beauty. It remains a place where visitors can ponder upon our ancestors’ connection to both nature and the cosmos. Whether you’re interested in archaeology or simply enjoy being surrounded by intriguing sites from our distant past, Callanish standing stones offer an unforgettable experience unlike any other.

Hidden Gems Of Wales

Dewstow Gardens, Wales

Dewstow gardens is a hidden gem located in Monmouthshire, Wales. These gardens are known for their unique and captivating features that make them a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and garden lovers.

One of the standout features of Dewstow gardens is its underground grottoes. These grottoes were originally built in the late 19th century. But were rediscovered in 2000 after being buried for decades. Visitors can explore these underground chambers, which are adorned with intricate stonework, pools, and waterfalls.

Another highlight of Dewstow gardens is its sunken fernery. This stunning feature consists of a series of sunken gardens filled with an impressive collection of ferns and other exotic plants. The combination of lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil ponds creates a serene atmosphere that transports visitors to another world.

In addition to the grottoes and fernery, Dewstow gardens also boasts beautiful landscaped gardens. With vibrant flower beds, manicured lawns, and meandering pathways. There are numerous seating areas where visitors can relax and take in the picturesque surroundings.

Dewstow gardens offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in exploring underground wonders or simply enjoying the beauty of nature above ground. It’s a place where history meets horticulture, creating an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Treaddur Bay – Anglesey

Trearddur Bay is a large curved bay on the west coast of Anglesey in Wales. The beach here is a stunning wide sandy natural arc with a gentle slope down to the sea edge. 

Treaddur Bay - hidden gems in UK - wales

The resort of Trearddur is only a small village and remains relatively undeveloped. There aren’t any amusement arcades and you will not find a multitude of souvenir shops. Amazingly this means that Trearddur retains its unspoilt beauty and natural charm. It is perfect for a quiet beach day of sunbathing, paddling and swimming in the sea for all the family.

There are plenty of car park spaces available a short walk from the beach. And along the sea wall stretches a large flat promenade. Dogs are welcome on the beach.

Around the shorelines there are several pubs, bars and eating places. As well as several hotels if you wish to stay in this lovely quiet seaside village.

Church Door Cove – Pembrokeshire

The Church Door Cove in Pembrokeshire is a hidden gem that offers a unique and picturesque coastal experience. Nestled along the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this secluded cove is known for its natural beauty and tranquility.

Church Door Cove

Located near the village of Manorbier, Church Door Cove gets its name from the distinctive rock formation that resembles a church door. This natural archway adds to the charm and allure of the cove. And makes it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Visitors to Church Door Cove can enjoy breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs, golden sands, and crystal-clear waters. The beach itself is relatively small but offers a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. It’s an ideal spot for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply taking in the serene surroundings.

For those who enjoy exploring coastal paths, there are several walking trails that lead to and from Church Door Cove. These paths offer panoramic vistas of the coastline and provide opportunities to spot wildlife such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds.

It’s worth noting that access to Church Door Cove can be challenging due to its remote location. Visitors are advised to check tide times before visiting as high tides can make parts of the beach inaccessible. Additionally, there are no facilities or amenities at the cove itself, so it’s recommended to bring any necessary supplies.

Overall, Church Door Cove in Pembrokeshire offers a peaceful escape where visitors can immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.

Hidden Gems Of Northern Ireland

Last but not least, Northern Ireland has its fair share of UK hidden places.

Glenariff Waterfall, Northern Ireland

Glenariff Waterfall, located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is a picturesque natural wonder. Known for its stunning beauty and tranquil surroundings, it offers a truly enchanting experience to all who visit.

glenariff waterfall

The waterfall itself is a sight to behold, with cascading waters flowing down the rocky cliffs into the river below. The sound of rushing water combined with the lush greenery creates a soothing and peaceful ambiance that makes Glenariff Waterfall an idyllic location for nature lovers.

In addition to its scenic beauty, this area also boasts several hiking trails that cater to various levels of difficulty. Whether you are an experienced hiker or simply looking for a leisurely stroll amidst nature’s splendor, there is something for everyone here. The visitor center often has knowledgeable staff who can guide you on which trails suit your preferences and skill level.

Visiting Glenariff Waterfall allows you not only to immerse yourself in Northern Ireland’s natural beauty but also provides an opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation in its serene atmosphere. So whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, this enchanting destination should definitely be on your list when exploring County Antrim.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail – Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

The last of the hidden gems in UK I will share with you today is The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail. This is a popular hiking destination located within the stunning Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. This trail offers a unique experience for nature enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

The boardwalk itself was introduced to protect the sensitive blanket bog habitat of Cuilcagh Mountain, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of this area while minimizing their impact on the environment. It provides a safe and accessible route for hikers, ensuring that everyone can appreciate the natural wonders of this region.

Hiking along the Cuilcagh boardwalk trail provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature conservation efforts while enjoying breathtaking views and fresh air. The route takes you through diverse landscapes, including forests, moorlands, and open mountainsides, showcasing the rich biodiversity of this area.

Additionally, being part of Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark means that there are plenty of other attractions nearby. Visitors can explore fascinating caves or take part in guided tours to learn more about the geological heritage of the region. Overall, hiking along Cuilcagh’s boardwalk trail promises an unforgettable visitor experience where you can engage with nature conservation efforts while appreciating Fermanagh and Omagh’s stunning landscapes.

Have You Enjoyed This Post?

Hope you have enjoyed this post about all the hidden gems and secret places UK has to offer.

For those of us planning to stay in the country this summer, there are plenty of unique and wonderful hidden gems in UK not far from home. Just a short drive away from the more busy areas, lie several hidden gems offering picturesque views, unique history and attractive natural environments.

Why not follow along by reading some of my other posts and travel guides? Comment below, or find me on my social media channels at Twitter and Pinterest.

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4 Comments

  1. says:

    These places are amazing. I have visited Robin Hood’s Bay and Knaresborough before. They really are beautiful. x

  2. says:

    We really are so blessed in the UK, so many hidden gems – most of my own have been found on random road trips! I am biased, but the North really does have so much to offer… Robin Hood’s Bay is gorgeous, as is Whitby, some of my favourite places to visit! Sim x #MMBC

  3. says:

    I would love to visit these hidden gems!

  4. There are some really lovely places here. I’ve visited Treaddur Bay and Ladybower Reservoir. We are planning a trip to Scotland so I will be looking into some of those too! Thanks for sharing Jo. 🙂 #MMBC

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