The likes of Stonehenge, Loch Ness, Big Ben and Snowdon attract visitors from across the globe to the UK. And these places are normally all the busier for it, especially through the summer months. But Britain has so much in the way of beautiful countryside, historic landmarks and stunning parklands, that some of its finest spots go largely unnoticed. If you’ve started planning your holiday in the United Kingdom, you’ll find these little gems wherever you go. Here are some of our favourites.
Carn Euny, Cornwall
Yes, even in Cornwall – where so many go for their summer breaks – there are incredible places you’ll get largely to yourself. Carn Euny is an ancient village with a holy well where the chapel once stood. As well as a fascinating spot (there’s a fogou here – an ancient underground chamber accessed by a tunnel), it’s also a relaxing place to lie among the wildflowers.
Sunbiggin Tarn, Cumbria
This is situated in the small section of Yorkshire Dales National Park that lies in the county of Cumbria. It’s known for its incredible starling murmurations – best seen on autumn and winter evenings – as well as its numerous species of water birds.
Grey’s Mare’s Trail Nature Valley, Dumfries & Galloway
Though situated in the lowlands of Scotland this area has a distinctly highland feel with its rugged landscape and mountain vistas. It’s home to White Coomb, the highest summit in Dumfriesshire; the impressive Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall; and Britain’s rarest native freshwater fish, the vendance. There’s also a chance you might spot an osprey or a golden eagle while you’re there.
Birkenhead Park, Wirral
See the place that inspired New York’s Central Park. This 19th-century creation is a magnificent blend of meadows, gardens, woodland and lakes, as well as structures such as lodges, bridges and a boathouse. American landscape architect FL Olmsted was so enthused by the park that it inspired his design of New York’s Central Park as well as many other green spaces that side of the Atlantic.
Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Besides the popular seaside village of Abersoch, the arm that juts out from the north-western corner of Wales feels largely untouched. Most of the north coast consists of rugged rocky cliffs or gorgeous remote beaches. The southern side has long golden sandy bays that are normally populated in parts and empty in others. It won’t take you long to find a piece of solitude.
Britain is full of incredible surprises. Get travelling, keep your eyes peeled and you’ll be amazed by what you uncover.