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talisker bay, inner hebrides, a UK hidden gem

The UK is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the mystical Fairy Pools of Scotland to the historic harbour of Devon’s Ilfracombe, there’s so much to be seen.

We’ve compiled the very best of the UK’s secret spots, as voted for by the British public, along with our insider tips for getting the most from a visit. So whether you’re in pursuit of a scenic ramble or a secluded picnic spot, you’ll be sure to find it here.

Read on to discover the top 10 hidden gems in the UK…

10. Hawes, Yorkshire Dales

view of hawes, yorkshire

The Yorkshire Dales is known for its landscapes, idyllic aura, and quaint cottages, and the market town of Hawes is no exception.

Sitting at the head of Wensleydale (best known for its tasty cheese) and at the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, not only is it the perfect location for a relaxing break, but one with plenty of adventure.

The local area offers the very best of walking country, with plenty of traditional shops, markets, and eateries to explore along the way.

Top tip: Seek out Cotter Force waterfall for a natural hidden gem just outside of Hawes.

9. Flamborough Head, Yorkshire

Flamborough Head Cliffs

At number 9 on our top hidden scenic places in the UK is Flamborough Head, and it’s little wonder why. A coastal oasis nestled between the Filey and Bridlington bays of Yorkshire, its astounding views alone are worth the visit.

Flamborough Head is also a great destination for sealife, with puffins and seals being regularly spotted here! When you’re not scouting out marine mammals be sure to tackle the 7-mile circular walk through the village and along the cliffs at Flamborough Head to find wildflowers and watch the sunset.

What more could you want from a UK adventure?

Top tip: If you’re seeking a secluded beach spot, take a trip to Hunmanby Sands.

8. Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Talisker Bay

Talisker Bay is a must-see destination for the avid ambler. Meander along high cliffs offering glorious views before soaking in the serenity of the area on Talisker Bay’s soft sands.

Relish in miles of uninterrupted views across the coast for the ultimate escape to Scotland, its soothing waterfall completing the escapade.

The Talisker Distillery makes the perfect pit stop on your venture back to your Isle of Skye holiday cottage.

Top tip: For surfing, the Autumn and Winter months offer optimal waves in this part of the country.

 7. Ilfracombe, Devon

ilfracombe, a uk hidden gem

Ilfracombe takes the 7th spot as a UK hidden treasure. A picturesque seaside resort, this town is a true Devon gem.

Take in its pretty pastel houses, secluded coves, and award-winning attractions, all making Ilfracombe a beautiful destination to visit at any time of the year.

Its Victorian Tunnels Beaches are a wonderful way to experience the very best of its coastal beauty, with plenty of water sporting opportunities to be had along the town’s beaches too.

Top tip: Be sure to take a stroll along the Ilfracombe Torrs to get the best views of the town. Those seeking something different can find a fright in the form of Chambercombe Manor, known to be one of Britain’s most haunted houses!

6. Malham, Yorkshire Dales

Malham Cove, Yorkshire

Malham is a pretty little village resting in the Pennines, yet another great hidden gem for keen adventurers!

The curving amphitheatre-shaped cliff formation of Malham Cove was originally created from glacier water in the last ice age. Overlooking the village of Malham, it also provides the perfect picnic spot.

Not only is it a scenic sanctum, but it’s also a must-see for any Harry Potter fan. Scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed at Malham Cove, Malham Tarn, and around the village, making it perfect for those on the hunt for Harry Potter filming locations.

Top tip: Janet’s Foss offers even more astounding views. Taking its name from the Queen of the Fairies, it’s definitely got a mystical aura.

5. Cotswold Canals, Cotswolds

Cotswold canal at Dawn

The Cotswold Canals offer the perfect way to explore the quintessential wonders of the Cotswold countryside.

Not only do they offer a beautiful base for a leisurely stroll, but you can also take part in a range of activities such as canoeing, kayaking, stand-up boarding, fishing, cycling, and much more! To discover even more about the area check out our Cotswolds Travel Guide.

There’s a range of canal routes accessible for all, making them a marvellous excursion for all the family.

Top tip: Why not rent a canal boat for the day and explore the waters in a different way?

4. Stone Age Sites, Rousay Island, Orkney Islands

Stone Age Site, Rousay Island

The ultimate hidden treasure for the history lover, the island of Rousay is known as the ‘Egypt of the North’ for its impressive collection of 100 identified archaeological sites.

Access the prehistoric site from Tingwall, on the north of mainland Orkney, via ferry. From the moment you step off the boat, you will be greeted by an array of early sites, including the must-see Midhowe Chambered Cairn and Taversoe Tuick; a rare two-storeyed chambered cairn discovered by the previous owner of the island, General Burroughs, in 1898.

The Midhowe Broch and Cairn is Rousay’s best-known prehistoric site. This chambered tomb is 100ft long and 40ft wide, and once contained 25 crouching corpses.

Top tip: While the island is a great history spot, be sure to keep an eye out for seals and otters on Saviskaill Beach too.

3. Lundy Island, Devon

Cliff top of Lundy Island, Devon

In third place is the National Trust gem of Lundy Island. Resting where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Bristol Channel, this unspoiled spot is one of true beauty.

At the centre of the island you will discover a modest village with an inn, Victorian church, and the 13th-century Marisco Castle.

Designated as the first Marine Conservation Area, Lundy offers an array of adventures such as diving, seal spotting, fishing, and birdwatching. Rockpool Rambles, Snorkel Safaris, and guided tours are also available.

If you’re seeking more spots like Lundy Island be sure to take a look at our cottages near National Trust attractions.

Top tip: Lundy makes a great destination to try your hand at letterboxing – a treasure trail spread over the whole island!

2. The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

fairy pools, isle of skye, scotland

The Fairy Pools offer an experience like no other, with piercing blue pools resting on the River Brittle.

Once the location of the last and bloodiest Battle of Coire na Creiche, between the MacLeods of Dunvegan and the MacDonalds of Sleat, the area is now a point of interest for its crystal-clear waters.

When you’re not soaking up the glorious views, the waters offer brilliant wild swimming opportunities. But be sure to bring your wetsuit!

Top tip: Continue along the path past the Fairy Pools to walk the 5-mile Coire Na Creiche Hike.

1. Iona Island, Inner Hebrides

Isle of Iona and blue sea

Number 1 on our list of top UK hidden gems is Iona Island in the Inner Hebrides. Just 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, the tiny island offers natural beauty and simplicity accompanied by a range of intriguing attractions.

Find the Iona Abbey, The Nunnery, Sìthean Mòr, and Reilig Òdhrain, all providing evidence as to why Iona is known as ‘The Cradle of Christianity’.

Its Marble Quarry is also well worth seeing, while St Columba’s Bay lets you take in the relaxed pace of the island alongside its equally impressive views.

Top tip: Head to the north of the island to find more secluded beaches including White Beach.

The UK is brimming with hidden treasures; a secluded escape offers the best way to unwind and appreciate your wondrous surroundings, so why not book your remote holiday cottage today?

Image Credits:             – CC BY-SA 4.0

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