Top 10 Hidden Gems in the UK

Britain is packed with secret hideaways, glorious beauty spots and unique attractions that have simply been stumbled upon by accident. We asked a group of well travelled British folk for their top hidden gems and while many didn't want to answer (after all, once a hidden gem becomes public it's not so hidden anymore!), we prised it out of them. So here we go, in no particular order, our top 10.

1. White Horse
Oxfordshire, Uffington
Rail passengers between Didcot Parkway and Swindon who glance southwards can get a glimpse of the Uffington White Horse. However, exploring this ancient (3000 years old) hill figure close up is altogether more satisfying. Running above the chalk figure is the Ridgeway, a 5,000-year-old pedestrian superhighway that connects the mysterious barrow of West Kennett with Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns. And below it, pastures have been converted to campgrounds.

2. Tarn Hows,
Lake District
Tarn Hows is a popular National Trust spot in the heart of the Lakeland. It?s not only an easy and romantic walk around the beautiful tarn, but the perfect unspoilt spot for a family picnic. The glorious surroundings make this hidden tarn one of the gems of the lake country and Great Britain itself. You simply could not sit down and design a more perfect, unspoilt setting.

3. Isle of Lewis
The epitome of raw beauty. The Isle of Lewis is a land apart. This slab of ancient rock is crumpled by time, and stained with the often-tragic history of the Western Isles; a story told in the museum of Stornoway, capital of the Outer Hebrides. Hiking, biking and kayaking are among the activities on offer. And, considering the latitude corresponds to southern Alaska and northern Siberia, Lewis enjoys a benign climate.

4. Bletchley Park
Milton Keynes
Bletchley Park in the South East was home to the ?Code Breakers? in World War Two, responsible for unravelling the secret of the German Enigma cypher machine. The teams of code breakers were responsible for unravelling the code that lead to the success of the D-Day landing. The exhibits here also include Alan Turing's Bombe machine, the world's first computer! A fun and interesting day out for people young and old.

5. Derwent Dams
Peak District
The Grampians occupy a fair proportion of Scotland as one of the 3 major mountain ranges in the country. It is in the region traditionally called the Scottish ‘highlands’ and home to Britain’s 2 highest peaks in that of Ben Nevis and Ben Macdui. Widely regarded as Britain’s most spectacular view, Glen Coe sits within the range close to Ben Nevis and the town of Fort William. The Jacobite Steam Railway is an incredible way to see the range as the ‘Hogwarts Express’ powers along the now famous viaduct with the Grampians forming a majestic backdrop to a magical and unforgettable journey.

6. Padstow
Padstow is one of many quaint and idyllic Cornish fishing towns. Best known for its sea food, celebrity chef Rick Stein has a number of properties here including a sea food school and a carvery. If these are a little up market, you could simply try his fish and chip shop on the sea front for some top class fish and chips! Either way, Padstow is a great little town to visit whatever your taste.

7. Bamburgh Castle
Once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland's most iconic buildings. The Bamburgh castle we see today is a relatively recent structure, but the castle boasts a much longer history. There have been settlements on the site since prehistoric times and the regular archaeological digs that take place have unearthed some spectacular finds. During the summer you can see archaeologists working on the site, and there is even the chance to get your own hands dirty.

8. Durdle Door
Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast in Bournemouth. It is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. It is Britain?s first and only natural UNESCO world heritage site.

9. Rhaeadr Fawr Waterfall
Central Wales
At 240ft (73m) high it is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the UK. This captivating waterfall can be combined with a walk in the mountains. Pistyll Rhaeadr is formed by the Afon Disgynfa's falling, in three stages, over a 240-foot (73 m) Silurian cliff-face, after which the river is known as the Afon Rhaeadr. The tallest stage is estimated at about 40 metres. It is counted as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

10. Crannog Centre
A crannog is a type of ancient loch-dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland dating from 5,000 years ago. Many crannogs were built out in the water as defensive homesteads and represented symbols of power and wealth. The Scottish Crannog Centre features a unique reconstruction of an early Iron Age loch-dwelling. The centre has won many awards for it?s incredible authenticity and attention to detail.


By Ruth Lancey, GBT Team member

Date: 2017-11-28 13:20:49