London, London, London. Such a magnificent, vibrant city which attracts tourists from all over the world. But what lies beyond the sprawling capital? Here are some of our favourite hidden gems, scattered across the UK.
1. Mother Shipton’s Cave
In the picturesque town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, lies the oldest paid-entrance attraction in the whole of the UK. It opened way back in 1630. There are many legends surrounding Mother Shipton herself. She was born in the area, is rumoured to have lived in the cave, and is described as a soothsayer or even sometimes as a witch! She made predictions about the future which at times amazed and at times terrified the locals! There is a petrifying well near the cave, which over time turns objects to stone. You can see shoes, masks and even teddy bears hanging from the well, now petrified forever. It is well worth a visit if you are exploring the north of England.
2. The Minack Theatre
In the often sunny (compared to the rest of England!) county of Cornwall, a stunning open-air theatre opens up to the public from May to September, looking out across the stunning coastline. The first show, a production of The Tempest, was put on in 1932 and the Minack Theatre has appeared in listings of the worlds most spectacular theatres. What better way to take in some true English theatre?
3. Whitby Abbey and Goth Weekend
Whitby Abbey is a striking 7th century monastery which is now in partial ruin. It inspired Bram Stoker to write his universally known 1897 novel Dracula and the seaside town is now home to one of the largest goth festivals in Europe, which contributes over £1,000,000 to the local economy. If you like the spooky side of life or even just want a great place to see very old English architecture and try some of the best fish and chips in the country, drop by on your next visit to the UK!
4. Kilchurn Castle
What do you think of when you picture Scotland? Characterful castles, clear lakes and breathtaking scenery? Well you will find them all here in Argyll and Bute in western Scotland. The castle itself has a fascinating story, from the people who have passed through its walls to the many challenges the walls themselves have faced, such as being struck by lightning in the 18th century. This is a great place to get away from it all soak in that rich Scottish history and those spectacular sights.
5. Blackpool Tower
At the time of completion (1894) the tallest structure in the British Empire, Blackpool tower is well-known to natives but is not a household name abroad. The 158 metres tall structure today comprises a circus, a prestigious ballroom and roof gardens. On the top floor a viewing platform gives incredible views of the sea and the surroundings, and a glass floor for people who aren’t afraid of heights! Blackpool itself is packed with things to do such as its nightlife, theme park, water park, zoo and many slot machines. It is a popular destination for both family holidays and for people seeking a wild party time. If you’d like to experience the little Las Vegas of the UK, be sure to drop by!
Thank you for reading our collection of hidden gems. Have you ever been to one of these places? Which would you most like to visit? Let us know!