Wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to travel the world? Well unfortunately, for most of us our wallets, work and family commitments mean that an Around The World in 80 Days trip is off the cards for now. However, travel shouldn’t only be restricted to school holidays and annual leave. You can fit plenty of bucket-list style day’s out into your schedule right here in the UK. So, forget the great Pyramids and The Leaning Tower Of Pisa for now and read on to discover six of our favourite domestic hidden gems – for the stay at home traveler.
1 – The Dark Hedges, Starnocum
The Dark Hedges in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland is a countryside road lined with unusually shaped Beech Trees. Voted as one of the most beautiful places in the world by the prestigious American journal Architectural Digest, the spot has seen a dramatic rise in popularity for another reason. The iconic spot was chosen as a filming location for the HBO cult-hit TV show Game of Thrones. The road was featured in the second season of the show as the approach to an area called Kings Landing. As one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory, the area has unsurprisingly seen a massive upturn in tourism with visitors flocking from across the globe.
2 – Duncansby
The 60m Stacks of Duncansby are a breathtaking sight. This area of Scotland is full of stunning scenery, but the stacks are among some of the best. Following a path from the famous John O’Groats you will find these towering relics of history, one of which actually stretches higher than the adjacent cliffs. If you find yourself visiting John O’Groats, then why not push yourself a further two miles to set sights on this rare and imposing rock formation.
3 – Hellfire Caves, Wycombe
Hidden away in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire is St Lawrence’s Church. Underneath the building is an interesting network of man-made chalk and flint caverns which extend for a quarter of a mile and several hundred feet below the church. Excavated in the mid-18th century by the infamous Sir Francis Dashwood, the caves became synonymous with The Hellfire Club – the society he founded. While no-one knows exactly what went on in the caves, rumors of illicit behaviour, blasphemy, devil worship and sedition abound.
4 - Longleat Hedge Maze, Warminster
Who’d have thought the world’s longest hedge maze could be found here in the UK? If you’re a Labyrinth, Harry Potter or Greek Myth obsessive then this is certainly one for you to plan a holiday around. Located in Warminster, nestled between Sailsbury, Bath and Yeovil, this 2-mile long maze has 8-foot hedges, numerous dead-ends, 6 raised bridges and an observatory tower for overhead views. Want more? There are four other mazes located at the site including one called King Arthur’s Maze which uses optical illusions to appear larger than it really is.
5 – Henrhyd Falls, Brecon Beacons National Park
If you’re in the mood for chasing waterfalls, then you should make a visit to the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales part of your to-do-list. These spectacular flowing falls are the highest in South Wales. Plunging an astonishing 90ft (27m) into a wooden gorge below, it makes for magical viewing. The Brecon Beacons are a haven for wildlife, plants, geology and history and with many other walks you can easily spend lots of time there.
6 – St Michaels Mount, Marazion
With soft, pleasant beaches and restaurants and bars a-plenty, there are lots of reasons to visit Cornwall’s oldest town. However, the most striking feature of Marazion, and the main attraction for tourists, is the enchanting St. Michaels Mount. The inspiration for tales of mermaids, giants and miracles – the Mount also includes a medieval castle, fortress, a priory, a harbor and grand gardens. The trip to the island can be completed either on foot or boat- tide dependent.
Which UK destinations have you enjoyed visiting recently? Let us know by connecting on social media at @TimeForYouGroup.