15 incredible places you didn't realise were in the UK
15 incredible places you didn't realise were in the UK
Who said you needed to travel far and wide to see some of the most beautiful locations in the world?
Here's our guide to the 15 most impressive places in the UK that you probably didn't even know existed. Now get your mates together and sort out a road trip.
1. Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Brighton's own Taj Mahal, the Royal Pavilion is an eye catching structure built in 1787 and was a favourite seaside retreat of George, Prince of Wales. Perfect location for one of those selfies where you pretend you're on a 'gap yaah.'
2. Brixton Windmill, London
Also known as Ashby's Mill, the Brixton Windmill is a great big hulking mass of black brick. It looks like it could have dropped straight out of a Brothers Grimm tale and since its restoration has been classed as a Grade II listed building.
3. Kilchurn Castle in Loch awe, Scotland
A rocky fortress that, from a distance, looks like it's been dropped straight out of Game Of Thrones, the Kilchurn Castle dates back to the 15th and 17th century and sits upon a rocky peninsula on the Loch Awe. Open to the public during the summer months, you can gain entry to the castle via boat, depending on the water levels.
4. The Minack Theatre, Cornwall
The Minack Theatre is an open-air venue built into a gully over a dramatic rocky outcrop, four miles from Land's End. Regularly listed as one of the world's most spectacular theatres, it conjures up imagery of ancient Greek ruins and mythology. A truly glorious destination.
5. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Instantly recognisable as the setting for Led Zeppelin's iconic album cover for Houses of The Holy, the Giant's Causeway is a mystical area comprising of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, created by an ancient volcanic eruption. Made only more bizarre by the curious hexagonal shape of the columns. A true rock and roll pilgrimage.
6. Hyde Park Pet Cemetery, London
Although not open to the general public it's still worth making the trip to Hyde Park and having a peak through the railings. You can find the sombre cemetery within the bushes of Victoria Gate Lodge's garden on Bayswater road. Look out for hilarious names like 'Moussoo' (presumably a mouse, although one can never be sure).
7. Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall
Derived from the Cornish name "Lys Ardh," the Lizard Peninsula was once known as the Graveyard of Ships due to the hazardous rocks that surround its waters. Potential ghost sailors aside though, the place is absolutely breathtaking and was even named one of the BBC's Seven Natural Wonders.
8. Little Venice maida vale in London
One of the more picturesque parts of London's Regent's Canal, the name was apparently coined by the poet Robert Browning who lived in the area from 1862 to 1887 (although it has also been claimed that Lord Byron may have also christened the area). Perfect for a sunny walk, you're a stones throw from the London Zoo, Camden Town and a huge collection of restaurants and shops.
9. Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills.
A limestone gorge overlooking a winding snake of a road, the gorge contains a hidden labyrinth of caves, where Britain's oldest human skeleton was found in 1903 (and christened Cheddar Man). The Radio Times named the gorge the second greatest natural wonder in Britain. Which is a claim that can't be argued with.
10. Richmond Park, London
London's very own deer park and the birthplace of the now infamous Youtube viral video: "Jesus Christ Fenton." It's the type of park that Walt Disney would have drawn about and fictional fluffy creatures would literally be losing their minds to try and get to. Chock full of wild deers, squirrels, giant trees and within close vicinity of some great cafes and classic English pubs.
11. Seilebost Beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland
It's easy to see why this Scottish gem was voted as one of the world's ten best beaches. Best seen from the main road above the south side of the bay to take in its full glory, you'll quickly forget that you're in Scotland. Although be warned: beach access isn't a simple task and involves taking some very windy, minor roads via Luskentyre. Worth every twisting turn though.
12. St Michaels Mount, Cornwall
If we asked you to imagine a fairytale castle it's quite likely that what you're picturing will look more than a little bit like St Michael's Mount in Cornwall. During the second world war the Mount was fortified and three pillboxes can still be seen today. It was rumoured that the former Nazi foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, had planned on setting up home there if the German invasion had been successful.
13. Smoo Cave in Durness, Sutherland, Scotland
A large combined sea and freshwater cave, you'd half expect to bump into the Goonies as you traverse through the various caverns. Archaeological investigations have discovered various artefacts from the Neolithic, Norse and Iron ages and it is widely thought that the caves were probably used all the way back to the Mesolithic age. Located east of the village of Durness, during the summer time you can see even more by taking a boat tour straight into the inner chamber.
14. The Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill, London
Opening in 1901, The Horniman Museum specialises in a mix of anthropology, natural history and, oddly, musical instruments. Holding a huge 350,000 objects it's a snap shot in time encased in a great big Victorian greenhouse of a building. More amusingly, in 2004 the museum had repeated issues with its website due to the modern connotations of its name being confused by porn filters. Oh how they probably didn't laugh.
15. Durdle Door, near Lulworth in Dorset, England
More like the type of beach found in a Bond movie than one in Cornwall, you'll be greeted by stunningly clear water and giant, imposingly beautiful rock strata that run parallel to the shoreline. The rock formation itself (the Durdle Door) is privately owned by the Welds family, although it is open to the public. The beach stretches along the Jurassic Coast and is a favourite amongst dino-seeking fossil hunters.