With Covid impacting international travels certainly for this year, 2021 presents no better opportunity for us to explore the hidden gems that the UK has to offer. Tourism Week 2021, organised by VisitBritain, has been created to celebrate the best that our island has to offer. From fascinating wildlife to beautiful beaches, there really is no better place to be stuck at home than Great Britain!
With our Hey Me team dotted across the UK, we thought what better way to prepare for impending summer travels than to delve into the hidden gems that the UK has to offer, across the length and breadth of the country. Here are our team’s top places for you to visit that you may, or may not have heard of:
A growing cultural hub, many creatives from London have flocked to the seaside town to set up home, thanks to the beautiful beaches and relaxed way of life that can be hard to find in the city. From historic fairground Dreamland, to the artisanal shops and craft breweries that are dotted throughout the town, Margate is becoming a hot destination to visit. So grab that ice cream and head down to the beach with local fish and chips to enjoy the beautiful town of Margate, sooner rather than later.
Glasgow, also known as the ‘dear green place’, has seen quite a change over the years with so much to offer tourists who often head straight to Edinburgh, bypassing this wonderful city. From the beautiful views at Kelvingrove Park, to the independent art and creative scene of the Southside (the best coffee in the city can be found next to Queens Park), to WEST brewery, which sits in a converted Art Deco building that was once home to a carpet factory, there really is so much to see and do in Glasgow. With Loch Lomond a mere hour drive away, it is well worth a visit to find out why it has been voted the friendliest city in the world (Rough Guides).
From the Cairngorms, to Balmoral Castle, to beautiful beaches – there really is so much to see and explore across the county of Aberdeenshire. The prime place to put on your walking boots, there are a range of things to do from countryside walks through ancient forests, to local pixie trails, to spotting the native Highland Cows, to checking out the local whisky distilleries. Due to the rural nature of the county, our best bet is to hire a car in Aberdeen and book accommodation in the countryside, which can range from a converted mill to an 18th century cottage. Fun fact – Aberdeenshire is home to Brewdog, so if you are fond of a craft beer do check out their HQ in Ellon for an insight how the disruptive brand has become a leading player in the craft beer scene.
North Yorkshire Coast
From tiny coves to vast golden sand – North Yorkshire Coast has it all. Staintondale is a secluded hidden gem we particularly love, located in-between Whitby and Scarborough. Its prime location means that trips out to both of these neighbouring seaside towns are only a short drive away. The village also has a steep history with archaeological discoveries dating back to the Roman era. For a charming countryside stroll among woods, wildlife and nature, head to the old railway – a now popular scenic walk that leads you to the Hayburn Wyke Pub for much-deserved refreshments and food.
Derbyshire, nestled in the Peak District, is a great fuss-free staycation with plenty to do and abundance of scenery to marvel at. Amid the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales lies Bakewell, famous for, you guessed it, the Bakewell pudding. The old market town is surrounded by scenic landscape with footpaths and trails galore, often dotted with sheep and cows grazing in the distance.
Asides from the wonderful views, there are plenty of sights to discover nearby including Chatsworth House, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, and the Nine Ladies stone circle – a famous national heritage site. Explore former railway tunnels and limestone dales along the Monsal trail – a 8.9m traffic-free cycle route that’s perfect for cyclists, walkers, families and horse riders alike. And if you fancy a coffee break or a spot of lunch mid-way, there’s an excellent café called Hasson Station Café that’s definitely worth dropping into. For those who want to sample the traditional Bakewell pudding, take a trip to the centre which is awash with quaint tea rooms serving up the town’s iconic dessert.
For stunning scenery and picturesque beaches, escape to Cornwall. Situated in-between Newquay and Padstow, Mawgan Porth is in the perfect location for discovering Cornwall’s North Coast. Explore the idyllic cove’s expansive fine sands, rock pools and rugged high cliffs, or if you want to head further afield, visit Padstow Harbour where you can take a relaxing boat trip or dine out at a vast choice of reputable cafes and restaurants. For adventure seekers, explore Newquay where you’ll find activities aplenty, from the Blue Reef Aquarium to Newquay Zoo and Watergate Bay – one of Newquay’s top-rated beaches offering surf lessons, windsurfing, beach rambling and more.
If you’re fascinated by nature and want to learn more about the relationships between plants and people, visit the Eden Project near St Austell – one of the world’s most acclaimed experimental gardens. Its guaranteed to provide an experience you’ll never forget!