Where’s That? 8 amazing British locations for a summer staycation
Have you ever seen a picture and you just had to know exactly where it is? Somewhere so intriguing that you must go one day. But it couldn’t possibly be in the UK, could it?
In celebration of lockdowns easing across Britain and to coincide with English Tourism Week on the 22nd to 31st May we’re delving into eight stunning British locations that make you ask exactly that. We even put the British public to the test to find out if they knew they were in the UK. Spoiler alert, they didn’t. So, here are eight of our favourite bucket-list locations in the UK that you have to visit.
The Shell Grotto, Margate, Kent
Referred to as Kent’s greatest mystery, the Shell Grotto in Margate promises 70 ft (21m) of winding passages decorated with 4.6 million shells. You’ll find them arranged as images and patterns including gods and goddesses, as well as trees of life made from the shells of whelks, mussels and oysters.
First discovered in 1835, its true origins are still unknown with many believing it to be an ancient Pagan grotto. Whatever it was, it’s safe to say it’s a truly magical place to spend some time. And from our research we found that many people believed it was in fact Bhangarh Fort in India or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, it’s that special.
Photo author: Gernot Keller www.gernot-keller.com
The Bullring, Birmingham
This stunning image shows the outside of Birmingham’s Bullring in all its glory. Today, the Bullring and Grand Central is the place to go for some retail therapy in the city and is the UK’s largest city-based shopping centre.
It first began life in 1154 as a home to a textile market which developed over the years to house the likes of food, cattle and cornmarkets. It was also the location for much of the city’s public meetings and was the scene of the famous Bullring riots in 1839.
Today’s stunning building was designed by Benoy and opened its doors in 2003.
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
This breath-taking national park is the UK’s largest national park and is home to five of the UK’s six highest mountains. Located in the northeast of Scotland it was first given national park status in 2003 and promises the chance to reconnect with nature amongst huge forests of ancient native trees, cascading waterfalls, and some stunning wildlife.
It truly is one to explore this spring, summer or winter as many of us look to staycation in the UK in 2021.
Gaping Gill, North Yorkshire
Being based in Yorkshire ourselves, this is truly a spot that’s close to our hearts. And not just because it’s in Yorkshire. Gaping Gill is absolutely mesmerising and is the largest underground cave chamber in Britain.
In fact, at 98 metres deep it’s no joke to say that a cathedral could fit inside. And that’s not all, there’s a huge waterfall and an extensive 16.6km cave system that’s suitable for both beginners and more experienced explorers. It’s one not to be missed.
Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Wow. Just wow. That really is the most fitting way to describe the jaw-dropping Lulworth Cove in Dorset. Just looking at the below image, it’s no surprise to learn that many of the people in our research mistook it for Corfu in Greece. It truly is a sight to behold.
Found just outside of Weymouth, you’ll find the sheltered pebble beach in a stunning horseshoe shaped cove. It was formed around 10,000 years ago by erosion from the sea and it’s still wowing visitors to this day. Let’s say it one more time: wow!
Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
Is this Eastern Cape in South Africa? Or perhaps Syddanmark in Denmark? No, it is in fact Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens just south of Burford and mid-way between Oxford and Cheltenham.
And yes those are white rhinos. But that’s not all, the park is spread across 160 acres of beautiful parklands and is home to an amazingly diverse collection of species – many of which are endangered in the wild. These include Asiatic lions, zebras, giraffes, pythons and crocodiles, as well as plenty of intriguing birdlife. One not to be missed this summer.
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
Located on Scotland’s Isle of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides, Fingal’s Cave is a true wonder of nature.
The sea cave is formed completely of hexagonally jointed basalt and makes for an intriguingstructure to view. And if you’re brave enough you can venture inside the 227 foot cavern due to fractured columns that form a crude walkway just above high water level.
If you have the minerals, it’s a real treat to explore and one that’s always high up on our bucket list.
Wistman’s Wood, Devon
This wood in the middle of Dartmoor National Park has remained unspoilt for centuries and is an intriguing and fascinating place to visit.
The twisted and gnarled branches of stunted oak trees entwine with each other to create a scene that many believe to be haunted. If you brave the walk yourself you might not see ghosts or ghouls, but you will be treated to some breath-taking views across the National Park.
Where will you be headed for English Tourism Week? Happy exploring