You don’t have to go beyond UK borders to find some great places. From hidden beaches to quaint buildings, this country is full of destinations that look like a plane ride but are actually in your own backyard. No need to pack your passport: here are the 12 best.
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Pedn Vounder Beach, Cornwall
This stretch of turquoise water and white sand might be a Greek or Caribbean island, but it’s actually at the tip of Cornwall. Smaller than its more famous neighbor Porthcurno, Pedn Vounder remains relatively unknown to tourists thanks to its tough approach. But if you’re willing to traverse the rough cliff path to climb down to the sand, the rewards are clear waters and a secluded cove.
Best hotel in Cornwall
Lavender fields, Gloucestershire
It may look like the rolling hills of Provence, but these lavender fields are actually in Gloucestershire. In a typical British summer, the distinctive purple plants will start to flower in mid-June, with the best time to see them being early to mid-July. The farm offers entry for a small fee.
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Roman Baths, Bath, Somerset
Step into ancient history and spend an afternoon wandering the Roman bath complex in Bath. Built on a 46-degree Celsius hot spring, the Romans would bathe here before jumping into a cold pool to restore their strength. Located next to a temple dedicated to the healing goddess Sulis-Minerva, the baths are now one of the best preserved ancient Roman spas in the world and are surrounded by 18th-century buildings and 19 gorgeous.
Best hotel in Bath
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Cheddar Gorge is a natural rock formation in Mendip Hills and is bordered by the highest inland limestone cliffs in England, 450 ft high. At your feet there is a cave system formed by an underground river over millions of years, where stalactites and stalagmites can be seen. In 1903, Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be over 9,000 years old, was found at the site.
Painted Hall, Greenwich, London
The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich has reopened following a two-year conservation project to make its magnificent ceiling functional again. The room is known as the Sistine Chapel of Great Britain – its vast decorative interior, measuring up to 4,000 square feet, was designed by renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren in the early 18th century as a room ceremonial eating for the new Royal Family. Hospital for Seaman.
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Bowfell Mountain, Lake District, Cumbria
A casual observer might mistake the snow-capped peaks of Mount Bowfell for somewhere in the Alps. It’s the area’s sixth highest peak, standing 2,960 feet tall and in a great viewing spot at the top of the Langdale valley – making it popular with hikers.
The best boutique hotels in the Lake District
Tresco Monastery Garden, Scilly Islands
The Isles of Scilly’s subtropical climate means thousands of exotic plants can flourish at Tresco Abbey Garden. The garden was built in the 19th century around the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery and is now home to species from all over the world, from Brazil to New Zealand and Myanmar to South Africa. It’s easy to miss a day meandering among sheltered ferns or strolling along the sunny, border-facing terrace for ocean views beyond.
The best resorts in the Isles of Scilly
Wine Rathfinny, Alfriston, Sussex
Sussex probably isn’t the first place you think of winemaking, but this South Downs vineyard has produced exemplary English sparkling wines thanks to a lucky combination of chalky soil, air, and sparkling wine. temperate climate and south-facing slopes. Pick a sunny day and enjoy lunch in the vineyard’s restaurant and you could almost be in Champagne.
The best hotels in West Sussex
Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall
Perched on a cliff at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the Minack Theater may have been built by ancient civilizations – but in reality, it was built by a local theater-loving woman, Rowena Cade , in the 1930s. Today, it is a spectacular venue for plays, musicals and operas during the summer months.
Wastewater, Lake District, Cumbria
This spectacular lake is half a mile wide and 260 ft deep, making it the deepest of any lake in the region. Surrounded by mountains including Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike – England’s highest mountain – the lake offers one of the best vistas within miles and is a good starting point for a number of hiking trips.
Cliftonwood, Bristol, North Somerset
Just outside the center of Bristol is Cliftonwood, an upmarket area where many brightly painted houses are located. No one is entirely sure when or why the houses in the neighborhood started being painted, but they have become a colorful and recognizable part of the city’s skyline. In addition to being very photogenic, the area is also known for its epic street parties.
Royal Palace, Brighton, Sussex
This building doesn’t look out of place in India, but was actually built as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, in the late 18th and early 20th centuries. 19. The onion domes, towering spiers and detailed colonnades are likened to the Taj Mahal, albeit in a slightly cooler location.
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