Well, it’s safe to say that spring has sprung, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, trees are blossoming, flowers are blooming, and I’m starting to get the itch to go exploring again as soon as permitted to do so.
When people think of holidays, they often imagine themselves sat on a beach in a sunny country somewhere, cocktail in hand, as the waves gently lap at the shore and the sun warms them through. I myself enjoy a good beach holiday as much as the next person, but I’m also a huge fan of what are known as ‘staycations.’
A staycation is basically a holiday that you take in your home country, rather than going abroad, and the UK is awash with a whole host of beautiful places that, in my opinion, are vastly, vastly underrated.
We have everything here from dramatic coastlines and golden sandy beaches, to cultural cities steeped in history, and lush green countryside that would inspire even the dimmest of minds.
I love the UK, and I want you to as well, which is why I’ve compiled this list of the se7en most underrated places to visit in the UK.
Right now, with things as they are in this crazy old world of ours, I thought it apt to list one of the most beautiful villages in all of the UK, which is also one that played a crucial role in the natural history of this great nation.
Eyam is located in the beautiful Peak District of Derbyshire (and don’t worry, I’ll be taking you to at least one more place in the Peak District before this article is concluded) that is known as the ‘Plague Village’.
Eyam, which is pronounced Eem, is sometimes known as the village of the damned. Here, back in 1665, a bale of cloth arrived in the village, infested with fleas carrying the bubonic plague.
The plague ravaged the village and entire families were wiped out in weeks. The brave villagers, though, opted to quarantine themselves in order to prevent the plague from spreading to other parts of the country, and so they stayed put, with 260 people losing their lives.
Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and makes for a great day out, or a long weekend away.
Cornwall is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning counties in the UK, especially during the summer when the sun is shining.
Despite Cornwall being a popular holiday destination, many people overlook Padstow, home of celebrity chef Rick Stein, in favour of places like Newquay.
Padstow is a fishing town located in North Cornwall, that makes for a fantastic holiday destination.
With beautiful restaurants, including ones owned by Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth, as well as quirky shops, beautiful harbour locations, boat trips, and plenty of fish and chips and Cornish pasties, Padstow is one of Cornwall’s most underrated towns and you simply have to visit.
Up next I’ve got my first urban offering for you, but don’t worry, it’s a beauty.
The city of York features numerous tourist attractions, including Clifford’s Tower, York Minster, and the Jorvik Viking Centre, where visitors can learn about York during Viking reign.
There’s also York Dungeons, boat trips, and the Shambles, which is an ancient street that dates back to medieval times, where it was a street primarily made up of butcher’s shops. The street is unique in design as the buildings are ‘wonky’ by design, as they were built to keep the meat out of direct sunlight.
If visiting York, be sure to grab a Yorkshire pudding wrap – they’re amazing.
The village of Castleton is my second offering to you today, that originates from the stunning Peak District National Park.
Castleton is located in the High Peaks on the edge of Hope Valley. It is a relatively small village with quirky shops, drystone walls, beautiful pubs, and fantastic countryside views in the distance.
It is also home to Peveril Castle, and numerous caves which you can explore by tour, including Blue John’s Cavern, and, don’t laugh ‘The Devil’s Arse’.
There is also Winnat’s Pass, which is reported to be haunted.
Castleton is beautiful all year round, and, makes for a wonderful staycation destination.
Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Sheffield may not be the prettiest of cities, but don’t let that put you off, because the Steel City, as it is known, makes for a wonderful day out and is located in an ideal spot as it is just a short drive away from the Peak District National Park.
Sheffield has plenty to offer its visitors, including plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, and the stunning Botanical Gardens.
If you want to learn more about Sheffield’s history of steelmaking, and how it helped play its part in the Second World War, you won’t need to look very far.
Clovelly is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful villages in the UK, and dare I say, the entire world.
With its cobbled streets, harbours and quays, sea views, brilliant white, yellow, and blue cottages, brilliant and vibrant flowers, and its prime location perched on a 400-foot cliff, Clovelly is a tourist’s dream come true, with the added bonus of there being no vehicles.
The village itself offers spectacular sea views, and you can also partake in guided tours.
Interestingly, Clovelly was once owned by Queen Elizabeth I, and I can certainly see why.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
Finally, last but certainly not least, I present to you the fishing town of Whitby.
Whitby is a fishing town famed for its historic links to Captain Cook, as well as Dracula, or rather, Bram Stoker, who took inspiration for his Dracula story whilst staying here and gazing out to sea, and actually included it in his book.
With beautiful beach access, Whitby Abbey, St Mary’s Church, the 199 steps, piers, prime crabbing locations, and its stunning harbours and boat trips, there’s plenty to do here.
Whitby is also a great base for your holiday, as other beautiful seaside locations including Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay, and Runswick Bay, are all a stone’s throw away.
Oh, and as no seaside visit is complete without fish and chips, many, celebrity chef James Martin included, consider Whitby to be home to the best fish and chips in the world!
I can’t wait until this will be all over and I will be able to tell you from all my heart don’t stop wandering!