The United Kingdom is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with numerous visitors coming in every year to check out its most famous landmarks. And while there’s nothing wrong with seeing Stonehenge, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, there are many other beautiful spots you need to see. Moreover, you need to remember that the UK includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and there are many beautiful things to see and do in these countries. Here are some of the coolest and most unusual ones.
If you love history, there’s nothing more interesting to visit than a place that takes you back in time. The Leadenhall Market in London. This covered market has a Victorian design but has been operating since the 14th century, selling fish and meat. However, the current ornate structure, including the roof, flooring and color palette, dates back to 1881. Around this time, the Leadenhall Market also became a tourist attraction. It was famously included in the 2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
When traveling to London, you must make sure to book your tickets in advance, as it is a wildly popular destination with tourists. Check Parkos for the best options when it comes to airport parking. Just make sure to book your spot early to catch the best locations.
The Fairy Pools and Glen
On the Isle of Skye, you can visit the Fairy Pools and Glen, places of mythological importance for the locals. The area is only accessible for hikers, with the most accessible path being through Glen Brittle. Ideally, you should visit on a sunny day, when the pools are so clear that you can see the stones at the bottom. The Glen is also wonderful, and although there’s no definitive folk tale associated with it, legend has it that faeries inhabit the many crevices of the land.
If you travel from the UK, you should check for parking at Manchester airport to ensure your vehicle will be safe for the duration of your trip. You don’t want to drive everywhere when you’re in Scotland, as you’ll only experience the beauty of the scenery by going around on foot.
Forest of Borth
Located in the village and seaside resort of Borth, Wales, this place is truly one of a kind. The beach is gradually revealing stumps of petrified trees, the remains of an ancient forest dating back 4,500 years ago. Remains of the submerged forest first appeared in 2014, as oak, birch and ash were revealed following a severe storm. The local peat perfectly preserved the remains, which now include a walkway. This is the latest of a series of archaeological discoveries in the area, as animal and human tracks were previously discovered nearby.
The Forest of Borth has now become part of the myth of the Cantre’r Gwaelod, an ancient sunken kingdom that has been featured extensively in literature, songs and folklore.
Known in Irish as Na Fálta Dorcha, this avenue of beech trees is located in County Antrim, in Northern Ireland. The ensemble was created in the 1770s when James Stuart planted over 150 trees along the entrance road of his new estate. The Dark Hedges have something of a spooky reputation, as some believe they’re haunted by a ghost known as the Grey Lady. Her identity has alternately been considered to be that of James Stuart’s daughter or a housemaid who passed away tragically.
The beech trees were also featured in Game of Thrones as one of the locations for the King’s Road. The 2017 Transformers film, The Last Knight, also had the Dark Hedges as a filming location.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
If you love rural landscapes, you must visit this once-abandoned Scottish village in the Outer Hebrides. Built-in the late 19th century, the traditional stone houses also offer accommodation for tourists that want to spend a little more time in the village. The thatched roofs offer plenty of refuge from the fickle oceanic climate. However, in the 1970s, the last residents moved into new homes that didn’t require quite as much maintenance.
However, fate smiled on the tiny hamlet, and preservation work began in 1989. The historic buildings were restored, and visitors can now enjoy visiting them.
Located in Eglwyswrw, the most important thing you should know about Carn Goedog is that it is the place where the bluestones in Stonehenge came from. Each of them weighs between two and five tons. Thanks to scientific analysis, Carn Goedong has been revealed as one of the indisputable Neolithic quarries from where Stonehenge rocks were extracted. However, exactly how this material made the journey back to England and other possible uses it might have had along the way remains a mystery.
In Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, you can date the ruins of a medieval abbey dating back to the 12th century. It was also used in the hit series Game of Thrones as the location for Robb Stark’s camp and where he was declared King in the North by his bannermen. The abbey was founded by John de Courcy, an Anglo-Norman knight, and while little remains of its original form today, it is still a stunning historical landmark.
It also offers a very clear view of the surrounding landscape. The Downpatrick Cathedral, with the courtyard featuring the legendary resting place of Saint Patrick, can be seen in the distance. Since you’re already in the area, you might also want to visit this landmark.
In Tregynon, Wales, you can visit the country mansion of Gregynog Hall, dating back to the 16th century. Back then, it was owned by Welsh princes but later came into the possession of two sisters. The two were avid patrons of the arts and exhibited an extensive collection within the mansion. Currently, it is still the location of the Gregynog Music Festival, which has been taking place each June since 1932.
When you visit the UK, there are many beautiful spots you should visit. You’ll just have to dig a little deeper to uncover them all.