From Scotland’s mountainside garden to the magical land of Lilidorei in Northumberland, Britain’s unique but little-visited spots are a must-visit this season.

We’ve highlighted some of the unexpected and unheard attractions, activities and places to visit for you to choose from.

Durham – Hunt for Sea Glass at the Northeast coast of England

The lively harbour town of Seaham, found on the Durham Heritage Coast is world-famous for its abundance of unique sea glass. Sea Glass is man-made glass which has been discarded into the sea and shaped by the sea over several years before returning to the shore. The different coloured glass can be found on many beaches, but the amount of glass and the different colours visitors can find at Seaham make it a ‘must-visit’ site for collectors from all ages. No matter what day of the year visitors choose to stroll along the beautiful beaches of Seaham, they’re certain to spot at least one or two people doing the ‘sea glass stoop’ along the beautiful beaches of Seaham.  Visitors can convert their collected sea glass stones into jewellery of their choice at a local sea glass jewellery making shop, Sea Waves, which is a family-owned business located in Durham.

Seaham Beach is a pleasant stretch of rocky and sandy beach, with rocks pools a plenty. The dog-friendly beach stretches for approx. one mile along the town’s coastline, from the harbour wall to the north of the town. The beach can be viewed from above as you wander along the town’s clifftop.

North Yorkshire – Spend a day in an English Vineyard

Set in the rolling Yorkshire WoldsRyedale Vineyard’s sunny setting is the key to producing England’s most northerly wines. This independent, family-run vineyard has been in operation since 2009, using grapes from the aptly named Paradise Farm. The family run business has been voted as one of the 12 best vineyards to visit and tour in England and Wales in 2019. All aspects of wine production from pruning to harvesting to pressing, fermenting, bottling and labelling are carried out by hand in their converted cow byre. Whether the wine pick is Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Bacchus, Ryedale’s guided tours and tastings are sure to make it entertaining and informative.

Ryedale Vineyard – Photo credit: ryedalevineyards.co.uk

Norfolk – Seal the deal at Blakeney Point

What better way to enjoy the British sun than in the company of seals? Celebrate the year of the coast by getting this close to nature. The colony at Blakeney Point is made up of Common and Grey seals and in recent winters has been one of the biggest colonies in England. The best way to get up close and personal with the wildlife on Blakeney Point is to book onto one of the locally operated ferry trips departing from Morston Quay. The seals often pop up and swim around the boats which usually sail close to the basking seals on the beach. A great opportunity for taking pictures and creating beautiful moments at this ‘picture’-sque town.

Common seals and sandwich terns on a sand and shingle spit at Blakeney Point, Norfolk in winter | © National Trust Images/Ian Ward

Portmeirion – Explore the Welsh village of Northwest Wales

The Portmeirion village, located just outside the Snowdonia National Park, is a dreamy hideaway to be in Wales. Apart from its iconic architecture, scenic surroundings and vast woodland gardens, Portmeirion is home to hip hotels, a variety of historic cottages, spa and award-winning restaurants. Whether visitors want to enjoy the view from Llechollwyn, an architectural stroll to admire the Gothic Pavilion, Bristol Colonnade and Hercules Hall, or a vintage treat on the Welsh Highland Railways, there’s lots to do in and around this quirky Italianate village.

Portmeirion from across the Dwyryd estuary © Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

Northumberland – a magical village of Lilidorei

Lilidorei located at the heart of Northumberland is away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When in Lilidorei visitors will discover a magical, mysterious village full of play that is home to 9 clans. It aims to create an environment that encourages both imaginary and physical play. Although there are no inhabitants in the village visitors may hear members of the clan walking around from the immersive soundscape that has been created and find out more about how they live. A great way to enable children of all abilities to get outdoors and enjoy both physical and imaginary play, to be immersed in a magical world of strange sounds, storytelling, myths, and all-round fun.

When in Lilidorei visitors will discover a magical, mysterious village full of play that is home to 9 clans.

Burgh Island – The island that inspired Agatha Christie 

Burgh Island is an iconic South Devon landmark separated from the mainland by a tidal beach. This island is accessible on foot across the beach at low tide, or via sea tractor when the tide is high. The island is well known for its links to Agatha Christie, the art-deco inspired hotel and as well as a one-time haunt for pirates and smugglers.  The infamous art-deco inspired Burgh Island Hotel on the island, has housed some very famous guests. Burgh Island features (under different names) in two of Agatha Christie’s most well-known novels: And Then There Were None and Evil Under The Sun. Every year during the Agatha Christie Festival the Burgh Island Hotel hosts an ‘in costume’ lunch, and visitors can see the actual spots on the island that made their way into Dame Agatha’s books. The hotel is open to non-residents for black tie evening meals and Sunday lunch.

Burgh Island is separated from the mainland by a tidal beach, only accessible on foot across the beach at low tide, or via sea tractor when the tide is high.

Dunoon – Visit the mountainside garden in Scotland

In its wonderful mountainside setting, Benmore Botanic Garden is steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic scenery. Located at the gateway of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, its 120 acres are home to a world-famous collection of plants from the Orient and the Himalaya to North and South America, including over 300 species of rhododendrons. Visitors are welcomed by an avenue of 150-year-old Giant Redwoods, which is considered one of the finest entrances to any botanic garden. The Garden can be visited all year round, from the vibrant blooms of rhododendrons and azaleas in early spring, striking Eucryphias of late summer and breath-taking displays of rich autumn fruit and greenery. Once the visitors have soaked in all the nature, visitors can enjoy delicious home baking, snacks and refreshments at the Redwood Coffee or browse the Garden Shop.

You will be welcomed through the 150 year old Redwood Avenue, one of the finest entrances to any botanic garden. The towering giant redwoods are awe-inspiring as are many other trees at Benmore including the Douglas fir, Scots pines and Monkey puzzles. 

Yr Wyddfa – Climb the highest mountain in Wales

Yr Wyddfa, also known as Snowdon, is one of Wales’ most famous and recognisable landmarks. There are six different walking paths visitors can choose from to climb the 1000 metre Welsh mountain. The Snowdonia National Park Authority has created Llwybrau’r Wyddfa Walks app that guides visitors on the six routes to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. Llanberis Path is the easiest and longest of the six main paths. Originally, tourists were carried up this path on ponies and mules, and to this day it continues to be a pony path. The path is best for first timers who are comfortable with active mountain hikes.The route begins at the village of Llanberis which has great public transport connections. Making use of the local bus service can be a fast, efficient and sustainable way to get to the starting point. 

Snowdon, is one of Wales’ most famous and recognisable landmarks.

Cumbria – Cycling in the Lake District

The Lake District in the Cumbria region offers it’s visitors not only a chance to be immersed in the incredible scenery, but also take in the opportunity to discover the area’s rich culture and heritage, sample delicious Cumbrian food and be spoilt for choices when it comes to accommodation. Bring your bikes or hire bikes, and spend a cycling holiday in the Lakes. The Cumbrian region has plenty of places to hire a bike – road bikes, mountain bikes and electric bikes (and  plenty of charge points spread across the county too).

 

Newlands Valley in the Lake District, one of England’s National Parks – areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Isle of Wight – ‘Chill’-ing Ghost Tour

With such a wide variety of things to do on the Isle of Wight , one trip will to the island will not be enough. Even though the Isle of Wight is known for its natural beauty and hosts the world-famous annual regatta, there are numerous myths and legends surrounding the buildings and monuments of the island that are waiting to be explored. This small island is home to hundreds of ghosts and spooky happenings. For a spooky  family friendly visit, travellers can choose from a variety of ghost experiences like the Spooky farm Fun at Tapnell Farm Park, Frights & Sprites at Blackgang Chine, Ghost Tours at Carisbrooke Castle, the Festival of the Dead at Robin Hill, or Wizard Week at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Are you brave enough for the Ghost Tour at Carisbrooke Castle.

For more interesting things to do and ideas of wonderful places to visit this summer across Britain check out: www.visitbritain.com

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