When you think of England, what do you imagine?  The pageant and ceremony of London?  The rolling countryside and the honeyed stone villages of the Costwolds?  Cathedral cities and historic sites?  The urban buzz of Birmingham, Manchester and beyond?  I’ve got great news for you.  If you’ve already experienced all these fabulous places, I’m opening up my book of the best lesser known spots to encourage you to see more of England.  Here you’ll find wild moors, fascinating small towns with lots to do, cities with an unexpected past and some of the most beautiful villages in England.  Let me show you my favourite undiscovered places in England.

Planning to see more of England?  Why not pin this for later!

England's Best Kept Secrets_ 15 Undiscovered Places To Enjoy

Settle: Nestling In The Yorkshire Dales

Undiscovered Places In England: Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle Railway in the Yorkshire Dales

The official website of the Yorkshire Dales National Park states that the Dales “has many moods”.  That’s entirely true, and there’s a savage beauty in the often isolated communities and countryside of the Dales.  The market town of Settle, lying on the edge of that savage beauty, is a serene introduction.  The very isolation of the Dales means that Settle was originally served by pack horse trails.  It grew in importance because of the wool trade and the creation of mills nearby.  

In the Square here, you’ll find lots of family-owned businesses. There’s a Folly, hosting a museum, and the Gallery On The Green, thought to be the smallest art gallery in the world.  Nearby you’ll find caves where prehistoric finds were discovered.  You can explore Malham and Castlebergh limestone crag.  

Watching the weather roll in at Settle Station on the Settle Carlisle Line

Settle is also the start of one of the great railway journeys.  The line running from Settle to Carlisle passes through spectacular countryside, and includes the highest station in England.  Take the train to access all kinds of walks in the Dales and also to appreciate the beauty of Ribblehead Viaduct, a spectacular construction that crosses the valley not long after you leave Settle.  

Find out more: Settle Carlisle Railway 

Tintagel: Legends Of King Arthur In Cornwall

11 Things To Do In Cornwall, Land of Myths and Legends - King Arthur, Tintagel

Tintagel, the village on a mountain, is set on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast.  If the name seems familiar, that’s because this is the place linked with legends of King Arthur, Excalibur and Merlin.  What I can also tell you is that Tintagel is wild, raw and ready to inspire all kinds of legendary dreams.  

Britain's 17 Most Amazing Castles You Must Visit - Tintagel Castle

Arthurian legend recounts that Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, left his wife Igraine in Tintagel while he went to war.  Merlin disguised Luther Pendragon as Gorlois, enabling him to impregnate Igraine with the young King Arthur.  Today you’ll find plenty to explore including the castle, and the headland which is also the site of an early Celtic monastery.  This was a wealthy place with plenty of examples of high value goods traded.  

You can visit King Arthur’s Hall at Trevena, with its 73 stained glass windows telling the tales of Arthurian legend.  There’s also the Camelot Castle Hotel, complete with a central entrance tower and a Great Hall designed as a replica of the Winchester Round Table.  The coastline has a unique turquoise hue resulting from deposits of copper in the water.  Don’t forget to check out the beaches at Trebarwith Strand and Bossiney Haven.  

Find out more:  11 Things To Do In Cornwall: Land of Myths And Legends 

England's Best Kept Secrets_ 15 Undiscovered Places To Enjoy

Coventry: Medieval City Of Peace And Reconciliation

13 Compelling Things To Do In Coventry, England - Coventry Cathedral

On the route between Birmingham and London, Coventry’s a modestly sized city with a surprisingly deep history.  Once home to Lady Godiva, one of the first social campaigners and said to have ridden naked through the streets to protest at rent rises, Coventry has a medieval heart that is both beautiful and unexpected. 

13 Compelling Things To Do In Coventry, England - Lychgate Cottages

You may have heard of Spon Street and its Tudor timbered buildings.  But there is way more to explore.  Go wandering around by the cathedral and you’ll find the ruins of St Mary’s Benedictine Priory, plus the lovely jutted Tudor houses of Lychgate Cottages which date back to 1414.  Then there’s St Mary’s Guildhall, a building so splendid you half expect to encounter a medieval resident paying some taxes in the Council Room, or music emerging from the Mistrels’ Gallery.  Don’t forget to look up at the beautiful ceiling and stained glass.  

13 Compelling Things To Do In Coventry, England - St Mary's Guildhall

Then there’s Coventry Cathedral.  This is a building with a poignant history, and with beauty that grew from devastation.  After the city was bombed in the war, architect Sir Basil Spence drew up plans for a building that incorporated a beautiful new space while incorporating the ruins of the bombed cathedral.  Open to the sky, the older part of the cathedral holds art works focused on the message of peace and reconciliation that the city promotes.  You can climb the 180 steps of the old tower to see the city from on high.  

Coventry’s not all about its distant past.  FarGo Village, on Far Gosford Street, is a collection of small and arty businesses, plus vibrant cafes and bars.  Stop off here for everything from a new selection of reads to scooters, a brewery visit and a vegan brownie.  You should also call in at the 2 Tone Village, which pays homage to Coventry’s contribution to the music scene.  As a tribute to the city’s fine contribution to travel, don’t miss the Transport Museum.  Covering the city’s role as a bicycle and car manufacturer par excellence, you can see Thrust 2, some mighty Triumphs such as the Spitfire and contemplate the correct attire for lady cyclists: knickerbockers, of course.  

Find out more: 13 Compelling Things To Do In Coventry

Vale Of White Horse: A Quieter Version Of The Cotswolds

15 Hidden Treasures In The Vale Of White Horse, Oxfordshire - White Horse at Uffington

If you’ve been seduced by the honeyed stone villages of the Cotswolds, you may have noticed that it can get a little busy there.  Step up to the Oxfordshire border, and take some time to explore the Vale of White Horse instead.  Named after the Uffington White Horse, a stylised chalk figure carved into the hills, the Vale offers you a collection of small towns and villages.  They are absolutely charming, although different in character to the Cotswolds, and offer you a quintessentially English experience.  

15 Hidden Treasures In The Vale Of White Horse, Oxfordshire - The White Horse

There’s a beautiful walk that takes in the Uffington White Horse.  Nearby you’ll find Dragon Hill, a mound without vegetation.  It’s said to be where St George slayed the dragon, the beast’s blood making the mound barren forever.  You can also take in Wayland’s Smithy, a Neolithic chieftain burial tomb.  The invisible smith is said to have shod horses for payment.  Up here you’re on the Ridgeway, said to be the oldest road in Europe, and possibly 5,000 years old.  

The towns are equally fascinating.  We loved Faringdon, a Fairtrade Town.  There’s a small visitor centre full of locally produced crafts, and a lovely collection of independent shops.  You can find public artworks of hares here, part of the Costwolds AONB Hare Trail. 

15 Hidden Treasures In The Vale Of White Horse, Oxfordshire - Faringdon Folly

Then there are the stories of Faringdon’s eccentrics.  Spot a diver’s helmet as part of a bench?  That’s to mark a bet extended to Salvador Dali; the penalty for losing was to walk into the town in a full diving suit.  You can find out more about Lord Berners, who extended the bet, at Faringdon Folly.  If you’ve never seen an English folly, this one’s a treat.  Follow the tree lined path uphill, and you’ll come into an open space surrounding the tall folly itself, complete with a sign pleading that you not feed the giraffes.  We didn’t spot any long-necked beasts, but there was a hare at the edge of the woods.  

Head on to Abingdon-on-Thames and you’ll find the mighty river itself.  You can hire a boat, walk the Thames Path or simply enjoy lunch or dinner overlooking the river.  If you visit on high days or holidays, be careful to dodge a bun or two.  They are thrown from the County Hall on celebratory occasions, and you can see a fine collection of previously thrown buns there.  A coffee shop known as the Throwing Buns is just opposite, so you might be able to buy one if there are none being thrown when you visit.

Find out more: 15 Hidden Treasures in the Vale of White Horse

Devon’s Hartland Peninsula – Small Villages and Wild Smugglers’ Coast

11 Places You Must Visit in Devon, England - Hartland Quay, Devon, England_ Near Barnstaple, the Quay has a small museum explaining its place in the Bristol Channel's seafaring history.

Beyond the towns of Barnstaple and Bideford, North Devon is a collection of small villages and hamlets at the coast.  One of the least traveled and wildest spots I’ve found is the Hartland Peninsula.  Here you’re talking small lanes with big hedgerows and occasional passing places.  Hartland itself is a small and pretty village with a few shops and a cafe (with an outside small table for small guests and their small bears).  Drive on a little further and you’ll reach the lighthouse, where you can stop off to walk a while and admire the views.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Speke's Mill Mouth Waterfall near Hartland Quay in North Devon

Then head on down to Hartland Quay.  From the road, you’ll take a steep lane full of hairpin bends.  Then suddenly the view of the sea opens out before you.  This is the wild coast, full of tales of shipwrecks and smugglers.  There’s a small hotel here, with accommodation, a pub, information about the Quay and a shop selling ice creams, momentos and snacks.  Then you’re on the Quay itself.  The cliff formations here are stunning, and quite frankly vertigious.  You can well imagine how ships wrecked here.  Take a walk on the beach among the rocks and rockpools.  Bring your binoculars to see the shipping and distant views of Lundy Island.  And don’t forget to visit out of season too; wrap up for a wild adventure.  

Find out more: Surf’s Up In North Devon

The Forest Of Bowland: From idyllic Valleys To Wild Moors In Lancashire

Undiscovered Places In England: Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

If you head south from the city of Lancaster, past the university campus and the village of Galgate, you’ll spot a turning to the left to enter the Forest of Bowland.  If you’ve never been here before, you’re in for a treat.  This is a place of big open spaces and massive contrasts, with a few scattered hamlets.  You start off in the river valley.  Here you’ll meet sheep safely grazing.  There are woods and places to stop to investigate the river, and to appreciate the beauty of the countryside.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

Then you start to climb.  There’s a reservoir, shining and still, and waterfalls full of thundering power.  At times the road is so narrow, you’ll feel that you are clinging to the hillside.  Climb further and the scenery turns to stark moorland with heather and gorse.  Pull over, and you might well be the only person within miles, save for the inhabitants of the one farm you can see on the horizon.  Be prepared to meet stray sheep on the road, scampering and curious.  Or, as we also did, a collection of cows, escaped from their field and looking for adventure. 

This is one of the places where there is so little light, you can see the stars and planets beautifully at night.  So wrap up warm and consider making this a stargazing spot.  On this small crowded island, it’s good to find beautiful places where you can be truly alone.  

Find out more: England’s Hidden Travel Treasures

Hack Green: The Secret Nuclear Bunker

Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker: Life Underground In The Nuclear Age

England is renowned for its eccentricity, and this list needs to contain at least one oddity in its suggestions of secret spots to visit.  And this is a secret – as in not well known – and secret – as in hidden – spot, so you get double your secrets here.  

Deep in rural Cheshire, you’ll find signs pointing to Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker.  Despite my jollity above, this can be a saddening visit, as it comprises one of the spots designed to provide a safe place for government to operate during the outbreak of nuclear war.  Formerly a military listening post, Hack Green was converted to a bunker in order to help the UK’s security during the cold war.  

Arrive at Hack Green, and you’ll find a building largely built into a grassy mound.  You enter through the facility’s canteen, and then a self-guided tour will take you through all the parts of the bunker, from decontamination rooms to a hospital, and the place where government would have broadcast to the nation in the event of nuclear war.  

Hack Green is a mass of contradictions.  It has a trail for younger visitors to spot secret spy mice.  You’ll also find some lovely unexpected moments, like the chance to spot Goulash the (real) bunker cat, and you’re reminded not to feed him.  The canteen and refreshment area tells you what to do – as in get under your table – in case of attack.  But the threat it served to counter is visceral and real, and presented to you unsanitised.  It’s a sobering visit, and a fascinating insight into what life could have been for those serving their country in its operational lifetime.   

Find out more: Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker

Crosby Beach: Art Shaped By The Tides

Undiscovered Places In England: Crosby Beach, Antony Gormley, Another Place

A mere twenty minutes or so by train from Liverpool, itself well worth your time, you’ll find Crosby.  Originally a Viking settlement, the town is mentioned in the Domesday Book.  It’s made up of a string of settlements along the Irish Sea, including Great Crosby, Little Crosby, Waterloo and Blundellsands. 

The 11 Best Beaches In England You Must Visit - Crosby Beach, Liverpool, Another Place by Antony Gormley

In the nineteenth century, the first Lord Of The Admiralty described the sea views as being second only to those in the Bay of Naples.    In fact, you can see a lot of sea captain’s houses scattered along the beachfront at Crosby, those mariners having been seduced by the beauty of the coast.  Today there are some industrial elements to that beauty – from passing cargo ships to wind turbines – but the romance of the sea lingers.  

That may be why the beach is the setting for an art installation.  If you’ve ever heard of Antony Gormley’s Iron Men, they’re here, in an installation called Another Place.  Each of the 100 men is cast, life size from the artist’s body.  And there are many of them, some almost submerged, others paddling, and some untouched by the waves.  Get up close, and you’ll see that sea life has taken over, with barnacles and seaweed and some erosion.  Sometimes you’ll find them dressed up; we’ve spotted one in a bikini and sarong.  

Don’t forget to travel further up the coast to Formby, where you’ll find sand dunes backed by pine woods, ponds and lakes.  Here too you’ll find one of the few red squirrel colonies in England.

Find out more: Holding Mr Gormley’s Hand On Crosby Beach

Whitby: Bram Stoker’s Inspiration For Dracula

Undiscovered Places In England: Coast of North Sea in Whitby of North Yorkshire UK

Tucked in at the edge of the North York Moors National Park, Whitby’s a place that rewards the journey to one of the more remote undiscovered places in England.  Still a working port, shipping to Europe and Scandinavia, this seaside town has a fine tradition of seafaring.  Captain Cook learned his trade here.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Ruins of Whitby Abbey

Whitby has many good reasons to attract visitors.  You’ve got the heritage coastline, the aforementioned moors and also the town’s mining of jet which was started by the Romans.  Up on the East Cliff, dramatically ruined Whitby Abbey casts shadows and stark shapes against the skyline.  It was home to Caedmon, the earliest recognised English poet.  The Anglo-Saxon Abbey was a double monastery, accommodating both men and women.  

Then there’s Dracula.  Whitby is the setting, and many local folklore events appear in the novel, including the sinking of the Russian ship Dmitri.  Even the name Dracula was found by Bram Stoker in the old town library.  In fact if you’re looking for literary inspiration here you’ll find it via Charles Dickens who was a visitor, and Wilkie Collins who stayed here with the woman who became The Woman In White.  Add Mary Linskill, G.P. Taylor’s Shadowmancer and A.S. Byatt’s Possession and you can see you might need a trusty pen and notepad when you visit.  

Find Out More: Visit Whitby

Appledore: Maritime History, Art and Literature in A Small Devon Village

11 Places You Must Visit in Devon, England - Appledore

Take the coast road to North Devon from the M5, and you’ll arrive at the coastal town of Barnstaple.  Appledore is just a short drive further, and here you’ll find a small and perfectly formed village that has attractions way beyond anything you could imagine of such a small spot.  

Things To Do In Appledore

Originally a shipbuilding port situated on the estuary, Appledore made ships to send to the New World.  Beside its docks, you can find lists of the original vessels, the first recording the names of local places before branching out into more obscure influences.  Opposite is the Maritime Museum, filled with tales of smuggling, wrecks, bravery and even a little haunting.  

Things To Do In Appledore

Wander on down to the Quay, and you’ll encounter more of Appledore’s charms.  There’s a fine deli, plenty of restaurants and unique shops and galleries lining the narrow lanes, laced with brightly coloured houses and even more brightly coloured door knockers.  You’ll find plenty of fresh seafood newly landed daily, and space for crabbing on the harbour steps.  Visit in September, and you’ll be able to enjoy the internationally renowned Book Festival, but remember to book early.

Find out more: Things To Do In Arty Appledore – Historic Devon Fishing Village

Shaftesbury: Hilltops and Snowdrops

Undiscovered Places In England: Gold Hill Shaftesbury Dorset

Deep in Dorset, Thomas Hardy’s country, you’ll find the pretty small town of Shaftesbury.  I once had the pleasure of spending a summer housesitting here, and it remains a great memory of life spent at a slower and beautiful pace.  

Overlooking Blackmore Vale, you can see as far as Glastonbury Tor from the top of the town.  Dorset’s only hilltop town is legendary for the steepness of its roads.  Play the adagio from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, and Brits of a certain age will remember an advert showing a small boy talking about bread delivery (one of Ridley Scott’s early works).  The setting for the advert was Gold Hill, still every bit as charming with its cobbles and thatched cottages, although not somewhere you really want to climb with two full bags of heavy groceries.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Gold Hill Shaftesbury Dorset

The now ruined abbey was once the wealthiest Benedictine nunnery in England.  Indeed, there were two mints in the town, making its own currency.  The Abbey Museum on the site has a herb garden and a medieval orchard.  Shaftesbury was a major centre of pilgrimage, and King Canute died here.  Its wealth continued to build through cloth, button making and brewing.  Nearby Duncliffe Hill has a nature reserve on a conical mound that can be seen for miles.  And the snowdrops?  Shaftesbury has a carefully curated collection of many different varieties.  Visit in February to see the delicate while flowers at their best.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Dorset Thatched Cottage

Find out more: Shaftesbury and the Blackmore Hills 

Bakewell: Legendary Tarts And The Peak District

Undiscovered Places In England: Bridge over the River Wye in Bakewell, Peak District

Wander through the aisles of any British supermarket, and you’re likely to find a box of Bakewell Tarts.  Rich with almond frangipane and cherry jam, the tarts were created in Bakewell as a result of a fortunate culinary mishap.  You can still find plenty of lovely examples to try.  There’s also its counterpart, the original Bakewell Pudding, made with a puffy crust and a sweet cousin of the Yorkshire Pudding.  You can fill your (walking) boots at three bakers in the town which are stuffed with varieties of both delicacies.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Bakewell Tarts

But aside from tarts and puddings, Bakewell is well worth your time.  It nestles up to the River Wye, giving a beautiful backdrop and access to plenty of Peak District walks.  Visit on a Monday to enjoy the market.  The five arched bridge over the River Wye is deservedly one of the Peak District’s most famous landmarks.  The end of July is a great time to visit to see the well dressing in the town.  Chatsworth House,  Haddon Hall and Crich Tramway Village are nearby as is Arkwright’s Mill for shopping.  If you’ve a head for heights, don’t forget the cable car up Masson Hill to the Heights of Abraham.

Find out more: Bakewell Visitor Centre, Peak District National Park

Kingswood Junction: Heritage Waterways

Undiscovered Places In England: Kingswood Junction - Stratford-upon-Avon and Grand Union Canals

If you like some heritage mixed in with beautiful countryside, then you should take time to explore England’s canal system.  Everything here is seen in detail at a slower pace: four miles an hour for you and the narrowboat traffic on the waterways.  

Kingswood Junction puts you in the heart of Shakespeare country where the Stratford-upon-Avon and Grand Union Canals meet.  The canal towpaths here offer you all sorts of tantalising directions to explore.  Or you could just loiter at the convenient picnic tables and watch the canal world pass by. 

Holiday Afloat In A Narrowboat - 7 Beautiful Reasons To Go Boating

This is a splendid place to watch the seasons change: hoar frost giving way to the first crocuses, then daffodils and the trees regaining their leaves.  The swans begin to build their nests, the herons stand watchfully, and if you are very lucky, you might spot a flash of turquoise from the kingfisher upstream.  Then the canals ripen, their margins pregnant with blackberries, hips and elderflowers, and even the odd wild raspberry or two.  Hire a boat and see England’s beauty in all its details.  It’s a fabulous way to enjoy time with family and friends, and if you have dogs, they’ll love you forever for all those walks.  

Holiday Afloat In A Narrowboat - 7 Beautiful Reasons To Go Boating

Find out more: Narrowboat holidays in the UK

Lundy Island: In Pursuit Of Puffins And Seals

Undiscovered Places In England: Grey Seal off Lundy Island

There are harbours at Bideford and Ilfracombe in Devon, and from either harbour, depending on the day of the week, you can launch yourself into a truly splendid adventure.  Lundy Island, named from the Norse word for puffin, is less than 20 miles away.  But in many senses, it’s part of another world: one of seafarers, cliffs, wild moors and harsh living.  

You’ll need walking boots and good outdoor clothing for the Lundy trip.  Beyond the pub and houses, it’s a steep walk, and although the island is small, there are times when you can be entirely alone.  There’s a single pub and shop, holiday accommodation for people staying over (you can order your provisions to sail out with you if needed), and be aware that the lights go out early here, save for in the pub.  

In return you get proper wild spaces.  Check out puffins, sheerwaters, seals.  Watch the inquisitive sheep, and take care with your footing on the way to the lighthouse.  If your mind is noisy, this is the place to allow it to return to quiet.  Island life is something truly exceptional and this is definitely one of the most undiscovered places in England.  

Find out more: Lundy Island

Ludlow And The Welsh Marches

Undiscovered Places In England: Ludlow Castle

Where England meets Wales along the line of Offa’s Dyke, you’ll find the castles and historic towns and villages of the Welsh Marches.  This is a land laced with history, tales of battles, allegiances and power changing hands.  Take Ludlow, described by poet John Betjeman as the finest town in England.  The Princes in the Tower spent their early years at Ludlow Castle.   Now it hosts events, including the magnificent annual food fair.  In the town you’ll find all kinds of foodie delights, including produce to make every chef swoon.  The town itself is magnificent, full of Georgian and timbered buildings, and packed with independent shops.  You won’t be short of things to do either, as Ludlow has a packed social calendar. 

Undiscovered Places In England: View over Ludlow and the Shropshire Hills

Take yourself up to the Shropshire Hills, where there’s a path less traveled for you to choose.  There’s gliding, hang-gliding and walking out of Church Stretton, known as Little Switzerland.  Don’t forget the fascinating and frankly odd museum called The Land Of Lost Content.  And the walks: the Long Mynd, the Stiperstones and Clee Hill with its stark quarries and sheep safely grazing.  If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll find it here.  

Undiscovered Places In England: Half Timbered House In Ludlow, Shropshire, England

Find out more: Ludlow and the Welsh Marches

Undiscovered Places In England

These are my favourites.  What about yours?  And the exciting thing is that my list is ever-changing.  There is always something new to discover on this magnificent island.  Whether it’s the heavy hitters with big charms, or places where the spectacular is found in the details, I hope I’ve found somewhere new for you to explore.  Don’t forget to check out our cool and unusual essentially English experiences too, where fellow travel writers have brought out their treasures, from places to experiences.  

Ready for more hidden gems?  Check out our new collection of places in Secret England: 12 More Hidden Gems To Enjoy.  

Planning a trip to England and beyond?  We’ve got a selection of magnificent 10 Day UK Itineraries for you, many of which can be achieved without a car.  Or try some alternative day trips from London by rail.  

Ready to discover more of England?  Why not pin this for later!

England's Best Kept Secrets_ 15 Undiscovered Places To Enjoy




Author: Bernie

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48 thoughts on “England’s Best Kept Secrets: 15 Undiscovered Places To Enjoy

  1. great list,which I am ashamed to say I have only scratched the surface. Must do better. kx

    Posted on January 28, 2019 at 12:47 pm
  2. Great tips. Crosby Beach looks beautiful. I will keep in mind if I am ever out that way.

    Posted on May 12, 2019 at 9:45 pm
  3. So much more to England than people realise. I need to save this for our next visit – lots of great ideas!

    Posted on May 13, 2019 at 2:10 am
  4. Great post! Being from England there are a few we’ve heard of a visited, Settle for example is somewhere we would go climbing a lot, Crosby beach is near by brothers house in Liverpool and the Lancs moors are on our doorstep being from Manchester! However there are heaps we’ve not heard of and it makes us look forward to heading home from our extended time travelling to see some new things in England!

    Posted on May 13, 2019 at 2:11 am
  5. England is so picturesque, all you need is good weather in order to visit!

    Posted on May 13, 2019 at 5:03 am
  6. Wow you’ve seen a lot of history! I love how it is all off the beaten path. Shaftesbury is super near Sherborne, which is the town that made me fall in LOVE with England. It also made me obsessed with moving to Europe.

    Posted on May 13, 2019 at 6:41 am
  7. Well, you’re right – – I was not familiar with most of these places, and now I want to see them all. I loved the wild coastline at North Devon, and that art installation on Crosby beach. I had heard of Shaftesbury, but have never visited. It looks lovely. And I could never pass up a true Bakewell tart! Thanks for the eye-opening information.

    Posted on May 14, 2019 at 9:57 pm
  8. You got me at Tintagel! A big fan of anything King Arthut, but I actually did not know that a place “existed” as such. Totally on our radar now! The village of Ludlow is really cute, these old buildings and architecture so lovely! But I guess my preference destination would be Whitby and its ruins. What stories these stones would tell!

    Posted on May 16, 2019 at 7:16 pm
  9. Wow, this is a great selection. I haven’t visited too much of the UK, but I loved what I saw. I’m definitely returning, and I’ve already added some of your destinations on my bucket list.

    Posted on May 16, 2019 at 8:48 pm
  10. I’m such an England fan and have been itching for a return trip. Lots of great things in your post but Cornwall, and more King Arthur, is at the top of my list. Shaftesbury looks interesting. Would make for great photo-ops, plus I’ve never heard of it. Great roundup!

    Posted on May 18, 2019 at 7:54 pm
  11. Ohh, so many beautiful places for me to add on my bucket list! thank you! I love England, and the UK in general is just so beautiful! hopefully i can go one day soon :). i get to travel the UK a lot, being from France lol, but tend to always go to the same places (that’s where the friends and free accommodations are, not gonna lie haha) but some of these places are close, will deffo check them out, thanks a lot!

    Posted on August 14, 2019 at 11:03 am
    1. I think we all have friends we visit on travels, and they are also always welcome at ours. 🙂 After many decades exploring England, I’m still stumbling across new treasures, and wondering how they had escaped me all these years. That’s definitely part of the joy of travel. I hope you get to see some new beauties on your next trip.

      Posted on August 16, 2019 at 8:01 am
  12. Even though I’ve been to more than 20 countries, and lived in a couple, reading travel blogs makes me feel like I’ve hardly been anywhere. Three times in the UK and never been to any of the places on your list. So many places to see and the clock’s always ticking. Even though my travel list is constantly growing, taking the family to England next year is on the shortlist of possibilities. If so, some of these suggestions should come in handy.

    Posted on August 24, 2019 at 9:28 pm
    1. I absolutely get you. I’ve spent 50 years traveling and the thrill of new discoveries still makes me happy. If England does emerge from your shortlist, then you have so many different choices to make about your trip here. Happy planning!

      Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:42 am
  13. England is so big, and I will be surprise not to see kept secrets and stunning views that tourist not familiar of. I would want to visit these views one day, especially the King Arthur’s and Little Switzerland.

    Posted on August 24, 2019 at 10:01 pm
    1. You’ve chosen some beautiful wild spots. What I love about England is the contrasts – whether you love country, coast or cities, you’ll find something to enjoy.

      Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:39 am
  14. Wow! so much to Britain that I did not know. Great discoveries – will definitely keep me busy when I get started on this list. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted on August 24, 2019 at 10:35 pm
    1. It’s a small island here, but packed full of treasures.

      Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:37 am
  15. Awesome post. London is on our family’s bucket list and we want to do all of the touristy London things- but I also want to see the rest of England so these are some amazing things I’ll have to keep in mind for when we finally get our boys to England!

    Posted on August 24, 2019 at 10:53 pm
    1. I am sure your boys will have plenty of adventures. Because we’re a small island here, there’s the chance to have some great day trips out of London too. Within three hours you could make it to the north west or Cardiff. Enjoy exploring.

      Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:36 am
  16. I’ve been living in the UK for 3 years and didn’t know most of these! Bakewell is definitely lovely, I live close to it. I’d love to go to Whitby and Lundy Island also looks beautiful!

    Posted on August 25, 2019 at 7:11 am
    1. Great choices. And if Bakewell is near you, it’s definitely time to try it out. Not only is it beautiful, but the baked goods are mighty fine too!

      Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:32 am
  17. The only place that I have visited from your list is Shaftesbury, and I loved it. It’s such a cute little village, with such a steep road 🙂 I actually had tea and coffee at the pub at the top of the street. I’d love to visit Bakewell, as the Bakewell tart is one of my favorites.

    Posted on August 25, 2019 at 6:48 pm
    1. Ah, those Shaftesbury hills! I’d swear my leg muscles grew disproportionately after a summer there. And as for Bakewell, there are infinite varieties of both tarts and puddings, so you’d be spoiled for choice. I loved the pudding; it was as though a Yorkshire pud had flirted with a load of raspberries.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 10:53 am
  18. I love finding unusual and unsung gems wherever I am, and your list gives me a great selection of new places to explore!

    Posted on August 25, 2019 at 9:07 pm
    1. I’m the same when traveling – I love to find somewhere where I’m in full discovery mode.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 10:50 am
  19. Living in the UK you tend to forget how many great things there are still left to explore. I loved visiting Tintagel, felt like I was on a movie set or something.

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 8:36 am
    1. That’s absolutely spot on for Tintagel; it’s as though someone had dropped me into a different world completely.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 10:49 am
  20. Hey Bernie!

    It is truly an insider type of an article. You know the area and these wonderful, hidden places so well. I have been to England and Scotland so far and enjoyed exploring both places tremendously. I am bookmarking your article for future reference! Wonderful!

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm
    1. There has to be some benefit to living 50+ years in the UK. 😉 I don’t count the + bit, as I was mostly toddling along checking out the things at knee height. I hope you’ll get to do more exploring here.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm
  21. Wow!!! These are really unusual places to visit. Thanks for sharing the secrets. Would love to visit.

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm
    1. The brilliant thing is that the UK is pretty small, but so diverse. You can drive from Exeter in Devon to Scotland in a day, so it’s great for exploring a lot in a short time.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm
  22. I’m English and I’ve not visited many of these places, some great ideas for my visits back to the UK. Tintagel looks gorgeous, a real coastal gem. I love the Tudor buildings and St Mary’s Benedictine Priory in Coventry, you can feel the history. The Forest Of Bowland I’ve been to as I’m a Lancashire Lass!

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 6:24 pm
    1. Ah, Bowland was my student escape! Lancashire’s a lovely county, and one more people should visit from the smokery at Glasson Dock to the epic walk across the bay. Coventry is so very underrated, with that medieval heart. Perhaps I should whisper that, despite the obvious attractions of the Bard, Coventry to my mind has even more spectacular history than Stratford.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:16 pm
  23. I still haven’t seen the Costwolds, albeit your quieter alternative might be an even better option. However, I must go back to England to see the men by Anthony Gromley – I love his art, anyway, and this installation must be just mind blowing.

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 6:34 pm
    1. I know you love art, and I think it will take your breath away. There are just so many of the men in Another Place – 100, although I don’t think I’ve seen them all in each trip. Every one has its own collection of sea life, barnacles, vegetation looped round toes and hands. And sometimes some rather whimsical attire. We’ve seen swimwear and a Santa hat. But the whole spectacle of them looking out to shipping and the wind turbines across the water is mesmerising. It’s an easy train trip out of Liverpool too, and highly recommended.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:11 pm
  24. There are some very beautiful hidden gems in this list. Some of them I’ve heard of like the iron men of Crosby Beach and some I haven’t. I lived in Shropshire for 3 years and fell in love with Ludlow which wasn’t too far of a drive for us. Such a pretty little historical town and not as big as Shrewsbury.

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm
    1. We probably go to Ludlow about once a month. 🙂 It seems like another world – and a softer, gentler one. In fact my birthday treat each year (just before Christmas) is to wake up there and wander around the shops buying our Christmas lunch – beautiful Ludlow is spectacular all bundled up in the cold and under the lights. Glad you have enjoyed it too.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm
  25. Great list of places to visit in England! I was glad to see one of my local attractions at Crosby Beach making the list, great place to walk and get some sea air, spent many a night watching the sunset from there! Will have to check out some of the other places as well!

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 8:20 pm
    1. You lucky, lucky person. I bet you’ve seen the seasons change there and the Gormleys at all different stages of the tide. One of my favourite memories is holding the hand of (I think) Number 28 and watching the tide go out.

      Posted on August 26, 2019 at 8:56 pm
  26. I love to visit secret places and therefore all these 15 hidden gems of England are intriguing to me. Vale Of White Horse is looking very beautiful. I never knew about nuclear bunker and therefore the tour to nuclear bunker also looks interesting.

    Posted on August 26, 2019 at 11:04 pm
    1. We stumbled on the Vale of White Horse by chance, and enjoyed every second of the days we spent there in towns, villages and walking the hills. As for the nuclear bunker, it’s a fascinating but chilling visit and well worth the detour. Goulash the bunker cat is also a fine beast!

      Posted on August 27, 2019 at 9:58 am
  27. Yorkshire dales and vale of white horse looks stunning. I also loved that forest of Bowland. These places are truly best kept hidden secrets. Always adore hidden beautiful places. Live to explore them
    Thanks for sharing these details.

    Posted on August 27, 2019 at 6:01 am
    1. The Dales has a wild beauty all of its own; I love that its own website states that the Dales has “many moods”. Bowland goes from wooded valley to big moor in a very sort distance, and is fascinating. I hope you get to explore.

      Posted on August 27, 2019 at 9:56 am
  28. England is the sort of country I keep going back to and there is just so many things to see that I’ll keep going back until I hit the grave haha. Thanks for sharing these amazing 15 places, I especially loved Shaftesbury – it looks SO pretty.

    Posted on August 27, 2019 at 7:00 am
    1. It really is serenely beautiful. It’s the kind of place you find yourself slipping into local life with ease. And I know what you mean about heading back to explore; I haven’t been to half of the places I want to see yet!

      Posted on August 27, 2019 at 9:51 am
  29. Amazing post! I am really mesmerized by the hidden beauty of England, I would love to visit each and every place you have mentioned in your article, mostly settle, crosby beach, bakewell, and so on. I would definitely try mouth watering tarts of bakewell. Hope to visit England soon.

    Posted on August 27, 2019 at 10:20 am
    1. There’s sure to be a Bakewell Tart waiting for you. And a great walk nearby to get your appetite going first!

      Posted on August 28, 2019 at 5:04 pm