Due to the uncertain economic times and a widespread tightening of belts, a return to domestic holidays has become popular amongst UK citizens. People are trading Biarritz for Blackpool and Torremolinos for Torquay to rediscover the charms of this country. This is an encouraging trend which will not only help the economy but enable people to discover some hidden treasures. Domestic holiday operators such as UKbreakaways run hundreds of trips to all corners of our green and pleasant land making easy as well as cheap to explore whatâ€™s on your doorstep. Thereâ€™s a lot more to the UK than deckchairs, aggressive seagulls and crumbling arcades though, hereâ€™s a list of places you wouldnâ€™t believe were destinations within the United Kingdom.
Portmeirion, North Wales
Setting for cult classic 60s TV series The Prisoner, this charming tourist village was built entirely in the style of an Italian settlement. The villageâ€™s designer wanted to bring a bit of Mediterranean atmosphere to the West Wales coast and certainly succeeded with white washed baroque buildings sitting majestically amongst the rugged hillside.
Seilebost Beach, Outer Hebrides
You could be forgiven for mistaking the beautiful blue sea and white sands of Seilebost Beach with those of Hawaii or the Seychelles when seeing it in all itâ€™s glory on a bright sunny day. Seilebost on the Isle of Harris is a wonderful rambling destination and a great place to get away from it all.
Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Situated on the Cornish cliffs near Landâ€™s End, this open air theatre looks as though it is straight from Ancient Greece. In reality, it was built in the mid-twentieth century by keen thespian Rowena Cade who wanted to create a dramatic backdrop for a performance of The Tempest. To this day the theatre is still used during the summer months with a vibrant programme of shows.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
Famously featured by Bram Stoker in the gothic classic Dracula, Whitby is a town of eerie charm and excellent fish and chips. The ruins of a Whitby Abbey sit imposingly on the tops of the cliffs overlooking an attractive harbour, while the townâ€™s cobble streets are lined with endlessly fascinating shops stocking Whitby Jet jewellery and other local produce.
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
While the local cheese may grab a lot of the limelight, Cheddarâ€™s spectacular gorge is well worth a visit. The dramatic limestone rock faces in the Mendip Hills provide a breath-taking backdrop whilst driving through and the caves withstalagtites and stalagmites give a reason to stick around.
Dunrobin Castle, Scottish Highlands
This stately home situated in North Scotland has some true Disney magic about it. Built in early fourteenth century in the style of a French chateau, Dunrobin Castle is one of the UKâ€™s oldest continuously habited houses. Visitors can enjoy falconry displays, some exquisite gardens and learn about the castleâ€™s rich history.