London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast are all amazing cities that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. But these days, due to the pandemic, travel looks different than it used to. Instead, what about trying something different and getting off-the-beaten-path? We’ve put together our top picks for absolutely beautiful places to visit in the UK to visit – while avoiding the crowds.
These activities are great if you are just visiting the UK or are lucky enough to be living there while on a working holiday. If do want to live in the UK, Stepabroad assists Canadians aged 18 to 30 with their move to the UK through our UK working holiday programs. We are a proudly Canadian-government recognized provider of work abroad support services. To help out our participants currently living in the UK, we’ve put together these top 11 places to visit in the UK where you can social distance (in no particular order).
As a World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast holds 185 million years of history. Most importantly, it’s very beautiful too. The coast spans over 150 km and is part of four different regions which are each worth their own visit: East Devon, West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland and Purbeck. The UK is actually known for having one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world and Jurassic Coast plays a big part of that.
It may not quite be Jurassic Park, but you’re sure to stumble on some amazing geological sights and impressive fossils.
England’s largest National Park might not exactly qualify as off-the-beaten-path since it is a popular destination. However, we think it belongs on every list of beautiful places in the UK to visit. Known for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged mountain ranges and tiny lakeside towns, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to experience the Lake District. With its perfect mix of adorable markets, outdoor adventures, and cozy inns, it’s no wonder that the Lake District has been a source of literary inspiration for many.
If you are looking for some cool activities in the Lake District you can take a boat cruise, stargaze in one of England’s darkest skies, or admire England’s tallest peak while cycling.
Who doesn’t love a good island getaway?
Off the coast of Scotland, you’ll find an interconnected chain of Atlantic islands – the Outer Hebrides – which caters to all types of travellers. From sandy beaches to towering mountains and moors, nature-lovers will find their fill. If it’s culture you’re after, then you will be enchanted with the Gaelic culture and the renowned Hebridean hospitality is sure to charm you.
I bet you weren’t expecting to see beaches like the below in the UK!
Famous for its surreal and breathtaking landscapes, the Isle of Skye is easily among the best places to visit in the UK. Located in the Highlands of Scotland, the largest of the Inner Hebrides is sure to enchant you.
Just think, miles of dramatic coastline and mountains as far as the eye can see. Beyond the nature, the Isla of Skye has some of friendliest locals in the UK and a captivating history will make for a lasting memory.
Snowdonia is both a region in northwest Wales and a massive National Park. The area lives up to its storybook name because of its moss-covered mountains and glacial landforms. There are also plenty of waterfalls for you to chase.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway is the perfect to reach the peak of Wales’s highest mountain without having to break a sweat. You’ll even catch a glimpse of Ireland across the sea!
Polperro is a village and fishing harbour in south Cornwall. Located in a cliff ravine, this enchanting jumble of traditional Cornish cottages by the sea is a must-see. Moreover, it’s just a few kilometres along the coast from Looe. Two birds, one stone!
You can spend the day walking around the peaceful roads and watch the fisherman come back to shore with the days catch. If you are lucky you can find a place to eat some fresh seafood. Polperro will give you a taste of a slower life – far from the bustling London life.
The Dark Hedges is a tunnel of enchanting (or slightly spooky depending on the time of day) beech trees along Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland.
Fans of Game of Thrones will recognize these ancient trees from the first episode of season two. Not to mention, there are a few other Game of Thrones locations in the area. HBO fanatic or not, the Dark Hedges are a sight to behold should you find yourself in Northern Ireland.
First erected by salmon fishermen in 1755, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is truly a sight to behold.
This Northern wonder spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below. Linking the mainland to the minuscule island of Carrickarede, this lovely jaunt is not for those with a fear of heights. Nevertheless, it is one of the most stunning places to visit in the UK.
A mythical giant’s creation or the result of rapidly cooling lava from an underwater volcano? We’ll never know for sure.
Situated on one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is home to a unique rock formation of 40 000 interlocking basalt columns. The symmetry and history of the land will certainly to captivate you – and leave you wondering how it came to be.
The tallest cliffs in England can be found here. Outstanding in its natural beauty yet near busy southeastern towns, Beachy Head is the perfect mix of tranquillity and practicality.
If you suffer from vertigo or are afraid of heights… you might want to skip this one.
Talk about beautiful! Close enough to be a quick day-trip from London, Mayfield Lavender Farm will transport you to Provence, France in a heartbeat (you are actually still in the UK).
With purple flowers as far as the eye can see, this is the place frolicking was made for. Bonus: you’ll smell amazing and feel very relaxed once you finally decide to leave this postcard scene.
In short, whether you’re heading on a regular vacation or embarking on the adventure of a lifetime with a working-holiday, the United Kingdom will blow you away with its beautiful places to visit. While we love the city life in the UK in cities such as London and Edinburgh, there are lots of amazing escapes to avoid the crowds and experience the beautiful nature of the UK.
What are your favourite spots in the UK? We’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below!
Geneviève is a Working Holiday Specialist at Stepabroad and an avid world traveller. Originally from Quebec, she has lived abroad in four countries, including on working holidays as a Stepabroad Ambassador in Chile and Australia.