Mainland UK is home to many natural treasures. While many are world-famous and are visited by millions of people each year, there are several that many haven’t even heard of, including some locals.
Here are a few of the best natural hidden gems you need to visit in the UK.
Gaping Gill Cave
The Yorkshire Dales is home to some of the most magnificent natural locations in the country. While they are popular with tourists year-round, many miss out on seeing one of the best sights: Gaping Gill Cave.
While it’s not something you will see driving past or from the air in a private jet charter, Gaping Gill Cave is breathtaking. You have to see it to believe it – and if you go at the right time of the year, you can be winched down the 98 metres for a truly unforgettable experience.
If you take a short drive or train from Sheffield, you will find the magical Owler Tor. While the Peak District itself is something everyone should visit, Owler Tor is its crown jewel.
You need to hike up to reach it, but it ‘s well worth the effort. The gritstone caps, lush greenery, and spectacular views almost make you feel like you have travelled back in time. It’s best to visit in the warmer months, as there is arguably no better place to have breakfast and watch the sunrise.
The Seven Sisters
While not a hidden gem to many locals, the Seven Sisters are an often overlooked stop for many tourists. Located on the English channel coast of East Sussex, they’re a series of chalk sea cliffs situated next to each other.
The Seven Sisters are also the central point of the Seven Sisters Country Park, which includes swathes of the surrounding countryside.
If you are an eagle-eyed fan of the Harry Potter series, Malham Cove will be a familiar sight. It was where Harry and Hermione camped while on the run in Deathly Hallows Part 1, and it has also been a relatively popular tourist spot for many people for centuries.
While this may make Malham Cove sound like it isn’t a “natural hidden gem”, it is still a reasonably unknown spot for many visitors. If you aren’t satisfied with looking at it from its base, you can hike to the top for jaw-dropping views of the surrounding area.
At a towering 978m, Scafell Pike is the tallest mountain in England. Found in the Southern Fells of Cumbria, Scafell Pike is not only one of the most gorgeous sites in England, but is also part of a unique hiking challenge. Many hikers worldwide climb it each year as part of the Three Peaks Challenge, which sees them attempt to climb Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis, and Snowdon in 24 hours or less.
The Major Oak
The Major Oak is entrenched in the natural history of England, and steeped in some very famous folklore.
Found in the heart of Sherwood Forest, the Major Oak is said to be around 1000 years old and, according to legend, was often used as a sleeping spot for a famous outlaw. It is said that none other than Robin Hood would rest under its sprawling branches after a day of adventure. While it may be a fairytale, the old oak exudes some Robin Hood magic you can’t ignore.
While its name may make you think of a high-powered car or boat, High Force is an incredible waterfall that you can find in County Durham. If seeing the waterfall isn’t enough, you can start at the top of the river, leading to the gushing waterfall at the bottom.
You can visit High Force year-round. In winter the waterfall can be seriously impressive, and sometimes even frozen.it can freeze during winter. In summer, it’s a popular spot for locals and visitors to cool off.
Finally, the Durdle Door is another spot not unknown to locals, but one you could easily miss if you don’t make an effort to see it. Found in Dorset, Durdle Door is a natural archway located just off the beach on the ancient Jurassic Coast.
Durdle Door isn’t the only thing you can find in the area either. There are countless fossils to be found on the beach due to the erosion of the rock walls surrounding the area. Don’t be surprised if you leave the coast with an ancient ammonite fossil or two, or possibly something more significant and much rarer.
While there are dozens of more natural hidden gems you should visit in the UK, these are some of the best. No trip to the UK is complete without checking a few of them off; every single one is worth the time and effort.