We all know that slightly smug feeling of having discovered something new, be it an experience or a place. Whilst the UK may not be considered an 'off the beaten track' destination, there is so much more than meets the eye - especially if you have previously focused your trips in London. Read on to find out more about some of our favourite under the radar places and experiences across the UK & Ireland.
Dundee is opening Scotland's only design museum and the first outpost of the V&A, one of London's best museums, on September 15th. Kicking off with the wonderful Ocean Liners exhibition the beautifully designed museum set on the waterfront is not to be missed for any visitors heading to Scotland this autumn - see it before the crowds! The city itself has lots of quirky new coffee shops, little galleries and shops popping up, making it a perfect day trip from Edinburgh. Make it extra special by combining it with a private tour of the fabulous Broomhall House, the private family home of the Bruce family for over 300 years.
Stonehenge is one of the most visited tourist sites in West England, however its lesser-known neighbour Avebury Stones is considered one of the largest, most impressive and complex pre-historic sites in the UK. It partially encompasses the village of Avebury and the construction and use of the banks, ditches and stone circles are still not completely understood to this day. Fans of the Neolithic age can combine a visit with Stonehenge along with the mysterious artificial mound - Silbury Hill, or for a more 'well-rounded' day, stop in at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery for a gin masterclass. Your local driver-guide is on hand of course, allowing you to get on with what's important here - cocktail making & tasting.
Wales is one of the most underrated regions of the UK and with stunning scenery, rugged coastlines and castles galore, not to mention an activity base to rival New Zealand, we think it is an extremely cool destination. Explore a disused quarry complete with underground cave trampolines and zip wires, take a steam train to the top of a mountain and explore the quaint villages such as beautiful model Portmerion, before enjoying lunch at the nearby Plas Bodegroes. Check out our latest itinerary, which combines North Wales with nearby Chester, a historic town just over the border filled with historic Tudor buildings and small winding streets for a trip with a difference.
Interested in modern art but looking to ditch the crowds? The iconic Tate galleries have a outreach in St Ives, Cornwall, with some of the best exhibitions overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and an added bonus that it's located in the same town as the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden. Eat at The Porthmeor Café before driving through the winding lanes for a evening performance at The Minack Theatre, an open air theatre perched high on the cliffs with views of the ocean. Check out our West Country & Cornwall itinerary for more inspiration in the area.
The views from these lavender fields will make you feel like you are in deepest Provence, yet you are in fact in Surrey just an hour South of London. Wander through the sea of organic lavender, stopping to enjoy the perfumed scents before enjoying a bite to eat in their onsite café. The best time to visit the Victorian fields is July & August when the plants are in full bloom. We recommend combining this with a tour of some of Kent's best wineries and vineyards, to find out more about England's renaissance of wines. La vie en rose after all.