Looking to get away in the new year, but can’t afford a trip abroad? You don’t really have to, thanks to the wide-range of places in the UK that will transport you to somewhere new. Check out these 20 UK destinations that look nothing like the UK and escape to somewhere new!

1. Lavender Gardens

20 UK destinations that look nothing like the UK
Source: Lonely Planet

Get lost in these fields of Lavender that look like they could be a set from a film. Located just outside of London in the Surrey Downs, these expansive fields of purple paradise are the perfect escape from modern living.

2. Long sands beach Tynemouth

Long sands beach Tynemouth

Swimming, surfing or simply sunbathing. This summer Tynemouth has it all. This expansive beach in the beautiful seaside town of Tynemouth is a must-see this summer. It offers a huge variety of water sports as well as plenty of walks and coffee shops. It’s only 10 minutes outside of the busy city of Newcastle, so it is an ideal day trip from there. You won’t believe you’re in the UK with the soft sand under your feet.

3. Brighton Pavillion

best destinations in the uk Brighton Pavillion
Source: Royal Pavillion

Going from very north to the very south, the Brighton pavilion is another UK destination you can hardly believe is British. It’s not just the outside that is a marvel, though, as the inside is just as enticing with galleries and a museum to entertain yourself.

4. NC500 – Scotland

prettiest british destinations NC500 – Scotland
Source: BBC

The NC500, however you wish to travel it, whether it is by bike, car or hiking, is a sight to behold the whole way. You can hardly believe it’s in Britain. The route traces the top section of mainland Scotland and is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the whole of Britain.

5. Isle of Wight

 UK Isle of Wight
Source: Visit Britain

On the Isle of Wight, there are so many unbelievable beaches, walks and holiday destinations. So rather than including just one of the spectacular locations on the island, we figured a shout out to the whole place was in order. Resembling more of an Italian island, the Isle of Wight is host to many spectacular beaches and water sports locations. As you can walk the island in a day, there is no stopping the bounds of the adventures you can have!

6. Owler Tor

prettiest countryside in the uk Owler Tor
Source: Windows 10 Spotlight Images

Owler Tor is a lost paradise that looks more like a set from Game of Thrones. Located in the Peak District, you can hardly believe it’s a real place. It’s quite a hike to get up there, but once you have, the views are well earned and incomparable to anywhere else in England.

7. Longleat

the best attractions in the UK Longleat
Source: Visit Bristol

It may seem obvious, but when you’re surrounded by lions and monkeys, it is hard to believe you’re in the middle of Warminster. Heralded as the UK’s number 1 safari park, Longleat will take your breath away with its selection of wild animals.

8. Elegug Stacks

Elegug Stacks
Source: Enseeimaging

Elegug Stacks in Pembrokeshire are a sight to behold; they are natural products of erosion. They lie on the Pembrokeshire coastal path are they are certainly the main event of the walk.

9. Tantallon Castle Scotland

Tantallon Castle Scotland

Tantallon Castle Scotland, with a view of the Northern Lights (yes northern lights in Britain), had to be included on the list. Even when the lights can’t be seen, this castle has some of the most beautiful views in the world.

10. Boardmasters

best festivals in the uk Boardmasters
Source: Cornwall Live

A festival on the beach? In England? Surely not. Well, absolutely because Boardmasters is just that. Every year Cornwall is host to some of the biggest music artists in the UK. Not too big and not too small this festival has it all. It offers more than just music, as every year it’s also host to surfing competitions on the stunning beaches of Cornwall.

11. Buttermere Lake

Buttermere Lake
Source: Sally’s Cottages

The lake district is host to too many places to mention, but this is the one that makes the list. Buttermere lake is a top spot for holidaymakers with unreal swimming and fishing, it takes around 50 minutes to walk around, but with sufficient picnic stops, it’s a must-see of Cumbria. Find out more here: https://www.visitcumbria.com/cm/buttermere-lake/

12. Portmeirion

Portmeirion uk
Source: Welsh Rarebits

Portmeirion is a village in North Wales, with buildings that more resemble those on the Italian Riviera. It’s colourful houses, and Italian style architecture does make it seem like a faraway land. It’s well set up for tourists with lots of small coffee shops, restaurants and plenty of in the surrounding area. It’s a true gem in the Welsh countryside.

13. 3 choirs

 3 choirs
Source: Three Choirs Vineyards

British wine has had a real revival in the past few years, with people realising that English sparkling wine is better than even champagne. The best place to explore this is the 3 choirs vineyard in Gloucestershire. It’s hard to believe that this vineyard is in the UK as you sleep among the grapes; the evenings are spent at their restaurant that serves the wine that is homemade on site.

14. Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove
Source: Cornwall Beaches

Kynance Cove Cornwall is a National Trust site and one of the most beautiful places in Britain. It’s found on the Lizard Peninsula and is quite the place to explore if you want to feel like you’re lost in a tropical paradise. Find out more here:

15. Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is an island off Scotland, it’s a spot of paradise with a stronger spot of a Scottish accent. It’s got incredible restaurants and even more breath-taking views.

16. Little Venice

Little Venice london
Source: Secret London

Is it a trip abroad you desire, and COVID is stopping you? Then Little Venice allows you that slice of Europe. With lots of Italian restaurants and small shops, Little Venice is an area of London, set on the canals just North of Paddington. It’s really worth a visit, find more details here: https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/401228-little-venice.

17. Valley of Rocks

valley of rocks
Source: The Best of Exmoor

Valley of Rocks is the perfect example of why the staycation this year is all the rage! You honestly could be abroad, especially while we are deep in summer. When the sun is boiling the valley rocks, this is the only place to be.

18. Gaping Gill

UK destinations that look nothing like the UK Gaping Gill
Source: Liverpool Echo

If it is an adventure that you want, you don’t need to travel abroad to get that, as Gaping hill cave will fit the bill. You can hardly believe that this is in the UK. When the sun shines through, it’s quite a spectacle to behold. It can be walked or climbed but even to see it is quite amazing.

19. Loch Awe

the best lakes in the uk loch awe
Source: Wander Somewhere

The clue is in the name when it comes to this Lake. Loch Awe In Scotland is the perfect spot for swimming, sightseeing or hiking. You won’t believe the sights you can see from it! It’s a huge body of water which, if you are brave enough to swim, yields great rewards.

20. Logan Botanical Gardens

Logan Botanical Gardens
Source: Wikipedia

If it’s transporting away without a flight that you need the Logan botanical gardens in Scotland are where you need to be. A palm filled paradise that could be easily mistaken for an Indian subcontinent, these gardens are by far the most exotic place on the list.