The UK's Beautiful, Underrated Destinations To Visit This Summer

Discover beaches, wildlife and quiet getaways closer to home this summer
Discover beaches, wildlife and quiet getaways closer to home this summer | © Irina Poliakova / Alamy Stock Photo
Lockdown might be gradually easing, but the future of international travel remains uncertain. From coastal villages to wild Scottish islands, Culture Trip rounds up the UK’s lesser-known beauty spots to travel to in lieu of going on holiday this summer.

Morar, Scottish Highlands

You might not be able to go anywhere exotic anytime soon, but – believe it or not – Scotland boasts pristine beaches to rival those of the Caribbean. Scotland’s West Coast is home to the Silver Sands of Morar, a string of idyllic white sand beaches with stunning views across azure waters to the Scottish isles. Plan your trip for a sunny day and you’ll forget you’re in Scotland completely.

White sand beaches to rival those in the Caribbean exist in the Scottish Highlands © Paul Melling / Alamy Stock Photo

Glastonbury, England

As there’s no festival this year, take the chance to explore Glastonbury’s scenic countryside without the thousands of revellers. Overlooking the pastures of Somerset is Glastonbury Tor, a sacred hill surmounted by the 14th-century remains of St Michael’s Tower. The Tor is a spiritual site for both Christians and pagans, having featured in Christian mythology and believed to conceal a tunnel that leads to a secret fairy realm.

Discover a different side to Glastonbury at the sacred Glastonbury Tor © Loop Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Jura, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Jura is one of the few inhabited Scottish islands, though its deer population is over double that of humans – there are 5,000 deer on the mountainous island, compared to just 200 people. A land of untamed wilderness and stunning scenery, Jura offers the perfect getaway, with plenty of hiking trails and a thriving artisan gin scene, run by three women who produce the island’s delicious Lussa Gin.

Jura boasts stunning scenery and a thriving artisan gin scene © Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

The Mumbles, Wales

Most people wanting to hike in South Wales will head to the Brecon Beacons, but the headland of the Mumbles, on the coast of Swansea Bay, is just as beautiful. Known as the gateway to the Gower Peninsula, a walk here takes in craggy cliffs and stunning seaside views. Make sure to check out Mumbles pier, the surfing hotspot of Langland Bay and the 12th-century Oystermouth Castle.

The Mumbles, on the coast of Swansea Bay, is a great alternative to the Brecon Beacons © Gavin Wright / Alamy Stock Photo

Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo, South Devon, England

Take a trip down South and discover Devon’s postcard perfect villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo. Located on opposite sides of Newton Creek, a tidal inlet off the Yealm River, these neighbouring villages are as pretty as Cornwall but easier to get to and far less busy. There’s plenty of unspoilt natural beauty to take in here, from quiet beaches to acres of countryside.

The neighbouring towns of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers offer a quiet, scenic getaway © Graham Hunt / Alamy Stock Photo

Kielder, Northumberland, England

Kielder, a secluded village in western Northumberland close to the Scottish border, is home to the largest man made forest in England. This 650km (404mi) area is full of hiking and cycling trails, outdoor sculptures and plenty of incredible wildlife, including a family of ospreys. It’s the perfect spot for stargazing, too, as the forest also lays claim to being one of the UK’s ‘dark sky’ hubs.

Kielder Forest is the largest manmade forest in England, and one of the country’s best spots for stargazing © idp northumberland collection / Alamy Stock Photo