Looking for palm trees, white sand and clear water? Look no further than your doorstep! The UK is home to some hidden gems that look as if they could be in the Caribbean or the Med. Minimize your carbon footprint and try a "staycation" in one of these tropical-looking places this summer! Fool all your Instagram followers into thinking you're in the Maldives.
The Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Can you believe that this is in Scotland? Barra is a tiny island in the Outer Hebrides where over 60% of its inhabitants are Gaelic speakers. The east side of the island is rough and rocky, and the south is the port for ferries and other boats. But the main attraction of Barra is the north coast, where white sand beaches meet bright turquoise waters, a sight not dissimilar to the Carribbean. Even though Barra is small, it still has an airport, and the planes literally land on the beach. It's a truly unforgettable experience!
Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England
Located just off the southwest coast of England, the Isles of Scilly is a beautiful archipelago and popular holiday destination for Brits and other tourists. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the islands possess several characteristics that are not typically British, such as a huge number of palm trees and white sandy beaches. In fact, the only thing that is really typically British is the weather. Because the islands are so exposed, they are often quite cold and there is always a strong, chilly breeze blowing.
No, this isn't France. Did you know that there are vineyards in the UK too? Due to its milder climate, Kent is covered in vast vineyards, where varieties of grapes such as Huxelrebe, Bacchus and Pinot Noir are cultivated. Here, you can attend wine tastings at many of the different vineyards around the area and buy some wine, too. A particularly popular vineyard and brand is Chapel Down, located in the south of Kent, where visitors can take a tour of the estate and try the wine in their restaurant!
Little Venice, London, England
Looks like Amsterdam, right? It's actually London! This canal area in London is known as Little Venice, but we think it looks more Dutch than Italian. The Regent's Canal passes through North London, almost parallel to the River Thames, and Little Venice is found at the point where it meets the Grand Union Canal and splits off into the Paddington Basin. The Regent's Canal network was built in the early 19th century, and remains a popular area to this day with several cafés, restaurants and bars at the waterside.
St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England
You might think you're looking at the famous Mont-Saint-Michel, one of France's most visited tourist attractions, but what you're actually seeing is it's English counterpart, Saint Michael's Mount. Although its French sibling is over four times larger, the two mounts have several similarities. Both are accessible by a causeway, and both have a building atop the mount. The French one boasts a Benedictine abbey and the English, a castle. Both were named after supposed sightings of Saint Michael on or near the mounts.