Posted on 28/07/2020

#Tip #United Kingdom

9 places in the UK that look like they're abroad

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

The Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland © Luca Quadrio/123RF

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

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England © Andrew Roland/123RF

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.

Kent, England

Kent, England © Richard Semik/123RF

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

Little Venice, London, England © William Rodrigues Dos Santos/123RF

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

St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England © valeryegorov/123RF

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.

Gower Peninsula, West Glamorgan, Wales

Gower Peninsula, West Glamorgan, Wales © David Tyrer/123RF

This coastline looks like it could be in Normandy, or maybe even Portugal, but it's actually a lot closer to home. The Gower Peninsula in Wales is known for its beautiful coastline which is popular among hikers and water sports enthusiasts. This beautiful part of Wales is perfect for either a quiet romantic getaway or an action-packed family holiday. Oxwich Bay (pictured) is a huge 2.5-mile long beach on the southern side of the peninsula, and it's a recommended spot for all types of water sports.

Portmeirion Village, Gwynedd, Wales

Portmeirion Village, Gwynedd, Wales © Natasha Walton/123RF

This strange-looking village is one of the most out-of-place towns in the UK. With palm trees, colourful houses, fishing boats, and beautiful flowers, you could easily mistake this town with somewhere on the Italian Riviera. In fact, that's exactly the intent; architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed and built this entire town in northwest Wales in the mid-20th century, inspired by the beautiful style of small italian towns he had visited, such as Portofino. The town's Castell Deudraeth was turned into a hotel in the town years after Williams-Ellis's death, a dream he had always hoped would come true.

Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland © anyka/123RF

Another member of the stunning Outer Hebrides island chain, Lewis and Harris is one of the most beautiful and enchanting places in the world, and it's in Scotland! These perfectly blue waters are found at Luskentyre Sands in the southern part of the island (Harris), which is constantly ranked as one of the UK's best beaches. The Outer Hebrides are perfect for adventurous types, where hillwalking, climbing and mountain biking are all very popular. Who knew Scotland could look so tropical?

Jersey, Channel Islands

Jersey, Channel Islands © Fritz Hiersche/123RF

Although Jersey is not technically in the UK but rather British Crown Dependency, English is its official language and many inhabitants identify as British. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, and with its location very close to the coast of France, it's no wonder it doesn't look very British. The island is dotted with palm trees and beautiful exotic-looking flowers, as well as gorgeous, clean beaches and French-style architecture. The island also boasts a very glamorous and expensive lifestyle, and is frequented by many celebrities.