7 Unusual Places to Visit in Britain

Dec 3, 2016

Hands up if you love to travel. Yep, me too. I think that traveling is one of those pass times that many of us consider too much of a luxury to do too often. It seems that we often overlook how inexpensive and easy it can be.

We do not have to leave the country to find new territories to explore and interesting sights to see. I live in London and often get out and explore other areas of Britain. This scratches my travel itch and gives me plenty to blog about, without even having to dig out my passport, never mind the credit card.

Exploring Britain also gives me a huge sense of gratitude for the country I was lucky enough to be born in. Honestly, there is a lot of variety on our little island, and some really unusual places that will delight and inspire you. Allow me to take you on a whistle stop tour of seven unusual places I have been to, and one that has been on my ‘must visit’ list for too long.

1 Cannizaro Park, South West London

London is well known for its huge tourist attractions. But it is not all about Big Ben and the Thames. If you go out of the city center, we have some real hidden gems to explore.

Cannizaro Park is just south of Wimbledon Common. The park was part of the Duke of Cannizaro’s Estate, and became a public park in 1949; with grade II listed status due to some of the rare plants. With its high walled gardens and bird aviary, it has the look and feel of somewhere more far-flung and exotic than South West London.

2 Folkestone to Dover Coastal Path

I spent a year living in Folkestone and did a great deal of local exploring. The town has some lovely restaurants, and the former lighthouse is now a little champagne bar. From Folkestone Harbor, walking east up into the chalky cliffs takes you past two Martello Towers that date back to the Napoleonic War. Today, they are oddly surrounded by a mini golf course.

My top tip if you head this way is to divert from the main path and visit Little Switzerland campsite. I know, a campsite does not sound like a place you would want to visit. But honestly, their unassuming little café has the most amazing view on a sunny day. And they make a lovely coffee cake too.

If you have got the stamina for a long walk, then follow national bike trail number two along through the village of Capel-le-Ferne to the port of Dover, and even beyond to the National Trust Coastal Path and their famous light house. My top tip here is to take some cash with you. The lighthouse does a fantastic cream tea that you won’t want to miss out on.

3 The River Wye

Whether you are hiking, biking, canoeing or driving, the landscape is amazing and changes constantly with the river. From kingfishers and dragonflies, to cattle wading through the river, you will get really up close and personal with nature.

4 Minehead

This place is so much more than just the home of Butlins. With miles of coast and clear views across to Wales, it really feels like the end of the earth here. I found this place surprisingly peaceful, and it is only a short drive from the nearby Exmoor National Park.

5 Southampton

Southampton is a rather unusual port city, with its famous town walls dating back to the 14th century. Today, these historic reminders are mixed in with a bustling shopping hub and the city nightlife. And of course, you can’t go to Southampton without visiting Ocean Village for a bite to eat and the marina view.

If you are brave enough to stay in one of the allegedly ‘haunted’ hotels then I can personally vouch for the spookiness of The Star Hotel on the high street. This 18th Century Coaching Inn has given me the creeps more than once! If you go, ask the staff to tell you about the hotel’s history.

Read also – 10 Scariest Destinations for the Brave 20 Somethings

6 Limehouse Basin Marina, London

Limehouse Basin is just to the west of Canary Wharf and can be reached by walking along the Thames Path, or by taking the Docklands Light Railway. The first time I saw the marina I couldn’t believe I was still in East London. Especially having walked along the towpath through the varying landscape of the inner city; seeing the towering offices of Canary Wharf over the council estates and grassland.

It is so peculiar to turn a corner and be faced with a huge, triangular shaped marina full of large yachts and surrounded by glass-fronted buildings. If walking the towpath is not adventurous enough for you, then I recommend hiring a kayak from Moo Canoes in the marina and paddling the circular route around the local waterways.

7 Chester

High on my hit list to visit is the historical City of Chester. I remember seeing something about the place on TV several years ago, and visiting has been in the back of my mind since then. There is something very appealing to me about the Tudor buildings, haunted hotels, views of the canal and the famously great shopping center. I know I will not be putting off my visit for much longer.

Read also – 10 Most Breathtaking Places to Travel in 2017

If your travel goal is to explore Britain, make sure you include these unusual places in your plans. Where is the most unusual or interesting place you have been to in Britain? I would love to hear about your favorite places, so please do leave me a comment.