Turquoise lagoons, mysterious sea caves and Caribbean-style beaches: Seventeen secret beauty spots in Britain revealed
- TikTokers are introducing these hidden gems to the world on the video platform
- Videos of Smoo Cave – one attraction on the list – have earned 4.1million views
- READ MORE: Fascinating guidebook reveals hidden gems in North East England
Look beyond Britain’s most famous tourist attractions and you’ll find there are heaps of hidden gems scattered across the country.
And it’s TikTokers who are leading the charge in introducing the world to these secret British beauty spots.
New research has revealed which of these ‘hidden gems’ are proving popular with TikTok users, with clips of the attractions racking up millions of views on the video-sharing platform.
The 17-strong list – compiled by mobile experts at Envirofone – includes an enchanting cave in the Lake District, a vast disused slate quarry in Snowdonia and a beach in Scotland that’s been compared to the sandy shores of the Caribbean.
It also features an array of magical waterfalls, from Scotland’s tremendous Wailing Widow Falls to Pistyll Rhaeadr in Wales, which is even higher than Niagara Falls.
Scroll down to find out which beauty spots are causing a stir on TikTok – and to plan which ones you’ll visit for yourself…
SMOO CAVE, SUTHERLAND, SCOTLAND: This spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs along the coast of Sutherland, one mile east of Durness town. The 50ft (15m) high cave boasts ‘one of the largest entrances to any sea cave in Britain’ and is floodlit inside, Visit Scotland reveals. TikTok views: 4.1million
ACHMELVICH BAY, SUTHERLAND, SCOTLAND: With its stunning, white sandy shoreline, this lesser-known beach lies near Lochinver village in Scotland. Tripadvisor user ‘FairCityFrasie’ said that it’s ‘one of the most sensational beaches in the UK if you are in search of soft, white sands, and sheltered, tranquil, clear, green-blue waters’. Meanwhile, reviewer ‘Nicola C’ went so far as to compare it to ‘something from the Caribbean’. TikTok views: 3.6million
PISTYLL RHAEADR, POWYS, WALES: Higher than Niagara Falls, Pistyll Rhaeadr is the UK’s tallest single-drop waterfall at 240ft (73m). Set within the Berwyn Mountains west of Oswestry and Shrewsbury, the natural wonder ‘captivates all who visit her’, according to its official website. This would include footballer David Beckham, who used the waterfall as a backdrop in an advert for the men’s moisturising range Aquapower by Biotherm Homme. TikTok views: 5.6million
LADYBOWER RESERVOIR, PEAK DISTRICT, ENGLAND: This striking reservoir is surrounded by ‘stunning countryside with views of water, woodland and magnificent moorland’, says Visit Peak District and Derbyshire. Built between 1935 and 1943 and officially opened by King George VI in 1945, the Y-shaped reservoir lies in the Upper Derwent Valley at the heart of the Peak District, the website explains. TikTok views: 4million
TONGUE POT, LAKE DISTRICT, ENGLAND: This natural swimming pool – captured above by Sue Talbot, who runs the travel blog Lifehop – is ’emerald’ in colour, the Ordnance Survey site reveals. It says: ‘A pebble beach shelves down on one side of the pool into the crystal clear water and an oak tree overhangs. On each side, sheer rock walls rise up, making the place famous for jumps.’ TikTok views: 1.5 million
WAILING WIDOW FALLS, ASSYNT, SCOTLAND: This relatively unknown waterfall cascades into a deep gorge from the stunning Loch na Gainmhich, as this picture shows. A small track that leads to the bottom of the falls offers the best viewpoint, Wilderness Scotland reveals. The travel site warns that the waterfall can be ‘underwhelming if it’s been dry although the surrounding scenery alone makes it worth the trip’. But after a fair amount of rain, it assures the view is ‘absolutely marvellous and akin to Icelandic waterfalls in its majesty’. TikTok views: 1.5million
LITTLE VENICE, LONDON, ENGLAND: This ‘beautiful’ and ‘tranquil’ neighbourhood, set along the canal, can be found just north of Paddington, Visit London says. Home to ‘quirky waterside cafes, cosy pubs and charming restaurants’, the area offers plenty of things to do, from puppet shows to canal boat rides towards the city centre. TikTok views: 3.3 million
THOR’S CAVE, PEAK DISTRICT, ENGLAND: Set in a steep limestone crag, this natural cavern boasts a huge arched entrance with views over the Peak District. Evidence shows humans lived in the cave during the Stone Age, with excavations uncovering stone tools, pottery, amber beads and burial sites, Visit Peak District & Derbyshire reveals. Tripadvisor user ‘Isometimestravel13’ said the site offers ‘some fantastic views’. TikTok views: 2.3million
CATHEDRAL CAVE, LAKE DISTRICT, ENGLAND: This small network of connecting quarries is best known for its main chamber which is lit by two ‘windows’ and stands at 40ft (12m) high, Visit Cumbria reveals. ‘You almost feel like you have stepped onto a set from Lord of the Rings,’ said ‘Richard C’ on Tripadvisor. TikTok views: 2million
PLODDA FALLS, INVERNESS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND: Plodda Falls remains another hidden gem despite being labelled by Visit Inverness Loch Ness as ‘one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Highlands’. There’s free parking nearby the attraction and a small cafe a short drive away in the village of Tomich. TikTok views: 1.8million
FALLS OF FALLOCH, STIRLINGSHIRE, SCOTLAND: This ‘truly entrancing’ beauty spot is set in a ‘peaceful’ glen in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. So says Visit Scotland which describes it as a ‘useful stopping point’ for a picnic or a ‘brief leg stretcher’ for drivers passing by on the scenic A82 road that runs from Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William. TikTok views: 10.6million
LUD’S CHURCH, PEAK DISTRICT, ENGLAND: ‘Lud’s Church is a deep, moss-covered chasm full of history, myths and dark green wherever you look – and to walk down its stone steps deep into the cleft is to escape into another world.’ These are the words of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire which adds that Robin Hood and his friend Friar Tuck supposedly stayed at the site while evading the authorities. TikTok views: 3million
MEALT FALLS, ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND: Behold Mealt Falls, a waterfall nestled in the Isle of Skye’s sea cliffs that overlooks the Scottish mainland. Also known as Kilt Rock Falls, it is likely the most famous waterfall on the island and ‘certainly the most accessible’, says Scotland Off the Beaten Track. Writing on Tripadvisor, reviewer ‘desito07’ said that the waterfall is ‘such a beauty’. TikTok views: 1.5million
WITCHES CAULDRON, PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES: Witches Cauldron is in fact a collapsed sea cave near Ceibwr Bay in North West Pembrokeshire. Visit Wales describes it as an ‘Instagram-ready crater filled with aquamarine waters’. How do you visit the site? The tourist board reveals: ‘Park at Ceibwr Bay, then head south-west along the Wales Coast Path that winds along the edges of the sea-neighbouring cliffs… keep on this path for about 700m (2,296ft) and you’ll arrive above the dramatic cave formations’
DINORWIG QUARRY NEAR SNOWDONIA, WALES: Much of the slate at this huge, disused quarry was ‘carved out of the open mountainside, leaving behind a jagged, sculptural cliff face that’s fascinating if not exactly beautiful’, says Lonely Planet. The area boasts scenic hiking trails, a museum, a swimming spot that’s guarded by cliffs, and a double waterfall, pictured to the left. TikTok views: 2.5million
ST DUNSTAN-IN-THE-EAST, LONDON, ENGLAND: This ruined church near the Tower of London was partly designed by the lauded architect Christopher Wren. A garden has been planted amongst the ruins, with the City of London website noting: ‘This green oasis has benches and a fountain with greenery draping the historic walls.’ TikTok views: 2.8million
ABER FALLS, SNOWDONIA, WALES: Aber Falls is one of the most impressive features in Snowdonia, according to the national park’s official website. It describes how the magnificent waterfall ‘plummets dramatically from a height of 120ft (37m), crashing into a shallow rocky pool’. The site also offers picnic areas with wide, open spaces that are ‘perfect for families’. TikTok views: 2.3million
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