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Top 100 Hidden Gems in the UK in 2024

Updated: Jan 2

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track locations scattered across the UK.

The United Kingdom is home to some of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world, with attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. However, there are also many hidden gems scattered across the country which offer breath-taking and unforgettable experiences for visitors.

These hidden gems range from secret waterfalls located in hidden gorges (that you can even swim in!) to secluded beaches to escape the mass amount of tourists all heading to the same well-known beaches like Durdle Door.

In this article, we share 100 of the best hidden gems in the whole of the UK which you need to add to your UK bucket list this year.

Note: due to the amount of hidden gems in this article we're unable to show an image for each individual one. However we have wrote an article for each one, and can be viewed when clicking on the name of the hidden gem.

You'll be greeted with a long series of fantastic pools when you visit the Tongue Pot in the Lake District. It's known for being the spot for some proper high jump diving, however there are many small pools scattered around perfect for a brief dip.

A lovely secluded beach which is Trevellas Cove is definitely up there with one of our favourite hidden beaches. You'll have the pleasure of very scenic views with ruins of Blue Hill Tin mine nearby and a stream. The beach has crystal clear water and is also great for rock pooling.

St Dunstan in the East Church is without a doubt a unique area set within the ruins of a Wren church. The Church of St Dunstan was originally constructed around 1100 and is a Grade I listed building.

You'll often find a photoshoot going on if you visit this hidden gem on a lovely sunny day, and we can't blame them for taking that opportunity! If you're in the area close to lunchtime, we definitely recommend having a little picnic on one of the benches.

If you're a lover of golden sandy beaches with crystal clear water, then you should definitely be heading to Achmelvich Bay. If you're lucky, you might even see a seal! It can get a bit busy during the summer, but it'll be a lot quieter than the majority of Scottish beaches.

Dolgoch Falls is a fairly sized waterfall, maybe not at the height of those such as Aber Falls or The Devil's Appendix but its still worth a visit! If you're looking for a place to relax and unwind, then this is the spot for you. It's easy access to the falls and there's also some great spots for those wanting a cute picnic.

Kinder Downfall is an absolute stunning and imposing waterfall located in the Peak District. The sheer rock faces and cascading water make it one hell of a natural beauty. It's the largest waterfall in the Peak District, and the views at the top are truly breath-taking!

Padley Gorge is known for being a very tranquil place to visit, and it's no surprise why! There are plenty of small and wonderful waterfalls to admire, however the trail can be quite difficult for some so we recommend appropriate footwear.

You'll discover many waterfalls amongst Padley Gorge, but our favourite is the one pictured as not many people know about it. Good luck finding it!

Image of Padley Gorge in England
Photo taken by @tranceandtrails via Instagram.

Three Cliffs Bay is a stunning place with lots of great paths to explore and spectacular rugged cliffs . You do have to walk a little bit in order to get to the beach as there isn't a car park near, but it's definitely worth the effort! One you're at Three Cliffs Bay, you won't want to leave.

Galleny Force is an attractive waterfall located in a wonderful setting, and isn't too far from Stonthwaite for those which are in the area. Even though it's only a short distance from the nearby campsite, it's still relatively quiet and hidden for a quick dip. It's not the biggest spot to swim in, but it's certainly the most quietest.

Berneray West Beach is known for its remoteness despite its amazing scenery. Some might say its even a tropical paradise!

Actually, it's worth nothing that despite it being a hidden beauty within the UK, it was actually listed in the 20 best beaches in Europe 2022. It's amazing to see Scotland come in with an entry, and also get the recognition it deserves.

It's true what they say; Batman's Cave is the perfect place to enjoy nature. The paths at Henrhyd Falls are beautiful to walk along whilst breathing in that fresh Welsh air listening to the gushing sound of the waterfall. In our opinion, it's one of the best waterfalls in the whole of the UK that you can walk behind!

Lumb Hole Falls is beautiful even when there are strong winds and horizontal rain! It's mostly known for its gorgeous deep pool which drags in visitors in the summer, even though there are a few signs indicating no swimming is allowed.

It is privately owned so please respect the gem if you plan to visit so that it doesn't get closed permanently!

Basset's Cove is a lovely picturesque cove that captures what the North Coast of Cornwall is all about. However, the only downside is it isn't the easiest to access due to the path down being eroded. If you do attempt to scramble down to the beach, please be cautious!

Little Venice is where the Regent's Canal and the Grand Union Canal converge, dozens of narrowboats, day trip boats, and waterside eateries line the calm waterway. The gorgeous backdrop is made up of the well-known Little Venice mansions.

Rhaeadr Dyserth is a lovely little waterfall located right in the middle of a village. If you fancy being adventurous, you can keep climbing the steps to explore the further trails and if you're lucky enough to have a lot of water flowing, why not go for a quick dip?!

Skelwith Force is a stunning spot in the Lake District, with nature showing off its beauty and power. Visitors can enjoy a selection of natural waterfalls with some amazing scenery around it, and is easily accessible from the footpath. It's family friendly and we definitely recommend a visit to those in the area.

The photos online really don't do The Falls of Bruar justice. Visitors are often taken aback by how spectacular the waterfall is, and it's no surprise why! You'll get the fairy-tale feeling when you see the small bridges and the masonry; it's definitely worth the short hike to see this waterfall.

If you've been following UK Hidden Gems for a while, it's safe to say that the Buttermere Infinity Pool has received a lot of attention during 2022. And rightly so! What's not to love about it? The water is glisteningly clear, and there are stunning views of Buttermere from this idyllic location.

Image of  Buttermere Infinity Pool in England

Ritson's Force is a gorgeous hidden gem tucked up out of the way at the North end of Wastwater. Visitors can enjoy lovely scenery and great photo opportunities which are available to aspiring photographers. You can also enjoy a quick dip if the water isn't freezing!

One of Llanberis' best hidden gems is Ceunant Mawr Waterfall. If you can find the lower trail under the bridge, then follow the stream and you will see differing levels of water drops, until you reach the large fall itself. We recommend wearing good footwear too.

The hike to Holme Force can be quite challenging for some individuals, however it is definitely worth it. It is a stunning waterfall and is still fairly unknown to the majority of people so you'll more than likely have the whole place to yourself.

If you go to Scotland, you definitely have to take a visit to this breath-taking island which is the Outer Hebrides. It is described as heaven on Earth; filled with stunning scenery and beaches with the most spectacular colours and clarity.

The tall "Traffic Light Tree" switches its 75 sets of lights in a random order, much to the bewilderment of unprepared motorists. The roundabout containing the "Tree" was in fact ranked highly when Saga Motor Insurance polled British drivers in 2005 about the best and worst roundabouts in the nation.

Those visiting Tallylyn Railway will be surprised to know there's a hidden waterfall only a few steps away! It's an amazing scenic walk to the Nant Gwernol and as you can see from the below photo, they are pretty cool!

So the Carbost Burn Waterfall isn't the easiest to get to, but it's worth the short scramble to be able to actually sit in the water which is actually quite cool! It's hidden by the municipalities and tourist sites of the Isle of Skye.

One of London's best places for outdoor swimming is Hampstead Bathing Pond, a natural bathing pond. The Hampstead Heath Mixed Pond is a former reservoir that resembles and feels like a natural pool due to its surrounding trees, rush-lined ends, and presence of fish and waterfowl.

Words cannot describe this unique place which is Nanjizal Beach; you really have to experience it for yourself! It's a beautiful hidden gem which cannot be accessed by car, so you'll need to walk around 20 minutes from the nearest car park.

You've all seen the famous Instagram photo when people visit Swallow Falls, and it's no wonder why! You do have to pay a small entrance fee to enter (£2 per adult and £1 per child under the age of 14) but I'd say its definitely worth it especially after a heavy day of rainfall!

This little gem is a must-visit for all wild swimming lovers. It's only a short walk from the car park, in which you'll be able to experience some great plunge pools for a cold water dip on a warm day. Don't worry about getting there early to secure your spot; there's plenty of pools to find and have either for yourself, or share with others.

The Perranporth Tidal Pool is often overlooked by the tourists, which of course keeps the locals happy as they get the pool all to themselves. It's a lovely place to quickly go for a secluded dip away from all those in the actual sea!

Cathedral Cave is truly an absolute breath-taking cave and a must-visit in the Lake District. The images of this hidden gem don't do justice to the view as the entrance tunnel opens into the expanse of the main cave.

Ladybower Reservoir is a reservoir bordered by scenic countryside & trails for easy to challenging nature walks & hikes. However the highlight is the massive water hole which attracts its visitors.

Prince Alberts Pyramid was built by Queen Victoria in memory of her late husband Prince Albert, and is located in Balmoral Castle Grounds. On the way to this pyramid you'll see other small pyramids however this one is the main attraction!

Described by some as the BEST beach in Britain, this little hidden gem of a beach is simply stunning. It's worth noting the beach is accessed down over 100 steps so please bare this in mind if you do plan to visit.

Welcome to Dinorwig Quarry, home to the second-largest slate quarry in the world. At it's height in the late 19th century, thousands of men were employed to extract about 450,000 tonnes a year.

The Giant's Causeaway is one of the natural wonders of the world with a mythology to go with it. It's definitely a must visit especially if you are on the coast, offering breath-taking views across.

Hodge Close Quarry is a flooded quarry which features peaceful air in it. It's a great area to explore but please be cautious as it can be some what dangerous. Fans of The Witcher will also recognise this hidden gem.

Smoo Cave is an absolute MUST if you're near the Durness area or are doing the NC500 road trip. It's an utterly incredible place and the photos really don't do it justice.

Porth Wen Brickworks is a pretty special place if you're into abandoned buildings and places. This hidden gem is an old brickworks which was left abandoned quite a few years ago.

Described by some as like another planet, it's clear to see why Parys Mountain has grown in popularity. It's filled with different colours with breath-taking landscapes, and even gets compared to looking like Mars!

Lud's Church is a stunning nature feature, filled with fascinating history, and makes you feel like you've suddenly transported to a jungle ravine. It can be tricky to find and easy to miss, so keep an eye on the signposted signs!

You'll find a lovely set of cascading waterfalls on the path from Easdale towards Easdale Tarn when you visit Sour Milk Gill.

This small river cascades gently down the hills so it may not be as impressive as most falls, however there's a sublime beauty to the water, the falls, the countryside and the stillness of the scene.

Carrick-a-Rede is a rope bridge spanning the dizzying gap over the North Atlantic from the mainland to a small island, and is a must visit if you're in Northern Ireland.

Enjoy Pembrokeshire coast as some of it's most dramatic: the Witches Cauldron is a large sink hole that doesn't appear much as you approach it from the car park, but as you get nearer the geology becomes more visible.

Kielder Forest is a must-visit for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, offering scenic views and cute woodland walks.

Fingal's Cave is a must-visit if you're ever near the west coast of Scotland. You won't believe the wordly experience you feel when walking along the basalt columns, or peering into the cave.

Image of Fingals Cave in Scotland
Photo taken by @davenewbouldphotography via Instagram.

The Wailing Widow Falls are an absolute must-visit if you're around the Highlands in Scotland. It is simply spectacular, and since it's quite difficult to access you'll often find nobody else there! If you're doing the NC500 you should definitely come and check this waterfall out.

Pistyll Rhaeadr is the highest waterfall in England and Wales, and has to be viewed in person as the photos really don't do it justice! The waterfall itself and the surrounded woodlands are absolutely stunning.

This place is absolutely breath-taking; from the cave to the surrounding countryside, it's all just spectacular! The history of Thor's Cave is pretty interesting too, and gives you a throwback idea of times gone by.

Image of Thor's Cave in England
Photo taken by @katy.hikes via Instagram.

Hardraw Force Waterfall is England's highest single fall waterfall, and should definitely be up there on your waterfall bucket list. If you're ever in the Yorkshire Dales then this gem should be on your list.

A 6.5km walk rewards hikers with views of this amazing waterfall whilst enjoying a nice relatively easy walk through the large Sitka Spruce Forest.

You'll be rewarded with fantastic views and breath-taking scenery when you visit the Mealt Falls. It's a beautiful quick stop on the road and is up there with one of the best views in the Isle of Skye.

Hindhope Linn is an amazing waterfall perfect for everybody of all ages! The walk isn't too long or demanding, and is definitely a hidden gem in the enchanted forest (perfect for all you photographers out there!).

Scaleber Force Waterfall is a fantastic little gem which is also perfect for a bit of wild swimming! Even during the dry summer days visitors can enjoy an impressive set of falls.

The pathway down to the bottom of the waterfalls can be a bit tricky for some so we recommend wearing some shoes with a good grip on them, as well as good balance and strong legs!

The pools at Nantcol Waterfall are definitely up there with some of the best. If you're staying at the nearby campsite, there is a lovely spot to paddle especially for the younger ones. However as you walk further up the falls there is a beautiful pool which is much deeper and once you get to the big pool the pool there is perfect for a good old swim!!

What's better than a secluded beach? A waterfall on a secluded beach! St Audrie's Bay Waterfall is a beautiful hidden gem located on a lovely beach in West Somerset and it's definitely worth checking out if you're doing the English Coast Path.

Low Force Waterfall is another stunning waterfall in the North East. There's a nice little hike to walk to get to the waterfall, and is perfect for all abilities. There are loads of beautiful spots to stop and have a picnic close to the water.

The Golitha Falls are a gorgeous place to walk and admire these amazing waterfalls. There is a long path which visitors can walk around which meanders around the woodland, streams and rocks. You can also find some cool old mine workings and shafts nearby.

Clashnessie Falls is a gorgeous waterfall located in the small coastal village of Clashnessie. Once you get up and close to the waterfall it's absolutely huge especially after a few heavy days of rainfall so please take caution as the water can be quite intense.

Views of the Gardens will be magically revealed if you stroll through the treetop canopy. The Treetop Walkway offers a chance to get up close to Kew's trees as it rises 18 meters above the ground.

Wild Pear Beach is a lovely secluded bay which is protected from the wind and does include a tough walk to get too. To prove how secluded it really is, there is a rope near the end which helps you get down to the bay and back up if you need to!

Probably one of the more known waterfalls in the Lake District, however you'll be surprised at how many people still don't know about Aira Force. You can easily get around the walking route in under 2 hours, which offers nature trails and cool viewpoints.

A series of cascading waterfalls is presented to you when you visit the Fairy Falls, and what a sight they are! We recommend starting at the top and walk down as there are numerous falls and rapid water (on a small scale, but very tranquil).

Enjoy one of the quietest and peaceful walks in the Lake District, with some amazing waterfalls and pools (the pools are shallow too so perfect for the younger ones!). The water is so clear, and you'll be awarded with some stunning views across the fields more notably Scafell Pike.

Jacob's Ladder is a moderate to difficult hike in the Peak District, and can be done when setting off for Kinder Scout from Edale. If you're a first timer you might want to try a different route for your first hike.

The Plodda Falls is a beautiful and natural waterfall situated in a picturesque forested area, surrounded by lush green vegetation, rugged cliffs and towering trees. The water cascading down the falls is crystal clear and creates a soothing sound as it flows into the pool below!

Dinas Dinlle Beach is a wild, beautiful, ancient shoreline facing West into the Irish sea. The sunsets are absolutely amazing, as are the views back over Snowdonia. It's a dog friendly beach so please remember to pick your litter up after you.

The Point in Greenwich is about a ten minute walk from Greenwich DLR/mainline station and offers one of the best views of London without the eye-watering prices of the London Eye and the Shard.

Along the South West footpath on a great stretch of coast line is Speke's Mill Mouth Waterfall. It's a unique waterfall in our eyes, and it's something different to see on a coast line (especially on one of the best coast lines in Britain!).

The Druids Temple located near Ripon is a unique landmark which is definitely worth a visit. There are also woodland walks and bike tracks surrounding the temple for those wanting to make a day off it!

Glenashdale Falls has been around for over 20 years, and we're still surprised how it's still not a popular attraction in Scotland! There is even a newly-built viewing platform which is just over the falls to give a very clear view of the double falls. The falls part into a plunge pool which is perfect for a quick dip.

Rhaeadr y Parc Mawr is a gorgeous hidden gem located in Llanrwst, located in a secluded spot which not many people know about. The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful and the pools at the bottom are perfect for those wanting a quick dip!

Portheras Cove is a beautiful little bay which is great for those looking to get away from the tourists. You'll more than likely have the whole beach to yourself whenever you visit, however you might be greeted by a few friendly seals!

Game of Thrones fans will recognise Pollnagollum Cave from the series. However since it's so remote and the waterfall flow depends on rainfall, we wouldn't say it's not worth driving the long distance!

Culver Hole is a great place to explore with lots of legends and tales surrounding this place! It's not the easiest to access however once down there you'll be in hidden gem heaven.

Monknash Beach is a lovely beach which isn't your usual type of beach. There's a mixture of sea and sand as well as pebbles, and there's loads of rock pools and cliffs to explore!

This Instagrammable spot was built in 1839, with a length of 450 meters and a height of 29 meters. It has two railway roads and it's on the London to Brighton train route for those travelling in between.

Breath-taking waterfalls and nature is what visitors will find when they escape to this amazing hidden gem. You are able to swim in this waterfall but the water may be very cold! It's best to visit Cauldron Falls after heavy rainfall to appreciate the true greatness of it.

The Broughton Bay Blue Pool is often overlooked by the tourists, which of course keeps the locals happy as they get the pool all to themselves. It's a lovely place to quickly go for a secluded dip away from all those in the actual sea!

Whorneyside Force is a stunning hidden waterfall located on Whorneyside Fell up high on the mountainside. There are some great views down Great Langdale which can be viewed from the waterfall, and you'll more or less have the whole place to yourself!

With Luskentyre Beach being one of the most breath-taking beaches in Scotland, it is still a hidden beauty and on some days you'll find it deserted. Visitors of Luskentyre Beach can very easily spend the day wandering along the sea lines without seeing a single soul.

You'll come across this cute little waterfall only a 5 minute walk from the car park. You may have seen The Falls of Falloch famously on a few Instagram posts with its unique viewpoint, which gets compared to Jurassic Park! This should be on the very top of your Scottish bucket list.

Janet's Foss is a beautiful little waterfall which visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear turquoise water and admire the cute fairy caves. Janet's Foss is a great place to visit especially for those who are visiting the nearby Malham Cove and Gordale Scar.

The Eas a'Bhradain is a great hidden waterfall just off the roadside and we definitely recommend visiting if you're in the area or driving by. It's a quick stop on the side of the road, so there's no real path but it's not that difficult to get too.

Aber Falls is a beautiful waterfall at the end of an amazing valley. For those with walking difficulties, you'll be pleased to know there is step free access all the way to one side of the waterfall. There is access to the other side however this requires irregular descending steps to a bridge and then more climbing on the opposite bank.

High Force Waterfall is a spectacular place to check out and is well worth a visit. You can visit during a drought and it'll still be pretty impressive. It's worth noting that there is a charge for parking and another small charge for the short walk to the waterfall itself.

Wessenden Head can be reached by a faint path, but is definitely worth the visit if you're in the area! The waterfall is most impressive after heavy rainfall, with the views of water cascading down and cutting through the hillside.

After a 30 minute walk you'll be rewarded with the views of Steall Waterfall. The walk is relatively easy and once you get down to the falls the scene is absolutely beautiful. The route heads through the dramatic and gorgeous Nevis Gorge and leads to this awesome waterfall.

Rhaeadr Ogwen, otherwise known as Ogwen Falls, are a series of cascading waterfalls, which can be seen from not one but two vantage points! There are multiple routes you can take to get to each of the different falls, so take your pick.

Elberry Cove (sometimes known as Elbury Cove) is only a 10 minute walk from the car park at Broadsands Beach. It's definitely the beach to visit to escape the crowds at Broadsands, whilst surrounded by lovely views.

This amazing waterfall is located just opposite the Ardvreck Castle. It's a beautiful multi-level waterfall which is visible from the road and the castle, however it is well worth an up-close look! It's definitely worth a little de-tour after visiting the Ardvreck Castle.

Stainforth Force is a beautiful waterfall which offers a few jumping/diving spots. The water is very very cold, so for those who can be sensitive to the cold waters, we definitely recommend a body suit. There are some sudden drops into the fast flowing waterfalls so keep an eye on your children if you bring them here.

Take a lovely walk from the car park to the waterfall, crossing the stream over 6 bridges before getting to the amazing Hareshaw Linn. There's a gorgeous little bench you can sit on with a great view of the waterfall, perfect for a picnic pit-stop!

Conwy Falls are a fantastic cascade of waterfalls which are not the easiest to get to but the views are totally worth it! The viewpoint is perfect to see both falls, climb down and have a sit on the rocks (if not too wet) to really take it all in. If you're lucky you may even see some salmon!

Rutter Force really is a beautiful spot which not many people know about, however in our opinion it's best for a quick visit after a heavy amount of rainfall. The waterfall can range from a ranging roaring torrent to even a tiny trickle!

The Three Shires Head is a brilliant spot with lovely waterfalls and pools to swim in! Although it is freezing 90% of the time, it is definitely worth it. The pools are deep enough to have a swim however we do not recommend diving in.

Unfortunately to see this waterfall plus many others in the area, there is a small entry fee. However in our opinion it is totally worth it. You can even get behind the dropping water of the waterfall and have a little swim in the pool below.

Kennall Vale Nature Reserve is a beautiful woodland walk which features old ruins from the gun powder factory which has been left to nature. There are plenty of waterfalls to see, some small and some fast flowing.

The Falls of Dochart is best viewed in the winter especially after snow melt. You'll often see salmon floating up the river so definitely keep an eye open for them jumping up the river! You can also view this waterfall from the road bridge that you can walk across without causing issues or dangers to vehicles.

East Gill Force is an amazing little gem of two waterfalls which lead down into the river scale and has one of the cleanest waters in the UK. There is quite a bit of a steep descent in order to get to the waterfall, so do take that into consideration before visiting the falls!

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known places which are scattered across the entire UK. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your adventure across the UK even more memorable!

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