16 of the most exotic-looking summer holiday destinations you’ll never believe are in Britain

You don’t have to travel far to find spectacular scenery - take a look at some of these holiday spots across the UK that could be mistaken for more tropical destinations.

Holidays abroad can be just that little bit too expensive, but for those of us who can’t afford to jet off to foreign lands, holidaying in the UK is a great alternative.

If the idea makes you think of a fortnight in a damp caravan in a soggy field, think again – here are 16 great destinations across Britain that look they could be much further afield.

1. St Ives, Cornwall

Photo credit: Flickr/Nana B Agyel

There’s a reason so many people flock to Cornwall during summer. The coastal county is simply beautiful.

St Ives is a fishing village and the artistic centre of Cornwall, with some artists even claiming the quality of the natural light is better and brighter than in any other part of England.

Wander through the winding streets to find cafes, galleries and art shops before relaxing on the beaches.

2. Staithes, North Yorkshire

Another artists’ favourite is Staithes in North Yorkshire. The quaint coastal hamlet has previously played host to accomplished painters including Dame Laura Wright.

If you plan your visit close to Summer Solstice, you can witness the famed Staithes sunrise and sunsets when keen photographers will get an amazing shot of the Sun appearing over the water two times in a day.

3. Keswick, Cumbria

The market town of Keswick has become a major tourism hub in the North Lakes.

There’s something for everyone here from enjoying the natural beauty of the rural area to exploring local shops and restaurants.

There are plenty of outdoor activities too for those seeking a more exhilarating adventure.

4. Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

There’s nothing silly about this archipelago off the coast of Cornwall. There are five inhabited islands where you can stay and 140 uninhabited islands for you to explore.

The sub-tropical climate means you may even see palm trees – in England.

Try exploring the white sand beach Pelistry Beach on St Mary’s on horseback.

5. Gower Peninsula, West Glamorgan

Photo credit: Flickr/William Pearce

Just a short drive from Swansea, Gower Peninsula boasts some of South Wales’ most picturesque beaches and was the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Follow the Gower Coast Path to Three Cliffs Bay and see the sand dunes, salt marsh and limestone cliffs.

6. Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Photo credit: Flickr/Craig Heath

Possibly Wales’ most colourful offering, Portmeirion is North Wales’ own slice of Italy.

You may recognise the dreamy architecture from cult 1960s TV series The Prisoner.

The village was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1920s who wanted to create an atmosphere that forced people to display good manners. Stroll through the Central Piazza to admire his handiwork.

7. Llandudno, Conwy

Seaside town Llandudno has a very quaint, old-fashioned feel to it.

Head to the Great Orme’s summit on the tramway or take a stroll on the Victorian pier.

8. Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Photo credit: Flickr/Ben Salter

To see nature in all its majesty, look no further than the Brecon Beacons.

Straddling Carmarthenshire, Powys and Monmouthshire, this national park is vast.

The spectacular Henrhyd Falls was used in the final scene of The Dark Knight Rises. If it’s good enough for Batman, it’s good enough for us.

Try the Four Falls Walk to see the best of the waterfalls. Be sure to visit Sgwd yr Eira to walk behind a curtain of water.

9. Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire

Photo credit: Flickr/Bruce Cowan

Scotland’s seventh largest island is steeped in history. Explore the Bronze Age remnants of the Machrie Moor Stone Circles, or visit the Giants’ Graves above Glenashdale falls.

Brodick Castle boasts an internationally acclaimed collection of rhododendrons and Arran’s highest mountain, Goatfell is home to an array of wildlife.

Red squirrels, golden eagles, deer, otters and basking sharks can all be spotted around the island and on the coastline.

10. Glencoe, Argyll

You might recognise the rugged landscape of Glencoe. It has featured in blockbusters like Skyfall and several of the Harry Potter films.

Located in the Outdoor Capital of the UK, the road through this village will take you to the heart of an ancient volcano.

On the Geotrail you’ll learn all about the glaciers and explosions that carved the landscape.

11. Isle of Jura, Argyll

Photo credit: Flickr/image_less_ordinary

There is a very wild, untameable feel to the Isle of Jura, where wild deer outnumber the human population to the tune of 5,000, compared to 200 people.

The peace and quiet of this island was appreciated by George Orwell who lived here from 1946 to 1948 while completing his most famous work, 1984.

The Isle of Jura Distillery produces uniquely flavoured malts and you can take a tour – complete with complimentary dram – for free.

12. Isle of Mull, Argyll

The main town on this small island, Tobermory, was used for the BBC’s children’s TV programme Balamory due to the pretty and colourful buildings that line its waterfront.

Both the town and the water are worth exploring. There are boat trips where you can try and spot whales, dolphins and basking sharks or visit the uninhabited island of Staffa.

13. Shetland

Photo credit: Flickr/Karen Bryan

For a truly foreign feel, try a getaway to Shetland, which is closer to Norway than the Scottish mainland.

The archipelago possesses some fantastically preserved archaeological sites from its Scandinavian history.

Summer is the perfect time to explore many of Shetland’s pristine beaches and sea lochs.

14. Isle of Skye, Highlands

The scenery on the Isle of Skye is nothing short of majestic.

Be sure to pack your walking boots to see Fairy Pools, Old Man of Storr and the Quirang.

Visit some of Skye’s brooding castles and learn about historic feuds between rival clans.

15. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

Northern Ireland’s only Unesco World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway’s basalt columns are surrounded by myth and legend.

Some say it was carved by giant Finn McCool. Visit Giant’s Boot to see what he left behind when fleeing the wrath of a mighty Scottish giant.

Take one of the National Trust trails around the site and look out for many different species of sea bird.

16. Mourne Mountains, County Down

Photo credit: Flickr/Stephen

Said to be the inspiration for CS Lewis’s enchanted world of Narnia, the Mourne Mountains have plenty of outdoor adventures to offer.

Take your pick from relaxing by the sea or try a more exhilarating day out rock climbing and hill walking.

For fans of golf, the seaside town of Newcastle is home to Royal County Down Golf Club which hosted the 2015 Irish Open.

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