Britain is a beautiful country with plenty of places to visit for a relaxing staycation.
Experts have shared the “underrated” hidden gems that could be worth considering for a holiday this year.
Experts at Independent Cottages shared the five lesser-known spots that have seen the biggest increase in popularity in the last two years.
Best hidden gem staycation spots
Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Ashbourne was listed as one of the best places to visit
The experts said: “Ashbourne in Derbyshire was one of the lesser-known destinations that saw the largest increase in attention from Britons in recent years. Derbyshire has developed a reputation for its quirky spa towns, rich history, and its grand country homes. But, most of all many know it for being the home of the Peak District National Park, whose steep limestone valleys and rugged peaks are well-trodden by travellers from around the country and the world.
“But, Ashbourne, located on the southern edge of the park, is giving settlements within the National Park a run for their money. According to Independent Cottages’ analysis, it has gained more attention in recent years than the likes of arguably one of the most famed Peak District towns of them all – idyllic Bakewell.”
They said: “The town of Taunton in the rural county of Somerset has been catching the eye of Britons in recent years too and, according to the self-catering provider, it has bounced back in a big way in the South West of England as far as its data shows.
“Taunton has crept up the rankings from 2022 onwards, showcasing how the majority of people throughout the country are shifting their focus to this one charming market town in particular compared to its similar, and equally beautiful, Somerset counterparts.
“Whilst some of Somerset’s best-known settlements remain popular, including the beautiful city of Wells, coastal Minehead, and medieval Dunster, it appears that Taunton has won the love of travellers recently. And given the town’s fascinating history and ample shopping opportunities, it’s not difficult to understand why this is the case.”
They continued: “Steeped in heritage, known for its legends, and home to some of the country’s most popular attractions, it’s safe to say that Staffordshire is one of the UK’s most popular counties that promises a great day out, and delivers every time.
“So, when it comes to where Britons are diverting their focus to in this diverse county, it seems that there’s one destination that’s gained the largest amount of interest – Leek.
“Whilst its name may ring a bell for many, this quintessentially British market town hasn’t developed its reputation as much as other nearby and more famed Staffordshire locations, such as Stoke-on-Trent – situated just a mere 10 miles southwest of the town.”
Taunton in Somerset made the list
Kirby Stephen, Cumbria
“Cumbria remains one of the UK’s most popular destinations for days out and breaks. From its bustling settlements to its tranquil countryside, it has topped the rankings in recent years as one of the most favoured counties.
“If there’s one reason why Cumbria receives so much love, it’s definitely due to this northern English county being the home of the Lake District National Park, which attracts a whopping 18 million visitors yearly, according to estimations.
“But, whilst visitors flock all around the Lake District’s rolling hillsides and charming countryside towns, it appears that Kirkby Stephen is its most popular location of all. So much so, that attention has been diverted to the town more than a selection of the area’s most famous settlements – Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere, and Keswick.
“The area of Kirkby Stephen remains off the tourist-trodden route compared to the aforementioned Lake District locations but boasts an equally beautiful and wild setting with spectacular scenery and close proximity to the national park. With heritage railways, impressive castles, and gorgeous natural surroundings, it’s hard to think of a reason why not to go to this market town.”
Experts said: “Whilst many may picture the wild and wind-lapped Pembrokeshire Coastline or the vast expanses of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons National Parks when they think of travelling to Wales, there are some gems hidden within the country’s borders that travellers seem to be taking a shining to.
“The company revealed that the picturesque coastal village of Little Haven remains a popular, and well-established, Welsh holiday destination among many, but, it appears that Monmouth is beginning to give this firm-favourite a run for its money. In comparison, Monmouth has seen a nearly 11 per cent increase in its popularity in the past two years, compared to Little Haven’s three per cent.”