If you are looking for unusual attractions in the UK, away from the tourist hordes, here are 5 of the best.
Puzzlewood, Coleford, Gloucestershire
Puzzlewood is located in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Filled with stunning moss-covered rock tree formations accessible via winding pathways, Puzzlewood has been used as a filming location for Dr. Who and Merlin.
Spread over 14 acres, the wood was laid in the early 19th century and only opened to the public 100 years later.
Also an inspiration for JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, this creepy, yet picturesque wood attracts film fans and nature lovers. Providing a great family day out, you will find outdoor picnic tables, a gift shop, a café and farm animals at Puzzlewood.
Three thousand coins from the Roman occupation of the area dated back to the 3rd century.
The simplest way to get to Puzzlewood is to head to Coleford in the Forest of Dean and follow the brown tourist signs.
The Black Museum, New Scotland Yard, London
If morbid curiosity gets the better of you, read up on the Black Museum in New Scotland Yard, London.
The Museum was started by a Scotland Yard inspector for teaching purposes but soon expanded into a macabre collection of murder weapons, nooses, poisons and even a hand-written letter from Jack the Ripper which read:
“Mr Lusk, Sir I send you half the Kidney I took from one women preserved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nice. I may send you the bloody knife that took it out if you only wate a whil longer signed Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk” -“From Hell.”
Not for the faint-hearted, the stove that serial killer, Dennis Nilsen used to cook the body parts of his victims is also displayed.
The full collection has over 500 items related to 20th century crimes, and still serves as a training tool for police officers from all over the country.
Alnwick Poison Gardens, Alnwick, Newcastle
The Alnwick Gardens are dedicated to flora and fauna which are deadly, narcotic, or both.
The beautifully curated gardens are home to around 100 killers, including deadly nightshade, strychnine and hemlock.
Guides give information about the plants and ensure everyone is kept well away from the ‘killer shrubs.’
The Duchess of Northumberland started to restore the gardens in 1995 after her husband inherited the castle and grounds. Originally designed by famous landscape gardener, Capability Brown, the gardens also include opium poppies, cannabis and magic mushrooms – now that deserves a ‘high 5.’
The Alnwick Garden is just off the A1 at Alnwick, and is well signposted. Buses connect Alnwick to the surrounding towns and Newcastle.
Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa, Scotland
Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa, Scotland can be reached from Oban, Iona and the Isle of Mull.
The history and geology of the cave is unlike any other in the world. Over 70ft tall and 270ft deep, this sea cave is made up of hexagonal columns of basalt
Both the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and Fingal’s Cave were created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have formed a “bridge” between the two sites around 60 million years ago.
The cave was rediscovered when naturalist Sir Joseph Banks visited it in 1772.
Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Tennyson, and Queen Victoria all visited the cave as did ardent traveller, Jules Verne.
Llyn Y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Lyn Y Fan Fach is a magnificent lake which is situated in the heart of the Brecon Beacons and is surrounded by the highest peaks of the Black Mountains.
Enjoy a four-mile circular walk around the lake where you can soak up the scenery amid one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the UK.
The physicians of local village, Myddfai gathered natural products as far back as the 13th century from the area around the lake to cure headaches, coughs and battle injuries. The ancient remedies are recorded in the Red Book of Hergest, which currently belongs to Jesus College, Oxford.