As a Brit, it’s often easy to forget how many beautiful cities and regions the country has to offer. From the fascinating hidden history, ancient and modern architecture and picturesque countryside, the country is full of hidden treasures that are yet to be discovered. Let’s take a look at some of the most underrated and overlooked cities in the UK.

1. Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is known for its friendly people, amazing castles and ancient ruins, and makes for a great weekend destination. The city, which began as a Roman Fort, is full of history as well. Cardiff Castle, built in the 11th century, still stands today and should be on every history buff’s list of sites to see.

Cardiff has been through a revitalisation over the last few years and the signs are everywhere. A new performing centre and waterfront has been added and has become a major draw. If you enjoy sporting events, you can always go to Principality Stadium and watch the Welsh national rugby team play. Great for a weekend or longer trip, Cardiff is the perfect mix of old and new.

2. Belfast, Ireland

Unfortunately, Belfast still remains overlooked by many as a holiday destination. However, the city has reinvented itself lately with vibrant new restaurants and new architectural projects. The city is relatively small, making it an easily walkable area. You can take a stroll through the Cathedral Quarter and stop at one of the many pubs or restaurants. And the Metropolitan Arts Centre, a seven-story high asymmetrical tower made of volcanic stone and brick, is a marvel of architecture and a must-see for anyone who wishes to visit the city.

Another great thing is that the city is easily accessible by plane and is about a one-hour flight from Birmingham. If you’re leaving from the Midlands, you can take advantage of Birmingham airport parking and leave your vehicle securely behind. Sites like allow you to choose from a variety of parking options depending on the length of your trip. It’s always best to book car parking in advance if you want the best prices.

3. The Cotswolds

If you want to take a trip back in time, then the Cotswolds would be a great destination. Covering a large area of almost 800 square miles, the Cotswolds are best known for their rolling hills and scenic views. The area is known for its gentle, laid back atmosphere, but it also hosts tons of great festivals throughout the year.

4. Pluckley

This small village in Kent, which has been often referred to as the “most haunted village in the UK”, often goes unnoticed. However, this quaint town has much more to offer than the supernatural. Pluckley is known for its natural beauty. As a matter of fact, much of “The Darling Buds of May” series was filmed there for this reason. Besides the beautiful scenery, the architecture of Pluckley is also definitely worth the trip.

5. Penrith

Located in the Lakes District region, the town of Penrith is a great trip for anyone who enjoys history. It’s also a great destination if you’re travelling on a budget. This bustling market town offers tons of low-cost lodging options with easy access to the Lakes District. While in town, tour the ruins of Penrith Castle. Also, make sure to visit King Arthur’s Round Table and Mayburgh Henge which are two the ancient henge sites just south of the town. If you’re intending to stay for a few days, take a trip to the town market to enjoy local produce on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

6. Lincoln

Located in Lincolnshire, the town of Lincoln is small but offers plenty to see and do. The most notable attraction in Lincoln would be the Lincoln Cathedral. It’s a classic example of ancient Gothic architecture and was notable for being the tallest cathedral in the world for a few hundred years. If you want to experience a piece of human history, head over to Lincoln Castle to see one of the few remaining copies of the Magna Carta. And if you’re up for a challenge after touring the area, you can always climb up Steep Hill and enjoy the shops, pubs, and tea rooms. Keep in mind that you’ll need good walking shoes to make it to the top!

7. Bath

Fans of Jane Austen will want to make Bath a priority for their next trip. And even those not familiar with her work will enjoy the varied galleries and museums. This small city is known for its rich and fascinating history and tons of great attractions. You can take a tour of the Roman Baths, visit Jane Austen’s house or go shopping for the afternoon.

Bath is also known as a foodie destination. It’s gained recent attention for their culinary scene and a trip to Bath wouldn’t be complete without visiting a few pubs in the area. Although this town is fairly busy during the summer season, visitors can enjoy the down season during the spring and autumn months.

8. Brighton

If you’re looking for a city with personality, Brighton is for you. This eccentric city is enormous fun. The secret to experiencing everything that Brighton has to offer is to simply wander through the city and keep your eyes out. Start the trip by going to the North Laine where you’ll find flea markets and offbeat designers mingling with upscale restaurants. The oddball museums are also well worth a few hours of your time. Even the gentrified Regency squares have a little something that speaks to the uniqueness of Brighton.

And if you’re looking for something more laid back, you can still enjoy some of the city’s lovely parks and great traditional cafes.

9. Newcastle

Newcastle or Newcastle upon Tyne is it is formally called, is the most populous city in the northeast and has tons of great things to see and do. The city is known for its nightlife and has once been voted as the “UK’s Best City” by the Guardian. The city also has a rich theatre history, tons of great festivals all year round, and is known for its outstanding architecture as well.

The city is also building a reputation for its underground foodie scene and fine microbreweries. Whether it’s pork pies and pickled onions at the Cumberland Arms or a Michelin dinner at the House of Tides, the city has something for everyone.

10. Yorkshire

What better place to go on a holiday than “God’s own country”? Besides its natural beauty, Yorkshire is also a foodie paradise and a world-renowned culinary destination. As a matter of fact, the city boasts more Michelin starred restaurants than any other places in the country besides London. The county’s sheer beauty has inspired countless painters and luminaries and millions of visitors visit Yorkshire every year for heritage-related tourism alone, which makes it a prime destination for history lovers.


Although there are numerous places in England with something special to offer, these few locations are truly hidden gems and well worth taking a few days to explore. Regardless of your tastes, make one of these spots your next destination if you want to discover something special.