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7 places in the UK that will make you feel like you’re abroad

Posted on May 19, 2021 by Jason Davis
Portmeirion in Wales

With restrictions on foreign travel, more and more people are enjoying holidays in the UK.

Although you may think the golden sands of the Caribbean or the mountainous terrains of Iceland are seemingly out of reach, would you be surprised to know they may be closer than you think?

There are some fantastic places in the UK that will make you feel like you’re abroad. And with more of us planning staycations this year, it makes a great time to explore the hidden gems the UK has to offer.

St Ives looks like the Caribbean

1. St Ives, Cornwall, England

The seaside town of St Ives boasts crystal clear waters and miles of sandy beaches, not to be confused with the Caribbean!

The climate in St Ives may not be as tropical as the Caribbean, but you’ll enjoy the most hours of sunshine (about 1,500 each year) in the whole of the UK, as well as average summer temperatures of 18°C.

And at a fraction of the distance needed to travel in comparison, St Ives could make the perfect summer getaway for your next staycation.

Royal Pavilion looks like India

2. Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England

Capture the essence of India’s Taj Mahal simply by visiting the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

This grand landmark on the south coast was one of the first buildings in Europe built with an impressive Indian and Chinese style at the forefront of its architecture.

The listed former royal residence makes a great day trip out, and with plans to reopen from 17 May 2021, pre-booking is essential to make sure you don’t miss out!

Fingals Cave looks like Japan

3. Fingals Cave, Isle of Staffa, Scotland

Formed by hexagonally shaped columns made of basalt, Fingals Cave shares similar geological features to Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland), Los Prismas Basálticos (Mexico) and even Takachiho Gorge in Japan.

You’ll need a short boat ride to get to the uninhabited island of Staffa, but the views are well worth the trip when you arrive.

Haweswater looks like Canada

4. Haweswater, The Lake District, England

If you enjoy long walks and the fresh outdoors, head over to Haweswater in the Lake District.

The reservoir valley created in 1935 shares similarities with the famous Maligne Lake in Canada.

As one of the lesser-visited lakes in the Lake District, Haweswater can be the quiet getaway you’ve been looking for, but without the grizzly bears!

Portmeirion looks like Italy

5. Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales

For a taste of the Mediterranean a little closer to home, visit the village of Portmeirion in Wales.

Portmeirion was designed and built as a quirky Italianate style village. Portmeirion, or perhaps Portofino if we didn’t know better, has cottages, spas, shops, restaurants and even sandy beaches to take advantage of.

Portmeirion is usually open every day to the public, and is easily accessible by car, train, bus or foot. Day tickets and annual passes can be ordered on their website.

Sgwd yr Eira looks like Costa Rica

6. Sgwd yr Eira, Brecon Beacons, Wales

Step into the world of Costa Rica in the Brecon Beacons when you visit the 50-foot waterfall Sgwd yr Eira. Meaning ‘snow waterfall’ in Welsh, it’s hard to see any difference to the Llanos de Cortez waterfall in Costa Rica.

It’s a two and a half mile walk from the nearest village, so you’ll need your walking boots, and waterproofs if you’re planning to visit.

Old Man of Storr looks like Iceland

7. Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Iceland is every adventurer’s dream.

Though you don’t need to travel that far north to experience the rugged landscape the volcanic island has to offer.

Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye is equally as breath-taking. The 3.8km walking route takes just over an hour to complete, so come well equipped with your best camera to take those memorable shots along the way.

Inspired to explore the UK?

Before you travel, make sure you keep up to date with the latest travel guidance.

And if you’re staying in pre-booked accommodation for two nights you’ll need a UK travel insurance policy for extra peace of mind. You’ll be covered if you’re forced to cancel your trip or cut your holiday short due to a medical emergency.

Ready to plan your next adventure? Discover 50 of the most beautiful places in the UK to visit.

Jason Davis

by Jason Davis

Jason Davis is Staysure's Senior Content Executive. As a specialist travel insurance provider, we aim to keep up-to-date with travel trends, all while offering tips on how to make the most of your holiday.