Eight UK tourist hotspots to avoid, and where to go instead

The United Kingdom, with its rich history and diverse landscapes, is a treasure trove of tourist destinations. Its iconic landmarks draw millions of visitors each year, but there are plenty of lesser-known gems scattered around that offer a more authentic and peaceful experience. Here are eight tourist hot spots you should avoid and where to go instead.

Avoid Snowdon, climb the Glyders

While Snowdon is undoubtedly the most famous peak in the area, the Glyderau (or Glyders) mountain range offers an alternative experience that is equally rewarding.

Snowdon is often crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. The Glyders, on the other hand, receives significantly fewer visitors. This means you can enjoy a more peaceful and immersive mountain experience with fewer distractions. This mountain range also offers a diverse variety of landscapes and geological features that are different from Snowdon. While Snowdon is characterised by its rugged beauty, the Glyders boasts unique rock formations, including the famous Cantilever Stone and the Glyderau Plateau’s strikingly surreal landscape. The contrasting scenery makes for a fascinating hike.

Avoid Stratford-upon-Avon, wander through Warwick

The birthplace of William Shakespeare, is undoubtedly a place of literary significance. However, its fame draws hordes of tourists, making it difficult to appreciate its true charm. Instead, head to the picturesque town of Warwick, just a short drive away.

Warwick is a charming town that exudes history and character. Its crowning jewel, Warwick Castle, is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and families alike. Explore the castle’s ancient architecture, beautifully maintained gardens and interactive exhibits that transport you back in time. Beyond the castle, wander through the quaint streets of Warwick, lined with Tudor-style buildings, traditional tea shops and welcoming pubs.

Avoid Giant’s Causeway, take in Carrick-a-Rede

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Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway is a geological wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The unique hexagonal basalt columns are a sight to behold, but they often come with long queues and swarms of tourists. Instead, venture to the nearby coastal paradise of Carrick-a-Rede.

Hike along the cliffside trails, taking in the stunning vistas of the North Atlantic Ocean and nearby islands. The highlight is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, which dangles 30m above the sea. Crossing this bridge is an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Northern Ireland.

Avoid Yorkshire’s Dales, wander its Wolds

The Dales and Moors get all the attention, but the Yorkshire Wolds (‘wolds’ means low hills) offer some of England’s most tranquil countryside.

Journey along the National Hiking Trail that winds through lush green valleys and between chalk hills. While it may not quite resemble the untamed moors that famously inspired the Brontë sisters, the neat green pinstripe of the fields edged by ancient trees form their own inspiration.

Avoid Stonehenge, walk freely in Avebury

Stonehenge is undoubtedly one of the most mysterious monuments in the world. However, the crowds and restrictions on access can diminish the experience. For a more intimate encounter with ancient history, head to Avebury, a lesser-known but equally mesmerising stone circle and village.

Unlike Stonehenge, you can freely walk among the massive stones that make up Avebury’s circle. Make sure to also explore the village, where you’ll find charming thatched cottages, a museum dedicated to the stones and peaceful walking trails through the surrounding countryside. It’s a place where you can touch history and connect with the past without the crowds.

Avoid Edinburgh Castle, explore Craigmillar Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a symbol of Scotland’s history and a popular tourist attraction. However, its popularity means long lines and crowded galleries. Instead, visit the lesser-known Craigmillar Castle, located just a short distance from the city centre.

Craigmillar Castle is one of the best-preserved castles of its period in Scotland. Built at the beginning of the 14th century by the Preston family, it has an L-shaped tower, a wall with buildings inside, attractive gardens and a fish pond.

Avoid the Jurassic Coast, fossil hunt in North Kent

Extending from Dorset to Devon, the Jurassic Coast covers 150km of shoreline. The most popular stretches of golden sands, dramatic cliffs and weather-sculpted rock formations are beautiful but busy.

For a quieter stretch of British coastline that still boasts a wealth of fossils and geological wonders, consider the North Kent coast. Here, the chalk cliffs that line the shores between Pegwell Bay and Ramsgate are adorned with ancient sea-urchin fossils, waiting to be discovered by curious beachcombers. The windswept pebble beach of Reculver holds a treasure trove of prehistoric flotsam and Herne Bay is one of the best places in the country to find sharks’ teeth.

Avoid Cornwall, explore the Llŷn Peninsula

Cornwall’s white sand and beaches and rugged clifftop trails are packed with tourists in high season. Instead, explore another beautiful finger of land by travelling northwest, to the Llŷn Peninsula. Located to the south of Anglesey in Wales, this secluded gem juts out into the vast expanse of the Irish Sea.

Here, you’ll encounter a landscape of slanting emerald fields, sandy coves and lichen-spotted headlands. The Llŷn Peninsula offers an excellent chance to secure a tranquil cottage retreat, far removed from the crowds. Also, the local beachside eateries and coastal pathways remain refreshingly unspoiled, promising a more serene and intimate experience.

Have you visited any of these UK destinations? Are any on your travel wishlist? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Once in a lifetime wildlife experiences you can have in the UK

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.


  1. I’m not a ‘walker’, and have been to all these areas, except the Jurassic coast.
    My favourite ‘attraction’ is heritage railways, so I’ll usually travel during the ‘high’ season in the UK so that I can do as many railways as possible.

  2. Some of the most ridiculous suggestions right there! You can’t avoid any of these attractions if you’ve never been to the UK! After being in the travel industry for almost 35 yrears, people don’t travel over 10,000 miles to visit lesser known tourist attractions. You might want to visit these alternative spots in addition to the more well known attractions, but dont rule them out because it’s busy in peak season. What about those who travel in the off season? Avoid Cornwall altogether? How ridiculous. Cornwall is the United Kingdom’s poorest county, it needs the tourism dollars to survive. Ellie Baxter might have an interest in travel, but she shouldn’t be giving advice in something she clearly hasn’t thoroughly researched, or hasn’t had any training in travel. I suggest to all those who are considering travelling to the UK to do some research yourselves, and go and talk to a travel expert in your local travel agencies.

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