Hidden gems of Britain: Best secret holiday spots revealed

Travel: Mims Davies says staycations are 'the way to do it'

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Iona set in the Inner Hebrides topped a list of 20 lesser-known beauty spots, which included the Fairy Pools on Skye and Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.

Iona, near Mull, off the west coast, is famous for its ancient abbey and is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.

Orkney’s Rousay Island, the Cotswold Canals, and Malham in the Yorkshire Dales were also among the best-kept secrets.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, which commissioned the survey, said: “There are so many of these hidden gem locations within easy reach that many people have perhaps not even heard of, never mind visited.”

The study of 2,000 people found 40 per cent “go out of their way” to visit the less popular locations. Half enjoy telling people about their newly-found places but a third keep it to themselves to ensure the locations remain less popular.

For 62 per cent, being able to relax more due to the lack of crowds was the top reason for choosing these secret spots.

It also emerged that almost half want a staycation this year – with the average person planning to book at least three trips.

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Fifteen per cent of those polled intend to take six or more UK breaks throughout 2022.

According to the OnePoll study, 46 per cent of people say it’s easier to relax during a staycation than a holiday abroad.

Forty-three per cent say this is due to having less travel time.

Forty per cent say it is because they avoid the stress of Covid restrictions when going abroad.

Cost is also an important consideration, with a third opting for holidays in Britain over trips abroad because they are cheaper.

Mr Donoghue added: “The UK has so much to offer, a lot of which isn’t widely known about.

“But hopefully this research has enlightened people of these places and will provide some inspiration for their next break.”

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