Forest Holidays

8 of England’s best-kept secret tourist attractions

Head off the beaten track to discover England's secret attractions

Forest Holidays

Team Forestipedia | Sharing all the best tips and secrets of the forest

It’s English Tourism Week and to celebrate, we’ve gone off the beaten track to bring you some of the less famous (and much the better for it) tourist attractions near to our locations.

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Delight in Deerpark

Cornwall is so full of fabulous days out and attractions it’s difficult to narrow down to one or two recommendations. However, in the spirit of searching out treasures that you might otherwise miss, we have eschewed the Eden Project and the not-so-Lost Gardens of Heligan in favour of the Hidden Valley Discovery Park at Launceston. This gem is around an hour’s drive from Deerpark and is based around solving clues on various treasure trails. It’s the sort of day out that you think you are going on for the children and then find yourself completely wrapped up in the adventure.

Discover the Eden Project in Cornwall

Hidden in Hampshire

Meanwhile, over in Winchester near to Blackwood Forest, you can enjoy a fascinating morning at the Gurkha Museum, which tells the moving story of Gurkha service to Britain over the last 200 years. One of many military museums in Winchester, the Gurkha museum is notable for its detailed miniature battle scenes and immaculately kept displays. Even if you have only a passing interest you will find yourself caught up in the story of this fearless and generous regiment.

Explore the Gurkha museum

Surprises in Suffolk

Are you staying at our location, Thorpe Forest, this summer? A diverting trip to England’s only whisky distillery, St. George’s Distillery, is well worth a visit. A craft operation using local ingredients, could it take on the Scots at their own game? We’ll let you decide. For fun, education, and nostalgia all wrapped up in one pleasurable package, don’t miss the Dad’s Army Museum at Thetford. It’s a lovely little museum, free to enter and with lots of props from the original series, which was filmed in the area.

A Forest of Dean Favourite

Puzzlewood is a popular activity amongst our guests at Forest of Dean. It’s exactly as you would picture a fairy tale wood, with mossy rocks, twisted yews, and little wooden bridges across steep gullies. Reputedly, JRR Tolkien took his inspiration for the fabled forests of Middle Earth from Puzzlewood, and it's easy to see why. This magical landscape will delight everyone.

Venture out and explore Puzzlewood in Gloucestershire

Secrets of Sherwood Forest

Up country to Sherwood Forest and if you can drag yourself away from all things Robin Hood, head northwest on Worksop Road to Creswell Crags. This honeycomb of caves is home to Britain’s oldest art gallery. Here, Britain’s only known Ice Age rock art gives a fascinating insight into the lives of our most ancient ancestors. Explore caves, vales, and gorges then discover more in the museum.

Cropton & Keldy Curios

Our most northern English locations are of course, Cropton and Keldy in North Yorkshire. Both are near to the pretty market town of Pickering and our tip off here is the Beck Isle Museum. With 27 themed rooms depicting local life through the ages it’s one of those treasure troves of a museum that can be overshadowed by more well-known attractions and yet offers a thoroughly captivating experience.

There is something of an authentic, unspoilt theme in our pick of attractions, with a thread of nostalgia woven through, and our final suggestion is no exception. The Scarborough Fair Collection is a whirlwind of Wurlitzer organs, old fashioned carousels, and fairground attractions, with a jaw-dropping collection of working steam engines thrown in for good measure. It’s another of those attractions that draws everyone into its magic, whatever their age or temperament. Give it a whirl!

What do you think about our eclectic selection of English tourist attractions? Have you visited any of them? Have you any suggestions of your own for an overlooked yet wonderful little gem? Book your break and discover some of these secret attractions for yourself.

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