Fancy getting away with the fairies, or reliving the romance of Arthurian legends? Wander through magical labyrinths filled with fantastic creatures from British folklore, or enjoy an afternoon spotting mermaids. Have an enchanting weekend escape and pay a visit to any of these mystical places across the UK.
1. Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire
Puzzle at the strange ancient rock formations, known as ‘scowles’, and natural underground cave systems in this enchanted forest. Fans of TV fantasy shows, such as Merlin and Dr. Who, may recognise this place, being a popular set for British TV makers.
2. Tintagel, Cornwall
On the coast of north Cornwall, Tintagel is the birthplace of Britain’s most famous legendary leader, King Arthur. The fabled medieval monarch was supposedly born in Tintagel castle, whilst magical wizard, Merlin, lived in a cave below the fortress. Be transported back to a time of chivalrous knights and heroic battles and explore the castle ruins which still stand upon a windswept Cornish cliff. When you’re not starring in your very own Arthurian legend, check out these other beautiful spots in Cornwall that you might just recognise from the small screen.
3. Margate’s Shell Grotto, Kent
Discovered in 1853 by a boy digging a duck pond, the origins of this maze of underground tunnels and chambers covered in 4.6 million shells remains a mystery. The shells come mainly from the UK, but some have washed up from as far afield as the Caribbean. Still no one knows how or why this amazing grotto was built.
4. Elva Hill, Cumbria
Meaning ‘place of elves’, you can imagine what you might find on Elva Hill. Head to the southern side of the hill for the best chances of spying some of these fabled fairies, and marvel at the mysterious Neolithic stone circle also found here.
5. The Forbidden Corner, North Yorkshire
No fools allowed in this fantasy world of follies, passageways and strange statues. Visitors to the Forbidden Corner in Tupgill Park and invited to solve a series of riddles and follow directions through this beguiling maze of odd statues and perspective trickery.
6. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Pack the Branston and head to the caves beneath the gorge – this is where cheddar cheese is matured, hence its name. These craggy cliffs also make up England’s largest gorge and is where Britain’s oldest complete skeleton was found in 1903. The mystery of this place continues; it was believed to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien and his depiction of Helm’s Deep in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
7. Mermaid’s Pool, Derbyshire
Get yourself down to Derbyshire this Easter Sunday and keep your eyes peeled for a water-nymph who like to bath in a bog near Hayfield Village. If you manage to spot her, you may be granted immortality. Certainly sounds like an alternative Easter egg hunt!
8. Cadair Idris, Snowdonia National Park
The stomping ground of Welsh giant Idris, this part of Snowdonia National Park is packed with myth and legend. Besides the grizzly giant, be careful if visiting any of the surrounding lakes, many of which are believed to be bottomless and a night on the banks could leave you dead, a madman or worse, a poet.
9. Shervage Wood, Somerset
If you go down to the woods today you’ll find the final resting place of fire-breathing dragon, Gurt Worm. Slain and cut in two, his body is believed to form the two halves of the Quantock Hills in Somerset.
10. St. Fillan’s Cave, Fife
The Scottish saint who supposedly lived in this cave had the power to heal the sick, and he worked by the light which glowed from his left arm. Not convinced? Visit the cave in east Scotland to see for yourself.
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