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10 UNEXPECTED FINDS IN THE UK AND IRELAND

By Anna Sarjeant



1 / STEEP YOURSELF IN SEAWEED.
Make a stop at Voya Seaweed Spa, nestled along the beach in the little seaside town of Strandhill. If you’re in County Sligo, it’s a must-do for any bath junkie. They haul fresh seaweed from the ocean, add essential oils, and fill a private bath; you just relax. Strandhill, Carrowbunnaun, Sligo.

Seaweed Spa Bath

 

2 / VISIT REAL-LIFE WINTERFELL.
With its craggy coastline and gun metal grey sky, Northern Ireland makes the perfect location for Game of Thrones. Head to County Antrim for the 820-acre walled demesne of Castle Ward, AKA Winterfell. Strangford, Downpatrick.

Wintefell ireland

3 / SCORE A BARGAIN.
The UK’s largest designer outlet complex is McArthur Glen Designer Outlet. Just a 45-minute drive out of Manchester (and it’s the one M56 motorway all the way). Home to 145 designer stores and open until 8pm Monday - Saturday. Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

 

4 / TAKE A WILD RIDE.
The UK’s best theme park, Alton Towers boasts dozens of rides, G-force roller coasters, a waterpark, spa and a tree-top rope course. Annual themed events include the Halloween Scarefest with rides in the dark, and Bonfire Night, with a legendary firework display. Farley Lane, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent.

 

5 / SEE SOME REALLY SICK PLANTS.
The sign at the gate of Alnwick Poison Gardens reads: “These Plants Can Kill.” Created by an English duchess, every plant is deadly and/or narcotic. Part of the 14-acre Alnwick Garden, it houses 100 killing plants, some caged. Take a guided tour but don’t touch! The Alnwick Garden, Denwick Lane, Alnwick.

Alnwick Poison Gardens

 

6 / TAKE HIGH TEA IN STYLE.
If you’ve seen the 1990 movie, The Witches, based on Roald Dahl’s book, you’ll recognise Newquay’s Headland Hotel. Now serving high tea and scones. The Cornish clotted cream is (arguably) the best in the country. Fistral Beach, Headland Road, Newquay.

Newquay

 

7 / TELL THE KIDS TO TAKE A HIKE.
Families love the award-winning Crocky Trail. An outdoor adventure playground in the muddy outdoors, scrambl e through trees, crooked bridges and swing over the fast flowing Crocky stream. If you slip, you’re only going one way — into the mud. Cotton Abbotts, Waverton, Chester.

 

8 / CATCH A MOVIE IN AN HISTORIC SETTING.
Said to be Quentin Tarantino’s all-time favourite picture house, The Cameo is one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland. Have a drink in the adjoining café and settle in for an art house film. The seats recline and ticket cost £11. 38 Home Street, Edinburgh.

cameo Edinburgh

9 / REDEFINE COSY.
Duck inside Great Britain’s smallest house in the quaint fishing town of Conwy; just six foot wide and only a fraction higher. Sit outside, fronting the sea and grab a bag of mussels. There’s also Conwy’s beautiful 1289 castle in walking distance. 10 Lower Gate Street, Conwy.

Conwy North Wales

10 / GREET A GIANT SQUID.
Archie the giant squid lives in London’s Natural History Museum, in a custom made nine metre tank. Caught off the Falkland Islands in 2004, the 8.6 metre monster is roughly the size of a bus. Drop in and say hello. Cromwell Road, London.

Londons Natural History Museum


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