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The 10 Best Secret Destinations in the UK, According to Instagram

With many of us exploring the UK rather than abroad in recent times, we’ve discovered just how breath-taking Britain can be. 

No matter how much exploring you have done in the UK, there’s probably a lot of places you haven’t seen just yet. So, for those who want to avoid the crowds, travel off the beaten path, or simply find another destination you are yet to see, we have the list for you. 

Here at, we have analysed 100 locations on Instagram that are often quipped as hidden gems to find the least tagged destinations, thus uncovering the UK’s 10 best-kept secrets. What’s more, 8 out of 10 of these locations are free to visit – perfect for budgeting travellers or families. 

Read on to discover the UK’s most beautiful hidden gems!

1. Kyoto Gardens, London

No. of tags on Instagram: 62 

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Cost: Free

Japan is a travel destination on many bucket-lists, but unfortunately not everyone has the money or time to be able to venture to Japan. However, did you know you can experience a slice of Japan in London? Situated amidst the hustle and bustle of central London in Holland Park, this serene garden was gifted in 1991 from Kyoto. You’ll find all the traditional Japanese garden features, with waterfalls, koi carp pond, and stone lanterns. What’s more it has just 62 tags on Instagram, making it a true hidden gem at 1st place. 

2. St Martin’s Vineyard, Isles of Scilly 

No. of tags on Instagram: 68 

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Cost: £10

Established in 1996, this coastal vineyard is Isles of Scilly’s best-kept secret with just 68 tagged Instagram posts. Explore the wildflower fields, vines, and learn the winemaking technique with breath-taking panoramic views on a self-guided tour for just £10. Then finish your tour with a wine tasting flight in front of the vinery.  The wines have become a local hero, so this is definitely not one to miss. 

3. Yoesden Nature Reserve, High Wycombe

No. of tags on Instagram: 94 

Google rating: 4.4/5

Cost: Free

Yoesden provides a haven for rare butterflies, wildflowers, and even small crowds with just 94 tagged posts. Amongst the chalk down land plants, and the bank scattered with pink orchids, you may find stunning rare butterflies, such as the blue Adonis. 

Above the bank is an old beech woodland packed with the sounds of woodpeckers, buzzards and red kites. Not only that, but this place is free to visit – ideal for families. 

4. Sunbiggin Tarn, Cumbria 

No. of tags on Instagram: 180 

Google rating: 4.8/5

Cost: Free

Situated near Cumbria in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this beautiful lake is surrounded by green rolling hills and wildlife.

It’s a wonder the area only has 180 tagged posts on Instagram, with the destination being a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the wildlife. The tarn is a popular place for many interesting birds, from migrating birds to resident species.  

5. Eilean na Moine, Scotland

No. of tags on Instagram: 189

TripAdvisor rating: N/A

Cost: Free

Despite this location being one of the iconic Harry Potter filming locations, many people don’t know this island even exists. To locate this beautiful destination you must travel by kayak, which might be why this island is unknown and has just 189 tags on Instagram. Despite the unusual method of getting there, it’s well worth the visit. After all, the location is Dumbledore’s resting place in Deathly Hallows Part 1!

If you’re not sure about the kayak trip, you can see it from the Jacobnite Steam Train, also known as the Harry Potter train. 

6. Bay of Harris, Outer Hebrides

No. of tags on Instagram: 191 

TripAdvisor rating: 5/5

Cost: Free

The Bays is the name given to the east coast of South Harris thanks to its shoreline having an abundance of bays. This rugged coast has only 191 hashtags on Instagram, making it the sixth most secret British gem. The area has an amazing creative hub, so make sure to visit the many art galleries the Bays has to offer. 

If you’re looking for an adventure, there are plenty of walks that start from the Bays that are sure to satisfy that travelling itch. 

7. Llyn y Fan Fach, Wales

No. of tags on Instagram: 215

TripAdvisor rating: 5/5

Cost: Free

Llyn y Fan Fach is a mystical lake hidden away in the Brecon Beacons. The fascinating site is home to the Welsh folklore legend, ‘The Lady of the Lake.’ But you don’t need folk tales to appreciate how enchanting this hidden gem is, with its calm waters and the stunning Black Mountain surrounding it. With just 215 tags on Instagram, it’s a wonder this destination is so secret. 

8. Ross Back Sands, Northumberland

No. of tags on Instagram: 268 

TripAdvisor rating: 5/5

Cost: Free

Ross Back is a stunning deserted beach with just 268 hashtags on Instagram. The beach is often uncrowded as you can only access it via foot on a 1.5km footpath. However, the reward is definitely worth it. You’ll be welcomed by panoramic views of Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands, as well as Lindisfarne Castle. You may even spot a seal or two if you have a pair of binoculars handy. 

9. Culbone Church, Somerset 

No. of tags on Instagram: 280 

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Cost: Free

Culbone Church is the smallest parish church in England and has only 280 hashtags on Instagram, making it the ninth best-kept secret in the UK. To find this unusual church, you have to walk through the west Somerset woodland, passing an 18th Century gothic mansion and fairytale tunnels. 

When you reach the church, you’ll find it can only seat 33 people. However, the average congregation is seven, with not much room for much else except the pews and a harmonium. 

10. Italian Chapel, Orkney, Scotland

No. of tags on Instagram: 570 

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5

Cost: £3.50

This ornate Catholic chapel is steeped in history. Built by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War on the island of Orkney, the inside is beautifully painted by a talented prisoner who happened to be an artist. 

It’s one of Orkney’s most visited locations, though to the rest of the world it remains hidden - with just 570 tagged Instagram posts. What’s more, it costs just £3.50 to enter this unique chapel – ideal! 

Want more ways to satisfy your wanderlust? Check out these amazing bathroom designs inspired by iconic beaches, and find out how to recreate the look in your own home. 

Methodology took 100 UK locations named as a hidden gem or a best kept secret on news sites and blogs. Then hashtag data on Instagram was analysed to find the least tagged locations, thus uncovering the most secret UK spots.

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