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5 UK Hidden Gems To Visit In 2018

Seen all the usual sights in the UK’s most-visited cities? Never fear, because we’ve scoured the map to find five hidden gems that are hiding in plain sight, from secret city gardens to dusty underground tunnels. Take a look and prepare to step off the beaten track…

1. Rooftop garden at Cardiff Castle

Even if you've been to the castle grounds, you may not have stumbled across the stunning rooftop garden at Cardiff Castle. You'll need to head high up the spiral staircase to find it and you'll be in awe of the garden with water fountains and painted titles. The house tour runs every day on the hour and lasts around 50 minutes with an additional charge. 

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2. Explore The Hidden Gem Church in Manchester

We couldn’t write a list of hidden gems without including Manchester’s Hidden Gem Church. And the oldest Catholic Church in Manchester – also known as St Mary’s Catholic Church – is well worth a visit even if it’s just for a breather from the crazy streets outside. It’s free to go in, and you’ll get to see the Stations of the Cross – a series of bright, bold paintings by artist Norman Adams that look even more epic in a church setting.
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3. Stroll through Chelsea Physic Garden in London

Had your fill of London landmarks and posh shops on the King’s Road? Step away from the designer labels and into the Chelsea Physic Garden, where you can breathe lungfulls of herb-scented fresh air. This place is filled with five thousand species of medicinal plants spread over three and a half acres, so there’s plenty to explore. And as it’s nowhere near as well-known as London’s Royal Parks – and there’s a small entrance fee – you won’t have to battle the crowds.
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4. Get lost in The Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire

Originally built as a private folly, The Forbidden Corner takes the crown as one of the UK’s strangest attractions. Spread across a four-acre garden in North Yorkshire, it’s billed as ‘a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises’ and one look at the weird and wonderful photos on TripAdvisor says it all. It’s easy to miss in the vast blanket of greenery that is the Yorkshire Dales, but if you’re here with family it’s a must-see. Just bear in mind some sections can be a little scary for younger kids, so you might want to avoid these.
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5. Press pause in Dr Neil’s Garden in Edinburgh

It’s fair to say Princes Street Gardens steal the limelight when it comes to famous gardens in Edinburgh. But if you venture over to Duddingston Village, you’ll find Dr Neil’s Garden hidden away between Duddingston Kirk and the Loch. Often called Edinburgh’s secret garden, it was created in the 1960s by husband and wife – and fellow Doctors – Nancy and Andrew Neil, who encouraged their patients to help in the grounds by way of therapy. Today, this peaceful haven is open to all, seven days a week, for free – providing you can find it of course.
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Published in April 2018