If you’re growing tired of the usual kind of day trip of taking photos of famous landmarks and following heavily beaten tourist trails, then you may want to discover some of the slightly more unusual hidden gems that the UK has to offer. There are plenty of strange days out to be had around the country. Here are five of the best.
Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Essex
Secret nuclear bunkers might sound like something you would expect to see in an Eastern European country – not in the UK. However, Kelvedon Hatch, located in Brentwood, Essex, is a particularly unique attraction. It was built and maintained during the Cold War to serve as a potential emergency headquarters for the regional government. Decommissioned in 1992, the bunker is now open to the public. It also boasts a museum with various exhibitions on the Cold War. Most interestingly, the entrance to the bunker is through a very ordinary looking house among the trees.
The Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall
Located in the Cornish town of Boscastle, the Museum of Witchcraft is one of the best-known and most unusual museums in Cornwall. As the name suggests, the museum is dedicated to exhibitions on the history of witchcraft as well as the neo-pagan Wicca religion. The museum mostly displays artefacts and information from Cornwall and the rest of England, although there is also a significant collection of artefacts from the rest of Europe. There’s also a small exhibition on Satanism.
The Crooked House, West Midlands
The Crooked House is located near the town of Dudley in the West Midlands. Originally built as a farmhouse in 1795, it started to lean precariously after a mining subsidence in the 19th century, resulting in one side of the building sinking four feet lower than the other. Fortunately, the house was rescued from demolition by the Wolverhampton and Dudley Brewery which made the structure stable by adding buttresses to the sinking side. It is now a unique pub and restaurant. The floors are straight, making for some strange optical illusions when you go inside.
The Orkney Islands are steeped in history having been settled for thousands of years. One of the most fascinating and unusual attractions is the Maeshowe cairn on the main island of the Orkney archipelago. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Neolithic tomb was constructed around 5,000 years ago. It is one of Britain’s best-preserved examples of Stone Age craftsmanship. Inside the burial chamber are various passageways and chambers which are open to the public. Funny how stones are popular in burial sites – check out the Wassu Stone Circles in Gambia.
Dennis Sever’s House, London
Dennis Sever’s House is a Grade II listed building dating back to the Georgian era. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, it was lived in by Dennis Severs, an eccentric Londoner. During the time he spent there, he recreated each room as a time capsule, displaying an amazingly realistic exhibit of life in previous ages of the house’s existence. It is one of London’s most eccentric attractions. Each room looks as though it has been abandoned without any notice on a normal day at some point during the nineteenth century.