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A Secret Guide to Four Hidden, Magical Places in Britain and the UK

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Nell has always loved the History Romance and Legend of Britain's Castles and secrets. 'There is magic within these walls' Says it all!

Tintagel Home of King Arthur

Tintagel Home of King Arthur

Britain is a very popular tourist destination—from the beautiful beaches in Cornwall, England, to the majestic Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. But most tourists don't realise that there are many hidden gems scattered around the UK, including caverns, ghostly pubs, secret gardens and ancient mazes. And if you prefer hill walking or discovering ancient forests, then there are many of those destinations that are not on your typical tourist map. Even people that live in Britain may not know about some of the well-kept secrets that the locals prefer to keep to themselves.

There are many villages dotted about the countryside, and even in these times of modern technology, there are a number of people who still practice ancient customs. Whether it be Pagan festivals or local dialects, farming or secret rituals, you can still found these ancient ways being practices throughout the UK. For centuries, many of the hidden, secret places have stayed that way. Mainly for two reasons.

One being the fact that the locals didn't want the secret to become a tourist trap. And the second being that the secret belongs to their local folklore, and they guard it fervently. I want to walk you through some of these locations, including:

  • Lud's church. Tourists might explore the surrounding area while on vacation, but many will pass by the entrance to this ancient chasm without noticing it.
  • The Shell Grotto is another interesting and mysterious find. When visiting Margate, on the East Coast of England, most families head straight for the coast where there is lots of things to see and do. But by going off the main track, they will find this treasure.
  • Along with Exbury Gardens and the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, it makes sense to plan your vacation with time for a diversion from the most popular and well known sites.

Lud's Church

Lud's Church, also known as Ludchurch, is situated on the hillside above Gradbach, in Staffordshire England. It is a deep chasm that was created by a massive landslide. The formation is in a wood known as Back Forest that lies deep within the countryside. It is a 100 metres long (328 feet) and 18 metres deep (59 feet). As it is mossy and overgrown, it is always damp and cool. Considered by Pagans to be a holy place, it has also been used by Christians, hence the name "Church."

Throughout history, many people have escaped persecution by running away and hiding there. Robin Hood, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Friar Tuck are all reputed to have stayed there. It's very possible that Bonnie Prince Charlie could well have taken refuge here, as well as many other famous people in history. But probably not Robin Hood. As we all know, he is just a legend. Or is he? Lud's Church has a haunting aura about it. Walking down the path, it would be easy to believe that you had stepped back millions of years. Being part of the Peak District, there are many tourists, but strangely enough, not many actually know how to find Lud's Church.

Following directions to get there, it is still hard to actually see where the little path leads. After climbing a rather steep hill, the trail leads to the left. After pushing through the undergrowth, you suddenly step into the open and see the magnificence of the place. The height of the rocks and the narrow width of the setting produces a feeling of awe. It is like an open air church. The grey rocks underfoot are covered in a green algae, making it an amazing sight. The Greene Chapel in the famous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was inspired by the glow caused by the algae. It makes a great story for the locals to boast about, and the legend lends itself to the mystery and beauty of Lud's Church.

The Shell Grotto Margate Kent

The beautiful Shell Grotto in Margate England was discovered in 1835 by James Newlove. He lowered his young son Joshua into a hole while he was digging out a duck pond. The hole was deeper than they thought, and the boy scrambled down—only to discover a series of tunnels covered in shells. On investigation, they found that the tunnels were about 21 metres (70 feet) in length, ending in an oblong chamber. The walls were decorated with strange symbols and mosaic-ed in millions of shells.

To this day, no one knows whether it was used as an ancient Pagan temple or a secret cult. Some believe it to be either thousands of years old, and others just a few hundred. The trouble being that the scientists cannot carbon date the shells because gas lamps were used to light the passage a hundred years ago. They produced to much soot, damaging the shells and making it impossible to accurately test the shells.

But scientists tend to believe that it is very old. Their argument is that even though back in the 17th and 18th century, a lot of land owners made similar secret chambers. This grotto was found in a field that was nowhere near a large house or owned by a wealthy land owner. There is a small hole that aligns with the sun at the spring equinox in the roof of the grotto, and the walls are full of gods and goddesses portrayed within the shells. There is also an alter that seems to indicate that it was built at a much earlier age. With science reaching new boundaries, carbon dating or something similar will one day find out the age of the grotto. Until then, we can just stand in awe at the sight of the beautiful shells. I have visited it many times and still feel a sense of amazement at the work that was put into making it.

Exbury Gardens in the New Forest Hampshire

Exbury Gardens were the idea of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, and thanks to him, we have one of the most spectacular gardens in the UK. This is a garden for the young and old. With its masses of amazing colours and exotic plants, it was once described by a visitor as "Heaven with the gates open." Rothschild loved all plants and was a keen collector. Little did he realise that his love of plants would make such a spectacular visitor's delight. Along with an abundance of colorful plants, it also has the hydrangea walk, the sundial walk, and the rock garden.

There is also a lovely steam railway that will take you around the gardens while sitting in comfort. This is a wonderful day out; there are many exhibitions and things for children to do. I chose this garden because it has been described as one of the most beautiful in the whole of Britain, and after taking a look at the photos of the wonderful flowers and view, I have to agree. So whether you prefer walking, going by steam train or even taking a chauffeur-driven buggy, I think you will love this little gem situated in Hampshire, England.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle isn't very secret. Unless, of course, you don't live in the UK. Most people here do know of it, but foreign tourists tend to visit Edinburgh Castle or the surrounding countryside. Eilean Donan is situated between three of the great Lochs in Scotland and is one of the most important attractions in the Scottish Highlands. The area has been inhabited ever since the 6th Century, and the castle was built in the 13th. Standing guard over the lands of Kintail, it has been rebuilt four times. It was partially destroyed in 1719 by the Jacobite uprising and was left in ruins for the next 200 years.

In 1911, it was bought by Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae Gilstrap, who then restored it to its former beauty. Since then, it has been open to visitors. You can explore the wonderful history, take time out for a coffee, and buy souvenirs from the gift shop. Eilean Donan is situated near the quaint village of Dornie on the main route to the Isle of Skye. The area is a wonderful place of discovery. After visiting the castle, you can wander through the Lochalsh Woodland Gardens at Balmacara or climb to the top of the Falls of Glomach. Surrounded by such wonderful countryside and ancient hills, it feels as though you have stepped back in time. Wonderful.

© 2011 Nell Rose

Comments

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 23, 2017:

Hi Peggy, yes Luds Church does look difficult doesn't it? we are so lucky over here, its a beautiful country, thanks Peggy!

Peggy Woods on July 21, 2017:

Hi Nell,

I see that 5 years ago I left a comment but today it was as if it was the first time viewing this. The videos are fantastic and the accompanying music in the last two videos is beautiful as well. In looking at Lud's Church I am afraid that my knees would be a hindrance in hiking through it today. Thanks for assembling this!

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 18, 2016:

Hi Laurie, thanks for reading, yes we have lovely places over here to visit, and the Shell Grotto is one of my favorites, nell

LaurieNunley517 from Deep South on January 17, 2016:

I would love to travel there and see some of these places! The music you chose was perfect. Loved the Shell Grotto. Thank you.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 17, 2014:

Thanks rusted, glad you liked it, we have some awesome places over here to visit, thanks, nell

David Hamilton from Lexington, KY on June 16, 2014:

I have not heard of many of these places. Thanks for sharing.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 02, 2014:

Hi Jodah, yes the shell grotto is amazing isn't it? its wonderful to see first hand, thanks so much for reading, nell

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on June 02, 2014:

Interesting hub Nell. The only one I knew of was the Shell Grotto, but they would all be fun to visit. The lesser frequented places are often the best.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 01, 2014:

Thanks suzette, yes they are lovely aren't they? some I have visited like the grotto and others that I still want to go and see, hope you are having a wonderful weekend! nell

suzettenaples on June 01, 2014:

Thanks for sharing these places off the beaten path. They usually are the most interesting. I'd love to see all of them, especially Lud Church. Thanks for an interesting and informative hub!

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 23, 2012:

Hi, leanMan, I always went to Margate every year, and love the Grotto too. I also don't think its fake, but how old it is I am not sure. Maybe its a couple of hundred years old, because at that time many people were into secret caves and strange meetings! lol! like the hell fire club in high wycombe, thanks for reading, and I am glad you liked it, cheers nell

Tony from At the Gemba on April 23, 2012:

I also always had my holidays in the Margate area, either Broadstairs or Ramsgate when I was a youngster with my grandparents and have since taken my Kids there. The Shell Grotto was a fascinating place, I discovered it by accident one day when I got lost and have been back several times.

Some suggest that it is a fake, but to be honest the number of shells and the work that has obviously gone into making it tends to say otherwise. It must have been truly breathtaking when all the shells were fresh and shining!

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 27, 2012:

Hi, Mark, Yes you may be right, they very likely did! wouldn't it be great if you could maybe visit there and take in some of the old churches to see if your family name is in the records? It would be lovely to see where you originally come from! thanks for reading, cheers nell

Mark Pitts from United States on January 27, 2012:

My grandmother had an old Bible that listed my kin from her line. They were left in Georgia in 1756, when it was a penal colony, I believe for the debtors prisons (so I was told). I would love to see Eilean Donan Castle, and wonder if my ancient kin knew of it.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 30, 2011:

Hi, mel, that's a good idea, have a vacation and look up your long lost relatives! lol! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

mel22 from , on November 30, 2011:

some nice places, although my clan surname is from the lowland areas, so I'd actually spend my time there first, but it still looks like a nice country to visit for scenery.Highlands or lowlands; it doesn'y matter. I want to go.

Nell Rose (author) from England on September 09, 2011:

Hi, Gypsy, thanks for reading, and I will come and take a look! cheers nell

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on September 07, 2011:

Margate was where my grandmother always went for her summer holiday. I wonder if she visited the grotto, definitely on my list of places to visit. Have you read my hub about Tregrwg castle near Usk in South Wales/ Another mystical place. Love this hub, thanks.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, tillsontitan, I promise to keep them quiet! ha ha thanks again, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, laine, thanks so much, we do have some lovely places over here, I am glad you liked it, I shall have to go explore some more! lol cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, rockdresses, thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, Lucky Cats, thank you! Britain is a lovely place, I don't think I would want to move from here because of all the lovely history, there is so much more over here, I will have to find some more places to write about, thanks as always nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, poet, I am so glad you liked it, there are so many lovely places over here, I have only just touched the surface, and I hope to visit more, thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 25, 2011:

Hi, tsmog, that's brilliant! I am so glad its given you a feel for England and the Knights of old! good luck with the writing, and thanks!

Mary Craig from New York on August 25, 2011:

As always great hub. Folks in England might not appreciate you giving away their secrets but everyone else does. Beautiful photos as well. Voted up and interesting.

laine harrison on August 24, 2011:

oh! this is great, makes me want to go there, right now. excellent nell!

rockdresses from Turkey on August 24, 2011:

Very brilliant post?

Kathy from The beautiful Napa Valley, California on August 24, 2011:

Nell! Outstanding! thoroughly breathtaking...astounding! WOW!!! What beautiful and magnificant places...incredible! I can't come up with enough adjectives to describe how much I enjoy and love this hub..the magisty of Ludchurch....unbelievable beauty...the astonishing feat that is Shell Grotto and, what's eveh more amazing is that no one knows, for sure, what the age of the painstakingly intricate cave is...and so huge! Makes one wonder...who would have taken the time required to have created such a lovely place...and so well done that it stands many years later..I swear, Nell, I could make out 'faces' in some of the rooms either by the way the light played on the walls or the ways in which shells were placed!

Exbury Gardens...exceptionally beautiful...now, I feel that I must go out and purchase all type of flowering shrubs, bulbs, perennials and rhizomes so that I can create something with a wall of color..magnificant!

Eilean Donan castle..on top of the world! I swear, this home of yours is fantastic and now, along with the pubs we talked of earlier...this is no doubt I must make it to the gorgeous UK before too long...

Much respect, regards and so impressed with your fabulous writing and these gorgeous environs. UP Beautiful Useful Awesome and Interesting!!!!!

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on August 24, 2011:

You really made it all come alive. It was such a treat to see these far away places. You made them all so appealing, romantic and mysterious. I could feel the history here. And, that was by far the most beautiful garden picture I have ever seen. Thank you so much for this!

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on August 24, 2011:

wow! what an eye opener and a door into the imagination. When I have written short stories about brave knights Britain of course is the setting. Usually forest settings with a meadow. Now I am motivated to research some more when that fancy strikes. Thank you Nell , , , I'm going to dust off those stories for possible re-write.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 10, 2011:

Hi, kitty, I would love to visit the chasm myself, what a mysterious place! but luckily I have been in the Grotto, and it never fails to leave me in awe, thanks so much as always, nell

Kitty Fields from Summerland on August 10, 2011:

Ohh, you make me want to visit England so very badly! I had no idea these places existed. Wow, the chasm is breathtaking and definitely a sacred/holy place to Pagans and Christians alike. The shelled grotto is extraordinary, too! Voted up and awesome. Great job yet again, Nell.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 07, 2011:

Hi, Leanne, they are great aren't they? we had thunder and lightning today, and so much rain it hurt! lol thanks for reading it, cheers nell

Leanne1783 from Bradford, United Kingdom on August 07, 2011:

Hi Nell, what a great hub, I have heard of a few of these places, but not all, so definitely worth a visit! Lets just hope we have some nice weather soon, so I can enjoy them even more! Thanks for some great visiting ideas!

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 06, 2011:

Hi, b. Malin, I am so glad you liked it! we do have lots of lovely secret places over here, I wish I could fit them all in! lol

Hi, Eiddwen, thanks this took a while trying to figure out which ones to add! lol I will have to write a book to show all the other lovely places, thanks again nell

Eiddwen from Wales on August 06, 2011:

Well it's my catch-upwith reading hubs today and this one is a treat. I love it and you have obviously worked so hard to present this one. It has paid off without a doubt.

Take care and here's to many more to share.

Take care

Eiddwen.

b. Malin on August 05, 2011:

Oh Neil what a Rich and Reward Read...I too Love History and Britain is no exception...I just got a Mini Education. What would we do without you and James Watkins and your Enlightening Hubs! Thank you.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 03, 2011:

Hi, acaetnna, thank you, I am so glad you liked it, we do have some wonderful places over here, we think we know them all then another great one is written about and I amazed that I never knew about them, thanks nell

acaetnna from Guildford on August 03, 2011:

Britain does have some amazing, stunning beautiful places. There is always so much to see. A great hub Nell Rose with masses of information. Thank you, I shall book mark this for future reference.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 03, 2011:

Hi, Greenhouse, congrats on the wedding! I look forward to reading your stuff, loads of photos please! lol thanks for reading, cheers nell

Aimee on August 03, 2011:

Hello Nell!

I am glad to see you are still writing wonderful hubs! I am now back and writing after taking time to plan my wedding.

I would love to see all of these places you shared with us! They are all so lush and natural! It is no wonder people think my wedding was held overseas when I compare your pictures here to pictures of our wedding day!

I look forward to reading your new hubs and catching up on the ones I have missed while I was away!

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 01, 2011:

Hi, Hello hello, I am glad you liked them, I love the shell grotto, that's my favourite, thanks again nell

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 01, 2011:

You have picked some beautiful places and with magic. Thank you for this descriptive hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 30, 2011:

Hi, James, the shell grotto is a fascinating place, it feels like going home when I haven't been there for a few years, we always went to Margate when we were children, with our mum and dad. everytime I go, it brings back memories like an old friend, thanks for reading, cheers nell

Hi, Peggy, thank you so much! I love these mysterious places too, and would love to visit Lud's Church myself, thanks for reading, and I am glad you enjoyed it, cheers nell

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2011:

Oh my! What wonderful treasures you have shown us. If I could only pick one to visit it would have to be Lud's Church. What a fantastic place to hike and see nature up close. Loved reading this and also watching the videos. Hitting all kinds of buttons on this one! Will also tweet and FB this so that others can enjoy it.

James A Watkins from Chicago on July 30, 2011:

"The Shell Grotto Margate Kent" is my favorite among these. Your Hub fascinates me. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to learn about and see these unusual places. Thank you for this treasure! :-)

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 27, 2011:

Hi, Rebecca, lol sorry about that! I am glad you liked it, thanks for reading, cheers nell

Rebecca E. from Canada on July 27, 2011:

half of these didn't know of, and now I want to go and se them, my list is getting very long much thanks to you.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 27, 2011:

Hi, DzyM, ha ha that's a bit drastic! but I am glad you liked it, and thanks nell

Hi, Pras, thanks so much! I am glad you like it, the shell grotto is an amazing place, and I am hoping to explore the other sites soon, cheers nell

Hi, Simone, thanks again for your help, bit of a panic there! lol what a shame that you missed some of these, and there are many more, maybe stay for a month next time, lol cheers nell

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 27, 2011:

GAH!! I wish I knew about these places BEFORE I returned from my UK vacation!!!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 27, 2011:

Wow...wow...wow...wow. I really enjoy this tour. You describe this very well. Nell, I not familiar with all these place and I give thumbs up for your research. You have stunning pictures here and all the pictures are beautiful. Well done, my friend. My vote always for you. Cheers...

Prasetio

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 26, 2011:

Hi, Nell--

What a great selection of secret tours! I love going 'off the beaten path,' and seeing things others miss.

Your descriptions were intriguing; the videos excellent.

(The gardens put me in mind of the world-famous Butchart Gardens of Victoria, British Columbia, which originated from an abandoned stone quarry!)

Perhaps some year I'll have the budget to travel to visit the Great Britain; if not, it'll be first on my list of places to see when I become a ghost! ;-)

Voted up and all kinds of other things! ;-)

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 26, 2011:

Hi, Alastar, yes the Castle is on a little island, I have visited the shell grotto lots of times, as Margate is one of the places I used to go on holiday to, so, when we go to the pub, I will have a vodka and coke please! lol thanks again nell

Hi, Audrey, I got back in! thank goodness! thanks for reading, and glad you liked it, cheers nell

Hi, Chatkath, that's a shame that you missed these, there are so many lovely places over here, maybe you will come back over? thanks again nell

Kathy from California on July 26, 2011:

I wish I had this information 10 years ago when I first visited, I guess I will have to make another trip! Well done Nell, I'll be back :-)

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 26, 2011:

Nell - Well done and wish I could visit~

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on July 26, 2011:

Hidden places of mystery are always the best. This fantastic article makes me want to drop everything and come right over. Lud's church second, after we hit the pub, right Nell. Can one imagine being there alone...especially at night. The Shell Grotto is absolutely fascinating. I'll bet its thousands of years for if hundreds wouldn't at least the memory have been around somewhere into the 19th century? Is the Scottish castle on a little isle, that is a magical area. Wish, wish, wish. Maybe some day. Triple tack Nell for a superlative Hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 26, 2011:

Hi, Rose, ha ha okay he was real! actually he may well have been but they have changed bits of the history around him, glad you liked it, thanks nell

QudsiaP1 on July 26, 2011:

Oh this was fantastic Nell; if I ever visit; these are the places I would like to visit first.

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on July 26, 2011:

Why do we ever go abroad? There are so many quaint and interesting places in this country!

marimccants on July 25, 2011:

I really like it.

Art Wartenbe from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast on July 25, 2011:

Interesting travel hub, very informative too! Thumbs up thank you for sharing with us!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 25, 2011:

I used to live in Britain but all the places that you have described are new to me! Thank you for a very interesting description and lovely photos. I hope very much that I can visit some of the places that you've mentioned one day, especially Lud's Church and the Shell Grotto.

SusieQ42 on July 25, 2011:

Oh, this is a wonderful story...actually a tourist guide. Thanks so much for sharing your love for your country!

Rose West from Michigan on July 25, 2011:

Absolutely loved this! The Shell Grotto is especially fascinating - oh, and Robin Hood did exist (please don't pop my bubble ;) I would love to see all these places!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Ruby, when are you coming over? lol you would love it, there are some great places, even I need to explore some more, thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, LCaverson, thanks so much, I hope you get to visit, there are so many things to do, castles, lochs caverns, etc, great discoveries in every county, thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Merlin, yes that's true, I never thought of that! lol thanks again, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, D.A.L. thanks for reading, have you been to any of these places? I know you love exploring, thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Martie, you must come over, you do have a reason for it! ha ha but seriously, I think you would love it, all the ghostly places, and old caverns, thanks again nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Island, thanks for reading it, I hope you get to visit, there are so many great places, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Jama, yes sshh! ha ha thanks for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, carrie, up close, the shells are really laid out well, each and every shell is lined up so perfectly it must have taken decades to finish, amazing and intricate work, thanks for reading, and I am glad you enjoyed it, cheers nell

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 25, 2011:

I love this. The Shell Grotto is amazing, such artistic talent. Thank you for sharing. England has many beautiful places. I would love to visit.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Shalini, I love wandering off the beaten track! mind you, I have got lost a few times! lol thanks again nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, RedElf, evidently there are quite a few dotted around Britain, but this one in particular they believe is one of the original. the gentry in the 17th and 18th century build them too, but its believed that they copied one of the originals, and the gardens are lovely aren't they? thanks so much nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, PDX, thanks for reading, that sounds like a great day out, I thought it was probably similar to something in America, cheers nell

Leslie Caverson from Virginia Beach, VA. on July 25, 2011:

I love history, and to add to it that bit of mystery?? Thank you, next time I am abroad I will have to look into a few of these places.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, christopher, I love the shell grotto, every time I go to Margate I have to go visit, its such a weird and interesting place, thanks for reading, cheers nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, attempted, I think there must be a least a thousand castles in the uk, I was actually looking at them a while ago, and counted 400 before giving up! amazing, I have only visited about ten! lots more to explore. The shell grotto must be older than that then, I would love to know who built it, thanks again, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Dardia, thanks so much! we do have some lovely places over here, even I don't get to see them that much, they are on my to do list! lol thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Ingenira, I must admit that I haven't been to many places in Scotland, but the lochs are wonderful, and of course if you go to Loch Ness you may just see the loch ness monster! but there are also loads of castles and the highlands of Scotland have many little villages in the countryside that are well worth the visit, I will have to go and check out the main sites, maybe another hub? thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 25, 2011:

Hi, Reena, thanks so much, I am glad you enjoyed it, cheers nell

Merlin Fraser from Cotswold Hills on July 25, 2011:

Hi Nell,

another great Hub but if you keep giving away all the secrets where will go for solitude ?

Dave from Lancashire north west England on July 25, 2011:

Nell another masterpiece. Well done. Really enjoyed this one. Best wishes to you.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 25, 2011:

Nell, because of this hub I will save 10 more bucks per month for a holiday in England. Oh, and if there are any haunted places, I will be the one who feel those spirits from the past with every nerve in my body. Not because I'm a psychic, but because of my vivid imagination. Thanks for this taste of a holiday in your country.

Island Tropical on July 25, 2011:

Yes, England is one of the nation that I am planning to visit in the future, thanks for sharing.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on July 25, 2011:

You're so right that locals want to keep these places secret so they won't become tourist traps. So I promise not to tell a soul! lol!

carriethomson from United Kingdom on July 25, 2011:

hi nell!! very nice and innovative hub hub as usual..the shell Grotto Margate Kent seems to be great the first photographs looks amazing sp the colours while the shell covered roof also looks great...there is always so much to explore..cheers

voted up :-)

Shalini Kagal from India on July 25, 2011:

Hi Nell - how fascinating! Places that are not on the regular tourist list are so much more interesting!

RedElf from Canada on July 25, 2011:

Oh my, these are such beautiful places to see. I had never heard of the shell grotto - what a fascinating place - and the Exbury Gardens are exquisite. thanks so much for sharing these delights with us!. Voted up and Awesome!

PDXBuys from Oregon on July 25, 2011:

Nice! Lud's Church looks very similar to areas in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. I have hiked there many times.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on July 25, 2011:

They all seem worth a visit. The shell grotto is especially fascinating, because of the mystery.

Thanks for bringing them to our attention Nell.

attemptedhumour from Australia on July 24, 2011:

I haven't heard of any of those places and i lived in the UK for my first twenty-five years. There are so many places all over the UK worth visiting. It seems to me that the shell grotto's location would have been recorded if it was only 200 years old. Pity about the oil lamps, but who wouldn't want to marvel at it?

I wonder how many castles there are in the UK and how long it would take to visit them all? I visited Wookie Hole in Cheshire in the sixties and many more holes, or caves are accessible now. Oh well must press on. Cheers

Darlene Yager from Michigan on July 24, 2011:

If I do ever get a chance to visit I would love it if you could show me these awesome sites. This is the part of the country I want to see the most. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Wonderful hub! Voted up.

Ingenira on July 24, 2011:

I'd love to see all of the above especially the Lud's Church, and the Eilean Donan Castle. Nell, if I only have a few days in Scotland, what are the must-see places ? I like nature stuff. Castles are great, but which are the must-see ?

Reena J on July 24, 2011:

Sounds magnificent! Britain is known for its best attractions. Thanks for presenting these secret ones. It's a life time pleasure to be there...

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 24, 2011:

Hi, Cardisa, I would love to visit Luds Church too, I didn't realise that your Grandfather lived over here, what a good excuse for a visit, I will be waiting with a cup of tea! lol thanks again nell

Hi, Greensleeves, what a great name! I picked these places because they stood out for me, but there are so many more out there, thanks so much nell

Hi, marellen, thank you! its a shame you can't visit them, the Shell Grotto is really interesting, but thanks for reading, cheers nell

Hi, My Minds, of course! we will have to go for a tour round London, great day out! lol cheers nell

Hi, Polly, I loved that music too! I will have to find out who's it is, and get the CD, thanks for reading it, and I'm glad you liked it, cheers nell

Pollyannalana from US on July 24, 2011:

Wow great hub and nothing like some beautiful music as a topper. Sort of haunting sound, I love it!

Maude Keating from Tennessee on July 24, 2011:

Most of my ancestry comes from the UK. I have wanted to go for years. When I do make it, can I come visit you?.

marellen on July 24, 2011:

Hi Nell Rose....I love that name....I found this so fasanating, I would love to see them all but doubt that I will but I just did on hub pages. I bookmarked this for further reading. Thanks for sharing.