Discovering Hidden Gems in the UK Countryside: Student Travel Guide

As a student in the UK, you might have a stressful life at university, which is why you should always find the time to relax and take time out to recharge your mind and body.

A great way to do this is to get out of the town and city and make the most of the countryside in the UK and find the best places for a short break away or for some walks in the fresh air.

There are some amazing towns and villages in the UK that put you right on the doorstep of beautiful countryside walks and weekends away. Let’s take you through some of the different options you have around the UK, whether you are looking for the best student travel destinations this winter or a summer break.

In England and Wales alone, there are 13 National Parks and 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This gives you an abundance of locations to try out throughout the year.

Whether you travel by train and camp in a tent, stay at a youth hostel or rent a cottage with a group of friends, find the best locations and go out and enjoy the beautiful wild!

The Rame Peninsula – Cornwall

Cornwall itself is not a hidden gem, of course, with its rolling hills, deep forest life and some of the finest beaches and coastline you’ll find anywhere, but there are still some fine places that offer an alternative to where everyone heads first. The Rame Peninsula is such a place, often called ‘Cornwall’s Forgotten Corner’. There are country parks to walk in, sandy beaches to relax on, tidal creeks and large areas of beautiful farmland.

Rame Peninsula in Cornwall

White Scar Cave – Yorkshire

A hidden gem for a country walk and retreat in the Yorkshire Dales is around White Scar Cave. You can stay in Ingleton and go for some amazing walks in this area, including the spectacular cave, which is the longest show cave in the UK. If you’re not scared of the dark, it’s a great way to spend a day, and then relax back in the village for the evening.

White Scar Cave in Yorkshire -country side uk

Skelwith Force -The Lake District

This is another part of the world that is full of tourists, for most of the year. Despite this, it is such a large region of England that there are plenty of hidden gems and special places where you can get out into the wild for long hikes and see some stunning natural landscapes away from the crowds. Skelwith Force is a relatively secluded waterfall near the village of Skelwith Bridge in Cumbria. It is a truly enchanting experience to be close to the cascading water.

Skelwith Force in The Lake District

Castell Coch – South Wales

Nestled in the hills in the village of Tongwynlais, just north of Cardiff, Castell Coch is a fairy-tale vision of a castle from childhood storybooks. The conical roofs and turrets dot the treeline of the surrounding beech forest. You can walk in the countryside and experience a guided tour of the castle, which dates back to the 13th century in parts and has a mixture of outstanding architecture from throughout the centuries. You can also then take advantage of Cardiff as a city break over the same weekend!

Castell Coch in South Wales


Norfolk isn’t one of the first places on the list when people talk about holidays in the UK, but it should be. It is a beautiful area, with calm rivers to float along, the brightest of poppy fields, and picturesque windmills that make it feel like you’ve stepped into a magical world. You can go for long country walks, travel by paddleboat or look into local heritage railway trips. Staying in Yurts in Weston Longville is a nice weekend idea for a group of friends too!


Caerlaverock Castle – Dumfries

Up in Scotland, this magical castle in the shape of a triangle is an underrated, hidden spot of beauty with a green moat that evokes a mystical atmosphere, and a beautiful nature reserve all around. It is another storybook castle and there are very few places like it anywhere else in the UK.

Scotland is so vast with stunning landscapes, and this is certainly a place you’ll never forget. This could also be a starting point for an expansive trip around the Scottish Highlands, which is truly like no other place in this country.

Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries

Wirral Circular Trail

Wirral is a beautiful peninsular and the Circular Trail takes in 35 miles of former railway lines, country paths, coastline, and more. It is one for the explorers.

It’s the perfect place to go for a long walk on a summer’s day, or if you love cycling it is great to blow away the cobwebs.

It covers every part of the peninsular too, so you get to see all sides of the Wirral, and this can make it an exciting and worthwhile place to visit over a long weekend. You can spread the different parts of the walk over different days and that gives you ample opportunity to also visit bustling Liverpool and pretty Chester, which are both close by.

Wirral Circular Trail

As you can see, there are some brilliant places for you to visit around the countryside of the UK. We’ve helped you in the past to find cheap holidays for students, and we hope this has given you some ideas of where to go to make the most of the beautiful scenery and countryside around this great country.

Wherever you live in the UK as a student, you’re within easy reach of some good breaks away, whether you are looking at a few days away over a short weekend break, or you are looking for a hidden gem in the UK countryside to escape to. We hope we’ve given you some food for thought. Let us know your own personal favourite countryside visits in the UK.

If you are looking for student accommodation for the next year, then head to our Universal Student Living website and browse through the range of properties that cater to all your needs!

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