The UK’s top 10 undiscovered hidden gem road trips revealed

Date Posted 28th June 2024
Read Time 10 min read

The combination of school holidays and viral TikTok destinations means many popular UK road trip spots will likely be overcrowded this summer.

For those wanting to escape the tourist traps and enjoy nature and scenic views without the hassle of traffic and parking wars, Hippo Leasing has analysed the Instagram and TikTok hashtags of 173 road trip destinations to reveal the UK’s top 10 hidden gem road trip spots that are still under the radar on social media.

Rank (most undiscovered to least)PlaceLocationNo. of posts on Instagram hashtagNo. of posts on TikTok hashtagCombined no. of Instagram and TikTok posts
1Berneray West BeachIsle of Berneray, Scotland92395
2Eas a’BhradainIsle of Skye, Scotland1202122
3Blackslee WaterfallEnniskillen, Northern Ireland12215137
4Holme ForceLake District, Cumbria, England1570157
5Wild Pear BeachDevon, England2251226
6Rutter ForceLake District, Cumbria, England21610226
7Rhaeadr DyserthDyserth, North Wales20937246
8Pollnagollum CaveEnniskillen, Northern Ireland23539274
9Ritson’s ForceLake District, Cumbria, England26831299
10East Gill ForceYorkshire Dales, England3388346

1. Berneray West Beach – Isle of Berneray, Scotland

Berneray West Beach on the Isle of Berneray in Scotland has been named the UK’s best hidden gem road trip destination, with less than 100 posts on Instagram and TikTok combined. West Beach is a three-mile stretch of beach, perfect for walks, picnics and birdwatching. If you’re lucky enough, you may even spot seals basking on the shore. To access West Beach, you can park at the car park past Berneray Village Hall.

2. Eas a’Bhradain – Isle of Skye, Scotland

Eas a’ Bhradain on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, ranks as the second top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK. This waterfall has 122 posts on Instagram and TikTok combined, with just two of those being from TikTok. Eas a’ Bhradain is in the heart of the Isle of Skye’s breathtaking landscapes. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers. The area around the waterfall also offers opportunities for hiking and exploring the countryside. There is a small lay-by along the A87 road, close to the waterfall, where visitors often park their cars.

3. Blackslee Waterfall – Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Blackslee Waterfall in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, takes the third spot as a top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK with 137 posts across Instagram and TikTok combined. Tucked away in the scenic landscapes of Lough Navar Forest, this waterfall is a picturesque destination. Blackslee Waterfall is also a well-known walking trail, with different routes available to explore. Many visitors park at the Aghameelan Viewpoint car park and walk to the waterfall from there.

4. Holme Force – Lake District, England

Holme Force in the Lake District is the fourth top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK. This destination has 157 posts on Instagram but is yet to be discovered on TikTok. Holme Force is the third waterfall to make it into the top five. Holme Force offers a tranquil retreat off the beaten path, often missed by those who visit Holme Woods. Similar to Blackslee Waterfall, Holme Force has walking trails surrounding it, so it’s a good option for avid hikers. Parking is available on the roadside near Loweswater Hall.

5. Wild Pear Beach – Devon, England

Devon is a popular destination for staycations in the UK, known for its stunning coastline, quaint market towns, and natural landscapes. However, if you’re looking to visit a quieter destination in Devon, Wild Pear Beach has secured the fifth spot as a top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK. This beach is more popular on Instagram than TikTok with 225 posts on Instagram and only one on TikTok. There is parking near the beach, but be aware that it’s surrounded by a cove, which shields it from the wind but also means a steep, rocky walk to get there.

6. Rutter Force – Lake District, England

Rutter Force in the Lake District, England, claims the sixth spot as a top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK with 226 posts combined on Instagram and TikTok. This waterfall is situated beneath the North Pennine Hills, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Lake District. Rutter Force is a 30-foot waterfall surrounded by woodlands, nature and wildlife. There is a small parking area situated nearby however it only accommodates around three to four cars, so get there early to secure your spot!

7. Rhaeadr Dyserth – Dyserth, North Wales

Another waterfall has made it into the top 10 hidden gem road trip destinations in the UK: Rhaeadr Dyserth in North Wales. While it’s the fifth waterfall on the list, it’s the only spot in Wales to make the top 10, with 246 posts combined on Instagram and TikTok. The 70-foot waterfall is created from The River Ffyddion, which is a part of The River Clwyd. The waterfall is surrounded by caves and woodland trails, making it a great place to explore. There is a car park at the waterfall, so it is easily accessible.

8. Pollnagollum Cave – Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Pollnagollum Cave in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, ranks as the eighth top hidden gem road trip destination in the UK. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, this spot is perfect for you, as Pollnagollum Cave was used as the hideout of the Brotherhood Without Banners in the show. Surprisingly, it has just 274 posts combined on Instagram and TikTok despite being a tourist spot from the show. There is a small car park for visitors at the start of the trail, making it easy to access.

9. Ritson’s Force – Lake District, England

Ritson’s Force in the Lake District, England, claims the ninth spot as a hidden gem road trip destination in the UK with 299 posts across Instagram and TikTok. Tucked away near the village of Wasdale Head, this small waterfall is best accessed by parking in the village and walking to the site. Ritson’s Force is a great spot for wild swimming in the summer months, but always proceed with caution and assess the water conditions before taking a dip.

10. East Gill Force – Yorkshire Dales, England

East Gill Force in the Yorkshire Dales, England, claims the tenth spot as a hidden gem road trip destination in the UK. This waterfall is in a secluded location in the landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is the seventh waterfall to make it into the top 10, with 346 posts on Instagram and TikTok. The best way to access East Gill Force is by parking in the village and taking a short, scenic walk to the waterfall.

Seven seemingly innocent road trip driving habits that could result in fines of over £6k

Hippo Leasing has also warned drivers of seven seemingly innocent road trip driving habits that could result in a hefty fine.

Tom Preston, CEO and Founder at Hippo Leasing, advises “Once you’ve chosen the hidden gem road trip destination you want to visit, remember to review the Highway Code before heading out on your adventure.

“You should also check your tyre pressure, engine oil, and other essentials like coolant levels, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid before a long journey.”

1. Playing family car games such as ‘I Spy’ could result in a £1,000 fine

One common way to pass time on a long road trip is by playing car games such as ‘I Spy’. Experts at Hippo Leasing warn that the driver of the car should not get involved in these games whilst the vehicle is moving. Taking your eyes off the road to participate in the game could lead to losing attention to the traffic and road ahead, or worse, losing control of the vehicle entirely. Failure to have proper control of the vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead carries a £1,000 fine and three points on your license.

2. Swapping drivers halfway through the journey risks a £2,500 fine

If the car journey is a long one, it’s not uncommon for two people to share the driving load, swapping halfway between the destination to give each other a break. If both drivers are insured to drive the car this is perfectly legal. However, if both drivers aren’t insured, this could land you with a £2,500 fine and six to eight points on your license. So, before agreeing to share the driving responsibilities, ensure you’re both included on your insurance first. If you don’t want this person to be insured on your car long-term, you can get temporary insurance for as little as an hour, week, or month.

3. Drivers could get a £200 on-the-spot fine for vlogging whilst driving

There’s no doubt that family vlogging and filming vlogs in the car are on the rise due to the popularity of TikTok. Documenting a road trip is great content, and while vlogging in the car hands-free is not illegal, you must remain in full control of the vehicle. You can be pulled over by the police if they don’t think you’re in full control of your car due to distraction, and you could receive a £200 on-the-spot fine. 

4. Having a family argument whilst driving could leave you £1,000 worse off

Being cooped up in a car with your family for an extended time is always going to lead to bickering, whether it’s between the children or adults. Rule 144 of the Highway Code states that you must not drive without due care and attention. Joining in on an argument whilst driving, even if it’s just trying to diffuse the children’s bickering, could, therefore, result in a £1,000 fine for not having proper control of a vehicle.

5. Eating fast food behind the wheel could risk a £200 fine

Stopping mid-way through a road trip to head through a drive-thru for some fast food is not uncommon. Although it’s not illegal to eat while driving if you’re driving one-handed, you’re more likely to lose control of the vehicle. And if you are pulled over by police for being distracted while eating, it could result in a £200 fine. To be on the safe side, you could always park up in the restaurant car park to eat your food.

6. Overloading the car with belongings could land you with a £1,000 fine

It can be tempting to overpack for a road trip, especially if your road trip involves an overnight stay. However, Hippo Leasing recommends that drivers think carefully about how they pack luggage into the car. It’s important not to obstruct the view from the front and rear windows as this could lead to a £1,000 fine and three points on your license for failure to have a full view of the road.

7. Parents are at risk of £500 if their child is not secured in the correct car seat

In the UK, the law states that children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm/4ft 5in tall, whichever is first. If your child is under 12 or the height requirements are not seated in a car seat, parents could face a £500 fine. This is also a safety requirement, not adhering to these rules could put your child in danger.

Methodology: Hippo Leasing analysed hashtag data on Instagram and TikTok for 173 road trip destinations across the UK. The destinations with the fewest combined posts on these platforms were selected as the undiscovered hidden gem road trip destinations, as they are not as popular on social media.

Arrow to top