The HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index - HomeToGo base64Hash The HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index - HomeToGo
Finding New Inspiration for UK Holidays in Summer 2021

The HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index

HomeToGo has launched a giveaway to give one lucky winner in the UK £2,000 to spend towards their dream accommodation. And to help travellers find first-class, lesser-searched spots for their post-lockdown getaways, the holiday rentals marketplace released an essential guide to the UK's most stunning under-the-radar holiday destinations: the HomeToGo Hidden Gem Index.

Using search and inventory data, as well as information about average summer temperatures, pubs, outdoor activities and photo-friendliness, HomeToGo has identified and ranked the 24 most picturesque, well-appointed and, crucially, lesser-known destinations in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the country.

While all of the villages are situated in highly desirable locations, none appear on the list of the top 500 most-searched destinations for summer, meaning that travellers need not turn their backs on beloved locales to find fresh inspiration this summer. Of those featured, five villages are in the Lake District National Park, three in the Cornwall AONB, and two in the Norfolk Coast AONB, with plenty more across the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, Snowdonia, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Exmoor, the Llŷn Peninsula, South Devon, and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths.

Whether you're looking for new destination inspiration or hoping to avoid the staycation crowds, it's time to grab your bags and get ready to jump into the Hidden Gem Index!

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The boom continues: Searches for domestic holidays in 2021 via HomeToGo.co.uk are up by 648.2% in comparison to pre-pandemic

Top for 2021: Perranporth in Cornwall was the most searched village for summer this year, followed by Woolacombe, Seahouses, Abersoch and Croyde

Planning ahead: Between April and May 2021, searches for summer 2022 holiday accommodation in England saw a month-on-month increase of 89.41%

Ranking the UK's Loveliest Hidden Gems

Rank
Location
Warmth score
Pub score
Outdoor Activities score
Scenic Score
Availability score
Price Rating
Overall Score
1
Hathersage
8.8
10
10
8.0
9.6
7.5
53.9
2
Dunster
9.7
7.5
5.4
8.7
9.7
8.5
49.5
3
Mullion
8.3
7.5
10
6.7
7.0
9.2
48.7
4
Porlock
9.7
6.7
6.6
6.9
8.4
10
48.3
5
Boscastle
8.6
6.7
6.9
9.2
6.7
8.9
47.0
6
Hawes
5.0
8.3
5.9
9.9
8.9
8.9
46.9
7
Kingswear
9.2
5.8
9.2
7.4
5.8
9.4
46.8
8
Castleton
6.4
9.2
8.3
10
7.3
5.0
46.2
9
Beddgelert
7.0
7.5
6.1
8.4
8.6
7.9
45.5
10
Reeth
8.1
6.7
5.5
5.8
9.5
9.8
45.4

Mapped: 2021 UK Hidden Gems

Learn More About The Top Hidden Gems for Summer

Top Hidden Gem: Hathersage in the Peak District National Park

1. Hathersage, Peak District National Park

This Hope Valley village boasts a heated outdoor pool with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, perfect for relaxing after a day on the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail or climbing at Stanage Edge. For dinner, enjoy hearty grub and local ale at the Plough Inn, recommended by The Good Pub Guide.

Fun fact: Hathersage was the inspiration for the village of Morton in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

🏠 Browse Holiday Homes in Hathersage

Dunster in the Exmoor National Park

2. Dunster, Exmoor National Park

A medieval village with plenty to keep history buffs happy, from the Yarn Market and Gallox Bridge to Dunster Castle and the Conygar Tower. It's also home to a handful of highly-rated tea rooms, so you can treat yourself to homemade cake after an afternoon on the nearby beach.

Fun fact: England's tallest tree, a Douglas Fir reaching 61.3m high, is just over a mile from Dunster in Nutcombe Bottom.

🏠 Browse Holiday Cottages in Dunster

Mullion in the Cornwall AONB

3. Mullion, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

With a little sandy beach, a cave to explore and a picturesque working harbour, a day at the National Trust-owned Mullion Cove is a day well spent. Poldhu Cove, Gunwalloe Church Cove and Polurrian Cove are also nearby, around which trace some top coastal footpaths.

Fun fact: Visitors can take in views of the Cornish coast on horseback thanks to the Newton Equestrian Centre's countryside rides.

🏠 Find a Holiday Home in Mullion

Porlock in the Exmoor National Park

4. Porlock, Exmoor National Park

Take a picnic to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point in Exmoor, and enjoy views that stretch as far as Devon. Spotting ponies, red deer and Highland cattle while hiking or biking in the National Park is a delight, and you can get even closer to the wildlife at the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Sanctuary.

Fun fact: The Porlock Bay Oysters harvest site was the first in England to receive the top 'A' classification, so make sure to enjoy some fresh shellfish.

🏠 Book a Holiday Rental in Porlock

Boscastle in the Cornwall AONB

5. Boscastle, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Thomas Hardy marvelled at the "chasmal beauty" of the Pentargon Waterfall in his poetry, and the rugged coastline views from vantage points such as Willapark Lookout are equally as inspiring. Nearby sits Buckator, home to the largest grey-seal colony in North Cornwall.

Fun fact: Boscastle has a spooky side. It's home to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic and, pandemic permitting, hosts a "Dark Gathering" around October.

🏠 Find a Holiday Home in Boscastle

Hawes, Yorkshire Dales National Park

6. Hawes, Yorkshire Dales National Park

Kingswear, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

7. Kingswear, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Castleton, Peak District National Park
Beddgelert, Snowdonia National Park

Reeth, Yorkshire Dales National Park

10. Reeth, Yorkshire Dales National Park

Thornham, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

11. Thornham, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Coverack, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

12. Coverack, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Hawkshead, Lake District National Park

=13. Hawkshead, Lake District National Park

Killin, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

=13. Killin, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Braithwaite, Lake District National Park
Portinscale, Lake District National Park
Elterwater, Lake District National Park
Orford, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

18. Orford, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Burnham Market, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

19. Burnham Market, Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Bassenthwaite, Lake District National Park
Thorpeness, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

21. Thorpeness, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Drymen, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

22. Drymen, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Reydon, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

23. Reydon, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Llanbedrog, Llyn Peninsula

24. Llanbedrog, Llŷn Peninsula Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Hidden Gem Index Giveaway (Closed for Entries)

Feeling lucky? To celebrate the return of travel, HomeToGo is giving one lucky winner £2,000 to spend towards the holiday home of their dreamsWhether your ideal rental is a family-friendly cottage in Hathersage or a seaside apartment with a hot tub in Mullion, HomeToGo wants to help you rediscover travel - and the many hidden gems the UK has to offer - this summer.

Prize: £2,000 towards booking a holiday home, anywhere in the United Kingdom*

Deadline: Giveaway is open from 9th June - 9th July 2021

How to Enter: Include your email address in the box below


*Learn more about the rules and details in our Giveaway Terms and Conditions.

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See You Next Time!

HomeToGo's Rediscover Travel Giveaway ended on July 9th, 2021. The winner has been contacted via email. Be sure to follow HomeToGo on social media for more contests and travel inspiration.

How We Produced This Guide

We used HomeToGo search data to identify the villages and small towns located in UK National Parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty which did not appear in the top 500 most-searched destinations via HomeToGo.co.uk for summer 2021. We then created a shortlist of the destinations with the most accommodation offers. To rank these destinations, we researched 6 data points: the average summer temperature, the number of pubs in each village, the number of outdoor offerings in the local area, photo-friendliness, the median nightly price per person for accommodation and availability. After obtaining the raw data, we assigned each data point a representative numerical value between 5 and 10, with 5 representing the lowest data point and 10 representing the highest data point. The hypothetical "perfect score" would be 60 out of 60. We used the following equation in order to calculate this for every factor:

Score(i) = 5 · (x(i) - xmin ) / (xmax - xmin ) + 5

Weather: We used data from each village's nearest climate station, made available by the Met Office, to calculate the average temperatures for the months of July, August and September. The destination with the highest average temperature across all three months was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Pubs: We used data provided by The Good Pub Guide to record the number of pubs located in each village. The destination home to the most pubs was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Outdoor activities: We collected data from sources including Komoot, AllTrails, CoastRadar and Lakepedia to determine the number of outdoors trails, beaches and lakes within reach of each village. The results for the categories were weighted and combined to give an average score. The destination with the highest average was given a final score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Scenic: We used Flickr to identify the number of photographs featuring each village as the subject. The most-photographed destination was given a score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher.

Price and availability scores: We used HomeToGo search and inventory data to find the number of accommodation offers in each village, the median accommodation price per night per person between 21st June - 22nd September 2021, and the percentage of offers with availability. For price, the area with the lowest median price per night per person was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. For availability, the area with the highest percentage of available accommodation offers was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining areas were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Data was collected in June 2021, prices and availability are subject to change.


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