8 UK destinations that look like international hotspots

November 10, 2023

Living in the UK and desperate for a holiday, but not sure you want to leave the country? 

We don’t blame you. 

With restrictions changing constantly – not only in the UK, but across the globe – planning a relaxing trip abroad can be a stressful experience.

That’s why the team at Busuu are encouraging UK residents to think ‘local’. Instead of planning (then potentially cancelling) a trip halfway around the world, why not satisfy your wanderlust a little closer to home?

We’ve put together a list of eight UK destinations that have an international lookalike. From the tranquil Kyoto Garden in central London to the vast and luscious Dalby forest in North Yorkshire, the possibilities are endless. Any hotspot on our list will make you feel like you’re abroad. Plus, you’ll be discovering one of the UK’s most picturesque locations!

“There is so much natural beauty in the United Kingdom. You just need to know where to look,” says Busuu’s Senior English Learning Designer, Hannah Morris.

“The similarity between some of these destinations is uncanny – and with all the uncertainty around travel at the moment, there’s no better time to explore our beautiful island.” 

Here are 8 UK destinations that look just like some of the world’s most picturesque international hotspots

1. St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall – Mont Saint-Michel, France

St Michael’s Mount shares many similarities to its French counterpart, Mont Saint-Michel, in Normandy. Both fairytale castles sit atop small islands and exude an other-worldly sense of majesty.

2. Kyoto Gardens, London – Tokyo, Japan

The Kyoto Garden, a part of Holland Park, represents Britain’s long standing friendship with Japan. Then the Fukushima Garden, also located in Holland Park, was a gift for Britain’s contribution during Japan’s 2011 climate disaster. Located on the western edge of Central London, these gardens are easily accessible via public transport, and would be a great place to visit on the weekend, or even on an extended lunch break.

3. Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge – Château de Montbrun, France

Closely resembling the Château de Montbrun, the Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is surrounded by an impressive moat and tall battlements. The fourteenth-century castle is owned by The National Trust, and is free to visit on weekdays.

4. Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire – Black Forest, Germany

From a bird’s eye view, Dalby Forest, this extensive collection of Yorkshire trees captured on the left, appears to be the doppelganger of the Black Forest in Germany. With over 8000 acres of woodland, it’s easy to get lost, so it’s best to stick to the trails!

5. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland – Ganh Da Dia, Vietnam

Millions of years ago, lava flow formed these perfect basalt stones in Northern Ireland, giving the appearance of human intervention. This type of formation can be found in many places across the globe, including in Vietnam, where they are the basis for many folk tales.

6. St Ives, Cornwall – Dubrovnik, Croatia

This beautiful coastline is the spitting image of its Eastern European cousin. Shimmering blue waters, golden beaches and quaint cafes make this an ideal summer destination for those looking for a UK staycation.

7. Henrhyd Falls, Wales – Madakaripura Waterfall, Indonesia 

Famous for being the exterior backdrop in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, the extraordinary waterfall Henrhyd Falls is  is the tallest in southern Wales – and has an uncanny resemblance to the Madakaripura Waterfall in Indonesia.

 8. Durdle Door, Dorset – Algarve, Portugal

The beautifully crafted coastline, Durdle Door, stretches across 95 miles and is famous for its recognisable geological shapes. These naturally formed rock formations are almost identical to those on Camilo Beach in Portugal.

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