It’s always thrilling to discover fun places to explore or stunning locations, either natural or man-made. It’s even better if you don’t have to travel far to find them.
There’s plenty of hidden gems to be found just a short drive away from Greater Manchester. From magical woodlands to intriguing rock formations, they’re sure to give your Instagram grid a bit of kudos.
Research conducted by London Northwestern Railway has revealed where you can find the UK’s most extraordinary locations. It searched Instagram to find the top 20 hidden gems in the UK.
READ MORE: Winding streets and majestic fells… the Lake District village where cars are banned
Luckily for us, five of these amazing places are on our doorstep. Whether you’re bothered about Instagram likes or not, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Bretton, Peak District
Located in the heart of the Peak District, this hamlet sits on a ridge which offers glorious views of the surrounding area. What draws visitors to it are the ruins of five deserted homesteads at Bretton Clough.
The area is also home to the Barrel Inn, a traditional country inn which dates back to 1597. It claims to be the highest pub in Derbyshire.
Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge
Situated north of the bohemian town of Hebden Bridge, Hardcastle Crags features more than 400 acres of beautiful woodland. Among the trees you’ll find streams weaving their way through the landscape and tumbling waterfalls.
There are over 15 miles of footpaths to explore, from relaxed strolls to challenging hikes. At the center of this Pennine valley is the 19th century Gibson Mill, an impressive building which now generates electricity for the National Trust site.
Padley Gorge, Hope Valley
This gorgeous wooded ravine is a photographer’s paradise. It’s a magical place with ancient oak and birch trees twisting upwards to form a beautiful green canopy, with Burbage Brook flowing over the rocks beneath.
You’ll find quaint bridges crossing over the water and even large rocks which can double up as stepping stones. It’s definitely an Insta-worthy place. It’s around an hour and 20 minute drive from Manchester.
The Trinnacle, Oldham
Whether you choose to admire it from afar or climb it yourself, the Trinnacle is undoubtedly an impressive sight to behold. The three-pronged gritstone formation looks out over the Greenfield Valley, Dovestone Reservoir and Yeoman Hey Reservoir.
It’s also part of the Trinnacle Trail, a 7.9km loop which takes in the beautiful landscape of the Peak District. For the best photos, head to the Trinnacle at sunset.
Ladybower Reservoir, Upper Derwent Valley
Ladybower Reservoir is the largest of three reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley. It’s a beautiful expanse of water nestled in the landscape.
It features two ‘plug holes’ which can create some dramatic photos when they’re overflowing. Another good spot to capture the reservoir from is Bamford Edge, a viewpoint which overlooks the reservoir.
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