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Hidden gems

There's a first time for everything, so why not go and find somewhere and something new to explore!

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Whether it's making your own pork pies in Melton Mowbray, or exploring tunnels under Exeter, hop onto a CrossCountry train and uncover some of Britain's incredible hidden gems for the first time.

There's a whole host of new experiences at your fingertips, with a CrossCountry Advance ticket you can find and enjoy the hidden gems across Britain.


Extraordinary Edinburgh

If you're looking to find something new in the North, then Edinburgh is the place to start. They've got food, drink, entertainment and exercise; let's see if we can whet your appetite…

If you're feeling peckish, then a trip to Mimi's Bakehouse might be the cure, with its freshly made brownies, scones and cheesecakes. It's just by Leith beach, so you can tick that off your to-do list as well.

For the most spectacular views in Edinburgh, Arthurs seat is the place to go - you can also work off your brownie or three from Mimi's bakehouse…

Are you feeling brave? Because the Scots Monument isn't one for the fainthearted - you have been warned!

If you'd like to taste the non-whisky side of Scotland, then an Edinburgh Gin Tour might be the excursion for you.

Looking for a giggle? Then it might be worth dropping by The Stand Comedy Club, for contemporary comedy, from both Scottish and international comedians.

If you're looking to put your feet up with a good film, the sofa-laden, family owned Dominion Cinema is definitely the place to go.


Spectacular Sheffield

There's no place quite like this city of Steel, but their metal isn't why we're suggesting Sheffield for a hidden gems destination. Give it a chance, and one of their hidden gems might become your new favorite place.

The Peak district. It's a solid favorite to some, yet a stranger to others. Its breathtaking scenery might just make you fall in love.

For hidden gems in a more literal sense, Sheffield Antiques Quarter is a 19th century emporium stocking treasures from retro furniture to vintage frocks, and everything in between.

For a modern take on the cinema, the Curzon ticks every box, being set in a historic bank with its very own roof-top terrace bar.


Go big in Bristol

Famed for its creativity, in everything from film making to gastronomy, will Bristol be the place for you?

From 6th - 9th of August, the annual Balloon Fiesta of Bristol will be taking to the sky. It's a spectacular event, whether you see it from the ground or treat yourself to a champagne ride in one of the balloons.

For a spot of Afternoon tea, drop by The Teabirds, a Vintage tearoom for all kinds of hand made goodies.

If you're looking to find films so-bad-they're-good, or a one off cult classic, then make the Bristol Bad Film Club your first stop, for a unique film experience.

See the streets of Bristol, through the eyes of one of the UK's most secretive artists, with the Banksy walking tour.


It's all going on in Oxford

Primarily known for its stunning architecture and the filming of Harry Potter, there's magic to Oxford that you'll only understand by going.

There's an unexpected landmark waiting for you in Oxford; a 20-foot shark wedged into a roof. It's free to see, so you've got no reason to miss out.

If you find yourself itching for freedom, Port Medow should satisfy your craving, being right next to an idyllic part of the river Thames.

Stop off in Summertown, to experience Northern Oxford's relaxed atmosphere, from its quirky restaurants, unusual cafes and intriguing shops.

Cambridge isn't the only place good for Punting. Oxford's Magdalen Bridge boathouse on the river Cherwell, is an incredible place for a relaxing paddle.


Make your way to Melton Mowbray or Stamford

Take a trip to Melton Mowbray or Stamford, for the finest Pork pies and architecture you've ever seen.

You can't visit Melton Mowbray without making your own pork pies - the recipe for which is protected by a European law.

Melton Mowbray market is a one-stop-shop for pretty much anything you can imagine. It's got weekly farmers markets, antique markets, and car boot sales all under one roof.

If you're more into Georgian architecture, then make your way to Stamford, the self-proclaimed finest stone town in England.

You might have seen more of Stamford than you realize. Various Period dramas and films have made the most of the authentic architecture; as seen in Middlemarch, the Da Vinci Code and Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice.


You can count on Cardiff

Welcome to the Welsh capital, a breathtaking place to experience.

When was the last time you tried a genuine Welshcake? The Welshcake shop is full to bursting with traditional and non-traditional flavored cakes, and all made from local ingredients.

If you're more of a History buff, then St Fagans National history museum could be the place for you. Check out it's indoor galleries, historic buildings and open-air museum, all for free.

Take your questions to The Techniquest Science and Discovery center. It's an interactive experience for adults and children alike, and holds the answers to the great question "why?"

Discover Cardiff by bike, on a leisurely Cycle tour. You'll explore the bay, parks and canals, and see a side of Wales rarely known by tourists.

If you fancy something a little more out of the ordinary, then try your hand at Circus training - how does an afternoon of the Ariel hoop, or acrobatics sound?


Are you ready for Alnmouth?

With the perfect conditions for sandcastle building and a colourful strip of houses on the bank of the river Aln, a trip to Alnmouth can make anyone feel nostalgic.

It might be small, but it's by no means unimportant. The Ferrymans hut is officially the smallest museum in the country, and was once used as a waiting point by passengers to cross the water.


Bring it on, Birmingham

Set between London and Leeds and known as a shopaholic's haven!

Take to the creative hub of Birmingham, and visit the shops and bars around the Custard factory for an imaginative day out.

Are you a fan of the arts? Then the MAC and Cannon Hill Park will be right up your street. They host performances and workshops, for theatre, music and comedy events, so you can both watch and join in.

You've seen it on TV, now go and see it for real, in a behind the scenes tour of the BBC studio, in the Mailbox. Book your tickets before you go, so not to miss out.


Has Exeter got the answers?

They've got secretive underground passageways and Europes first clip 'n climb!

Welcome to the home of all things cakey, at Cakeadoodledo. It's the place where dreams are whipped up and baked 'til perfection.

There's only one way, and that's the Exe Valley way. It's a 45 mile trail from source to sea along the beautiful river Exe.

Grab a hard hat and explore the unseen side to Exeter, through the underground passageways, which once carried water under the city.

Do you accept the challenge of the Skyscraper? Put your determination to the test with Europe's first Clip 'n climb and see what you can achieve.


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