Searches for ‘haunted places in the UK’ have increased by 130% in the past 12 months, but where should myth-busting Brits look to stay if they’re looking for a spooky staycation? With its ancient woodlands, spectral streets and ethereal landscapes, the UK is home to several myths and legends.
In time for Halloween, holiday letting agents holidaycottages.co.uk has created an interactive map revealing the top locations for those looking to explore and learn about mythical gods and monsters throughout the year.
Whether you’re looking for a chilling city break or a sinister seaside getaway, below are some top UK locations to visit for folklore fans:
Visit here for myths and legends such as: The Mackenzie Poltergeist, Greyfriars Bobby
Lined with cobbled streets, centuries-old architecture and spooky atmosphere, Edinburgh is where you can allegedly hear the clip-clopping of ghostly horse-drawn carriages. The city’s haunting Greyfriars Kirk cemetery is the hot spot for ghostly goings on; from the ghost of Sir George Mackenzie who is said to give visitors a nudge, to Greyfriars Bobby – a faithful dog rumoured to faithfully sit at the grave of his deceased master.
The city’s history is rich with witch trials and haunting legends and is the perfect dark tourism spot, with plenty of cosy holiday cottages to take shelter in. No trip to the Scottish capital is complete without a trip to Edinburgh Castle, or Arthur’s Seat to take in the views of Holyrood Park where the Sleeping Dragon was said to once roam the skies.
Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England
Visit here for myths and legends such as: The Cornish Pirates, The Lost Land of Lyonesse
Just 28 miles from Cornwall’s tip, you will find the otherworldly Isles of Scilly; a cluster of islands steeped in historical legends – a bucket list favourite for any folklore fan. Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly, is a treasure trove of myths, particularly around Piper’s Hole where pirates are said to roam. This 80-metre-deep cave on the northern coast is the legendary haunt of mermaids and smugglers.
The Cornish coast is full of myths influenced by Celtic, Saxon and Viking mythology, so why not take a day trip to discover one of the off-beat isles? As well as being rumored to be the burial place of King Arthur, between the waters of Lands’ End and the Isles of Scilly, lie the so-called lost lands of the Lyonesse kingdom. Perhaps you will hear the toll of the long-submerged church bells beneath the waves.
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Visit here for myths and legends such as The Cat Sith, Loch Ness Monster
You don’t have to be a ‘cat person’ to know that folklore felines are typically not ones to be messed with. In the vast coastal landscapes within the Scottish Highlands, look out for a black cat with a white spot on its chest – it could be a mythical creature known as The Cat Sith. Born of the spirit world, the Sìth is said to roam the Scottish Highlands, stealing the souls of the dead before the gods could claim them.
Head to the Scottish Highland coast and pick up some Scottish delicacies to enjoy while searching for The Cat Sith himself… if you dare. Alternatively, those that prefer lakeside retreats to coastal breaks, the notorious legend of the Loch Ness monster needs no introduction. Whether you believe in the creature or not, the idyllic waters of Loch Ness are perfect for an autumn getaway.
Lake District, England
Visit here for myths and legends such as: The Spectral Army, Taggy Man
The stunning landscape and breathtaking scenery of the Lake District have inspired authors and artists throughout the years, but the area is also home to some ghostly goings on. Take a Lake District holiday and walk the Eden Valley, where you can tread the ground that the ghostly soldiers and carriages of the Spectral Army are said to roam. Make your way to the Southern Fell hilltop where you might see some ghoulish soldiers vanish into thin air!
The Eden Valley is steeped in legend and supernatural folklore, including witches, giants, dobbies and other things which go bump in the night. Make sure to visit the Lacey Caves, or take a trip to the Parish Church to see the Taggy Bell and find out about the local legend of the Taggy Man.