Our Favourite (now not so) Secret Summer Spots

As our Instagram feed fills up with envy-inducing snaps of sun-kissed seas and cityscapes, we decided it’s about time we let you in on a few of the Eco-Age team’s secret spots for summer breaks. You can thank us in your captions!

Hastings, East Sussex

Credits: Sussexbloggers.com

Recommended by Becca Hesketh

Less than two hours from London, you are guaranteed not to be on a packed train surrounded by screaming kids with fruit juice flying everywhere on route to Hastings. This famous seaside town boasts a new pier, clean (mostly pebble) beaches, fantastic fish and chips, as well as a gorgeous old town with artisan boutiques, achingly good pubs to while away the evenings and the best mini golf course in the UK.

Otranto, Italy

Credits: Stazioneasduest.it

Recommended by Viola Stancati

Run by Oikos Sostenibile, Stazione a Sud Est in Otranto is a cultural organisation that promotes sustainable living and slow tourism. The owners converted the abandoned apartments above Otranto’s main railway station into a beautiful bed and breakfast and artist residency using mostly repurposed materials. The views from the roof terrace are to die for – it’s a pretty unique place!

Portscatho, Cornwall

Credits: Cornwalls.co.uk

Recommended by Philippa Grogan

The whole Roseland peninsula is incredible but Portscatho is absolutely amazing. It’s a very traditional and small village, so untouched by the modern world that not even all the residents have wifi yet.

Zanskar Valley, Ladakh, India

Credits: Swantour.com

Recommended by Shubhangi Kothari

This spot is very serene and you won’t find many tourists due to the almost non-existent road. It’s really a spot just for adventure seekers! I loved going there because of the peace and quiet as not many people can negotiate the journey to Padum, the valley’s capital village. There’s a beautiful mountain backdrop, and it is the perfect base for trekking or relaxing.

St Ninian’s Tombolo, Shetland

Credits: Walkhighlands.co.uk

Recommended by Lori Delaney

You wouldn’t believe this is in Scotland – with sparkling blue water and a strip of white sandy beach, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the tropics (minus the temperature… literally).

Brno, Czech Republic 

Credits: Czechtourism.com

Recommended by Julia O’Driscoll

Prague is bustling throughout the summer months and smaller fairytale towns like Český Krumlov are overwhelmed with tourists – by comparison, Czechia’s second biggest city is a haven of calm. Visit the much-celebrated Villa Tugendhat, grab local delicacies in the market and refresh with a beer at the popular Výčep Na Stojáka. Take it slow when exploring this charming city.

Royal Victoria Park, Bath

Credits: Visitbath.co.uk

Recommended by Sophie Parsons

Across the road from the Royal Crescent and the mass of tourists that it attracts daily, this park makes for a slightly quieter spot away from the city centre. Take a portable barbecue as they have special designated tables.

Asturias, Spain

Recommended by Jasper Baines

One of Spain’s lesser-known Comunidades, the Principality of Asturias is nestled between Cantabria and Galicia. With little of the mass tourism that has blighted the touristy coasts of Andalucia in recent years, Asturias is an eclectic blend of pretty and archetypal North Spanish towns, verdant countryside and beautiful coastline set against the backdrop of the looming Picos de Europa. This multi-faceted environment means there are heaps of experiences to enjoy; whether that be surfing the Cantabrian sea, sampling the tasty, locally-sourced and well-priced food, or enjoying the thriving nightlife with caña in hand.

Christianshavns Canals, Copenhagen

Credits: Politiken.dk

Recommended by Sophie Parsons

Just the other side of the water from Nyhavn, these canals are lined with houseboats and townhouses in the classic yellow and orange hues of the Danish capital city. Stop at Parterre for an Instagram-worthy lunch on the canal side.

Huanchaco, Peru 

Credits: Southamericaliving.com

Recommended by Becca Hesketh

A sea-lovers paradise boasting perfect conditions for surfers and the freshest ceviche in all of Peru, this quiet seaside town has a welcoming community, long stretches of sandy beaches and stunning sunsets. There are lots of great food spots to try, from Peru’s ‘best burger’ to a pizza restaurant on the beach, and a breakfast place that will make you a birthday cake in less than 24 hours notice. Culture-vultures can head to Chan Chan, one of the oldest civilisation sites in the world and home of the Chimu people before it was invaded by the Incas. Get to the UNESCO world heritage site before it disappears due to climate change – you won’t be disappointed. 

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Credits: Visitcornwall.com

Recommended by Kelly Green

Having spent many childhood summers here, this place holds a special place in my heart – not least because I also got engaged there! Enjoy a beautiful (but steep) walk down to the beach and watch as the tide comes in from both sides of the cove. It’s beautiful year round, and can get busy in summer so nab a spot early in the day to make the most of it.

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Recommended by Lori Delaney

Lake Wanaka is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The best thing about it, other than everything, is what happens when the sun sets – so many amazingly beautiful colours appear before a galaxy of stars. If you happen to be there during winter, you might be able to glimpse the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights).

Manali, India

Credits: Culturetrip.com

Recommended by Philippa Grogan

This residential Himalayan area with hot springs combines amazingly coloured homes, traditional mountain life and completely breathtaking scenery – honestly, even better than a default Apple screensaver – but without hoards of tourists. It’s a perfect spot for walking and outdoor sports too.

Cape Clear Island, Ireland 

Recommended by Julia O’Driscoll 

A short ferry ride from Baltimore in County Cork, Cape Clear is Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island and an idyllic gem – it’s also home to an O’Driscoll castle (not that I’m biased)… With a population of just over 100, this remote island is perfect for a relaxing camping break. Take a hike, paddle board around the island, cool off in the crystal waters and sample delicious homemade food at Cotter’s Bar – alongside a pint of Murphy’s, of course.

Preveli Beach, Crete

Credits: Greeka.com

Recommended by Liz Wootton

On the southern coast of Crete, this magical beach and lagoon is popular with locals stopping by from nearby villages. The water is just beautiful and the views are idyllic. Get there early to claim your spot for the day!


Discover off the beaten track staycation destinations and plan your perfect holiday in the UK.

Dip into our With Love From… sustainable travel guides, including EdinburghNew YorkLondon and more

If you are heading overseas, look at how to offset your carbon emissions and see which airlines are making sustainable air travel possible.