Last year, Bushmills in Co Antrim, on Northern Ireland's Causeway Coast, ranked fourth on HomeToGo's 2023 Ranking of the UK's Loveliest Hidden Gems.

"This pretty conservation village on the coast of County Antrim may be a hidden gem, but it’s surrounded by some of the UK’s most iconic attractions," the Index says of Bushmills.

"The otherworldly Giant’s Causeway is close by, and sitting within its bounds is the Old Bushmills Distillery: the oldest licensed working distillery in the world.

"Head to Tartine at the Distillers Arms after a day of taking in the sights for elevated dining in a cosy setting."

While Bushmills ranked fourth overall on the ranking, it had the second highest 'things to do score,' which was based on the number of outdoors trails and attractions within easy reach of each village or small town. 

Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Co. Antrim. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Co. Antrim. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Other Northern Ireland locales that landed on the UK's Loveliest Hidden Gems ranking are Rostrevor in Co Down (Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Portballintrae in Co Antrim (Causeway Coast AONB), and Cushendall in Co Antrim (Antrim Coast AONB.)

Rostrevor, Co Down. (Ireland's Content Pool)

Rostrevor, Co Down. (Ireland's Content Pool)

HomeToGo, the marketplace with the world's largest selection of holiday rentals, recently released its third annual Hidden Gem Index, an annual guide to the UK's most stunning under-the-radar holiday destinations, helping travelers find first-class but lesser-searched spots for their summer getaways.

Using exclusive search and inventory data, alongside insights as to summer weather, pubs, local activities, and photo-friendliness, the Hidden Gem Index pinpoints picturesque and well-appointed places in the UK that have managed to stay more under the radar than most.

While all of these mall towns and villages are situated in highly sought-after settings, none appear on the list of the 1,000 most-searched locations for summer, meaning that travelers need not turn their backs on beloved locales to find fresh inspiration for trips.

HomeToGo's top five UK's Loveliest Hidden Gems for 2023:

  1. Chipping Campden, Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  2. Hathersage, Peak District National Park
  3. Bala, Snowdonia National Park
  4. Bushmills, Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  5. Edale, Peak District National Park

*Originally published in August 2023. Updated in May 2024.