If you’ve always wondered what that one thing is that seems to make Britain unique, it’s probably the British people’s ability to celebrate the most bizarre things. While Britain is known for its diverse countryside, there are also tourist attractions here which feature, oddly enough, cuckoo clocks, bubble cars, witchcraft, teetotal pubs and paperweights.
These attractions are not even considered the “quirkiest” of the lot because the ones we’ll be listing in this article go beyond the “theme park” categorization. If you take a look at these unconventional highlights, you’ll rediscover that fine sense of wonder that only toddlers have for the newest things.
The Puzzling Place is located at the Lake District and it attracts people who love brain teasers. Probably the most impressive of its highlights is the “Anti Gravity” room. Here, you’ll find water running upstream or at unnatural angles, and balls rolling uphill. It also has rooms with holograms and other optical illusions which are sure to make you think. There is also a room which is sort of like a hall of mirrors where you’ll have fun looking at people standing from impossible angles.
Cumberland Pencil Museum
You’ll find more than the history of pencil making when you visit this pencil museum. This Keswick museum houses a pencil which was used during the World War II, and yes, it was used to spy. You will also get to see one of the longest pencils in the world. It’s about eight meters long.
Despite the name, this attraction is actually open to the public. This is located in Middleham, North Yorkshire, and if you’re wondering why it’s called “Forbidden”, it’s because of all the insane things you’ll find here. You’ll see statues which are talking, endless labyrinths which just happen to be located underground, and secret doors you’ll have fun discovering.
This attraction used to be a tank depot during the World War II, but the new owner’s quirky character just couldn’t help but show itself. Soon, it was filled with eccentric items and figurines, and before long, it was opened to the public (1994) because the demand was just too high. It remains as one of Britain’s most popular quirky place to be.
Under the Pier Show
This attraction is located in Southwold, Suffolk, and its best highlight is the Whack a Banker machine, but only next to the Booth of Truth. In a nutshell, this is an arcade that’s filled with home-made but impressive contraptions. You’ll find a lot of hair raising mad cap games here as well as out-of-this-world exhibits.
Another interesting highlight is the bizarre but fun Doctor Game wherein “patients” are made to put a stethoscope against their chests while a machine “diagnoses” their complaints and hands them a fake prescription. There is also an Autofrisk machine which literally “frisks” people who are made to stand in line. The things at the Under the Pier Show would resemble what you’d see in a dream if you were drinking all night—a pure maze of madness.
This is more of a village than an arcade, but the architecture of the houses here is enough to make you wonder if you’re still in Britain. You’d probably think, if you drift off to one part, that you’re in Italy back in the 1920s. This spot was used as a backdrop of The Prisoner, a film in the 1960s. You’ll also find the Buddha statue which was used in the Sixth Happiness back in 1958. Colonnades, of the classical style, and cupolas add to the mix. All of this hodgepodge of iconic items is surrounded by Welsh mountain ranges. Certainly, this village in North Wales is a fine place to spend a bizarre afternoon in.
This is a garden with a five-acre sprawl and it’s located in Essex. As the name suggests, the main highlights here are the gnomes, which the British simply love to have in their gardens since the 19th century. The collection here is unbeatable, though, as you’ll find about 800 gnome statues sprawled in the area. There is also a wooded area and a museum in the middle of the garden designed specifically for “spotting” these cute creatures. If you’re feeling creative, you may also paint your own gnome.
These parks are very unique, and you can fine them in Devon, Durham, Yorkshire and Kent. As the name suggests, this is the place to be if you like digging. You’ll be able to actually control machineries made for that specific function when you visit this park, and it’s not everyday than a normal person can control a dumper truck or an excavator. You may simply rent one of the machineries and drive through puddles, or if you’re more daring, take part in dumper truck or digger races.
Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music
Located in Gloucestershire, this museum will let you take a peek at the time when home entertainment in Britain used to be provided by self-playing mechanical music instruments. You’ll have a blast looking at gadgets which were designed in the 1920s and 1930s. These instruments won’t just be there for you to see. You can actually use them. Simply follow the guides.
Margate Shell Grotto
Most people visit this attraction in Kent because some speculated that the Knights Templar built it. Even without that speculation, though, it’s a marvel to look at. Existing since 200 years ago, it is a 189 square-meter grotto made from oyster, cockle, and whelk shells. The latest count was 4.6 million pieces. There’s always a pattern to discover here, and some of them include roses, skulls, and animal patterns.
House of Marbles
Located in Devon, you’d love to see this place because it’s home to about 25 million marble pieces. They’re more than just queer statues too. You should see the 60 meter marble run here which is said to be the longest in the whole of Britain. You’ll also find a gigantic piece which weighs about two tonnes amazingly kept afloat in the water. While you probably won’t make a work of art yet, visitors are also encouraged to try glass blowing. The best part of this is you can keep your own creations.
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