• Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

The nation has decided that both Rievaulx Terrace, North Yorkshire and Cragside House, Northumberland, are high on the wish-lists for many travellers, with the national trust properties securing top spot in McCarthy & Stone’s ‘Hidden Gems’ survey.


A national McCarthy & Stone survey that had over 1,400 participants and a selection of ‘Hidden Gems’ to choose from, took place earlier this year and garnered exciting results. With an aim to find the UK’s best locations and attractions for family days out, day trips or short breaks away, the voters ranged in age, gender and geographic demographics. Rievaulx Terrace and Cragside House proved themselves to be sought-after destinations for people in the North East and South East regions and even claimed votes from London and Scotland.


  • Rievaulx Terrace in North Yorkshire won 10% of the total votes
  • Cragside House in Northumberland won 9% of the total votes
  • The national winner, Minack Theatre in Porthcurno won 17% of the total votes
  • Runner-up, Shell Grotto in Kent won 13% of the total votes
  • In third place came Blakeney Point in Norfolk, winning 11% of the total votes


Rievaulx Terrace in North Yorkshire was the most popular garden location with voters, and thanks to its dramatic position and 18th-century landscape gardens, there’s no surprise! At this National Trust attraction, people can take in breathtaking views of perhaps Yorkshire’s finest landscaped garden, explore the Rievaulx temples and enjoy a scenic location in the North York Moors. Plenty of seasonal events, art exhibitions and activities make Rievaulx Terrace an ideal place to visit for every age.


Cragside House achieved 9% of the public’s total vote, proving that the National Trust property is the perfect attraction for anyone with an interest in gadgets and gardens. Cragside House boasts one of the largest rock gardens in Europe and showcases a wonderful example of Victorian gardening, in the Formal Garden. The fascinating house near Rothbury was the family home of Lord Armstrong; a Victorian inventor and was the first building in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Because of this, it’s teeming with wonderful gadgetry that kids will love, including a passenger lift, telephones and fire alarm buttons – most of which are still working!


Minack Theatre in Porthcurno secured the top spot as the nation’s favourite UK hidden gem, with a surprisingly even balance of votes between each region. The stunning open-air theatre is positioned just 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall and offers breathtaking views across the Atlantic Ocean and Cornish coast. Known for its unique backdrop for quality performances that vary from musicals, theatre, live music and storytelling, Minack Theatre is an ideal destination for families whether you’ll be seeing a performance or using your time to discover the wonders of the ampitheatre.


Kent’s Shell Grotto came in second place, winning votes with its ornate shell mosaics and mysterious origins. Covered with stunning patterns and art created from humble cockle, whelk, oyster and mussel shells, Shell Grotto is a magical place for minds both young and old to imagine and explore.


Click here to find out exactly how the UK voted for their top hidden gems and discover all the winners.


McCarthy and Stone is the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder. To find out more about your nearest development, please call 0800 201 4811 or go to www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk.