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Travel inspiration post lockdown: Top 10 destinations you would not believe are in the UK

Stunning photo series captured on a smartphone encourages the nation to see there is more on their doorstep than they realise

  • With us all looking ahead for 2021 travel inspiration once lockdown measures begin to relax; the top 10 lesser-known locations across the UK show we have more on our shores than we realise
  • The spellbindingly beautiful Craigievar Castle, in Alford, Scotland, tops the list and is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, however only 23% of the nation know this fact
  • Forty-five per cent of the nation choose to visit a location or tourist attraction for its social media potential; with 24% of Over 55s specifically highlighting such
  • Snapped on the Xperia 5 II; the handset comes with a professional-quality triple lens camera; complete with the Photography Pro feature which brings Alpha™ technology to the palm of your hand for fast and accurate AF/AE – allowing us all the opportunity to take incredible imagery from our everyday devices

From old castles steeped in legend to quaint towns bursting with colour, Britain is rich in stunning destinations. It’s no surprise then that as international travel continues to stay under review, travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet, saw a significant rise in people staycationing; as well as an increase in interest in travel to off the beaten track destinations throughout 2020.

Sony’s triple camera on the Xperia 5 II perfectly captures breath-taking travel photography using clever technology inspired by Sony’s award-winning Alpha™ cameras

Sony Mobile and Lonely Planet have paired up to publish a photo series revealing the top 10 unfrequented destinations in the UK for 2021 so travellers can escape the mundane of lockdown once measures have been fully lifted and reignite the sense of wonder and discovery – including the pristine sandy shores of Holkham Beach and the sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens, home to exotic plants and foliage from around the world.

Too often, these lesser-known tourist spots are forgotten, with staycationers opting for the bigger cities to satisfy their wanderlust, with only 3 in 10 Brits saying they try to find places that are off the beaten track rather than opting for the bigger tourist spots, such as London and the Lake District. Perhaps more shockingly, of those polled, 10% admit to never travelling within the UK. With 2021 now underway, this photo series gives inspiration for the future to encourage Brits to explore their own shores; along with photography you can easily recreate yourselves.

Top 10 off the beaten track destinations from around the UK –

  1. Craigievar Castle, Alford, Scotland
  2. Portmeirion, Wales
  3. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly
  4. Oundle, Northamptonshire, England
  5. Benmore Botanic Garden, Strath Eachaig, Scotland
  6. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) from the quieter Rhyd Ddu Path, Wales
  7. Howtown & Martindale, Cumbria, England
  8. Lincolnshire Wolds
  9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk, England
  10. Marshwood Vale, Dorset

Scottish photographer Chris Houston provides the following top tips for budding travel photographers:

  1. Use the Photo Pro app to open up a whole range of additional settings to control the camera in a very similar format to the Sony Alpha and RX cameras.
  2. Shoot in RAW format to produce the highest quality landscape photos. While the JPEG images produced by the camera are of a high standard, the RAW files offer a much higher quality output to really capture the detail when you’re travelling. For even higher quality, try the 4:3 aspect ratio.
  3. Use the different camera lenses and adjust your positioning to get unique shots. The phone has 16mm, 24mm and 70mm lenses. For example, the 24mm camera has the largest sensor and is most sensitive to light with a f/1.7 aperture. When using this camera, move closer or further away from your subject in order to frame your shot in a unique way. Meanwhile, the 16mm camera is a super wide focal length, making it great to confined spaces when you simply can’t get everything in the frame.
  4. Use Program Mode in the Photo Pro app for further control. This allows you to control picture format, light sensitivity (ISO), metering mode, white balance and focusing mode – so you can make the most of whatever weather mother nature gives you.
  5. Think outside of the box when it comes to composing your shots. One of the great things about using a phone for photos is its size and handling. Get down low to the ground, hold your phone high above your head or position it in a place you otherwise may not have been able to with a standard DSLR to get a different perspective.
Sony’s triple camera on the Xperia 5 II perfectly captures breath-taking travel photography using clever technology inspired by Sony’s award-winning Alpha™ cameras

Tom Hall, VP Experience at Lonely Planet, said: “London has always dominated tourism in the UK, and for good reason, but the entire country is overflowing with historic sites and natural wonders. The pandemic caused us all to pause and re-evaluate how we travel, and I think now is the perfect time to update that bucket list with some of these under-the-radar places you might have overlooked in the past.” 

 Offered in Black, Xperia 5 II is available from retailers across the UK and Ireland. Tariffs start at just £35.99 per month from O2, with a £30 up-front cost[i], and £31.99 per month with £49.99 up-front from Carphone Warehouse[ii]. Vodafone customers can get their hands on the Xperia 5 II too, with deals starting at £47 per month with a up-front cost of £29.

For further information on Xperia 5 II please visit the press centre.