Dark & Dreamy Destinations: The Best Gothic Spots in The UK & Beyond

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Breaks away can be nice and all that… but for those who enjoy the more Gothic things in life, they can all seem a bit… bright. Prefer your breaks with a touch of gloom, doom and spookiness? You’ve come to the right place…

Edinburgh

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A wealth of spooky evening ghost tours, a distinctive Old Town with a meandering trail of snickets and streets and enough Gothic architecture to shake a (witch’s) stick at. Yep, the Scottish capital really does have it all. The city is so haunting that local lad (and celebrated author) Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about it at length… ‘So, in the low dens and high-flying garrets of Edinburgh, people may go back upon dark passages in the town’s adventures, and (are) singularly well qualified to add horror to horror…’. Scared? A cheeky cocktail and a shopping jaunt along Princes Street will sort you right out.

Paris

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You’re probably wondering how such a pretty and seemingly innocent city has made its way onto this list… two words: Les Catacombes. These intricate overground tunnels contain the concisely packed remains of over 6 million former residents of Paris. Most of the bones were excavated from various cemeteries in the 18th century, and is considered to be the world’s largest graveyard. Visitors can brave walking through a mile of the walkway before reaching the reassuring sight of light and fresh air at the end of the attraction. Tourists can also treat themselves to a range of hip and humerus (sorry…) gifts from the on-site shop. 

Whitby

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We couldn’t go all Gothic on you without mentioning Whitby now, could we?! The scenic and mysterious coastal town gave birth (metaphorically, of course) to Bram Stoker’s seminal classic, Dracula, and the rest, they say, is history. Another fabulously famous addition to the area is the Whitby Goth Weekend which, since 1994, has attracted thousands of visitors to the seaside resort. With stalls to browse, fashions to admire and a whole load of atmosphere to soak up, it’s well worth a visit. 

Leipzig

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Welcome to Leipzig: home of the iconic Monument to the Battle of the Nations, a charming conservation-led zoo and, oh, just the LARGEST Gothic festival in the world! Each summer, thousands of Gothic music fans flock to the renowned Wave-Gotik-Treffen event for a few days of rock and revelry in the city. Cybergoth, steampunk and rivethead subcultures are also represented at the festival, so you’ll be in good company.

Jersey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Well, specifically, Devil’s Hole (remove your mind from the gutter…), situated in the St Mary area of the island. In 1851, a ship’s carved figurehead was found inside the crater. A local craftsman took the figure home, renewed it and added horns, and placed it back along the rim of the basin. Ever since, it’s been known as Devil’s Hole. As well as snapping the stunning natural crater that spans the north coast of Jersey, tourists can brave the murky depths of the trail that starts with the commanding bronze Lucifer statue.

Transylvania

 

 
 
 
 
 
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‘I vant. to suck. your bluuuud!’ – the immortal words we all associated with Transylvania. The Romanian region was a vital source of inspiration for Bram Stoker while writing ‘Dracula’… so much so that it is used as a setting throughout the novel. The area, thanks to the success of the story, is now synonymous with vampires and other supernatural phenomenon, and continues to be linked to the mystic realms of popular culture.

Tintagel

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We know, we know… you’re thinking ‘a picturesque little village in Cornwall? Err…’, but we promise you – Tintagel is where it’s at. As well as the medieval ruins of Tintagel Castle to explore, visitors can also look forward to plenty more tricks and treats. Ties to the Arthurian legends, a plethora of birds (owls and crows and falcons – oh my!) and commanding coastal views are all yours for the taking. Furthermore, the village was used to film ‘Knights of the Round Table’, ‘Dracula’ (1979) & ‘The Nightmare Man’.

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