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Beautiful UK seaside town named Britain’s best kept secret

A coastal village clinging to a hillside in North Yorkshire has been named one of Europe’s 18 best hidden gems for this year. Staithes joins holiday hotspots in Spain, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and Portugal on the list.

With its winding cobbled streets and charming cottages, Staithes is described by judges at European Best Destinations as one of Yorkshire’s treasures. The village is hailed as a perfect destination for geologists or fossil hunters with kids or those looking for “a foodie getaway” in England.

Top of the list is Spain’s Villajoyosa, which translates from Castillian into “the jewellish town”. Its colourful houses, pleasant micro-climate and three kilometres of beaches are all singled out for praise.

Ares del Maestre, Spain; Primosten, Croatia; Bokodi, Hungary; Naantali, Finland; Bour, Faroe Islands; Blavand, Denmark; Ulm, Germany and Aljezur in Portugal also make it onto the list.

As do Dartlo, Georgia; Castro Urdiales, Spain; Landmannalaugar, Iceland; Cicmany, Slovakia; Pico Island, Azores; Pont-en-Royans, France; Wuppertal, Germany and Le Puy en Velay in France.

Hungary’s Bokodi is a “magnificent” floating village located on Lake Bokod a few miles from Oroszlany and just one hour by car from Budapest.

The judges note: “If you are looking for tranquility come and discover this timeless place. Peaceful and welcoming, this place is a worthwhile escape during your stay in Hungary.”

Naantali in Finland is a “charming” town in the southwest, with a theme park dedicated to The Moomins, hippo-like characters which feature in a series of children’s books by Finnish author Tove Jansson.

Blavand is a Danish seaside spot near the border with Germany, three hours by car from Copenhagen. Bunkers built on the beaches in Blavand have been transformed into horses, with horse-riding available too.

Ulm in Germany is described by the judges as “sublime”, with its monuments and architecture hailed as being of “rare beauty”. Wuppertal is less well known than other German towns, according to European Best Destinations, but is said to be well worth a visit. The town’s raised monorail makes it feel like an amusement park, the judges have said.

Pico Island in the Azroes Pico is worth discovering for its geological richness and above all for its incredible vines, according to European Best Destinations. The location’s “delicious” wine is recommended as are the island’s “breath-taking” landscapes.

Situated half way between Barcelona and Valencia, Ares del Maestre is hailed as a “secret destination” to discover during a stay in Spain. On top of a rocky hill, the town is described as an enclave offering “magnificent” views of the Maestrazgo landscape.