Robin Hood's Hideaway
Lud's Cave, Peak District
Scurry through this mossy chasm (known as Lud's Church) and, legend says, you'll find yourself ensconced in Robin Hood's Stride, the heroic outlaw's secret hideaway. Swathes of sites across England tout connections to the skilled archer, but few boast such ethereal splendour as Lud's Church.
Daylight stipples the damp, mossy veneer on the cathedral-like passageways, keeping the crevice cool on even the hottest summer days. Later in the year, the tumbling, autumnal mists conjure up an atmosphere entirely appropriate for a mystical quest.
If you believe the stories, the cleft was forged by the devil's fingernail as he clawed away at the Earth's surface, carving out this sacred corridor. Nestled deep in the heart of the Peak District's Black Forest, it's hardly surprising that this verdant temple once hosted sacred Druid rituals and clandestine Lollard ceremonies.
Follow the course of the River Dane that tumbles through this ancient woodland, visit the Queen's Chair and the Winking Man's Rock, then stop off at quintessentially English pubs you'll find flecked across the wooded valley along the way.
Places to visit nearby: The Roaches; Churnet Valley Railway; Rudyard Lake; Wincle Beer Company; Cheddleton Flint Mill; The Ship Inn.