A travel company has included the unique homes in a list of the world’s top 20 ‘alternative’ must-see landmarks.
That means the rock houses are in the company of the likes of Alcatraz in San Francisco, CN Tower in Toronto and Rome’s Baths of Caracalla.
Research among 1,000 UK globetrotters identified the ‘off the beaten track’ sights they most want to see.
Others on the list is Germany’s Burg Eltz, a fairy-tale style medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River that is said to be the blueprint for the palace in Cinderella.
The rock houses, homes carved straight into the rock amid a wildlife haven near Stourbridge, came 11th, ahead of another red rock landmark, Kata Tjuta in Australia. Thousands climb to the houses each year, but they remain low key and, run by the National Trust, only boast a small cafe for people paying a visit.
James Clarke, general manager of Travelzoo UK, who carried out the survey, said: “We’re all familiar with those must visit places – the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and so on. They are all truly amazing landmarks but there are a growing number of travellers who want to see sights like the rock houses that aren’t quite so well-known.Thankfully we are blessed with fantastic landmarks across the globe which are also well worth a visit - and that’s exactly what we wanted to show through this research.”
The rock houses were last year named in a list of hidden gems across the UK, along with the the likes of the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Cumbria and Trengwainton Garden in Cornwall.
The National Trust said it was delighted the rock houses were winning wider recognition. A spokesman said: “It is a timeless attraction, with hidden tunnels for little ones – and adventurous grown-ups – to explore. For wildlife enthusiasts, the heathland habitat buzzes with wildlife and the sandy trails feel like the seaside.
“Our tea room also provides spectacular views across the lush woodlands and fields over to Stourbridge.”