The UK is home to some of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes in the world. Whether you are looking for romantic parks, wild and rugged wildernesses or an idyllic peaceful backwater, Great Britain seems to have it all. So If you’re a native or planning a trip, here are ten of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK (in no particular order)…
1. Richmond Park, South West London
Believe it or not, London is filled with a huge amount of beautiful open spaces and Regents Park, St. James Park, Hampstead Heath and Holland Park rank as some of the most picturesque. We’ve chosen to mention Richmond Park, a 2,500 acre site of historical and special scientific interest and a place where many Londoners go to get their green space fix. Originally established by Charles I in 1637 as a hunting area, the park today with its ornamental gardens, ancient oaks and 600 red and fallow deer roaming freely, still manages to retain a slight medieval air. A very popular spot especially in summer, locals and out-of-towners come here for summer picnics, quiet walks, lazy scenic drives and of course, the obligatory deer-watching.
2. Polperro, South East Cornwall
The southwest counties are especially popular with holidaymakers, but tourism still hasn’t managed to spoil the chocolate box pretty villages that reside here. Polperro (located in South East Cornwall) with its narrow winding streets and cottages perched on steep slopes overlooking a tiny harbour is everyone’s idea of a picturesque Cornish fishing village. Sheltered from time and tide in a cliff ravine, Polperro is often cited as the prettiest village in Cornwall – which given the competition is quite an accolade.
3. Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland
As Northern Ireland’s only Unesco World Heritage site, Giant’s Causeway is an intriguing beauty spot and a popular tourist haunt. With a large area of coastline covered in neatly arranged stone columns it’s easy to see why this unique natural wonder is surrounded by so many mythical legends. Also make time to explore the surrounding Antrim coast – it offers some of the finest and atmospheric cliff scenery in Europe.
4. Glen Nevis, Scotland
Arguably one of the country’s most dramatic landscapes, Glen Nevis is an exceptionally beautiful part of the United Kingdom. The stretch of ancient unspoilt scenery, overlooked by Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain), is perfect for peaceful walking and truly getting away from it all. This area is also great for wildlife watching and film location visiting – many key scenes from Braveheart, Rob Roy and Harry Potter were shot here. In fact all of the Scottish Highlands are outstandingly beautiful and if you can you should take your time to explore its clear lochs, ancient castles and unspolit coastline.
5. Lake District, North West England
The Lake District is a mountainous region in North West England and a very popular holiday destination for nature lovers. Most visitors flock to the tourist hubs of Keswick, Windermere and Kendal but also consider but the deepest lake in England – Wastwater. It has the most remote location of all the lakes but many believe it’s easily worth the extra effort to get to. Once voted Britain’s ‘favourite view’ Wastwater is hemmed in by some of the highest peaks in England and surrounded by some of the Lake District’s most beautiful scenery.
6. Little Venice, London
The affluent district of South Maida Vale is is interspersed with picturesque waterways and the area where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet is affectionately known as Little Venice – if you visit you’ll find out why. The London backwater idyll is dotted with colourful houseboats, waterside pubs and some superb restaurants – a peaceful oasis in an otherwise very busy city. Take a walk along the tow path, picnic along the banks or charter a narrowboat for a perfect afternoon out.
7. Hope Valley, Peak District
The Peak District is the second most visited national park in the world characterised by wild rugged landscapes, pretty villages, grand historic houses and dark caverns. Hope Valley takes up a large area in the centre of the national park and offers unusual, dramatic landscapes and some of the most beautiful scenery in England. In the pretty village of Castleton – also known as the ‘Gem of the Peak’ – you will find traditional stone cottages, a beautiful mountain, show caves and an attractive ruined Norman castle. The nearby ancient village of Hathersage has associations with both the legend of Robin Hood and Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel Jane Eyre and also makes for an interesting stop.
8. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
The university town of Cambridge epitomises quintessential Englishness and here punting on the river and sipping Pimms on the perfectly manicured lawn is an enduring local summer pastime. The beautiful buildings are well preserved and the timeless city seems straight out of the scene form the 1950s – the preppy look seems de rigueur and most people travel everywhere by bicycle. Try the omnipresent punting as one of the most romantic ways to see the town’s main highlights.
9. The Jurassic Coast, East Devon to Dorset
This world heritage site which can be found on the southern coast of England is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in UK. The 140 million year old Jurassic coast – voted the 5th greatest natural wonder in Britain – is a popular tourist destination. The area is home to both the natural limestone arch of Durdle Door (the coast’s most photographed landmark) and Lulworth Cove – one of the finest coves in England. The Jurassic coast is also used for many film scenes including the big screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and ‘Wilde’ starring Stephen Fry.
10. Llanberis Pass, North Wales
Pretty llanberis village can be found in the popular Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Nearby, twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range creating the magnificent ‘Llanberis Pass’. The Lllanberis Pass is a truly impressive place noted for its wild and rugged beauty and well as its extraordinary tranquility. The unique glaciated valley and world class climbing spot attracts drivers, ambitious rock climbers and the odd photographer or two.
Of course it’s impossible to mention all the beautiful places in the United Kingdom in a Top 10 list. Other areas you should consider are beautiful Kent (otherwise known as the garden of England), the underrated Chiltern Hills, the ancient woodlands of the New Forest, the rolling hills of the South of England’s North and South Downs, the rugged landscapes of the Yorkshire Moors, the chocolate box pretty villages of the Cotswolds and Northumberland – the most unspoilt area in the whole of England. Enjoy your UK stay!
Where to stay – Popular, unique and reasonably priced hotels in the United Kingdom
- Chase Lodge House, London – Quirky medieval themed hotel near Hampton Court from £75pn
- Regents Park Residence, Central London - Stylish apartments in central London from £86 per night.
- Penryn House Hotel Polperro, Cornwall - Charming and cosy hotel in the heart of Polperro from £79pn
- Onich Hotel, Nr Glen Nevis – Traditional hotel surrounded by beautiful scenery from £50pn
- May Cottage, Lake District - Gorgeous Bed and Breakfast with great rates from £45pn
- Scafell Hotel, Lake District - Lodge Style Hotel with contemporary interiors from £65pn
- Rutland Arms Hotel, Peak District – Traditional hotel with Jane Austen connections from £60pn
- George Hotel, Peak District – Historic Hathersage Inn with contemporary interiors from £75pn.
- Royal Cambridge Hotel, Cambridge – Great value traditionally English hotel from £57 per night.
- Hamilton Hotel, Cambridge - Guest House near the historical centre of Cambridge from £75pn.
- Kemps Country House Hotel, Wareham – Stunning Country Hotel near the Jurassic Coast from £85pn
- Kingston Country Courtyard, Wareham – Luxurious B&B near Poole and Swanage from £75pn
- Legacy Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis – Elegant hotel on edge of Snowdonia National Park from £59pn