When it comes to the holidays us Brits are far too ready to up sticks and head down south to the sunshine, but with the heatwave on and what looks to be a record-breaking summer coming up, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take a little look at one of the things that makes Great Britain so great – our amazing landscapes. From rugged coastlines to far-flung mountain tops, from gorgeous lakes nestled between dales to rolling fields and hills, this Sceptred Isle can rival anywhere else in the world!
The UK’s Most Stunning Landscapes
Using these stunning images from VisitBritain, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favourites when it comes to landscapes, with glorious spots from across the UK.
Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is famous for its amazing cliffs and beaches, but did you know that it’s known as the ‘Jurassic’ coast due to the huge number of incredibly well preserved fossils that emerge out of the rock here? Go hunting on the beach for specimens or go and see the best ones at the Natural History Museum in London.
Old Harry Rocks are a series of white chalk rock pillars on a headland of the Jurassic Coast national park in Dorset.
Durdle Door is an eroded rock arch off the Jurassic Coast national park and coastal path in Dorset, and a national landmark.
The Chilterns are a range of hills that stretch across England, crossing county borders as they go. These hills are a designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and have an ancient footpath running along the top which has been used since prehistory, so you could be treading in the same footsteps as our ancestors millennia ago!
View across the Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire, where a new visitor centre has recently been built.
The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire.
Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
Glastonbury Tor, although not an area or a range of hills like my other top landscapes, makes the the list due to its position – you can see this amazing natural landmark from miles around.
The tower on top of Glastonbury Tor is called St Michael’s Tower.
A view of the landscape and Glastonbury Tor silhouetted against the dawn.
Peak District National Park
The Peak District was Britain’s first national park, established in April 1951. The rich and diverse scenery is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, extreme sports enthusiasts and more relaxed lovers of nature and the great outdoors alike.
At the top of Cavedale Path overlooking Peveril Castle and stunning countryside of the Peak District.
A lone cyclist taking in the spectacular view of the Peak District from the top of Whinstone Lee Tor.
Seven Sisters, Sussex
Although not as well known as their sister cliffs the White Cliffs of Dover (there’s no famous song about the Seven Sisters as far as I know), these cliffs more than make up for it with their stunning beauty and, of course, their chalky white complexion. The area comprises of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, a meandering river valley and open chalk grassland. It is a popular place for a number of outdoor activities including walking, birdwatching, cycling and canoeing.
A couple walking along the clifftop of the dramatic coastline at Beachy Head.
A couple walking at the Seven Sisters in East Sussex.
The Lake District, Cumbria
Inspiration for the likes of Wordsworth no less, there’s no better place to wander lonely as a cloud than the Lake District, probably the home of England’s most beautiful scenery. The lakes and mountains here are perfect for walking, and also play host to some incredible wildlife and historical sites.
Scafell Pike and Wastwater in Wasdale Valley.
Low Wood Hotel jetty on Lake Windermere, with the rolling hills and dales in the background.
Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Yorkshire Dales is famous for its stone walls crossing the landscape, the green of this limestone country contrasting with amazing scenic features such as Kilnsey Crag or Malham Cove.
Dentdale and the view over the village of Dent.
Keld in Swaledale, with traditional drystone walling.
OK, so I’ve slightly cheated with this one – but only because so much of the Scottish landscape is so stunning that I just couldn’t decide upon one mountain range or particular valley! You’ll see that I’ve done the same thing with Lochs… Guilty as charged.
A lochan dwarfed by the snow covered landscape of Rannoch Moor, a designated National Heritage site in the Scottish Highlands.
The rugged landscape of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, near Callendar.
Again, I am aware that this isn’t really a category and that I should choose just one loch… and that the lochs are in the Highlands anyway. But don’t think about that, just look at these cool castles!
The stunning Castle Stalker is situated on an island in Loch Laich.
Glenfinnan is a village in the Lochaber area of the Highlands, on Loch Shiel. The Jacobite monument is a statue of a highlander atop a tower.
Eilean Donan and Loch Duich – as featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The Breacon Beacons are home to some of the most beautiful and rugged moorland in the UK, as well as lots of lovely Welsh castles (are you seeing a theme here?) I also couldn’t resist throwing in a picture of some sheep for Wales…
Carreg Cennen Castle has an amazing outlook over the rugged landscape.
Cribyn and the landscape of the Brecon Beacons and the ridge line to the west which connects Cribyn with the peak of Pen y Fan.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is home to some of the UK’s tallest mountains, with Mount Snowden being a must for any lover of the great outdoors. Head down the mountains to the sea and you’ll discover Wales’s glorious coastline too.
Mount Snowdon and the landscape of Snowdonia National Park from the Pinnacles and Capel Curig.
Bala Lake and the Aran Hills in the Snowdonia National Park.
Antrim Coast, Country Antrim
This beautiful coastline stretches most of the way from Belfast to Derry, and is a very easy roadtrip – head along the Antrim Coast Road and you’ll discover cliffs, hills and dales. There’s far more to this coast than just the Giant’s Causeway, but that doesn’t stop the causeway from being really, really cool.
Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North Antrim coast.
The famous Giants Causeway, as featured on that Led Zeppelin album cover.
So, have these lovely pictures given you any inspiration for your own UK getaways this summer? It’s looking to be a hot one, but even if it isn’t these are some fantastic locations for a traditional British picnic – sat in the car eating fish and chips watching the rain and looking out over the beach. Hopefully the weather will hold out though, and you’ll have perfect conditions to make the most of these Great British landscapes.
Have I missed anywhere out? Or do you have your own amazing photos of the UK? Comment below or email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet or Facebook me.
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