The UK is overflowing with interesting and beautiful places to visit; so long as you know where to look. From the wilds of Scotland to the sunny south coast, and everything in between, the UK is home to some real wonders. In this tour of Britain, we’re bringing you some of the best places to visit on this isle we call home. We’ll be uncovering drives with views to take your breath away, remote and wild hikes to get you back to nature and places with exotic plants and plentiful wildlife. We’ll be starting this tour of Britain in the South West.
The south of England; home to excellent local produce and a gorgeous coastline. Despite the mouth-watering food, there’s more to this region than tasty treats. With some of the most sought after beaches and rolling countryside, it has been hard to choose the most unmissable places here.
The Minack Theatre
This wonder is hidden away at the tip of Cornwall. The Minack Theatre is an open air theatre that has been showing performances since 1932. Looking out over clear blue sea, it’s the best backdrop you’re ever likely to get while watching a play. Catch a performance if you can, but visitors are also welcome to just look around and soak up the views. While you’re here enjoy the local beaches and a stroll along the South West Coast Path.
The Lizard Peninsula
The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall encompasses the most southerly point on the UK mainland, and it is a truly beautiful place. You can see for miles out over glistening blue seas where you may be lucky enough to spot seals, or dolphins playing among the waves. The weather can change quickly here but the raw beauty of it is what makes this place to stunning whether the sun is shining or a storm’s rolling in.
Cheddar Gorge is an impressive limestone gorge on the edge of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Somerset. Beautiful above ground for it’s rocky cliffs and below ground for its network of caves, Cheddar Gorge draws climbing and caving enthusiasts from far and wide. Even if you aren’t in it for the climbing and caving, pack a picnic and enjoy a long walk while soaking up the views.
A little bit off the beaten tourist track, Bembridge on the Isle of Wight offers a picture perfect seaside break. With out the same crowds you might come to expect elsewhere this vibrant town still offers a lovely family atmosphere. Enjoy a stroll around the harbour while the sun is shining, or set up camp on the beach for a day of wave jumping and sandcastle building.
The north of England encompasses some of the UK’s best loved National Parks. With the glistening lakes of the Lake District and the rolling landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, this corner of the UK is packed with beautiful and interesting places. Try ones of these gems for a holiday to remember.
One of the most famous drives in the UK, this is something best tackled in the spring or autumn when the road conditions are good but they shouldn’t be too busy. This road takes you from Eskdale to the Duddon Valley in the Lake District and is one of the steepest roads in England with gradients up to 33%. Driving along this twisting, steep, single track road is a real challenge but it’s also a lot of fun and offers some spell-binding views.
Scafell Pike in the Lake District may be England’s tallest peak, but if you’re looking for a challenge while escaping the crowds then its slightly smaller sister Sca Fell is the one to climb. Or, if your feeling courageous try them both in a day. With barely a trail to follow, you’ll need to be able to read a map and may well need to do a little scrambling across scree to make it to the top. There might not be any data or phone signal but you’ll find amazing views and a few friendly fellow hikers to share it all with.
The stoic village of Keld is tucked away within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Arriving here after driving through miles of countryside feels like stumbling across somewhere that has avoided the march of time. However, in spite of this it is surprisingly well equipped for visitors. There’s a small car park with an honest box and expect to see small groups of people kitted out for the outdoors as they make the most of the local walks; including the Pennine Way. There are also waterfalls nearby where you can swim.
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park
In the north of England, just before you reach Scotland, you’ll find one of the largest areas of protected night sky in Europe. With increasing light pollution it’s getting harder and harder to see the night’s sky in all its glory. However, in this Dark Sky park you will be able to see thousands of stars, meteor showers the Aurora. What’s more, its protected status means it should be preserved for future generations to enjoy too. For a magical night of stargazing, there is nowhere better to visit in the UK.
Scotland, famous for kilts, haggis and the wilds of the Highlands. As well has having a rich history, this country has plenty of secrets tucked away in its remote corners. It’s in these corners that you can find unspoilt beaches and barely inhabited islands.
Sanna Bay in the Highlands might not be the easiest place to get to, but it is certainly worth the journey. Reached by a single track road which leads to small car park, after which you have to walk, this spot feels a million miles away from everywhere else. When you reach the coast you’ll be met with one of Scotland’s most spell-binding beaches. The soft white sand and glistening clear waters are sure to tempt even the most swimming adverse in for a paddle. Savour the views out into the Atlantic and the wonderfully peaceful nature of this bay.
Did you know you can see wild wallabies in the UK? Well you can, in Scotland. They were brought to the isle of Inchconnachan in the 1940s by Lady Arran Colquhoun and now they roam around the island. Inchconnachan is found in Loch Lomond and although there are no tourist boats which go here you can rent a boat or kayak to make the trip yourself. While you’re here, there are plenty of secluded bays and beautiful views to appreciate.
Iona is a small island off the west coast of Mull, in Argyll and Bute. Largely unspoilt and home to just over 100 people, this island is brimming with natural beauty. Expect breathtaking views, white sand beaches and a magnificent array of wildlife. Despite its small size there is a beautiful golf course and a selection of shops selling locally crafted items. For some genuine escapism, this is the perfect island.
Alloway is found in south Ayrshire and is probably most famous for being the place where Robert Burns was born. To this day you can walk around the town and learn more about the life of Scotland’s national poet. From the cottage where he was born to the museum which displays his work, Alloway offers a fascinating insight into the life of Robert Burns.
Wales has a wealth of interesting and beautiful places to visit; from its stunning coastline to imposing castles. These are some of the unmissable gems Wales has to offer. So take a trip, and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this magnificent country.
It may be a more well known gem than some of the others on this list, but we couldn’t leave it out. Tenby is a classic seaside town with it’s sandy beach, colourful seafront and breathtaking views. This stretch of coast is also part of Britain’s only coastal National Park, so once you’ve finished exploring the town we recommend you wander further afield too.
Part of the Gower Peninsula, which is famed for having its own microclimate, Rhossili Bay is a magical part of Wales. Possibly home to one of the most photogenic beaches in Wales, this wide sandy bay is the perfect place to while away a summer day, or enjoy a bracing winter walk. It’s a popular spot with surfers too.
Wales has so many castles to choose from, we couldn’t leave them all of this list. However, choosing just one wasn’t easy. This impressive fortress in Gwynedd rises out of a steep rock face and offers impressive views of the surrounding area. As a castle that played an important part in Welsh history, this is an interesting place to spend a few hours.
Pentwyn Farm SSSI
Found in Monmouthshire, this nature reserve is a gem of Wales. More or less unchanged for hundreds of years, this is the perfect opportunity to see meadows as they would have been in years gone past. This flower-rich grassland is stunning and the perfect antidote to the rush of modern life.