The United Kingdom is home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem, filled with plenty of natural beauty, spectacular vistas, architectural feats, and triumphs of engineering. If you’re looking for some great outdoors places to visit, take a look at eight of the most awe-inspiring locations found in the UK.
1. Durdle Door
Durdle Door is Dorset’s most photographed and most visited location. Privately owned but open to the public, Durdle Door’s iconic, natural rock formation has a long history as the backdrop for many different movies, TV shows, and other forms of media entertainment.
This picturesque location lies on the Jurassic Coast, a massive 95-mile long coastline that stretches across two countries. Thanks to the fame of Durdle’s Door, the Jurassic Coast is the only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site found within the UK.
2. The Fairy Pools
On the Isle of Skye lies a natural phenomenon named the Fairy Pools – a series of waterfalls punctuated by pools of vivid aqua water. The Fairy Pools, fed by a series of cold mountain streams, have only recently become immensely popular as a tourist destination.
Combine their tranquil environment, with the fact that the Pools play host to a diverse range of fauna and flora, and you can begin to see why the number of annual visitors has reportedly doubled over the last six years.
3. Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall stretches across the width of northern England. The 73-mile coast-to-coast defensive structure was originally built to guard the northwest frontier of the Roman Empire. Nowadays, it is one of Britain’s biggest tourist attractions.
Like the statue of Ozymandius, it is a refreshing reminder of the inevitable passing of time. However, due to significant restorations and consistent maintenance, Hadrian’s Wall has largely withstood the test of time and can be seen from 20 tourism-focused locations.
4. The Isle of Scilly
Beyond the southernmost tip of the British mainland lies an idyllic archipelago named the Isle of Scilly. Akin to the Caribbean in both climate and atmosphere, the Isle of Scilly is made up of five islands, namely St. Mary’s, Tresco, Bryher, St. Martin’s, and St. Agnes.
Most visitors tend to stay on St. Mary’s, while the entire island of Tresco is considered a timeshare resort. Bryher and St. Martin’s are less developed compared to St. Mary’s and Tresco, but St. Agnes is easily the least developed of all the islands.
5. The Lake District
Covering an area of over 900 square miles, The Lake District National Park is a vast and mountainous region in North West England. It’s one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, drawing over 1 million tourists on an annual basis.
Situated within the county of Cumbria, the Lake District holds several major tourist attractions, such as the largest and deepest lakes in England; Windermere and Wast Water respectively. It’s also been the inspiration behind countless poems, paintings, and other forms of art culture.
6. Loch Ness
Loch Ness is the largest lake in the British Isles, containing more water than all the lakes in England. With nine villages surrounding the lake and a ruined castle on its shoreline, Loch Ness should be considered a mandatory stop on any UK travel itinerary.
Interestingly, the soil surrounding the lake has an unusually high peat content, affecting overall visibility quite drastically. Maybe that’s why so many people are convinced that the Loch Ness Monster, or ‘Nessie’ as it’s more affectionately known, actually exists.
Stonehenge is easily one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. It is regarded by many as a British cultural icon, even though its function and construction are unknown, and its origins are still up for debate.
From theories of ritualistic function to hypotheses of mythological symbolism, no one seems able to agree on Stonehenge’s history or purpose. Thanks to their allure and mystery, the monoliths of Stonehenge pull crowds of around 1.5 million people per year. You can visit it on a Stonehenge Tour from London and even combine the tour to take in some other top sites, such as Windsor Castle and the Roman Baths.
8. The White Cliffs of Dover
Formed more than 50 million years ago, the White Cliffs of Dover is considered a major UK attraction due to its unique composition. The cliff face is composed entirely of chalk and black flint, and the stark contrast formed by these colors is a one-of-a-kind sight to see.
The cliff face, referenced in several famous examples of English literature, is an eight-mile stretch of striking contrasts that can reach up to 350 feet high. The almost other-worldly appearance of the White Cliffs of Dover makes it a must-see for any avid explorer.