Places of Outstanding Beauty in the UK

We all dream of jetting off to foreign climes to see the sights. Who hasn’t dreamt of going to Japan and seeing the history of the Samurai, or flying to Australia to see Uluru (Ayers Rock) or the Sydney Opera house or even experiencing a trek to the Dolomites in Italy? There are so many beautiful places in the world to visit that we tend to forget what a beautiful country we live in and how many simply stunning places there are in the length and breadth of the UK. In this article we will take you on a journey through some of the UK’s most beautiful places to visit.

Wales

Wales is a beautiful country with wonderful national parks and some of the most amazing coastline in the UK.

One of the most recent places to be awarded an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) status is the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley. Set in North Wales to the East of the Snowdonia National Park the 21 mile stretch of hills spans from Prestatyn to Llangollen. Get out on the picturesque Offa’s Dyke National Trail or simply take a trip to see some of the historical buildings such as Denbigh Castle or Caer Drewyn. Whatever you do in this region you will be in awe of the vista.

For something a little more coastal Gower is worth a notable mention. Set in south Wales a few miles to the west of Swansea, the coastline in the Gower peninsula is unrivalled. Gower was the first place in the UK to be named an AONB, covering an area of 70 square miles. From exploring Worm’s Head (make sure you check the tide timings) to visiting Paviland Cave, where the UK’s oldest human remains were found, to simply enjoying the miles of sandy beaches, the Gower really is an amazing area.

Scotland

Scotland is renowned for its glens and mountains and boasts some of the most amazing vistas in the world.

One such place is the Ardnamurchan peninsula, which is the most westerly point on the British mainland just north of the isle of Mull. Visit Loch Sunart which lies directly to the south of Ardnamurchan, it boasts the title of the longest Sea Loch in the Highlands. One must visit place is Sanna Bay where you will discover that you are in a geologically important ancient volcanic crater.

For something a little more remote the Northern Isles and Northern Highlands are spectacular. With their geoparks such as the Geopark Shetland or the Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve where you can visit the low cliffs which were formed when two continents collided millions of years ago and see some of the most breath-taking mountain scenery you will ever see. Add to these some rare plants and diverse wildlife, this part of Scotland really is a winner.

Ireland

The Emerald Isle never fails to enchant anyone visiting with its charm and beauty.

The most well known area is the Causeway Coast which is home to the world famous giants causeway, the only World Heritage site in Northern Ireland and is located to the very north of Northern Ireland. The area is more than just the Giants causeway and offers 18 miles of majestic coastal scenery. Visiting the small harbours which are tucked in, all across the coast gives you a real taste of some of the history of the area with the prominence of traditional architecture.

The Ring of Gullion, located between Dundalk in Southern Ireland and Newry in Northern Ireland, has awe inspiring mountains which form a natural Ring Dyke. This was formed around 60 million years ago. Add to this some historical woodlands, boglands and heathlands and you have an area as diverse as it is beautiful.

England

England has over 30 AONB so there is something for everyone all over the country.

One of the most popular AONB in England is in Dorset in the Southwest of England. The AONB covers over 1,129 square miles, which is over 40% of the entire county of Dorset. The Dorset AONB features both coastal and inland delights such as Swanage on the coast and some beautiful picture postcard villages such as Beaminster and Cerne Abbas.

Perhaps slightly less well known are the Lincolnshire Wolds in the east of England, starting at Grimsby and stretching down to Skegness. These cover over 558 square miles of the county. A Wold is an area of hills which consist of open country according to Wikipedia and the Lincolshire Wolds are a prime example. With places to visit such as the North West Scarp, with its wildlife and woodlands and chalk ridges of the Chalk Wolds, this AONB really does require a visit.

In total there are 46 areas of outstanding Natural beauty in the UK and we cannot cover all of them in this one article, but why not visit this great website to research all the other fantastic places to see in the UK, you won’t be disappointed.