After so long, nature has never been so beautiful. We are now able to get back outside and safely reconnect with everything the UK has to offer. Rediscover the country’s incredible beauty by visiting these picturesque natural spots.
Whether you plan to discover a hidden waterfall in Devon or escape to Scotland’s wildflower fields, Corona has you covered with this curated list of the most inspiring scenic destinations in the UK. So take some time out to disconnect from the routine, escape from the crowds and reconnect in the natural world.
Natural rock walls topped by pine trees and dotted with ferns and mosses rise around the calming waters of Pattack Falls in the Cairngorms National Park. Follow the Pattack Falls Trail through the forest to reach the secluded falls, and listen to the water flowing swiftly along its course, as its spray creates the perfect soundtrack to your visit.
With its ancient woodlands, flower-filled meadows and wetlands, Bedelands Nature Reserve in West Sussex attracts a diverse array of wildlife, making it a great place to spot birds and small mammals such as the protected hazel dormouse. Join the footpath from the entrance at Valebridge Road or Valebridge Close and head towards the tranquil millpond, where the silence is disturbed only by the occasional heron.
Surrounded by a rainforest-like landscape of mosses and ferns, Whitelady Waterfall crashes down through Lydford Gorge, creating a captivating cascade of water where the River Lyd meets the River Burn. Try to visit after heavy rainfall for the most impressive sight as the falls surge: the white noise and spray on your skin will help drown out your thoughts and transport you far away. Be aware that, in light of the ongoing pandemic, visits to the falls must be booked in advance.
Norfolk is renowned for its muddy creeks and salt marshes, some of which can be found in Blakeney, an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s a popular place for sailing, and vast open spaces make it a good place to spot wildlife, too. Blakeney is home to England’s largest seal colony, as well as migrating birds in autumn and winter. Wander down the Norfolk Coast Path for uninterrupted coastal views and even more tidal marshes teeming with wildlife.
To the west of Sheffield lies the Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, use of which was once the preserve of nobility. Today you’ll still feel like royalty when exploring this peaceful setting with its mini waterfalls. Start at the top of the falls, with a Rivelin Valley vista, then descend the – sometimes steep – 100-metre pathway down to the wooded spaces at the bottom. Breathe in for the sweet scent of towering pine trees.
This hidden valley in the Chiltern Hills supports no less than 15 species of wild orchid. Try to spot them all by embarking on a four-mile circular walk from the Warburg Nature Reserve’s entrance, passing through beech woods and wildflower fields on the way. It’s a wonderful place to get away from it all: chances are you’ll have the reserve’s woodlands and grasslands to yourself.
There’s no need to leave the UK to experience impressive waterfalls, as the stunning 60-metre-high Grey Mare’s Tail falls in Scotland prove. To make the most of a visit, climb the surrounding hills up to Loch Skeen, which is spectacularly located in view of the Moffat Hills. Alternatively, go even further off the beaten track by ascending to the quiet top of White Coomb to see the waterfall making its way into the Moffat Water Valley.
Rediscover the beauty of rural Scotland at Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve, where grassy sand dunes are home to shaggy highland cows. You’ll find seals basking on the beach, wildflowers strewn across the coastal grassland, and red squirrels and roe deer in the forest. Hire a bike or ride a horse to really maximise your time exploring the reserve’s variety of ecosystems.
Feel as though you’re far away from the beaten path by escaping into the atmospheric surrounds of Pwll-y-Wrach Nature Reserve in Wales. There are only a few parking spaces, which limits the number of people who can visit at a time, leaving you to enjoy the area in peace. The short, circular walk from the entrance takes visitors to twin waterfalls, which plunge into the so-called Witches’ Pool.
For a picturesque nature reserve with access to the sea, head to Northern Ireland’s Murlough National Nature Reserve. It covers nearly 700 acres (283ha) of land, including an extensive swathe of 6,000-year-old sand dunes, so you’ll have plenty of space to yourself – that is apart from the 600 species of wildlife, including rare butterflies, moths, birds, rabbits and stoats.
Once beneath a tropical sea, Winnats Pass, in the Peak District, is now a limestone valley flanked by sharp hills and beautiful countryside. The area is protected by law and is a site of scientific interest, due to the various fossils that can be found into the limestone – the remnants of the many sea creatures that swam here some 350m years ago. The minerals here create the perfect habitat for wildflowers and greenery – you’ll find rare flowers throughout that are all protected by designated farmers.