The UK may be small and compact, but ask anyone who’s seen it all and they’ll tell you it offers an unrivalled world of rich history, outstanding nature and some of Western Europe’s most diverse and amazing cities. Some places are just unmissable, so grab your camera, a pen and some paper and check out these breathtaking places to see in Britannia before you die.
The Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England
This UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site spans 185 million years of geological history. Natural coastal erosion has exposed continuous sequences of rock formations dating back to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. It’s pretty too.
The Peak District, Derbyshire, England
Moorlands, mountains, lakes and waterfalls make up this enchanting northern English National Park. No wonder it attracts millions of tourists every year…
Isle of Skye, Scotland
A world of contrasts, the Isle of Skye is arguably one of the most surreal spots in the United Kingdom. Most come to get a glimpse of Old Man of Storr, an unusual, towering rock formation that tops a 20-mile ancient landslide.
Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland
Described by author Robert Louis Stevenson as ‘a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design’, Arthur’s Seat is situated about one mile east of Edinburgh Castle and rises above the city to a height of no less that 250.5 metres above the Scottish metropolis. Once you’re up there #views.
The Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Most of these drop-dead amazing Scottish islands were formed from prehistoric metamorphic rocks. The 15 inhabited islands have a total population of about 27,000 people. Throughout, you’ll find loads of super old structures, many of which pre-date the first written references to the islands by Roman and Greek authors.
The Lake District, Cumbria, England
This beauty of a National Park has been a popular holiday spot for yonks. Known for its rugged mountains, ribbon lakes and historic literary past (this is where Beatrix Potter wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit!), you’ll find a load of fab market towns, traditional inns and lovely galleries in this glorious part of the world. Great for walkers too.
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
These – quite frankly – INCREDIBLE 15th-century ruins sit atop a stunning natural peninsula that juts out into the wild North Sea – don’t bother styling your hair before you visit, because it’s very, very windy here.
St. Nectan’s Kieve, Cornwall, England
Two words: Snapchat porn. This rather magical keyhole waterfall is nicknamed ‘Merlin’s Well’ by locals — we can’t blame them, the thing looks as though it was plucked straight out of a fairy tale.
The Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, Northern Ireland
These otherworldly polygonal rocks are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Fact of the day: The entire thing is made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.
St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Expect to see millions of birds, lots of whales and mammoth sea cliffs on this isolated archipelago 40 miles north west of the Scottish mainland.
Isles of Scilly, England
England’s very own Barbados. White sandy beaches, countless nature trails, fine restaurants and plenty of pubs and bars are waiting to be discovered on this truly unmissable holiday spot.
Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England
This golden patch of South West England is full of lush green valleys, charming limestone cottages, traditional pubs and river trails. Essentially, the Cotswolds are the very definition of quintessential and relaxed British country life. #thetofflife
Beachy Head, East Sussex, England
These world-famous cliffs are the tallest in the entire country and attract thousands of tourists every year. Word of advice, if you suffer from vertigo, steer clear.
The Lavender Fields of Banstead, Surrey, England
People normally associate Lavender fields with Provence, but Banstead gives the French province a run for its money. The acres and acres of purple Instagrammable beauty are just a dozen or so miles south of central London. Day trip anyone?
The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones fan? Well, you might just recognise these gorgeous trees then. The 200-year old beech tree tunnel features in the first episode of season two of the hit HBO series. Game of Thrones or not, we just think it’s pretty.
Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa, Scotland
The alien-looking angular columns of Fingal’s Cave create wonderfully melodious acoustics when the waves crash inside its rocky walls. It’s also been featured in countless Hollywood films, including Ridley Scott’s epic Prometheus.
Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales
In short, Snowdonia is fairy land. Thick green moss covers nearly every rocky surface of the Llyn Dinas section (a must visit) of Snowdonia. The place is full of waterfall and lake porn too.
Buachaille Etive Mòr, The Highlands, Scotland
Scotland’s most quirky mountain rises 533 metres into the heavens. A popular spot for climbers, it’s the perfect place to unravel those pesky cerebral cobwebs. Result? A clear mind filled with lots of common sense. Very British.
Dun Briste, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
This jaw-dropping stratified sea stack of sexy rocks used to be part of the mainland, but huge corrosive waves separated the two back in 1393.
Want more travel inspiration? Take a look at these fantastic photos of Antarctica!