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Five Beautiful Places In The United Kingdom

Updated on October 10, 2014

Walking in the Mountains

This is me with good friends, Fleur and Helen, on a mountain side overlooking the town of Keswick in the Lake District. It was summer, July in fact. It was windy and there were a few showers on the hills. But, a great day of walking, with stunning views.

Here, I offer you some information about awesome places to visit around the UK. We have historic cities and towns, beautiful national parks, hills, mountains, lakes, rivers, and some curious towns and villages with bizarre names.

Have a look at the photos, imagine breathing the fresh air, maybe plan a trip...

For cheap accommodation, check out the Youth Hostel Association website

The Peak District - The White Peaks and the Dark Peaks

Unless otherwise stated, the photos on this page are my own. Please contact me first, if you wish to re-use any of them.

The Peak District was our first National Park. It is a very special place, attracting millions of visitors from aound the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. The Peak District is a stunning place to walk, cycle or sail. There are 1867 miles of 'rights of way', over 50 miles of cycle trails and 202 square miles of open access land. The Pennine Way, the Pennine Bridleway and the Trans-Pennine trail are major routes passing through the Peak District.

The Dark Park is the northern part of the Peak District - more remote, wilder and higher than the southern section, the White Peak.

For great local produce, and a selection of excellent pubs and restaurants, visit the peak district towns of Matlock, Buxton and Bakewell.

Views of the Peak District - if you wish to use any of my photos, please contact me first

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Peak District

How to get to the Peaks

A
buxton, derbyshire:
buxton, derbyshire

get directions

Sports & Handheld GPS Devices

A handheld GPS is very useful when you're hiking or exploring the mountains. Find out exactly where you are, the altitude, and the distance you've walked.

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

I love the Foretrex 401 wrist-mounted GPS navigator. It's great for outdoor activities that require you to keep your hands free, like skiing and climbing. It has a high-sensitivity waterproof receiver, with an electronic compass and altimeter.

 

The Lake District - The beauty of lakes and mountains

"The Lakes" are in Cumbria, in the north west of England. Cumbria is a rural county, including not just the Lake District, but also part of the Yorkshire Dales, the Eden Valley and the North Pennines.

The Lake District is an intense experience of lakes and mountains. The beauty of the Lakes has inspired many writers and poets. The Lakes School of the 'Romantic Movement' included William Wordsworth, Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as well as Dorothy Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey and others.

Many of us learnt the first verse of Wordsworth's 'Daffodils' at school:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

It's still possible to visit Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's home from 1799 to 1808.

Geology of the Lake District

The geology of this spectacular area has been studied extensively. It stands on a granite batholith, formed from cooled magma. The low density of this rock has pushed everything up the to form an upland massif. The granite can be seen at the surface in several places, such as the Skiddaw, Eskdale and the Shap granites.

Geologists divide the area into three, with bands running southwest to northeast, and the rock ages being less from northwest to southeast. The northwestern band is mainly mudstones and siltstones of marine origin. Skiddaw is in this area of relatively smooth-sloped mountains, and has a large scree field around the summit. Skiddaw slate was first identified on Skiddaw - it has a grey hue and was traditionally used for buildings in Keswick, in the Lake District.

The central band is the result of the geological turmoil which occurred as the former lapetus ocean was subducted under the Scottish border area. It is a mix of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Lava flows produced the northern central peaks, such as Great Rigg. Then, a series of pyroclastic eruptions produced a series of calderas, including Scafell Pike. All this pyroclastic activity resulted in the craggy landscapes typical of the central fells.

The southeastern band is made up of mudstones and wackes (dull-coloured sandy rocks). These are less resistant to erosion than the rock sequences to the north.

The map is courtesy of the Ordnance Survey:

Contains Ordnance Survey data

Views of the Lake District - if you wish to use any of my photos, please contact me first

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The Lake District In Print

A handy guide to pop in your pocket or backpack - make sure you don't miss those local secrets!

Frommer's Lake District Day By Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket)
Frommer's Lake District Day By Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket)

Whether you are interested in Wordsworth & the Lakeland Poets, Beatrix Potter's inspiration, cycling or walking through breath-taking scenery or sampling the best foods that the Lake District has to offer, this book presents it all. Includes 24 tour suggestions, 30 maps, hundreds of photos and a tear-resistant foldout map.

 

Snowdon - North Wales

Snowdon, from the Pyg Track
Snowdon, from the Pyg Track

The copyright on this image is owned by John S Turner and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Snowdonia National Park covers 823 square miles in Wales. It includes mountains, sheltered valleys, beautiful lakes, rivers and waterfalls, ancient oakwoods and forests. Swallow Falls and Craig y Deryn are worth seeing. The latter, also called Bird Rock is a landlocked former sea-cliff, still home to seabirds. If you have plenty of time, you could walk the newly-opened Wales Coast Path, with stretches 870 miles from Chepstow to Chester.

The crowning glory has to be Mount Snowdon itself. At 3560 ft, Snowdon is the highest summit in Wales and England. There are six documented "official routes" up Snowdon. All of these routes are about 8 miles for the round trip. All are great walking with beautiful and dramatic views, so try the Pyg Track, the Llanberis Path, Miners' Path, Rhyd Ddu Path, the Watkin Path or Snowdon Ranger for a great day on the Welsh mountains.

Views of Snowdonia - if you wish to use any of my photos please contact me first

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Snowdonia

How to get to Snowdonia

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Visit Wales

The Rough Guide to Wales reviews the best restaurants and accommodation, and covers all price brackets. It covers all the regular tourist places, but also tells you about lesser known alternatives.

The Rough Guide to Wales
The Rough Guide to Wales

This Rough Guide is a superb guide to the beautiful country of Wales. It is printed in full-colour, and cover all the essentials with practical and helpful tips.

 

Ben Nevis - Scotland

Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis

The highest UK mountain is Ben Nevis, in the Scottish Highlands. The north face has cliffs around 2300 feet high - real attraction for serious climbers. The summit is 4409 feet above sea level, and sometimes above the clouds. There is a ruined observatory at the summit, where meteorological data was collected from 1883 to 1904.

Cairn Gorm is another well-known Scottish mountain. At 4084 feet, it is the sixth highest UK mountain. It is popular with skiers, during the winter months. The Cairngorm range became a national park in 2003.

This image is by wfmillar and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

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How to get to Aviemore

A
Aviemore, Scotland:
Aviemore, Scotland

get directions

Scottish Highlands

Lonely Planet Scotland's Highlands & Islands (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Scotland's Highlands & Islands (Travel Guide)

This book offers inspirational photos and detailed walking routes, with 53 clear and easy to use maps. The in-depth background information and useful planning tools will help you make the most of your visit to this beautiful, history-filled country.

 

Mountains in the UK

Which is your favourite UK mountain?

See results

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

A view of the Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. The photo is from the Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

About 40000 basalt columns make up the The Giant's Causeway. Most are hexagonal, but some have 4, 5, 7 or 8 sides, with the tallest being nearly 40 feet high. This World Heritage Site came into being as the result of a volcanic eruption. There are similar basalt columns at Fingal's Cave, on the Isle of Staffa in Scotland. These are part of the same ancient lava flow.

The tops of the columns look like stepping stones leading from the foot of the cliff into the sea, and towards Scotland. Because of this odd formation, a legend grew up about the Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill. Also called Finn McCool, it was said that he built the causeway to reach Scotland where he would fight his Scottish rival Benandonner. Various versions of the legend exist, but all seem to involve the Scottish warrior crossing the causeway, then fleeing back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway, as he went.

Whatever the origin, the Giant's Causeway has been named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the UK. It is Northern Ireland's most popular tourist.

Curious Flag-map of the United Kingdom

Have you visited any of these places? - What did you think?

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    • savateuse profile imageAUTHOR

      savateuse 

      4 years ago

      I hope you have the opportunity to visit some our our beautiful national parks and historic cities.

    • TheSuiteWife profile image

      TheSuiteWife 

      4 years ago

      I'm from the U.S. and this makes me want to visit the UK more than ever. These are such beautiful places (especially the Lake District). Absolutely breathtaking photos. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Namsak 

      4 years ago

      I am well acquainted with the Cairngorm mountains.

    • profile image

      Colin323 

      4 years ago

      Snowdonia is my favourite region, as it's a great combination of mountain and coastal scenery; very attractive photos throughout this lens.

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 

      4 years ago

      I would love to visit the peak district. I'm not a hiker but I would love to traverse the trails.

    • profile image

      StrongMay 

      4 years ago

      I have wanted to go to England (not just London, which I have been to) for a long time. Your pictures of the view are simply gorgeous! And I really appreciate the geology section, that's right up my alley!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 

      4 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Great set of photos!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      Sadly, no, as I have not been to England. How wonderful to get a little armchair travel tour, though. Thank you for all the magnificent photographs.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 

      5 years ago

      No, I haven't yet had the opportunity to visit the UK but it's on my bucket list. Your wonderful photos make me want to go even more.

    • savateuse profile imageAUTHOR

      savateuse 

      5 years ago

      @greenspirit: Exmoor is on my list to explore!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      5 years ago from London

      I've climbed Snowdon, walked all over Wales the Peaks and the Lakes, (canoed on Conniston Waters). My favourite National Park is Exmoor; amazing walking there; I really recommend it. On my way to it, I pass through a hamlet called...Catsgore.

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 

      5 years ago

      Not yet.. But felt like traveling to these places with your beautiful pictures

    • profile image

      nicolane 

      6 years ago

      visited all of them - and more - I love holidays in england

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 

      6 years ago from United States

      I feel like I've visited now ~ lovely photos!

    • decvamlada profile image

      decvamlada 

      6 years ago

      No, I haven't, very beautiful pictures, nicely done!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 

      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I think the Giant's Causeway is the only one I haven't visited. It's a shame because I was born in in Ireland.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 

      6 years ago

      I haven't seen any of these places, but as I know about their beauty now, some are on my list for our next trip to the UK. Thanks for sharing them.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 

      6 years ago

      Long ago I visited the Lake District and Snowdon. I love the UK and hope to go back someday. Gorgeous photos!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 

      6 years ago

      I've been to the Lake District, Ben Nevis and Snowdon. I'd love to go to Giant's Causeway sometime too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      you certainly picked some great places, I've walked most of them.

    • savateuse profile imageAUTHOR

      savateuse 

      6 years ago

      @mariaamoroso: Thanks! I hope you get the opportunity soon :o)

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      There was a program in Swedish TV about the Giant's Causeway! Amazing stones. One day I will see them I hope. Lovely lens - lovely photos

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      You really have chosen 5 wonderful, beautiful places for this page. The only I've never visited is the Giant's Causeway but only because I've never been to Northern Ireland. The other four are all some of my favourite places in Britain.

    • savateuse profile imageAUTHOR

      savateuse 

      6 years ago

      @pawpaw911: I do hope you have the opportunity to visit the UK. We have some beautiful countryside, mountains, lakes and coast.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 

      6 years ago

      My parents have both been to the UK, but I am sad to say I have not. I will know where to go if I ever make it though. Thanks.

    • savateuse profile imageAUTHOR

      savateuse 

      6 years ago

      @skypelessons: Yes, I've enjoyed a few walking trips to Snowdonia. Mainly staying in Youth Hostels, which are good value for the money.

    • skypelessons profile image

      skypelessons 

      6 years ago

      Snowdon is fantastic - I went and stayed at the hotel Victoria at the bottom of Mount Snowdon a few months back. I went with my wife and we spent all day, every day walking up mountains and around the forests. So many different walks. Simply beautiful. And rather cheap as well.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 

      6 years ago

      Although I've never been, I had to pick Snowden because it just looks so beautiful!

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