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Top 10 of the UK’s most spectacular views

Forget fish and chips, Buckingham Palace and chunky black cabs – they might be some of the first images to spring to mind when people think of taking a trip around the UK, but they’re nowhere near the most memorable. So we’ve compiled a list of the UK’s most beautiful views…

The UK’s diverse and beautiful landscapes provide some truly stunning views that will stay with you far longer than the memory of a fish supper (as tasty as they might be). From the coast to lakes to mountainous peaks, we’ve found 10 spectacular panoramas that will take your breath away – and probably make a far better postcard than another picture of Nelson’s Column. 

Clifford’s Tower, Yorkshire

Clifford’s Tower Yorkshire

It might be more of a city view than some of the others on this list, but when the view is of a city as beautiful as York you’ll be forgiven for not missing the rolling fields that England is more famous for. Found on a large mound in the south-east of the historic walled city, the views from the ramparts takes in the whole of York’s charming range of architecture, not least of which is the imposing Minster, the city’s beautiful cathedral that dates back to the 12th Century.

The Goring Gap, Oxfordshire

Goring Gap

A view half a million years in the making, Oxfordshire’s Goring Gap was carved through the chalk ground by the river Thames at the end of the last ice age. With steep, wooded banks and the charming villages of Goring and Streatley on either side, Goring Gap is a quintessential British scenery with a dash of the dramatic thrown in for good measure. Head to Streatley Hill and look towards Bassilden for a wonderful look at the river winding through fields and trees, as well as a grand view of the Chiltern Hills.

Penrith Beacon, The Lake District

Penrith Beacon

Make famous by the classic British film Withnail & I, Penrith is a classic English market town. It’s a short, easy walk from the town to Penrith Beacon, which sits atop the appropriately named Beacon Hill – and from there you’ll see the whole of Penrith laid before you, and beyond that, fields and farmlands lying calm under the shadow of the majestic Pennines. The Cumbrian Mansion isn’t too far away and makes a picturesque base for amazing walks.

Seven Sisters, Sussex

Seven Sisters Sussex 

From the heart of the Lake District to the sunny south coast, the series of cliffs known as the Seven Sisters provide visitors not only with amazing walks across the high chalk cliffs, but also some of the most dynamic and sensational coastal views the UK has to offer. It’s nigh on impossible to choose the best view – whether looking out to sea from the top of one of the Sisters or back across the pristine white cliff faces from the seashore, you’re bound to feel humbled by the scale and energy of the place.

Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons

Pen y Fan Brecon Beacons

As the highest mountain south of Snowdonia, you’d naturally expect there to be some fine views from the top of Pen y Fan. The thing is, the stunning beauty of Wales takes these views to the next level. Wales is easily one of the lushest and most beautiful countries in Europe (if not the world!) and the accompanying views are characteristically gorgeous – as well as expansive. If the weather’s right, you can see from Cardigan Bay as far north as Shropshire.

The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

Giant's Causeway Ireland

Heading to Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway (or Clochán an Aifir as it’s known in Irish) is a world-famous tourism spot for a reason. OK, so there might be higher and wider panoramas on this list, but the other-worldly spectacle of thousands of tessellating basalt columns is a wonder to behold, made even more impressive by the restless sea crashing against the shore. Don’t get too distracted though – the green headlands of the Causeway Coast that stretch to either side are well worth sitting down and admiring too.

Bamford Edge, The Peak District

Bamford Edge

Arguably the most challenging view on this list, it’s a fairly demanding hike to get to the top of Bamford Edge, but it’s well worth it – so long as you have a head for heights! This rocky outcrop provides the hardy adventurers who reach it with a breathtaking view over the whole of the Hope Valley and down to the Ladybower Reservoir. Definitely not one for the faint-hearted, and a stout pair of walking boots is pretty much a necessity – but then there’s always the equally beautiful Kinder Castle to relax in after a satisfyingly tiring day of hiking.

Durdle Door, Dorset

Top 10 of the UK's most spectacular views

Heading back to the south coast of England for number 8, the charmingly-named Durdle Door is a natural limestone formation that creates a huge arch out to sea. Acting as a natural barrier between two stretches of sandy beach, it’s the perfect spot to sit back with a picnic and admire the curious artistry of nature, while the coastal paths leading east and west from Durdle Door also provide some amazing views of the structure itself, as well as the rest of the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Margate, Kent

Margate

It’s unlikely that Margate will make many lists of the best views, but that may be because visitors are looking the wrong way at the wrong time of day. Ignore the burbling arcades and fairgrounds of Margate’s seaside town centre and look out to sea at the end of the day – you’ll be treated to one of the most arrestingly beautiful sunsets you’re ever likely to see. It’s isn’t hard to see why their colour and light inspired JMW Turner. Of course, it’s pretty weather-dependent as to whether you’ll get blazing beauty or a damp squib, but late summer and early autumn are good times to go.

Glen Coe, Scotland

Glen Coe - scenic drives

There are enough incredible views in Scotland to fill up a whole book (never mind a separate Top 10) but for archetypal rugged Scots beauty, Glen Coe really can’t be beaten. Located at the southern end of the highlands, Glen Coe is a glacial valley surrounded by several peaks. Visitors have the option of taking a stroll down the valley floor and enjoying the sight of the Three Sisters and Aonach Eagach ridge towering above them, or heading west to scale the saucily-named Pap of Glencoe – it’s a bit of a climb, but from the top you’ll be treated to a truly memorable view over Lock Leven and out across Scotland’s stunning west coast.

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Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children's theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa'd in Cuba and road tripped down America's west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her cat and ukulele amid the misty valleys and rolling hills of beautiful South Wales.

33 Comments

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    Chinmoy Lad

    18 August, 2014 at 9:18 am

    The UK has some stunning cityscape and landscape. I know of a few who lament that they’re in the UK and always want to leave, or go on holiday outside the UK, but then just complain that they can’t afford it. I’ve suggested they take a staycation within the UK, to which I’ve been rebuffed with ‘what’s here?’ I’ll be forwarding them this post now!

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    Sacha | beautiful Travel Hangover

    11 August, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    The photos of the Giants’ Causeway is easy the most gorgeous of this set. But all of them look great. Some are sights I wouldn’t expect in the UK!

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    Phill

    10 August, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    The problem is, they’re too well known, so tourists, tourists everywhere!
    Grab an ordnance survey map of the area you want to explore and do just that, explore. The real gems are the ones that are off the beaten track that people can’t drive too.

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    George

    7 August, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Each and Every photographs are awesome and no other words too explain on them. All places are my most favorite places and related information were simply good…
    Thanks for these photos!

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    Catherine

    4 August, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I love, love, love the view from Clifford’s Tower – it’s one of my favourite places to just sit and watch the world go round – after the castle has closed you can have the whole place to yourself! Not seen any of these other views though so will have to check them out!

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