Forgotten Britain: Top 10 Places to Visit

categories: europe travel

What makes Britain so forgotten, you wonder? I’ve traveled far and wide, and still believe Great Britain to be one of the most underrated locations on earth.  Enveloped in white winter snow, or sunny with the nation’s signature rain showers, our island is simply magnificent.

People complain about the unpredictable weather, and it’s no myth that you should carry an umbrella with you at all times, but healthy precipitation gives us the plushest, greenest, thickest and most luxurious grass in our vast countrysides.  I think anyone who has doubts about a British holiday, foreign or otherwise, is missing out.

Here are my top 10 places to visit in Great Britain and the British Isles:

1. Wastwater Lake, Wasdale Valley

top 10 places to visit in britain wastwater

The name Wastwater doesn’t have the same ring as Windermere.  It certainly doesn’t create the same hype either, but this stunning body of water is the most awe-inspiring of them all. It’s the deepest lake in England and the most undisturbed.  Not yet brimming with Lake District tourists, Wastwater is truly serene.  Surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the country, you will feel completely encircled by nature’s most excellent creations.  I would highly recommend a romantic break with a rented cottage or a quaint B&B.

2. Snowdonia National Park, Wales

top 10 places to visit in britain wastwater

Why do I love Snowdonia so much?  Other than its outstanding beauty, Snowdonia (known as “Eryri” in Welsh), is the heart of so many different attractions, and this is what makes it the perfect destination for family holidays.  Home to Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdonia National Park attracts outdoor thrill-seekers, hikers and climbers throughout every season of the year.  But the scenic area also has some great beaches such as Aberdyfi, Barmouth or Aberdaron, castles, adventure parks and watersports, so it’s easy to please a big group.

3. Stonehenge and Avebury, Wiltshire

top 10 places to visit in britain stonehenge

Stonehenge is a famous historical site which attracts people from all over the world, but many forget about the second Stonehenge site, Avebury.  The eerie remains within these two ancient locations, tell a story of how these structures were used as ceremonial sources, and how today, the stones come to life at night.

Whether you believe the legend or not, the incredible stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury are really remarkable.  Wiltshire is an incredibly rural area, dotted with quaint villages with cute tea rooms.  This is the perfect insight into an English country lifestyle.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland

top 10 places to visit in britain edinburgh

One of the most beautiful and dramatic cities in the world, Edinburgh has an arty kind of charm that most capital cities don’t.  Although there is so much to see and do for everyone, including the grand Edinburgh castle located in the busy city centre, this destination is more of a treat for adults in terms of luxury wining and dining.  I love Edinburgh because it’s a great place to indulge in rich and elegant food, expensive wines and local whiskies, all with a stunning historical backdrop, finished off with a pretty Northern coastline.
5. Scarista Beach, Isle of Harris

top 10 places to visit in britain scarista beach

This is a secret piece of heaven found on one of Great Britain’s surrounding islands.  The water surrounding the island of Scarista beach are the clearest in the UK and the sand is lovely and white. It’s almost hard to believe that you’re in Britain when you’re here.

6. Bowness-in-Windermere, Cumbria

top 10 places to visit in britain bowness

There are so many places you can stay in the Lake District, but I love Bowness because of its location in the heart of the Lakes, and its easy access to almost everything, including shops, pubs and restaurants.  Lake Windermere is the largest lake in the UK and the water provides a pleasurable mode of transport to other nearby beauty spots nestled along the shore.

7.  Great Bay, St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly

top 10 places to visit in britain great bay

The plush green vegetation, the white sandy beach and the bright blue waters could fool you into thinking you were on Ko Phi Phi in Thailand.  But a sharp gust of British wind will bring you right back to reality in Cornwall.  Great Bay in St Martin’s is a secluded paradise in the Celtic Sea, away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. It’s a boat trip away from Cornwall’s coast and other surrounding islands are worth exploring too.

8. Giant’s Causeway, Derry

top 10 places to visit in britain giants causeway

This natural phenomenon really makes you ponder the art of nature.  Created by volcanic activity over 50 million years ago, the bizarre basalt columns make the Giant’s Causeway an extraordinary natural site.  Hotels can be found close to the Giant’s Causeway but I like to stay in the walled city of Derry, just one hour away.  Derry is the last walled city to have been built in the whole of Europe and it’s also the most intact.

9. The Peak District

top 10 places to visit in britain peak district

The Peak District has been crowned as the second most visited national park in the world, so perhaps this place is not so forgotten – but it certainly deserves to be in my top 10 places to visit in Great Britian.  Close to major cities such as Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds, The Peak District is within easy reach from the glamorous city life.

I recommend The Peak District to anyone who loves being outdoors.  This vast, rugged landscape is heaven on earth for hikers, ramblers, bikers, fell runners and climbers.

10. Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls, Wales

top 10 places to visit in britain waterfall

There’s nothing more fairytale-like than a beautiful waterfall.  Pistyll Rhaeadr is an enchanting waterfall found in the Berwyn Mountains of Wales.  The imposing mountain landscape carves an elevated view of the world below.

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by Mags Yip

Mags Yip is the editor and author of The Smart Girl’s Travel Guide. This world travel guide features her travel experiences in South East Asia, North America, South America, Europe and the UK. Her travels have seen her slum it on a budget, but she has also developed a luxury travel category with some truly spectacular places to stay. Follow her on Twitter @SmartGirlTravel

One Response to “Forgotten Britain: Top 10 Places to Visit”

Paul (Yoga Retreats UK)

Says:

Hi Mags,

I would also like to suggest Topoint in Cornwall, its easy to get to from London and other places in the UK by train or car. You just travel to Plymouth and then take a ferry across the Plymouth sound.

There are some stunning beaches such as the one on Whitsand Bay which is 6 miles long. There are lagoons and sheltered bays for snorkelling, and better still, it is quiet and peacful.

Cheers

Paul

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