The UK is brimming with gorgeous green spaces complete with outstanding views to enjoy - from a limestone reef knoll in the Peak District to the highest point in Norfolk and the sprawling Scottish majesty of Arthur’s Seat. So, if getting off the beaten track and discovering secret vistas and awe-inspiring British countryside sounds like a dream a come true, our round-up reveals 10 must-see spots.
If you’re dreaming of exploring some of England’s most remote and striking landscapes, you can add Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, in the white peak area of Peak District National Park, to your list. After a steep hike up the uniquely shaped limestone reef knolls, walkers are greeted with a breath-taking panorama over the undulating countryside and farmland below – a must for anyone longing for some time away from the crowds!
Starting in the remote village of Earl Sterndale, this walk could be complemented with a trip to the nearby spa town of Buxton, the charming village of Bakewell or a visit to historic Chatsworth House.
Allegedly a spot favoured by Queen Elizabeth I, One Tree Hill in south London’s Honor Oak area is a walk that takes you 90 metres above the capital, revealing an iconic view of the skyline that includes landmarks such as the Shard and the Gherkin. One Tree Hill is part of a seven-hectare park and nature reserve and is also an exciting spot for wildlife lovers, as it is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.
If you’re longing to feel the refreshing coastal breeze in your hair you can let your imagination run wild imagining a trip to the sandy cove of Mwnt beach. Lying in the parish of Ceredigion, just north of Cardigan, Mwnt beach is owned by the National Trust, features on the Wales Coast Path and offers expansive vistas across Cardigan Bay. Adventurers can also follow the Foel y Mwnt path, which leads up-hill and boasts views across the beach itself, or the Ceredigion Heritage Coastal Path, which passes along the cliff behind the coastline. A tempting spot for those wanting to plan a more active holiday, the area is renowned for both hiking and swimming.
Another nearby highlight to note is the quaint 12th-century Holy Cross Church that sits above the sandy beach, giving visitors an idyllic look into Welsh heritage.
Found along the Monsal Trail cycle path, a once Victorian railway running between Manchester and London, Monsal Head is a picturesque viewpoint from which to enjoy Derbyshire’s charming green dales. Visitors can dream of finishing a tranquil cycle ride with a view of the sunset here, or of walking down to the River Wye below to enjoy a picnic surrounded by the trail’s stunning viaducts.
On the Staffordshire side of the Peak District lies another unforgettable view of stunning English countryside. Made up of vast valleys and a winding river, the top of Thorpe Cloud offers panoramic views of the deep green valleys, as well as the famous Dovedale stepping stones below.
If you’re a culture lover, you’ll be pleased to note that the historic National Trust property of Ilam Park, which is surrounded by lush woodland along the banks of the River Manifold, is but a short drive away.
Norfolk, a beauty spot in the mid-east coast of England, boasts 90 miles of stunning coastline as well as the Broads National Park, making it a popular destination for lovers of the great outdoors. One of the best views of this charming part of England is found at Beacon Hill in Cromer Ridge. Sitting 103 metres above sea level, this is the highest point in the region and offers a unique and lesser-known way to enjoy the spectacular Norfolk coastline.
Those who can’t wait to plan their trip can study this circular walk, which takes in the dizzy heights of Beacon Hill along the way!
Lying just 10 miles from the city of Birmingham, the National Trust’s Clent Hills is a green haven in the heart of the Midlands, making it an excellent option for those dreaming of combining some countryside mindfulness with a packed city-based itinerary. There are miles of footpaths and trails to discover, with views stretching over the Cotswolds, the Shropshire Hills and even as far as the Welsh borders.
History fan? You can look forward to spying several 18th-century follies from the nearby Hagley Hall, while those dreaming of immersing themselves in British bird spotting can plan to take the short walk down to Walton Hill. Rising 316 metres above sea level, this is the highest point of the Clent Hills and gives a 360-degree vista of the luscious surroundings.
If you’re dreaming of a trip through the traditional villages and countryside charm of Yorkshire, why not add Malham Cove as must-see view? This large limestone formation, just north of Malham Village, was created at the end of the last Ice Age, and now appears as a towering crescent of limestone slabs. Rising more than 80 metres above sea level, it’s the perfect perch from which to enjoy views of the emerald valley and the winding river below.
Beyond Malham Cove, this part of Yorkshire is brimming with natural wonders to explore, from Jubilee and Ingleborough Caves to waterfalls at Stainforth Force, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.
For a birds-eye view over Edinburgh, look no further than Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that stands guard 251 metres above the city. Forming most of Holyrood Park, this is the highest peak of the surrounding hills, giving views of the city and onto the coast and countryside beyond.
If you’re keen on Scottish folklore and ancient history, you might be interested to know that this is one of the rumoured locations of Camelot, the legendary court of King Arthur.