Britain's Magnificent Seven: Man-made vs Natural Wonders

Tuesday 17 April 2018

From its sweeping mountain ranges and dramatic coastal formations to its giant public artworks, the British countryside is dotted with all manner of iconic landmarks – some natural, some man-made. Here are seven of the best of each:  

Man-made wonders:

1.    Minack Theatre

Deep in Poldark country, perched on the cliffs high about the Cornish coastline, this spectacular open-air theatre showcases Shakespeare and more with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing below. 

Minack Theatre

2.    Clifton Suspension Bridge 

Spanning the Avon Gorge and River Avon, this masterpiece of Victorian engineering, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, provides a stunning backdrop for August's annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. 

Clifton Bridge

3.    Portmeirion

Escape to this dreamy Italianate coastal village on the sublime north Wales coast. This magical collection of brightly coloured houses and gardens that lead to the sea, is also home to the unique Festival No 6 every September. 

Festival No 6

4.    Edinburgh Festival

The world's largest festival of arts and culture plays out in the atmospheric streets and venues of Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old and New Towns. 

Edinburgh Castle

5.    Brighton Royal Pavilion

Of all the palaces, castles and stately homes in Britain, there are none more exotic than the Prince Regent's 18th century abode and party pad.

Brighton

6.    The Kelpies 

Overlooking the Forth and Clyde Canal in Falkirk, these 30-metre-high horse heads are the world's biggest equine sculptures. 

Kelpies

© VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

7.    York Minster

This monumental medieval cathedral lords over York's ancient city walls, cobbled streets and charming old pubs. 

York Minster

Natural wonders:

1.    Jurassic Coast 

Hunt for fossils in England's first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, which courses 150 compelling kilometres along the shores of Dorset and East Devon, with natural features such as the phenomenal shingle bank known as Chesil Beach and the limestone arch of Durdle Door

Durdle Door

2.    The Cuillin 

Movie-makers and adventurers have long been drawn to this jagged mountain range on Skye, one of the 200-plus islands off Scotland's wondrous west coast.

Cuillin

© VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins, all rights reserved

3.    Lake District 

This lush UNESCO-listed pocket of Cumbria - all glacier-carved lakes, hills and valleys - is a jaw-dropping treat to drive, walk or cycle through in 2018. 

Lake District

4.    Isles of Scilly 

You might be surprised to hear that Britain has its very own tropical islands! With white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, this archipelago off the coast of Cornwall is England's answer to the Caribbean.

Isle of Scilly

5.    New Forest 

In spring (April-May), bluebells carpet the woodland floor of this former hunting haunt of William the Conqueror. Keep an eye out for the ponies that roam freely among heaths and ancient woodlands. 

New Forest Ponies

6.    Northumberland National Park 

Blessed with dark skies and low light pollution, this is the best place in England to see the Milky Way, shooting stars and the aurora borealis.

Northumberland

7.    Snowdonia 

Looking for an adventure or two? Go trekking or zip lining, surfing or bounce underground amid the dramatic, verdant scenery of north Wales

Bounce Below

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