The UK is home to some amazing natural wonders, which inspire and amaze visitors. Which will you discover on your next break away? Forget having to go half way across the world to see some awe inspiring naturally stunning scenery, there is plenty to see right here at home in Britain. And one of the best parts, depending on where you live in the UK, you may not even need to catch a plane to get to some of these natural wonders, for many you may be able to just pack your stuff, jump in the car and go!
1. The Limestone Pavement, Malham, Yorkshire Dales
A landscape so unique and stunning it featured in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows, the Limestone Pavement at the top of Malham Cove is an absolute wonder. Visit and you can walk over the strange craggy rocks of this limestone formation as well as look out over amazing views over the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Getting to the top of Malham Cove though where the ‘pavement’ lies is quite a feat, as it’s a steep hike up (there are steps) so walking boots are a must and being physically fit is essential too. Beware of the drops from the limestone pavement, there is a sheer drop in to Malham Cove with no barriers.
Places to Stay near the Limestone Pavement:
Malham lies in a tranquil rural location in the Yorkshire Dales, choose to stay in a country cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, and select accommodation not too far from Settle, Grassington and Skipton which are relatively close to Malham.
2. Cheddar Gorge
One of England’s most stunning natural wonders, Cheddar Gorge is an imposing inland limestone gorge with high cliffs that runs for 3 miles within the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the town of Cheddar. Created during the Ice age, not only can you visit and see the amazing gorge, there are fascinating caves to see here too! Discover Gough’s Cave which was inhabited in prehistoric times.
A special area of conservation, there is a cliff top walk you can take along the top of the gorge. Walking boots are recommended and stay away from the edge where there are steep drops. There are shops and a cafe on the edge of the gorge serving visitors.
Where to Stay near Cheddar Gorge:
3. Durdle Door along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast
One of the Jurassic Coast’s most photographed places, Durdle Door along the Dorset coast truly has to be seen to be believed. Depending on your vantage point, this limestone cliff structure can look like a dinosaur dipping its head in the sea or as a gateway to the ocean. Visit to see what it conjures up in your imagination!
The nearby sand and shingle beach is a great spot to sit and take in the views.
There is a nearby car park but take a picnic as there are no cafes at Durdle Door. Just along the coast is another fascinating place to visit; Lulworth Cove where there are a couple of cafes.
Places to Stay near Durdle Door:
4. Winnats Pass, Peak District
Winnats Pass in Derbyshire’s Hope Valley close to Mam Tor is a truly majestic place to visit. Not only is this grass covered limestone gorge amazing, but there are also a number of fascinating caves to discover in the nearby area including Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Peak Cavern and Speedwell Cavern.
Some would argue that the underground world around this part of England is in fact even more amazing than the gorge above ground. Visit the caves and see glittering stalagmites, waterfalls and fossilised sea creatures from long ago. This part of the Peak District really is a true wonder.
Where to Stay near WInnats Pass:
The nearest town is Castleton and the Hope Valley is also close by.
5. The Stacks of Duncansby, Caithness
Located on Scotland’s most northerly coast close to John o’ Groats is the Duncansby Head coastal area. Here you’ll be greeted with high cliffs with sheer drops, as well as the awe inspiring rock formations that are the Stacks of Duncansby. These amazing jagged rock formations with their sharp pointed tops that look almost like castles rising from the sea are a real sight to behold and a superb natural wonder.
Remember to wear good walking boots and stay clear of the cliff edges, there are sheer drops with no barriers.
Head to nearby Bay of Sannick whilst in this part of Scotland and you may be lucky enough to see the local resident population of seals too!
Where to Stay Near The Stacks of Duncansby:
The town of John o’Groats is close by and Thurso is just 21 miles away.
6. Isle of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave
Lying off the coast, close to the Isle of Mull in Scotland, the uninhabited Isle of Staffa is an absolute wonder. Reached by boat, this small island with its unusual tall basalt columns is a sight to behold. The distinctive geological formations on this island give it a truly other worldly feel.
Weather permitting you may be able to explore Fingal’s cave too, a sea cave explored by boat where you can see more of the amazing basalt columns up close.
Where to Stay to Visit the Isle of Staffa on Holiday:
As an uninhabited island, it’s impossible to stay on the small island of Staffa. Boat trips run from the island of Iona and mainly from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.
7. Fairy Pools Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye in Scotland is home to more than its fair share of natural wonders as well as an interesting kind of light which has inspired artists for generations. One of the Isle’s most inspiring natural wonders are the Fairy Pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin hills which spectacular waterfalls pool in to. With turquoise coloured waters, these pools and waterfalls certainly seem to exude a certain kind of magic.
As with many of the UK’s natural wonders, wearing good walking boots is essential. The closest village on Skye is Carbost.
Places to Stay Near the Fairy Pools on Skye:
The town of Portree is a popular place to stay on the Isle of Skye and is around half an hour’s drive from the Fairy Pools.
8. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Perhaps one of Britain’s best known natural wonders and definitely one for the bucket list is the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. This place is so unique and special, it’s no wonder it’s steeped in legend and myth. Visit and be filled by wonder and amazement when you see these amazing basalt columns in person. The result of volcanic activity dating back millions of years, prepare for this amazing coastal geological wonder to inspire and amaze you.
As a major tourist attraction, there is a Visitor Centre close to the Giant’s Causeway with extensive parking, coffee shop and loos.
Where to Stay near the Giant’s Causeway:
The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, close to the town of Ballycastle, Coleraine and Armoy.
9. Dark Hedges, near Armoy Northern Ireland
Having recently featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, this avenue of twisted beech trees that run along Bregagh Road near Ballymoney are an amazing place to visit. With a sinister unusual appearance, these trees conjure up thoughts of magic and special forces, and are so atmospheric and spooky it’s no wonder they featured in the Game of Thrones.
Conveniently, these atmospheric trees are just 25 minutes’ drive from the Giant’s Causeway making it easy to explore both of these natural wonders on the one trip.
Places to Stay near the Dark Hedges:
Nearby towns not too far from the Dark Hedges include Coleraine, Ballymoney and Ballycastle.
10. Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall
This waterfall in is one of Wales’ best natural wonders. Renowned as being the highest waterfall in the whole of Wales, this dramatic waterfall lies close to the Berwyn Mountains and is only around 21 miles from Snowdonia National Park. There are many good walks in the surrounding area.
At its base there is a car park and a tea shop which is an ideal spot to stop off at whilst enjoying this wonderful location.
Places to Stay near Pistyll Rhaeadr:
Bala in Snowdonia is around 21 miles away and also close by is Llandrillo.
Stay Safe When Discovering Britain’s Natural Wonders
As naturally occurring landscapes and landmarks, many of the listed natural wonders feature sheer drops and if visiting with children they must be supervised at all times. Some of the locations are best suited for visiting with children aged 10 and older.