British Isles: A Natural History

Ok, so we may not have the greatest weather - but we do have some beautiful scenery. See if you agree with our Top Ten choices...

British Isles: A Natural History

Ok, so we may not have the greatest weather - but we do have some beautiful scenery. See if you agree with our Top Ten choices.... We may not have the most reliable weather but, here in Britain, we do have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. It's all too easy to take the UK's natural magnificence for granted, so we've gathered together a selection of top British beauty spots to remind ourselves of just how lucky we are. Of course, everyone has their own ideas about what makes a beautiful part of the world. But we think we've collected ten of the best. Take a look and see if you agree!


No collection of beautiful places is complete without the Lake District. It took the best part of 500 million years to forge the mountains, lakes and valleys that have inspired generations of artists, poets and ordinary members of the public. Take a long walk on the fells and you'll undoubtedly feel spiritually refreshed. There won't be many people around but you won't be alone - the Lakes are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. The Lake District


The coastline of south western England is as diverse as it is beautiful. The 630-mile South West Coast Path takes it all in, from the white sand surfing beaches of north Devon and Cornwall to the windswept majesty of the Lizard Peninsula and the unique coastal environment of east Devon and Dorset. Set foot on this path once and you'll always want to return. South West Coast Path


A visit to the Isle of Skye will leave you feeling misty and moody - just like the brooding mountains that dominate the landscape in this unique corner of Scotland. The ancient geological features of the Cuillon peaks and the Trotternish peninsula offer some of the best walking in the country. And, if all that hiking wears you out, you can revive yourself with the finest malt whisky on the planet. The Highlands


The Forest of Dean is still one of England's best-kept secrets. Nestling between the rivers Wye and Severn in western Gloucestershire, the forest is one of Britain's few remaining ancient woodlands. Stroll among the trees in this area of stunning natural beauty and you'll be enjoying a similar landscape to that enjoyed by Iron Age foresters who made their living here. The Forest of Dean


The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Britain's largest nationally protected wetland. The rivers, lakes, marshes and fens of this unique environment are home to some of the world's rarest - and most threatened - plants and animals. A week spent chugging along the waterways in a narrow boat never fails to recharge your batteries. The Broads


Plunging valleys and towering peaks made from some of the planet's oldest rocks mean that Snowdonia's beauty is beauty with the gloves off. The place is a living geology textbook, too: around every corner you'll find evidence of the Great Ice Age, which finished modifying the ancient rock formations of north west Wales around 10,000 years ago. Snowdonia


The Dales is more than 1,700 square kilometres of Britain at its wildest. But there are 20,000 residents, too, living and working in harmony with the land around them. The picture-postcard villages are surrounded by tranquil uplands but, beware: if the weather turns, you'll very quickly become acquainted with the raw forces of nature. The Yorkshire Dales


Lindisfarne, as it was originally named, lies off the north eastern coast of England. For centuries, this isolated isle - accessible only at low tide via a causeway - was a major seat of Christian learning. A profound air of spirituality still lingers among the ruins of the Benedictine Priory, destroyed by Henry VIII. The surrounding dunes, mudflats and saltmarshes are home to many varieties of wildlife. Holy Island


There were giant forces at work 60 million years ago, when a volcanic eruption created these breathtaking polygonal basalt pillars on the rugged coast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The result was one of nature's great conundrums. How could something so natural look so much like the work of mankind? Giant's Causeway


To this day we don't know why the stone circle at Stonehenge was built. What is clear, though, is that the effort of moving huge stones weighing between 5 and 45 tonnes must have been intense: only people engaged on a very special project would have laboured so hard. But you don't have to know why Stonehenge was built to experience its unique beauty. You just have to go there... Stonehenge