The top 50 most beautiful places in the UK
The United Kingdom is loaded with beautiful places from the rugged Scottish highlands to the honey-coloured cottages of The Cotswolds. Whether you live in the United Kingdom and seeking stay-cation inspiration or are searching for some Britain wanderlust, there’s no shortage of breathtaking sites to see. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all boast their own unique culture making the region all the more exciting to visit. Without further adieu, here are the most beautiful places in the UK.
Visiting or living in the UK? Check out the most beautiful places
50. Port Sunlight, the Wirral – England
Port Sunlight was originally built by the Lever brothers to house workers in the Lever’s Sunlight Soap factory (now Unilever) and is now a place to take in beautiful architecture, history, art, and nature. The Tudor village is just a short train ride from Liverpool, although the wide boulevards lined with cottages and tea rooms feel a world away from the city. To conserve the character of the village, residents are given guidelines to ensure that the buildings are kept in excellent condition and look a certain way. They are Grade II listed buildings, after all.
49. The Dark Hedges – Northern Ireland
The quiet and isolated road framed by beach trees connects Armoy and Stranocum and looks like something from a storybook. On sunny days the road looks romantic, and on gloomy days it looks like something that leads to an evil lair – both are equally stunning.
48. Cheddar Gorge – England
Just near the ancient Roman city of bath and the cosy village of Cheddar is the magnificent Cheddar Gorge. This velvety green gorge is simply breathtaking and provides stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Even more impressive, the limestone cliffs that soar above the gorge were formed by Ice Age meltwaters millions of years ago.
47. Belfast – Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland capital has been on the rise of places to visit in recent years. Thanks to its rich history, vibrant local culture and insane food and drink scene, there’s lots to love here. What makes it so beautiful in addition to the local charm is the city’s Botanic Gardens. This elaborate garden dates back to the early 1800s and has more Victorian charm than you can imagine.
46. Isle of Muck – Scotland
Part of Scotland’s Small Islands, Isle of Muck is exactly that. However small, its size doesn’t subtract from the jaw-dropping beauty found here. This tiny island off the west coast of mainland Scotland is known for its unspoilt beauty and rich local history. While currently, the island’s population is just 38 people, its origins can likely be traced all the way back to the Neolithic period only adding to the intrigue of the island. Whether you go for the scenery or the history, you’re in for a treat at the Isle of Muck.
45. Dolgellau, Snowdonia National Park – Wales
Dolgellau is not yet hot on the tourist trail when it comes to Snowdonia stays, but its quiet charm is what makes it one of the most beautiful places in the UK. It’s ideally positioned on the foothills of the mighty Cadair Idris, lying beside the River Wnion. Take pleasant strolls around the village of stone brick cottages, hike the ridiculously stunning Precipice Walk, cycle along the Mawddach Trail, visit the historical Cymer Abbey, and enjoy a well-deserved pint in one of the nicest pubs in Snowdonia, the George III.
44. Eilean Donan – Scotland
There are jaw-dropping picturesque castles, and then there’s Eilean Donan. This majestic castle perched on an island where three idyllic lochs meet is one of the UK’s most stunning areas. Easily one of Scotland’s most recognizable castles, Eilean Donan is a cut above the rest. In addition to being surrounded by majestic scenery, there’s also a ton of history to be explored. From the castle’s time as a watchtower during Scotland’s darkest times to its role in the Jacobite uprising; there’s loads to be discovered at the ever-wonderful Eilean Donan.
43. Oxford – England
Home to one of the most famous universities in the world, a visit to Oxford is worth the intellectual history alone. Bookworms will love the iconic Blackwell’s bookshop, the UK’s largest academic bookshop in the UK which provided inspiration for Tolkien, Carroll and the likes. Academia aside, the architecture is really the star of the show. The buildings of Oxford are nothing short of spectacular and will transport you back to the 1200s in a heartbeat.
42. Glen Nevis – Scotland
Few things are as pristine as Glen Nevis. You can find this natural wonder set in the heart of one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland, in the shadows of the mighty Ben Nevis. Whether you plan to conquer the sky-high Ben Nevis, leisurely stroll the valley or have a summertime riverside picnic, you’ll be hooked on the area immediately.
41. St. Michael’s Mount – England
This tidal island in Cornwall is just as beautiful as its French counterpart. Erected by William the Conqueror in the mid-1000s to show his appreciation for his newfound kingdom and pay homage to the iconic Mont Saint-Michel in his homeland France. Perched a stop a massive granite crag, St. Michael’s Mount seems to rise straight from the sea. Widely referred to as “the jewel in Cornwall’s crown” it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the most beautiful places in the UK.
40. The Orkney Islands – Scotland
The Orkney Islands boast 70-some pristine Scottish isles and skerries that are simply breathtaking. Take a stroll of Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Neolithic settlements worldwide. Or wonder at the epic Maeshowe, a massive ancient tomb perfectly aligned with the winter solstice – also neolithic. Then there’s the rich Pictish and Viking heritage all in addition to a truly stunning landscape. What are you waiting for?
39. Isle of Mull and Iona – Scotland
Puffins, minke whales, bottlenose dolphins and basking sharks abound at this wildlife wonderland known as the Isles of Mull and Iona. In addition to a rich abundance of wildlife, the islands are also home to a deep culture that warrants a visit by itself. Whether you go for the gorgeous scenery and wildlife or explore the local Viking history, you’ll be hooked on Mull and Iona in no time.
37. The Isles of Scilly – England
Enchanting, unspoilt and awe-inspiring are just a few words to describe The Isles of Scilly. Scattered off the Cornish coast in southwest England, these idyllic isles are covered in heather, framed by white sandy beaches and loaded with a colourful history. Whether you stroll the Valhalla Museum or amble down the beach, the Isles of Scilly will transport you to another world.
36. Brighton – England
This buzzing seaside town is packed with surprises and fun things to do. Known for its vibrantly coloured houses and eccentric vibes, Brighton is perfect for a couples, solo or family trip. Whether you stroll the kitschy pier, admire the Royal Pavillion or spend an afternoon at the meadowy Preston Park, you’re in for a treat.
35. Stratford upon Avon – England
When it comes to cultural and historical significance, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the most important places in the UK. As the birthplace of Shakespeare, a place where he wrote several of his world-renowned classics, and lived with his wife, Anne Hathaway, it’s endlessly interesting. The beauty is not only in its history, but in its old, thatched-roof houses, cosy pubs, and idyllic canal. A day spent here is quintessentially English – visiting Shakespeare’s house, stopping off in a pub, and rowing down the swan-dotted canal.
34. Loch Ness – Scotland
Everyone knows Loch Ness. Home of the famed Scottish myth of the Loch Ness Monster, Loch Ness warrants a visit on legend alone. However, in addition to the rich lore and stories that surround it, the area itself is absolutely beautiful. This misty lake also doubles as Britain’s largest lake by mass. And like most epic Scottish lochs, there’s a castle somewhere nearby. Be sure to pay a visit to the 16th-century Urquhart Castle that sits loch-side to the iconic lake.
33. Isle of Staffa – Scotland
Thanks to its mindbending basalt columns, Scotland’s Isle of Staffa bears a strong resemblance to it’s Northern Ireland cousin, Giant’s Causeway. The uninhabited island is home to the famous Fingal’s Cave whose columns seem to jut straight out of nothingness. This iconic natural wonder has inspired everyone from Pink Floyd to Jules Verne for its breathtaking beauty.
32. The Shambles, York – England
You might walk around York and find yourself thinking that every street, historic building, and quaint corner could be the most beautiful place in the UK. But it’s the Shambles and its medieval mysticism that piques it for us. Thought to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, the historic shopping street is a wonderful place to pick up a souvenir, snap a few pictures, and admire the timber-framed buildings from a cosy pub.
31. Bamburgh Castle – England
Just a stone’s throw away from the unbelievably quaint village of Bamburgh, you’ll find the Bamburgh Castle that dominates the surrounding Northumberland coast. Sprawling across 9 acres, Bamburgh Castle gives a one-of-a-kind peek into Northumberland’s epic and complicated past. From the 14 staterooms loaded with priceless treasures to the jaw-dropping views of the sea, Bamburgh Castle is certainly one of the most beautiful castles in Britain.
30. Shaftesbury – England
Shaftesbury is a sleepy Saxon hilltop village sure to charm your socks off. The town’s Gold Hill was made famous by the iconic Hovis Bread advert from the ’70s, but this cosy countryside gem is much more than that. From the quiet cobblestoned streets to the relics of St Edward the Martyr to the Old Wardour Castle, Shaftesbury is like something from a storybook.
29. Tintern Abbey – Wales
The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of Wales’ best ruins. This once-thriving gothic masterpiece dates all the way back to 1131 and has not stopped wowing since. While now in ruins, the decay of the area gives an incredible representation of just how much has happened in Wales in the 890 years since its formation. Set on the banks of the River Rye, forming the border between Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, the scenery is beautiful.
28. Chalcot Crescent, London – England
London has pretty streets aplenty, but our favourite is Chalcot Crescent. The slightly curved road of traditional Victorian townhouses takes you away from the bustling city and plants you into a pastel-hued storybook. Follow the crescent around the corner and you’ll find Chalcot Crescent Gardens, a beautiful residential square of grand, pastel houses with a children’s play area on the green. It’s the picture of chocolate-box loveliness. Follow up a stroll around this beautiful area of London with a walk up Primrose Hill to take in the city skyline.
27. Kynance Cove – England
Kynance Cove is a slice of Sardinia in Cornwall. Powdery white sand, breathtaking turquoise seas and dramatic cliffs are just a few highlights of the area’s stunning scenery. Stroll the scenic walk along the beach or explore the towering rock stacks at low tide before wandering The Parlour Cave to experience the true beauty of Kynance Cove. Don’t forget a Cornish pastry at a local cafe.
26. Clovelly Village, Devon – England
Walk into a village frozen in time when visiting the Clovelly, an Elizabethan beauty. Its location on the side of a 400ft cliff above Bideford Bay treats residents and visitors to magnificent views – walk the steep cobblestone streets and take in the scenery. While 500 people call Clovelly home, visitors do have to pay an entrance fee – every penny goes towards the village and maintaining its Elizabethan charm.
25. Eoligarry Beach, Isle of Barra – Scotland
Save on the plane ticket to the Caribbean islands and find sugary white sand beaches and turquoise waters in Scotland. Isle of Barra is one of the southernmost Outer Hebridean islands – those searching for remote, unspoiled beauty will leave happy. There’s so much to fall in love with on this slice of paradise, or ‘Barra-dise’ as the devoted fans of Barra like to call it, but Eoligarry Beach will leave an irrevocable imprint on you.
24. Dunnottar Castle – Scotland
Dramatic, evocative and spectacular are just a few words to describe the tattered ruins of Dunnottar Castle. This clifftop castle soars high above the North Sea and was home to one of the most powerful and influential families in Medieval Scotland, the Keiths. Steeped in history and legend this castle is as interesting as it is visually stunning.
23. High Force Waterfalls – England
Nestled in Upper Teesdale, you’ll find what’s reputed to be England’s tallest waterfall – the High Force Waterfalls. The falls are part of the North Pennies Are of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it isn’t hard to see why. The River Tees has been pouring over the famous rocks seemingly since the dawn of time. For a place to stay and really get the full experience, we recommend High Force Hotel.
22. Kinbane Castle – Northern Ireland
Just 8 miles from the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Kinbane Castle is a sight to behold. The focal point of a long sliver of limestone ledge projecting into the sea, this Northern Ireland castle is every bit as spectacular as it sounds. What really makes it so beautiful is the surrounding grounds of rugged green hills and wild foamy sea.
21. Glenfinnan Viaduct – Scotland
Made famous by the Harry Potter series, the Glenfinnan Viaduct really is fit for the big screen. Situated at the head of Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan rail winds through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery from lush valleys to dense woods to velvety rolling hills. A ride on the train is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not up for shelling out a ticket? No problem. The best views are from the outside.
20. Tollymore Forest Park – Northern Ireland
Tollymore Forest Park is not only one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK; it also holds the title of Northern Ireland’s first state park. Just a hop away from Newcastle Tollymore Forest Park is nestled in the heart of the Mourne and Slieve Croob Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A title that truly speaks for itself.
19. Gower Peninsula – Wales
As the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the UK. While Northern Wales gets a lot of love for its dramatic scenery and coastline, this gem in the south of Wales is the picture of unspoilt beauty. Find dramatic limestone cliffs, wild moors, golden beaches, salt marshes, and wildlife-rich woodlands – about any natural landscape you can think of. Walkers in particular are fans of this area, although beach bums will love it just as much. Especially with the Peninsula’s Rhossili Bay standing as a permanent fixture on ‘best beaches in Wales’ lists.
18. The Shetland Islands – Scotland
Few places encompass the epic scenery of Scotland than its far north Shetland Islands. So far north in fact, that they are closer to Norway than mainland Scotland. Here you’ll find jaw-dropping coastlines framed by towering cliffs with rolling green fields and pristine beaches. Shetland is much more than a pretty face, however. It’s also home to some of the most interesting neolithic history in the nation.
17. Dean Village – Scotland
Just a hop away from Edinburgh’s Stockbridge neighbourhood you’ll find the ever-charming Dean Village. The list of must-see sights in Edinburgh is long, but Dean Village is firmly high on that list. In its heyday, Dean Village was a milling hotspot and leftovers from this period can still be seen everywhere paying homage to the baked bread and pies the mills gave way to. A stroll around Dean Village really does feel like stepping back in time.
16. White Cliffs of Dover – England
Imagine a neverending chalk-white wall standing proudly along the baby blue shores of the English Channel, and you’ve got the White Cliffs of Dover. These magnificent cliffs are a jewel of the UK coast and deserve to be visited by everyone at least once. The history of the area is just as dramatic as the cliffs as they played a key role in the nation’s defence system in both World Wars.
15. Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland
Few things are more breathtaking and mind-bending than Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway. Steeped in Celtic lore and myth, these iconic stones are known for their otherworldly basalt columns. Made up of more than 40,000 interlocked columns left over from a volcanic eruption, exploring the Giant’s Causeway feels like exploring another planet.
14. Conwy Castle – Wales
As one of the UK’s most impressive examples of medieval architecture and with a fascinating history, Conwy Castle is a wonder. It was built by King Edward I in order to control and conquer North Wales in the 13th century, and its many towers certainly give off an imposing essence. The colossal castle stands above the river, against a backdrop of rolling hills, combining medieval military architecture with a beautiful bucolic setting. Head to the highest tower for panoramic views across the mountains and out to the sea.
13. Durdle Door, Dorset – England
The Jurassic Coast is chock full of wonder and ethereal spots, but none quite as stunning as Durdle Door. The famous stone arch was created when the sea shot through the Portland limestone some 10,000 years ago. Today, it stands perfectly in the pristinely blue waters, attracting thousands of visitors a year to swim through or jump off the iconic arch.
12. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs – Scotland
For breathtaking scenery in and around Great Britain’s largest lake (by surface area) Loch Lomond & The Trossachs is the place to be. The name Trossachs refers to “the romantic area of sparkling lochs, crumpled hills, sleepy forests and welcoming villages.” Whether you visit in summer when the hills are emerald green or in fall when they bear a fiery orange under moody skies, you’ll see why this place is truly a jewel of Scotland.
11. Minack Theatre, Cornwall – England
Cornwall is full of surprises. Think the coastal region stops at incredible beaches, surfing, and hiking? Enter the Minack Theatre. The open-air theatre is perched on craggy cliffs, overlooking the thrashing Porthcurno Bay. Given the setting, you could easily convince yourself you’ve been plucked and dropped somewhere in the Med, but you’re just a short drive from Penzance. You can visit the theatre at any time, but we highly recommend catching a performance to the full experience.
10. Devil’s Pulpit, Finnich Glen – Scotland
Some places in Scotland are so ethereal that there’s a sense of something otherworldly. It is a land of myths and legends, after all. Devil’s Pulpit, a plunging sandstone gorge amongst the woodlands of Finnich Glen, is one such place. The sandstone gives the rushing water a crimson sheen, which plays into the unique name of ‘Devil’s Pulpit’. Although, it was actually nicknamed this for the mushroom-shaped rock that sits above the stream. Imagine the tales and stories that circle this enchanting sliver of Scotland while the moss-covered cliffs paint the picture of another world.
9. Three Cliffs Bay – Wales
Swansea Bay is home to a spectacular mashup of misty dunes, endless salt marshes and giant limestone cliffs known as Three Cliffs Bay. From the epic sunrises and sunsets to the expanse of sea and tranquil marshes that surround it, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most photographed areas in Wales and one of the most beautiful spots in the UK.
8. Castle Combe, the Cotswolds – England
The Cotswolds is full of chocolate-box villages to discover, but Castle Combe’s charm is unmatched. The surprising lack of tourist shops and rows of 17th-century stone brick cottages give the place a real lived-in feel. Although you will probably spot a few tourists. It is considered England’s prettiest village, so it’s firmly on the tourist trail for good reason. Wander through the surrounding woodlands and be sure to take a snap of the storybook cottages from the bridge over the River ByBrook.
7. Edinburgh – Scotland
The Scottish capital is one of the UK’s, and arguably Europe’s best cities. Rich pre-Roman history, more charming old pubs than you can handle and a medieval atmosphere that can’t be replicated. Edinburgh Castle, the hilltop fortress sat high atop the 700 million-year-old extinct volcano known as Castle Rock; the old streets of the Royal Mile and the world-class Royal Botanic Garden barely scratch the surface of what makes Edinburgh so darn great.
6. Cambridge – England
This picturesque university town for its academic history boasts much more than one of the world’s most famous universities. In addition to a rich scholastic past (and present), you’ll be met with architecture that is sure to take your breath away. Whether you plan to stroll the city on foot, wander the picturesque gardens, or tour the famous Fitzwilliam Museum, you’ll definitely get lost in the charm of this medieval city.
5. Pembrokeshire Coast – Wales
There are few places in the UK more spellbinding than the Pembrokeshire Coast. The craggy and dramatic coastal region is full of conservation areas that promise unspoilt, uncrowded beauty. Adventure-seekers will love the excellent mountain biking, surfing, sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding here, while those seeking relaxation can find it on the 70+ beaches. You can even take the exploring to the sea and spot whales and dolphins in the wild.
4. Bath – England
Bath – a charming Somerset dream of Georgian architecture and Roman history. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular destination for tourists and Brits alike. The ancient Roman city is mainly known for its elaborate ancient baths for which the city was named. Thanks to this, it’s a perfect spa retreat.
3. The Lake District – England
The Lake District is truly an English gem for its wealth of natural beauty, the vibrant food gastro scene, unique local culture and neverending outdoor activities. The gorgeous landscape for which the area is known has been wowing for millions of years, too. In addition to the idyllic countryside, you’ll find everything from ancient extinct volcanos to 500 million-year-old rocks known as the Skiddaw Group.
2. Snowdonia National Park – Wales
Nothing spells epic Welsh countryside like Snowdonia National Park. Prepare to be completely taken by the natural beauty that makes up this sprawling mountainous region in North Wales. Whether you wander the mighty Snowdon mountain for which the park is named or brush up on Welsh history at one of the many castles; it won’t be hard to see why the area is one of the most beautiful places in the UK.
1. Isle of Skye – Scotland
Wildly beautiful and quintessentially Scottish, the Isle of Skye is a Highland knockout. It’s got all the fixings of the rugged Highlands. We’re talking forgotten medieval castles, sleepy fishing villages, and endless otherworldly landscapes that’ll stop you in your tracks. In all of Scotland’s glory, the Isle of Skye is easily the most iconic and breathtaking area of the islands, and that’s saying something.