The 50 Most Beautiful Places in Britain

The White Cliffs of Dover in England at sunrise. (photo via eyecon/iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Scott Hartbeck
by Scott Hartbeck
Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Mon April 2, 2018

Cliffs of Dover

You'd be hard-pressed to find another place that is as beautiful and as quintessentially British as the Cliffs of Dover. Historically, these towering chalk cliffs have been the first sight spotted on the island (or the last) and today visitors can explore the cliffs on foot or gaze upon them from a France-bound ferry.


Burford is known as the gateway to the romantic Cotswolds region and it offers a sample of the region's signature charms. Stroll down the town's main street-lined with easy-on-the-eyes buildings made of honeycomb stone-to a stately medieval church.

Dartmoor National Park

Imagine a landscape filled with heather-strewn moors, moody rock formations and wild ponies and you have a snapshot of what makes Dartmoor so divine. The park is crisscrossed with walking paths that pass through welcoming villages and unique landscapes like mystical Wistman's Woods.


While it's not separated from the mainland by much, Anglesey is most definitely an island-and a dreamy one at that. Ringed by golden beaches and windswept dunes, people come here to escape from it all by embedding themselves into this unique corner of Wales.


Nestled in the hills of the Peak District, Bakewell is just as beautiful as it sounds. Visit nearby Chatsworth House in order to tour one of England's most stately homes before settling in town for a slice of Bakewell Tart-the town's almond and cherry-flavored pastry delight

The Chilterns

While The Chilterns sit in the shadow of London, they offer a genuine slice of country life. The area has been recognized as an official Area of Outstanding National Beauty and has a host of gorgeous places that live up to the billing.

The Shetland Islands

Lying closer to the Arctic Circle than London, the Shetland Islands are the most remote section of Britain. They are home to a fascinating culture and feature a mystical landscape with makes the journey to the far north more than worth it.


This small settlement near the beach in sensational South Devon is a British beach bum's fantasy come to life. At the beach, you can take surf lessons and soak up the sun on the sand then sip a pint at the characterful Sloop Inn-a pub that dates to the 13th century.

The Broads

The Broads are a boater's dream come true. This national park is home to over 125 miles of navigable waterways, which wind by idyllic villages, "dock out front" pubs and windmills. Rent a boat for the day to get the full Broads experience.


While you might not come to North Wales expecting to find a replica Italian village, you'll be mighty glad you did. The pastel village of Portmeirion is the epitome of pretty as all its romantic buildings have been built to specifically conjure up the mood of the Mediterranean.

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast stretches for nearly 100 miles on Britain's South Coast. All along its shores, you will find stones that tell quite a story as over 185 million years-worth of Earth's history can be seen in the sediments here. Oh, and the beaches are pretty nice here, too.

Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly lie approximately 35 miles off the coast of Cornwall but if you catch them in the right light, they come off positively Caribbean. The isles are surrounded by turquoise waters and you'll find several sandy beaches, lush tropical gardens and vibrant wildlife scattered throughout.


Ambleside sits on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District and is a great base for exploring the region. In the town, you'll find many cozy pubs and the tiny 17th century Bridge House that stretches over a scenic stream and holds two small rooms.

The Seven Sisters

Not to be confused with their gorgeous cousin the Cliffs of Dover, the Seven Sisters are a star of the South Downs region. These septuplets of chalk cliffs stand high above the sea and when taken in with the nearby Coast Guard cottages form one of England's most iconic views.


The Lincolnshire Wolds is one of England's most underrated areas and Walesby is one of its most wonderful villages. Here, you will find the impressive All Saints Church-home to a stained glass window dedicated to ramblers-and more country charm than you shake a walking stick at.

Porthcurno Beach

Even though this spot is known far-and-wide, it still feels like a secret beach. A short walk through some sandy woods from the car park will find you at this stretch of beach that is bookended by rocky cliffs. Climb the stones to discover the Minack Theatre-an utterly unique open-air performance venue on the coast.


This biggest town on the tiny island of Mull, the colorful Tobermory harbor is as handsome as they come. Many of the buildings in town have been painted a pallet of merry colors and the scene is so cheerful that the town was chosen as the setting for a popular British children's show.

Wye Valley

Travel and tourism today owes a debt of gratitude to the wonderful Wye Valley. The scenery on the sides of the River Wye is so picturesque that they inspired writers in the 1700s to pen tales of their beauty and travelers followed-largely regarded as the first "scenic tourism" in modern history.

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is the largest island of Scotland's Inner Hebrides and it is home to an otherworldly landscape like nothing else in Britain. Hike among spindly rock formations at the Old Man of Storr before making a run for the coast and the iconic screensaver-worthy Nest Point.

St. Ives

Sensational St. Ives juts out into the Atlantic from a pretty perch in Cornwall. The town is home to twisty streets that lead to sun-faded fishermen's cottages and several beaches. The town was the home of acclaimed artist Barbara Hepworth and one trip here will show you why she chose the town as an inspirational base.

Pembrokeshire National Park

Pembrokeshire is the only completely-coastal National Park in Britain and it snakes its way over 300 square miles of the wild Welsh Coast. Here, you will find rugged stretches of shore balanced out by golden swaths of sand and colorful seaside towns like Tenby.


The newly-appointed UNESCO World Heritage Lake District is loaded with heavenly bodies of water, but Ullswater might just be the prettiest. Take a spin on a 'Steamer' boat before walking the Ullswater Way-a path that circles the lake-to admire Aira Force waterfall and the village of Glenridding.

Ribblehead Viaduct

In a vacuum, the Ribblehead viaduct might just be remembered as a man-made wonder of engineering. Seen against a canvas of brooding moors though, it becomes one of the most striking sights in all of Britain. Hike to the top of nearby Whernside to fully appreciate its grandeur.

Isle of Wight

This island lies just off England's South Coast and is filled with natural beauty. The Needles-a set of spindly chalk rocks that jut out from the sea-are its most well-known landmark, but you'll also find quiet villages, windmills and monuments to explore.


This village has made numerous television show and movies appearances including Downton Abbey and Pride & Prejudice. Visit for yourself to walk among the historic cottages and even to see a lock-up that used to house unruly residents.

Ilkley Moor

This bluff sits above the stately spa town of Ilkley and it is so revered that it is mentioned in the unofficial county anthem of Yorkshire. Here, you will find a rock formation called the Cow and Calf and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

Lochan Uaine

Scotland is full of spectacular sights and you will find this natural wonder hidden in the woods on the outskirts of the town of Aviemore. The lake has an enchanting emerald green color and while the tale about its getting its shade from fairies may be a fable, it's beauty is the real deal.


Surrounded by dramatic hills, Burnsall is one of the most idyllic villages in the Yorkshire Dales. It is the perfect place to stop for a pint during a scenic stroll of the area, but stay the night to experience all the full allure of this time-warp village.

Morecambe Bay

Moody Morecambe Bay sits a stone's throw from the Lake District and is loaded with million dollar views. Take a guided walk across the area's notoriously shifting sands before settling in to watch the sun sink into the sea.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Made internationally-famous in the Harry Potter films, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is truly a sight to behold. There's no better way to gaze upon it than from a vantage point along the Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail which also takes in a range of splendid Scottish scenery.

Sutton Bank

This beautiful spot in the North York Moors National Park is regarded as one of the finest in all of England. It's at this precise place that the rolling hills of the park meet the flat Vale of York and the views are breathtaking, to say the least.


Romantic Rye is home to rows of medieval buildings that have looked much the same way for centuries. The town sits atop a scenic hill and even has a castle that helps crank-up the Ye Olde charm factor up to eleven.

Cheddar Gorge

With a depth of nearly 400-feet deep and a length of three miles long, this limestone canyon is the grandest in all of England. Hike through the gorge and then visit the nearby charming village of Cheddar-the birthplace of the world-famous cheese.

Robin Hood's Bay

The village of Robin Hood's Bay spills up the hills from the North Sea and while the windy streets are as pretty as can be, they hide a secret. This coastal enclave used to be a hotbed of smuggling and many buildings still have secret passageways stashed underneath.

Ben A'an

While Ben A'an will never be mistaken for Mount Everest, the views from this Scottish Peak are still world class. A short hike to the top of this hill shows off a sweep that includes loads of local lakes and hills.


In addition to sweeping views over Blackmore Vale and a scenic town center, Shaftesbury is home to one of the most cherished scenes in all of England: Gold Hill. This storybook stretch of homes was featured in advertisements by a famous brand of bread, thus making it famous.


Located a stone's throw from buzzing big cities Liverpool and Manchester, Formby is home to wild and wonderful beach scenes. Stop and see the area's famous red squirrels before following the walking paths down to a series of spectacular sand dunes.

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia represents the best of Wales. This park is home to picture-perfect villages, placid lakes and thundering waterfalls in addition to the tallest mountain in Wales: Snowdon. Scale it for views that thrill and an experience you won't soon forget.


Bibury sits on the banks of the River Coln and it is loaded with quintessential Cotswolds loveliness. One section of the village called Arlington Row is so revered for its ravishing good looks that it was immortalized on the inside cover of UK passports.

The Cheviot Hills

Northumberland is certainly not the most well-known region of England, but you get the feeling that those who are in on the secret might just like it that way. These hills help form part of the border between England and Scotland and a day out walking among them is destined to be a trip highlight.

Brecon Beacons

This national park in South Wales is jam-packed with places that are perfect for outdoor pursuits. Play golf, go fishing, or walk the many paths that wind their way past stunning lakes or simply just take advantage of the region's famously dark skies to spot stars at night.


Abbotsbury lies dead in the middle of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a stone's throw from the coast. While this is a remarkable setting, its the historical sights inside Abbotsbury like Rodden Row-a collection of 17th century thatched cottages-that make it a must-see.

Forest of Dean

This heavily-wooded swath of England was once the venue for royal hunting expeditions but is now an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Walk through the forest trees while spotting wildlife before scaling Symonds Yat Rock to take in views of the Wye River.

The Orkney Islands

The Orkney Islands may only be located a few miles off the Scottish mainland but once you land, you'll feel like you've arrived in a whole different country. These islands have been shaped by their remote location and the landscape is full of small villages and ancient stones.


Widely recognized as the most well-preserved medieval wool towns in all of Britain, Lavenham is filled to the brim with colorful timber-framed buildings. Not much has changed here over the centuries and a walk through town today is a feast for the eyes.

Devil's Dyke

This scenic spot shows off some of the most stimulating scenery in all of Sussex. From the lookout at Devil's Dyke, you can admire a wide-open valley that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see-all this within just a few miles of seaside resort Brighton.


This village in Wales is home to traditional stone buildings and an attractive arched bridge. Beddgelert lies within striking distance of many of Snowdonia National Park's finest attractions, but many choose to just stay in the village and soak up the atmosphere.

Norfolk Coast

This section of seaside is regarded as one of Britain's best. Explore pine forests and coastal walkways before taking to the beach to stick your feet in the sand. Once there, you can spot one of the most colorful symbols of the Norfolk Coast: rows of colorful beach huts.

Richmond Park

A spot to find peace and tranquility near the center of busy London, Richmond Park is a literal breath of fresh air. Spot roaming deer and other wildlife under a canopy of ancient trees before scaling King Henry's Mound for views of the Thames Valley.

Hope Valley

This vale in the Peak District National Park is surely one of the park's most perfect. The village of Edale lies at the heart of the valley and it is renowned as a base for walkers. Castleton is also a quintessentially Peak District village, home to cozy pubs and a great starting point for a scale of Mam Tor hill.

From craggy coastlines to undulating emerald hills, Britain is simply beautiful.

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Scott Hartbeck

Scott Hartbeck

Born in the USA but now based in England, Scott has been writing about travel for over 10 years. He specializes in Europe, rail...

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

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