Countryside

Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritage
Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

Tap/Click ‘find listings’ for a detailed search – or just have a browse. 

ARNSIDE KNOTT

A limestone/sandstone hill offering grassland, meadow and woodland walks, with great views over the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay. Famous for wildflowers and butterflies. Nearby Jack Scout's cliffs are good for bird watching and sun sets. Limited parking. Signposted from Arnside.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arnside
County
Cumbria
Post Code
LA5 0BP
Main Historic Period
N/A
Tip/Nearby
Arnside, Sizergh Castle, Morecambe
Primary Management
National Trust
ASHDOWN FOREST

Ashdown Forest is a 6,500 acre area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 30-or-so miles south of London, near East Grinstead. It was a hunting forest in medieval times but is now largely accessible to the public, with a myriad of walks, open spaces and wonderful views. Though it does contain woodland, most of it is actually heathland, a rare and protected habitat. Its most famous resident was Winnie-the-Pooh.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Wych Cross
Forest Row
County
East Sussex
Post Code
RH18 5JP
Main Historic Period
All
Tip/Nearby
East Grinstead, Tunbridge Wells
Primary Management
Local Authority
BEACHY HEAD

Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.

The post code below is for the nearby pub.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Eastbourne
County
East Sussex
Post Code
BN20 7YA
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Eastbourne, Seven Sisters Country Park
Primary Management
Local Authority
BEDD ARTHUR

Bedd Arthur, Beddarthur, or Arthur’s Grave is one of many sites in Britain associated with the burial of the legendary King Arthur. It is thought to be a small stone circle – actually vaguely elliptical in shape – now comprising 13 upright stones and 2 fallen ones. It is an unimpressive sight unless you are an enthusiast about these things and the stones are not large – about 2 feet (60cms) above ground. They seem to lean inward, leading to speculation that there was once a mound, or burial chamber, inside. It is a dramatic location, alongside an ancient trackway and overlooking the Carn Menyn outcrops, thought by some to be the main source of the Stonehenge bluestones. Some have even suggested that Bedd Arthur is a prototype Stonehenge.

Post code is nearby.  Access by foot only, wearing suitable clothing.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Mynachlog-ddu
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA66 7RY
Main Historic Period
Prehistory
Tip/Nearby
Foel Trygarn, Carn Menyn
Primary Management
National Park
BEN NEVIS

Ben Nevis - Beinn Nibheis - is the highest mountain in Britain (4412 feet, 1345 metres). The summit is the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano.  It is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William, and is affectionately known as 'The Ben.' It is immensely popular with walkers, who mainly follow a well-constructed track from the south, as well as serious climbers. Ben Nevis can be a dangerous place. Conditions can change very quickly and deaths from falls as well as from exposure are not uncommon. It is essential to take precautions before attempting an ascent, including telling people you are going up and wearing/taking appropriate clothing and equipment.

The mountain is looked after by the John Muir Trust.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Fort William
County
Highland
Post Code
PH33 6SY
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Fort William
Primary Management
Other
BOLTON ABBEY

Bolton Abbey is an estate about 6 miles east of Skipton that is owned by the Cavendish family, the Dukes of Devonshire.  Much of it is open to the public (there is a charge for parking), offering the opportunity for a dip in the river in good weather, as well as miles of family-friendly picturesque walks by the riverside and through ancient woodland..  The estate is named for Bolton Priory, which was founded on the banks of the River Wharfe in the 12th century by the Augustinian order, and which was dissolved in 1540.  The ruins of the east end of the abbey church are still there, but the west end is still a functioning church.  The estate includes Bolton Hall (a private residence), Barden Tower (a ruined 16th century hunting lodge), tea rooms and the Devonshire Arms hotel.

Location/Address
Nr Skipton
County
North Yorkshire
Post Code
BD23 6EX
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Embsay Steam Railway, Yorkshire Dales
Primary Management
Private - open to the public
BRECON BEACONS (The)

The Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales was established in 1957.  It is a mountainous area covering 519 square miles (1344 square kilometres).  In fact, the Brecon Beacons includes four distinct mountain ranges, the Black Mountain range in the west, the Brecon Beacons themselves, often referred to as the Central Beacons, where the highest mountain, Pen-y-Fan, is located (2907 feet/886 metres), the Fforest Fawr upland area and, just to confuse everyone, the Black Mountains in the east - which include a peak called Black Mountain.

Brecon Beacons National Park is famed for its waterfalls (like Henrhyd Waterfall and Ystradfellte), caves and forests; you can lose yourself in its wilder parts.  It is proud to be an International Dark Sky Reserve and, like many of Britain’s National Parks, the Brecon Beacons are used for military training, including by elite special forces.  The area is also packed with ancient sites, castles and industrial heritage.  There is even a narrow-gauge heritage railway, the Brecon Mountain Railway, which runs about 5 miles between Pant and Torpantau.

Principal settlements in the Brecon Beacons National Park are Brecon, Crickhowell, Gilwern and Hay-on-Wye – famous for its bookshops and literary festival.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Plas y Ffynnon
Cambrian Way
Brecon
County
Powys
Post Code
LD3 7HP
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park
BROADS (The)

The Broads in East Anglia, usually known as the Norfolk Broads despite part of the area being in Suffolk, cover an area of 117 square miles (303 sq kilometres).

This is a place to mess about in boats, spot wildlife and is only a couple of hours by train from London.  It is low-lying – the highest point is Strumpshaw Hill in Norfolk at just 125 feet (38 metres).  The ‘broads’ are lakes, formed from flooded medieval peat pits dating back to at least the 12th century.  Now they provide a 125 mile network of navigable waterways and rivers with a back-drop of fens, woodland and picturesque villages.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is an internationally important area of protected wetland and contains more than 25% of Britain’s rarest wildlife.  Birds, like bitterns, grebes, marsh harriers, teals, wigeons and warblers can be spotted.  Clearly, there are plenty of fish and, if you’re lucky, you might see an otter too.  The Broads is also home to hundreds of invertebrates and is the only place where Britain’s largest butterfly, the swallowtail, can be found.

The Broads was established as a national park by Act of Parliament in 1988.

Principal settlements in the Broads include: Stalham, Wroxham, Brundall, Acle, Loddon, Beccles and Oulton Broad.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Broads Authority
Yare House
62-64 Thorpe Road
Norwich
County
Norfolk
Post Code
NR1 1RY
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Primary Management
National Park
BROWNSEA ISLAND

Brownsea Island (aka 'Branksea') is the largest island in Poole Harbour (about 1 mile x 1/2 mile) and is primarily a wildlife area of woodland, heath and wetland, home to red squirrels and a variety birds. There are trails and events, including open air theatre and an annual round the island swim. Brownsea was chosen by Baden-Powell to try out his scouting ideas and is also said to have inspired Enid Blyton. Brownsea Castle, originally 16th century, is currently (August 2016) leased to the John Lewis Partnership as a staff hotel and not open to the public. Access to the island is by ferry from Poole.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Poole Harbour
Poole
County
Dorset
Post Code
BH13 7EE
Main Historic Period
N/A
Primary Management
National Trust
CAIRNGORMS (The)

Named for the mountain Cairn Gorm, the Cairngorm National Park in North East Scotland was established in 2003 and is Britain’s largest.  Twice as big as the Lake District, it covers a diverse area of 1748 square miles (4,528 sq kilometres), which includes spectacular landscapes, wild mountains, moorland, forests, rivers and farmland.  There are 43 mountains over 3000 feet (914 metres); the highest point is Ben Macdui at 4294 feet (1309 metres).  So, this is challenging walking and climbing territory – and remote.  The forests are part of the ancient Caledonian Forest that covered much of northern Scotland thousands of years ago.  The Park is also home to some of Britain’s rarest animals, including the golden eagle, red squirrel and Scottish wildcat.

All of Scotland’s traditional wild creatures can be seen at the amazing Highland Wildlife Park and there’s a herd of reindeer that can be visited on the slopes of Cairngorm.  The Cairngorm National Park experiences some of Britain’s coldest weather.  It is one of the few places in Britain to offer the prospect of skiing on real snow – Aviemore being a favourite destination for this.  You can also bungee-jump and play golf (but not at the same time).

There are castles and country estates, like Blair Castle and Balmoral, one of the Royal Family’s favourite homes (parts of the Balmoral Estate are open to the public at specified times, but not during the summer).  The National Park has at least 6 whisky distilleries within its boundaries – and while you’re about it, why not attend one of the several Highland Games held at places like Braemar or Tomintoul.

Principal settlements in the Cairngorm National Park include: Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar, Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie, Newtonmore, and Tomintoul.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Cairngorms National Park Authority
14 The Square
Grantown-on-Spey
County
Moray
Post Code
PH26 3HG
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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