BRITAIN’s top 10 most beautiful views

There’s nothing quite like taking in a magnificent view, so we’ve picked the very best the country has to offer…

1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

stonehenge, UNESCO
Stonehenge is a prehistoric ring of huge standing stones within an earthwork on the plains in Wiltshire Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

Stonehenge is an icon of prehistoric Britain and its power to inspire and mystify is beyond doubt. The massive structure, so obviously not of this age, is a magnificent sight. For the full effect, apply with English Heritage to gain access to the stone circle itself at dawn or dusk.

2. The London Eye, London

London Eye
The London Eye by the River Thames, Southbank, London Credit: VisitBritain/Britain on View

The London Eye offers some of the most dramatic views over London. You can see up to 40km (25 miles) in all directions, as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day. On the 30-minute ‘flight’ you’ll see the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, ‘the Gherkin’ and more.

3. Seven Sisters, Sussex

Seven Sisters, sussex
A panoramic view of the Seven Sisters in East Sussex Credit: Tourism South East/VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

The south of England’s white chalk cliffs are an iconic sight and a symbol of Britain’s proud island history. The most dramatic of these are the Seven Sisters along the Sussex Heritage Coast. To experience the ‘classic’ view, head for Seaford Head from where you get a sweeping panorama to the cliffs.

4. Ardnamurchan, West Coast of Scotland

This most westerly tip of the British mainland is remote but the views are well worth the trip. Gloriously unspoilt and undisturbed, Ardnamurchan is accessed by a single-track road through some of Britain’s most enchanting scenery. Take the coast road from Arisaig to Morar to see otherworldly white-sand beaches with perfect views across the turquoise water to the ‘Small Isles’ of the Inner Hebrides in the distance.

5. Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Calton Hill, Edinburgh
The National Monument of Scotland on Calton Hill Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

Edinburgh has one of Europe’s most recognisable cityscapes, its blend of graceful Georgian and austere Gothic architecture and rugged volcanic geography inspiring generations of writers and artists. And there’s no better place to see it than from Calton Hill.

6. Glencoe, Highlands

Glencoe, Highlands
A road twists through the valley, Glencoe, Highland, Scotland Credit: VisitBritain/Britain on View

Glencoe, in the heart of the Highlands, is without doubt one of Scotland’s most famous and scenic glens. Travel from Glasgow on the A82 and you’ll pass right through. Stop at the numerous viewpoints to see a landscape of majestic, sombre beauty, and the scene of one of the most infamous episodes in Scotland’s history. In 1692, 38 members of the MacDonald clan were murdered here by government troops, a terrible event in Highland history that charges this ghostly glen with extra atmosphere.

7. Wastwater, Lake District

Wastwater, Cumbria
Scafell Pike and Wastwater from Middle Fell, Lake District, Cumbria Credit: VisitBritain / Joe Cornish

The Lake District has long provided inspiration for poets, painters and writers. Wastwater is the deepest of all the region’s bodies of water, and also the most visually sublime – a three-mile long ribbon of shining glass caressed on all sides by scree-strewn mountains and some of England’s highest peaks. The only road there is off the main coastal A595: its remoteness adds to the appeal.

8. Newcastle-upon-Tyne

BALTIC, Newcastle
View across the river Tyne at Quayside with the Baltic and Gateshead Millennium Bridge Credit: VisitBritain/AndrewPickett

Newcastle’s river, the Tyne, has been the lifeblood of the city since the area was first settled nearly 2,000 years ago and it remains a focus for Newcastle’s cultural life today. From the top of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on the Gateshead side of the river, you get a fantastic view of the city that takes in the billowing Sage Centre, designed by Norman Foster, the famous arched Tyne Bridge and the striking Millennium Bridge which help to form one of the most dynamic city skylines in Britain.

9. Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower
A view over the coastline and the sandy beach of Three Cliffs Bay on Gower peninsula Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

The view over Three Cliffs Bay in South Wales takes in a perfect semi-circle of marsh, cliffs and creamy white beach hugged by unique rock formations. The best approach is from Southgate from where you can hike along the clifftop a mile or so to the bay.

10. The Shard, London

Shard, London
View from the west to the east along the River Thames from the Shard  Credit: VisitBritain/Jason Hawkes

The Shard is the most prominent building on the London skyline and the ultimate place to get a great view over the capital. This is the only building in London tall enough to give you a view that takes in the entire city. The higher of its two viewing platforms is open-air, but one level down you can use the high-tech ‘tell:scopes’ to learn about the landmarks you’ll find on all sides.

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