You don’t need to travel nearly as far as you think to experience the wonders of the natural world. There are so many to be seen in the British Isles from fields bursting with wildflowers to whales swimming in the ocean…
Hills and valleys in the Lake District
The Lake District has been a popular tourist destination since the introduction of the railway in the 19th century. There’s simply nothing like standing atop a mountain and seeing the raw beauty of England below. From the region’s highest points, you should be able to catch a glimpse of the glassy surface of one of the area’s eponymous lakes. Thankfully, the area’s popularity doesn’t detract from its serenity, particularly in areas such as the Newlands Valley, which feel untouched by tourism.
Whales off the coast of Yorkshire
Better known for its moors and hills, Yorkshire also boasts a stunning coastline. Recently, the town of Whitby has embraced its history as part of the whaling industry with regular whale-watching trips. You can see Minke, Fin, Sei, Northern and Humpback whales as well as thousands of seals, dolphins and porpoises.
Wildflowers in the Cotswolds
On a weekend break in the Cotswolds, biking or rambling through the gentle rolling hills, do keep your eyes open for some of the colourful wildflowers which cluster throughout fields, woodlands and steep roadsides across the region. Those with an interest in botany will be particularly drawn to the tiny local orchids which grow wild in the limestone-rich soil.
Waterscapes of Norfolk
With its huge skies, vast beaches and glorious Broads, it’s said of Norfolk that you’re never far from water. Hire a boat to explore the labyrinthine waterways, and look out for the bright flashes of kingfishers as they hunt along the banks. Arguably the bird-watching capital of the UK, the Norfolk Broads are also home to an array of native mammals such as water voles, weasels, stoats, mink, deer and otters.
The cliffs of Cornwall
The wild beauty of the Cornish coast is second to none, and the cliffs and beaches are perfect for exploring by foot or by sea during a weekend in Cornwall. You can choose to tramp through the gorse and brush, battle the waves in a kayak, or glide across the water in a sailboat. The graphite cliffs have a distinctive chevron pattern caused by ancient shifts far below the earth’s surface, and have inspired writers from Daphne du Maurier to John Betjeman.