The British Isles are a travel gem – full of fantastic views and a treasure trove of history. Whether you love towering castles, mythical legends, the city life, breathtaking landscapes, impressive geology or just a path to hike on, here seven locations to prove the British Isles travel has it all. Here’s your Great Britain travel (and best places for photography) sorted!
The Isle of Skye, Scotland
50 miles long, The Isle of Skye is the largest of the inner Hebrides. The island has a lush history that includes fossils from the dinosaur era, clan battles and the infamous “Bonnie Prince Charle” and the Jacobite Rebellion. The island also makes for incredibly dramatic travel photography!
Even with all this rich history, the Scottish travel mecca Isle of Skye is home to some of Britain’s most diverse wildlife. The White Tailed Sea Eagle is always on top of bird watchers lists and there is red deers, dolphins, whales and seals and much more that can be noticed throughout the largest of the Hebrides.
The Isle of Skye is also a great travel destination for walkers and climbers. There is plenty of challenging climbs such as the Cuillin Range or the Trotternish Ridge. The Cuillin Range offers spectacular views with over 10 Munros, which is a mountain with a height of 3,000 feet. For hikers, the Old Man of Storr is a great destination for hiking. With a large structure, The “Old Man” is a large pinnacle of rock that can be seen throughout the ridged landscape.
Snowdonia is home to the Snowdonia National Park and the biggest mountain in all of Wales and England, Snowdon that stands at 3,560 feet. Travel to Snowdonia for history from the mighty castles of English King Edward I to the Caernarfon Castle – and experience a town shaped by Roman medieval influences.
Snowdon, of course, is the main travel attraction of Snowdonia with plenty of paths and trails to the summit for majestic views, but the most popular is the Llanberis Path which runs parallel with the Snowdon Mountain Railway- a suitable alternative if visitors do not feel like trekking up the towering mountain by foot.
Aside from Snowdon there are a variety of trails and paths throughout the area such as the Wales Coast Path. The pathway follows the Gwynedd coastline that begins in the north in Llanfairfechan then ends 180 miles in the south in Machynlleth. During the trek, hikers experience a sequence of breathtaking views of the diverse landscape that includes sandy beaches, ridged cliffs, and small coves.
Ben Nevis, Scotland
Located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains, Ben Nevis is the largest mountain to travel to in the British Isles. The summit of Ben Nevis stands at a towering 4,411 feet above sea level. The name of Ben Nevis actually comes from a Gaelic word “Beinn Nibheis”- with “beinn” translating as “mountain” and “nibheis” translating as “malicious.”
Travel to Ben Nevis is popular among active climbers and adventurers that can handle the challenge of trekking up Ben Nevis’ ascent to reach the summit of the mountain. The Mountain Track, also known as the Ben Path, is the most direct and easiest path to ascend to the summit.
The route begins at Achintee which isn’t too far from the town of Fort William. During the travel to the top there the remains of an old observatory that was in service from 1883 til 1904. When visitors reach the top they are greeted with a beautiful view of the diverse landscape and the Grampian peak.
Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast of England
Durdle Door’s famous limestone natural arch and majestic cove are one of the area’s most notable travel attractions as it stands vertically out of the sea. 25 million years ago the African tectonic plate collided with the European tectonic plate that caused such high pressure that it produced the Appalachian Mountains. The ripples from the two tectonic plates collided and formed the folded rocks in south Dorset and Purbeck – where Durdle Door lies.
The grandiose Durdle Door arch is a Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Guests can access the arch by foot through a path from the Lulworth Cove that offers a spectacular view of the geological wonder.
Aside from the geological wonder of the natural arch, the Durdle Door and White Nothe Walk offers hikers spectacular views of the area. The travel route begins at Durdle Door but then the route continues west to reach the natural arch where hikers can get a closer view of the colossal arch. From there, the path leads to White Nothe, a 460ft ascent, offers a tremendous view of the arch but also a breathtaking view of the surrounding Jurassic landscape.
Coniston Water, Lake District England
Shadowing the five miles long and half a mile wide Coniston Water lake is the towering mountain of the Old Man of Coniston. Coniston Water lake was the primary source of food for the monks of Furness Abbey during the 13th and 14th centuries.
During between the months of March and November, the renovated Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola set sails on the lake and is a great way to travel and appreciate the gorgeous surrounding landscape.
In fact, John Ruskin, a Victorian philosopher, declared that the view over the lake to the gigantic The Old Man of Coniston to be the best view throughout all of the British Isles.
A local shop provides small crafts to rent so travelers can see for themselves what Ruskin was testifying, spoiler- he wasn’t wrong.
In between the hustle and bustle of the city of London lies the Thames River. The 215-mile long river runs from southern England and it is the longest river in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom behind the Severn River.
The river gets its name from the Sanskrit Tamas which means “dark” as the river is typically cloudy and murky. The Thames Path is a travel route that follows the river for 184 miles from Cotswold through England’s capital to the Atlantic Ocean. As passengers navigate their way through narrow and peaceful waters they will get a glance of untouched villages, historical sites and buildings, and castles. In London, they have a 40-mile path for walking on both sides of the Thames River offering great views of the river as well as the Hampton Court Palace along the way.
Another great way to view the river and London’s historical landmarks is a London river cruise. It is a fantastic way to travel and see London in a completely different perspective.
Loch Ness, Scotland
With over 1,000 eye witness accounts of Nessie, Loch Ness is home to the tale of the Loch Ness monster – an elusive creature that lurks within the murky waters of the lake. Aside from the mythical activity that surrounds the area, travel to Loch Ness offers a large amount of history as well as beautiful views of Scotland.
Overlooking the murky water is the Urquhart castle, a royal castle that has seen some of Scotland’s most iconic warfares. The castle offers travelers amazing views of the untouched landscape as well as the lake below. Visitors are engulfed in the rich history of Loch Ness with a first-hand look at the towers and cells and the castle’s role during the War of Independence or the Jacobite uprising.
Loch Ness is full of stunning views and flawless travel landscapes and hikers can experience it on the South Loch Ness Trail. During the trail, trekkers will get fabulous views of the surrounding areas as well as Loch Tarff and Torbreck.