And while some of the UK’s most beautiful natural attractions have evolved into tourist attractions over the years, there are still plenty that have remained under the radar – and it’s these hidden gems that are the subject of a new study by the car brand Mini.
To reveal the UK’s best wild beauty spots, the brand judged a longlist of 100 natural destinations against two sets of criteria: their visitor rating score (aka, what people who visit think about them) and wildness (how well-known they are).
They then used these categories to give the destinations a score out of 100, unveiling the UK’s best kept natural secrets.
Keep reading to check out the beautiful spots which made the list.
Uyea, Shetland Islands
Located at the tip of the Northmavine peninsula in north-west Mainland, Shetland, Uyea is an uninhabited tidal island which is home to some stunning rock formations and wild coastlines. Although the island is accessible via a sandbar off of the Northmavine peninsula at low tide, Shetland’s tourist board says it’s “not considered safe practice” to cross the beach, so it’s best to enjoy the view from the cliffs above instead.
Llyn Dinas, Gwynedd
This beautiful 60-acre mountain lake sits among the wooded foothills south of Snowdon, and gets its name from the nearby hillfort of Dinas Emrys. It’s also the stuff of Arthurian legend, as it’s said to be the place where one of Arthur’s knights, Sir Owain, fought a giant. Exciting stuff, right?
Binevenagh, County Londonderry
If you fancy an adventure, then exploring the wild slopes of Binevenagh could be just your cup of tea. The mountain, located in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, provides panoramic views over Lough Foyle, Inishowen and even the west coast of Scotland on a good day.
Gaping Gill, North Yorkshire
Located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Gaping Gill is the largest underground cave chamber in Britain. Known for being big enough to fit a cathedral, the chamber is also home to a 98m waterfall, thanks to the water from Fell Beck above, which tumbles from the cave’s surface opening all the way down to the cavern floor.
Whiteless Pike, Cumbria
Bursting with natural beauty, this wild fell in the north-western Lake District is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. A climb up to the top will reward you with incredible views of the Helvellyn range and the Western Fells – what are you waiting for?
Llyn Glaslyn, Gwynedd
Llyn Glaslyn means ‘blue lake’ in Welsh, and it’s not hard to see why. The almost heart-shaped body of water, which lies just beneath the summit of Mount Snowdon, is home to plenty of crystal-clear water. Similar to Llyn Dinas, it also has links to Welsh folklore – legend has it that Arthur had Bedivere throw his sword Excalibur into the lake’s waters.
Pedn Vounder Beach, Cornwall
Probably one of the most popular spots on the list, Pedn Vounder beach went viral a couple of years ago after pictures of its golden sands and turquoise waters were shared on social media. Located at the tip of Cornwall (its name roughly translates to ‘end of lane’ in Cornish), the beach may be pretty, but it’s also quite remote – to access the beach, you’ll have to climb down a small rock face.
Sgwd Yr Eira, Powys
Sgwd yr Eira is regularly listed as one of the Brecon Beacons’ best waterfalls, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only do its tumbling white waters live up to its name, which translates to ‘fall of snow’, you can also walk behind the waterfall itself using a small path which wraps around the back. If you’re on the hunt for a truly unique experience, then this one’s for you.
The Roaches, Staffordshire
If you’re looking for an opportunity to reconnect with nature, look no further than the wild and rugged landscape of the Roaches. Located on the edge of the Peak District National Park, this unspoilt area of Staffordshire is home to a series of incredible rock faces and heather-covered hillsides, as well as plenty of amazing wildlife.
Fingal's Cave, Argyll And Bute
There are few places in the world quite like Fingal’s Cave, and that’s what makes it so special. Formed out of hexagonally jointed basalt, the cave’s structure, size, colours and acoustics are truly unique – to check it out yourself, take a sightseeing cruise to the uninhabited island of Staffa, located just off the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland.