Explore the breathtaking charm of the UK with our guide to '100 of Britain's Most Beautiful Places to Visit.' Discover the untouched countryside, ancient castles, quaint villages, and cosmopolitan cities. Learn about their rich history, unique attractions, and hidden gems.
The Wye Valley
Where England meets South Wales, it is separated by the meandering River Wye and the beguiling Black Mountains, and it is here that you can experience the beauty of the Wye Valley. This is An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a rural retreat that provides one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Britain with dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife.
Less than 30 miles from Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons consists of two National Trails and a national park shaped by glaciers, providing a dramatic landscape. Pen y Fan and Cribyn are the two impressive peaks of the central Brecon Beacons and offer stunning surroundings for exhilarating walks.
Wrapped inside a moss-covered gorge below a leafy canopy of sycamore trees, Fairy Glen is a secluded spot on the Conwy River close to the village of Betws-y-Coed. Its outstanding natural beauty and enchanting setting have inspired many a folklore of sprites and fairies, and it’s easy to understand why when you see its swirling waters and tumbling cascades.
With its fairytale charm, Betws-y-Coed is considered the gateway to Snowdonia with the snowy peaks and dazzling lakes of Snowdonia National Park. The village has a distinctly Alpine feel thanks to the dense and rather magical Gwydyr Forest that surrounds it with its leafy trails and carpet of bluebells during the spring.
Piercing the skyline like a prehistoric creature, the jagged peaks of Tryfan stand at just over 3,000ft and make up part of the Glyderau group in Snowdonia’s Ogwen Valley. The Welsh mountain is shrouded in Arthurian legend and is believed to be the resting place of Sir Bedivere, a Knight of the Round Table.
Set inside 13th-century walls, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Conwy is home to some magnificent sights. The charming harbour, medieval castle and Telford Suspension Bridge stand against a silhouette of the Snowdonia Mountains. As you’d imagine, the market town is filled with history dating back 700 years.
The ornate and brightly coloured turrets of Portmeirion peer over the Welsh Coast like a scene from a fairy tale. This unique village dating back to 1925 is an enchanting realm with Italianate style architecture and an ornamental garden. In the Central Piazza, a fountain, Gothic pavilion and giant chessboard take centre stage.
Snowdonia has many accolades, and rightly so. It became the first national park in Wales in 1951 and among its prolific peaks, Mount Snowdon stands at 1,085m, making it the highest mountain in England and Wales. For those wanting to experience the views from its summit without climbing to dizzy heights, the Snowdon Mountain Railway from Llanberis lets you enjoy all the thrills without the effort.
Once standing watch over Conwy Valley and the road from Caernarfon, Doldbadarn Castle dates back to the early 13th century when it was built by Llyelwyn the Great. Its distinctive round keep towers above the glacial waters of Llyn Padarn close to the Llanberis Pass and is a prominent feature on Snowdonia’s landscape. The castle stands against a haunting backdrop at the foot of the iconic Snowdonia mountains and rightly commands your attention.
Constructed by Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford in the early 19th century, the Menai Bridge was the first iron suspension bridge in the world. The impressive structure straddles the Menai Strait which connects Anglesey to the mainland and is a significant feature of the town.
South Stack Lighthouse
Soaring 28 metres above the Irish Sea, South Stack Lighthouse stands atop a rugged islet off Anglesey’s Holy Island. Its bright beacon has been in operation for over 200 years, warning vessels of treacherous rocks and guiding them safely along coastal routes.
Resembling a scene from an old black and white film, Porth Wen is a curious bay tucked away on the coast of Anglesey. Most famous for the Porth Wen Brickworks, the site creates a fascinating yet eerie backdrop to the cove.
Pen y Fan
Located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Pen y Fan is the tallest peak in South Wales, standing at 886m. From its summit, there are sweeping views over reservoirs, towns and glacial valleys, and on a clear day you can even see over to the Bristol Channel, the Black Mountains and the Cambrian Mountains.
Owned by the National Trust, Henrhyd Falls is the tallest waterfall in South Wales. Thundering 90ft down a steep gorge, the falls are an incredible sight, particularly after heavy rainfall. It’s also one of the only waterfalls in the country where you can walk behind the cascade. The falls are easy to reach on a well-made path from Henrhyd and its beautiful setting is featured in the Batman Film Dark Knight Rises.
Don’t be fooled by its rural setting and elegant demeanour, inside TheSuffield Arms is a heady concoction of styles that commands yourattention.