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The U.K. landscape varies wildly, from the snow-swept peaks of Ben Nevis to the tropical looking, white sandy beaches of Cornwall. It wasn’t for the weather, you’d probably never have to go abroad at all.
1. The Maldives?
Put away your passport (and your sun cream): this perfect white sandy shore is actually Seilebost Beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
2. Mont Blanc?
This is actually the Observatory Gully on Ben Nevis in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in the UK.
Good guess, but this is actually the quirky Portmerion Village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. If it looks familiar, that might be because it was used as the location for surreal 60s spy drama The Prisoner.
4. Ancient Greece?
No, this is Cornwall. The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The theatre is at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England.
Nope, Cornwall again! St Michael’s Mount’s Cornish name means “grey rock in the woods”, and may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount’s Bay was flooded. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.
This might look like a Mediterranean sun-trap, but it’s actually Achmelvich Beach in the Highlands of Scotland. Sutherland, to be precise.
You don’t have to go to the Pacific ocean to visit this reef-like inlet. It’s actually part of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Two miles to the north of Lizard Village lies the secluded Kynance Cove, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
8. South of France?
Although it looks Provence-like, the road signs and very British-looking onlookers clearly show that this picture-perfect village is actually in England. It’s called Cockington (stop sniggering) and it’s only a stone’s throw from Torquay in Devon.
This lookalike starts with the same letters, at least. This is Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The deep blue water is popular with surfers.
10. New Zealand?
This is actually a view from the top of the deliciously named Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills. No hobbits here!
This Taj Mahal style building is Brighton’s iconic Royal Pavilion. It was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811.
No, it’s not actually a location from a video game. This is the spectacular Smoo Cave in Durness, Sutherland (Scottish Highlands). The cave is unique within the UK in that the first chamber has been formed by the sea, and the inner chambers by rainwater.
Post by: HilaryWardle (BuzzFeed Contributor)
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You’ve probably heard of all these places, but there are a few fun facts you probably didn’t know we think you might like…
We’re lucky to have Windsor Castle. Not only did it survive two sieges, but in 1649 it survived a bill for its demolition too – by just one vote!
Tower of London
Despite being built to withstand serious onslaught by enemy troops and siege machinery, the only time the Tower of London was ever breached was actually by a riotous band of peasants during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
One of Bristol’s most beautiful spots would have been the scene of a tragedy if it wasn’t for Victorian ladies’ fashion. In 1886, Sarah Ann Henley threw herself from the bridge after an argument with a lover, but her billowing crinoline petticoats helped to slow her fall and cushioned her landing. She landed in the mud, and though injured, she survived and lived until 1948.
Stirling Castle was the scene of Scotland’s first recorded attempt at flight. It was way back in 1507, and the hopeful aviator was Italian alchemist John Damian. Unfortunately, the feathered wings Damian had built for the purpose proved ineffective: he crashed ignominiously into a dunghill and broke his leg.
The Lake District National Park
The Lake District is a place of many superlatives. It’s the largest National Park in England, taking up about 1% of Britain’s landmass. It’s also home to England’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike), its deepest lake (Wastewater) and its wettest inhabited place (Seathwaite).
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Curry, the O2 and Banksy – the very best of England: Tourism chiefs have come up with a roster of 101 ‘must-do’ activities
See Naples and die, goes the saying, such was the Italian city’s erstwhile fame for beauty and magnificence. Taking inspiration from such sentiments, tourism bosses in England have produced a “bucket list” of 101 things to do and see before you expire – or worse, holiday abroad.
The full list, to be revealed on Tuesday to mark St George’s Day, features staple favourites such as visits to Stonehenge, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. But it also contains some more unusual suggestions, such as rampaging around in the treetops of Sherwood Forest or going on a bat patrol.
Start the day with a full English breakfast in London’s East End, at E Pellicci, an Italian café in Bethnal Green that’s been in the same family since it opened in 1900.
Visit John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester and see 15th-century accounts of witchcraft, the oldest piece of the New Testament, and a first edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Walk across the top of the O2 in Greenwich, London. The venue is 52 metres high with a diameter of 365 metres, and people can arrange to go on the top of the dome.
Go in search of damsels and dragons – the insect variety – by visiting Wicken Fen nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, home to thousands of types of plants, otters, water voles, dragonflies and birds.
Mix martinis in James Bond’s spiritual home – Dukes Hotel in St James’s Place, London – and follow in the footsteps of the Bond author Ian Fleming, who used to drink there.
Curry is a “national treasure”, according to Visit England, who recommend visiting the Sparkhill, Balsall Heath and Moseley areas of Birmingham – Britain’s curry capital.
Have a night on the toon in Newcastle – a city with some of the “friendliest folk you’ll ever meet” say tourism bosses. Not to mention a “cool yet unpretentious arts scene”.
Take to the treetops in Sherwood Pines, Nottingham, where you can charge around almost 10 metres above the ground, and go down a 140m-long zip line between the trees.
Trawl the back streets of Bristol in search of Banksy graffiti. Stokes Croft is home to the artist’s Mild Mild West mural, and some of his earliest works can be found in Easton.
Join a bat patrol at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. With the help of an ultra-sonic bat detector, you can wander around Gough’s Cave and Cox’s Cave – home to endangered greater horseshoe bats.
No room in the 101
The list of 101 things to do was whittled down from more than a thousand nominations. Here are 10 of the more unusual ones which didn’t make the cut.
The world gravy wrestling championships – an annual highlight in the village of Stacksteads, Lancashire; a gnome reserve in Bradworthy, Devon, home to more than 2,000 gnomes. Europe’s smallest cinema – Screen 22 in Nottingham; Barter Books, Alnwick, where the “Keep Calm & Carry On” poster was re-discovered; Thrust SSC – the world’s fastest car – at Coventry Transport Museum; the SkyWalk at Blackpool Tower; Chester Clock; “glamping”; Ryde Pier (the oldest in the world); the spire at the Church of St James in Dry Doddington, which leans one degree more than the Tower of Pisa; a stay in a gipsy caravan; donkey rides in Scarborough; a speed boat ride along the Thames; Affleck’s, Manchester; the National Space Centre, Leicester; and the view from The Shard in London.
See the full list at: www.101thingsto doinengland.co.uk
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