Britain is home to 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These distinctive areas are teeming with wildlife, flora and feature a diverse range of landscapes from dry heathlands and sandy shorelines to rugged cliffs and dramatic gorges. Take a look at some of the top Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to admire these impressive landscapes and soak up Britain’s natural beauty.
Possibly one of the most well known Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the rural landscape of the Cotswolds. Its captivating warmth and distinctive Jurassic limestone scatter the area, giving it a rich heritage whilst offering an interesting selection of locations to explore. The Cotswolds are sprinkled with pretty ‘honey pot’ villages including Castle Combe, Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury, each radiating distinct rural charm. It’s a great place to enjoy leisurely walks or challenging hikes with an abundance of routes and trails to discover.
Arndale & Silverdale AONB
This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty may be one of the smallest in Britain but that doesn’t stop it being any less enchanting. Here you’ll find a diverse landscape with a spectacular coastline, rolling pastureland and ancient woodlands teeming with flora and wildlife. It’s also an important feeding ground for wading birds and wildfowl during the winter months and is the perfect destination for birdwatchers. Visiting this spot is also a great complement when holidaying in the neighbouring Lake District area.
North Pennines AONB
If you’re looking for spectacular unspoilt landscapes with a vibrant array of sights and experiences, the North Pennines is the perfect choice. Here you can admire a dramatic range of scenery from stone built villages, stunning moorlands, cascading waterfalls and impressive dales. The area is rich in history with a significant imprint from the region’s mining history. There are many routes and trails to explore, perfect if you love experiencing the great outdoors by foot or bicycle.
Blackdown Hills AONB
This charming Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies on the border of Somerset and East Devon. The region is well known for steep emerald woodlands to the north and a gentle plateau to the south. The pretty villages and scattered hamlets provide a quaint and rustic ambience whilst giving you the opportunity to discover the beauty of a unique geological region.
Kent Downs AONB
Stretching from the Surrey border to the White Cliffs of Dover, this distinctive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers landscapes of dry valleys, chalk ridges and rich woodland. There are several ancient villages scattered throughout the countryside offering insight to the region’s history and heritage through archaeological remains and military legacy. This beautiful area is part of the ‘Garden of Eden’ and gives you the chance to experience Britain’s beauty in full glory.