By Anya Meyerowitz

If we’ve learned one thing about the UK in the past two years, it’s our fair isle offers a rich tapestry of scenery and landscapes – but which is your favourite scenic spot?

A survey of over 5,800 people has revealed what Brits think are the most beautiful places in the UK.

The Isles of Scilly, renowned for their crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and tropical gardens, were voted the top Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB), according to research by Which?.

This was followed by the picturesque Northumberland Coast, Causeway Coast and Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, and Cornwall to complete the top five.

Scotland doesn’t have ANOB, so was rated on its National Scenic Areas, with the wild and remote Coigach and Assynt taking the top spot.

Here are the most beautiful places in the UK from each region; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read next: The prettiest UK cities outside London

Most beautiful places in the UK

Isles of Scilly

Isles of Scilly beautiful places in UK
Credit: Getty Images

Number one is an unsurprising winner for most beautiful place in the UK for those who are au fait with Cornwall. The isles of Scilly are an archipelago of low-lying islands off the tip of the coast – and though it’s not the most straightforward of destinations to reach, it is well worth the effort. While it might be the smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, it offers big rewards including opportunities to spot wildlife, from puffins to grey Atlantic seals, as well as a peppering of sandy beaches that could easily be confused with those in more exotic locations. Cars are rarely seen here but go at the right time of year and you might catch a glimpse of the royal family, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children are known to holiday on the island. 

Northumberland Coast

Northumberland Coast beautiful places in the UK
Credit: Getty Images

Northumberland’s landscape doesn’t do things by halves; imposing castles, biscuit-hued beaches, rocky coves and rugged cliffs make exploring here one of the most rewarding things you can do within the Great British landscape. The castles of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh provide an epic backdrop to walks along seemingly endless beaches, and the smattering of seaside towns offer a real flavour of historic seaside life.

Other scenic highlights in England include:

  • Cornwall
  • Dorset
  • Suffolk Coast & Heaths
  • Nidderdale
  • Isle of Wight
  • South Devon
  • North Pennines
  • Shropshire Hills
  • North Devon
  • East Devon
  • Norfolk Coast
  • Arnside & Silverdale
  • Cotswolds
  • Forest of Bowland
  • Malvern Hills
  • Tamar Valley
  • Howardian Hills
  • Quantock Hills
  • Cranbourne Chase
  • Dedham Vale
  • Chilterns
  • North Wessex Downs
  • High Weald
  • Solway Coast
  • Mendip Hills
  • Surrey Hills
  • Kent Downs
  • Chichester Harbour
  • Lincolnshire Wolds
  • Cannock Chase
  • Blackdown Hills

Most beautiful places in Wales


Gower Wales most beautiful place
Credit: Getty Images

Back in 1956, the majority of Gower became the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty – and it’s just as breathtaking today. From Rhossili Bay, a world-famous sweep of beach that is popular with surfers and dog walkers alike, to the wildlife-rich saltmarshes and mudflats, every inch of landscape here does its bit to weave together a fabric of nature’s finest. 

Wye Valley

Wye Valley Wales
Credit: Getty Images

Just across the English/Welsh border, the Wye Valley flows alongside the river between Hereford and Chepstow. Along the way it passes the steep cliffs at Symonds Yat, the ruined and picturesque Tintern Abbey and medieval Goodrich Castle. It’s also home to Hay-on-Wye, the famous ‘village of books’, that hosts the Hay Festival every year. Outside of its June festivities, Hay is a rather sleepy village full of quirky book shops, vintage markets and cosy eateries which is well worth a visit.

Other scenic highlights in Wales include:

  • Llyn
  • Clwydian Range & Dee Valley
  • Anglesey

Most beautiful places in Northern Ireland

Causeway Coast

Giants Causeway Northern Ireland
Credit: Getty Images

The extraordinary volcanic rock columns of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland are the main attraction on this stretch of the North Antrim coast. Managed by the National Trust, the site can get busy at peak times, but this doesn’t detract from its beauty. Also worth visiting – and decidedly less busy – are the romantic ruins of Dunluce Castle, perched on the rocky foreshore, and Bushmills, home of the whiskey distillery. And if you’re feeling brave there is always the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which is known to sway in the wind, but check it is open before visiting.

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough Northern Ireland
Credit: Getty Images

At least 100 islands pull together to make up the largest sea lough in the UK, playing home to an abundance of sea creatures, seals and birds. This is definitely the place to spot wildlife. It is possible to drive around the lough, hopping on a ferry to cross the small opening at Portaferry, and stopping off at friendly cafes and restaurants along the way. Mount Stewart, a National Trust house and garden, overlooks Strangford Lough and is a good place to start your journey.

Other scenic highlights in Northern Ireland include:

  • Antrim Coast and Glens
  • Mourne

Most beautiful places in Scotland


Assynt Coigach
Credit: Getty Images

The wild and remote areas of Coigach and Assynt have been voted the most beautiful places in the UK when it comes to Scotland. Both boast mountains with peaks that rise sharply from a sweep of moorland, punctuated with freshwater lakes – and neither range is for the faint hearted. A little more tame, in terms of height only, the coastline is rough and rugged, with cliffs, sea stacks and sandy beaches to explore. Think of it as being nature as its most unspoilt.


Kintail beautiful places UK
Credit: Getty Images

The pointed summits of the Five Sisters of Kintail dominate the landscape and are one of the most beautiful and remote areas of the Scottish Highlands. Walkers come for the panoramic views of the glens below. There is also the chance to see the Falls of Glomach, one of Scotland’s highest waterfalls. When it comes to wildlife, bird lovers hope to catch a glimpse of a golden eagle flying overhead. While otters, osprey and red squirrels, which are rarely seen in England now, roam the pine forests.

Other scenic highlights in Scotland include:

  • South Lewis, Harris & North Uist
  • Wester Ross
  • Shetland
  • South Uist Machair
  • Caingorm Mountains
  • Hoy and West Mainland
  • Deeside & Lochnagar
  • Morar, Moidart and Ardnamurchan
  • Glen Affric
  • Kyle of Tongue
  • Cuillin Hills
  • North West Sutherland
  • Loch Na Keal, Isle of Mull
  • Small Isles
  • Eildon and Leaderfoot
  • Ben Nevis and Glen Coe
  • Trossachs
  • Loch Tummel
  • Knoydart
  • Kyles of Bute
  • North Arran
  • River Tay
  • Jura
  • Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon
  • Dornoch Firth
  • Loch Lomond
  • River Earn
  • Loch Shiel
  • Upper Tweeddale
  • Fleet Valley
  • Nith Estuary

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