We’re all very quick to want to head abroad these days and many people’s idea of a perfect holiday will usually involve several hours on a plane chasing the sun. But do we even realise just how much incredible stuff there is to see here in the UK?
For example, did you know that there are 25 sites in Britain that have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status? This means that the attractions in question are either areas of natural beauty, such as Dorset or the East Devon Coast, or are culturally important, like the Tower of London and Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is something that the vast majority of us are aware of, but many people never really stop to think just how incredible and mysterious the site is. Those rock formations have been in place for more than 50,000 years and it would take some skill and determination to place them in that manner even with today’s technology.
Thousands of people flock to Stonehenge around the time of the summer solstice, but the site has been attracting visitors from all over the world for many, many years.
St Kilda in the famous Outer Hebrides area of Scotland has not been inhabited by humans since 1930, but contains evidence of occupation dating back more than 2,000 years.
It is one of only 24 locations across the globe that has been awarded World Heritage Status for both its natural beauty and cultural significance. It is considered to be one of the most important breeding stations for seabirds in Europe
However, those who wish to travel to the island will have to be patient, motor vessels from Oban can take up to 14 hours, depending on weather condition and the tide.
Wales is home to Britain’s newest World Heritage site, the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is a 200-year-old example of breathtaking engineering.
It towers 126ft above the River Dee and is both the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain. The sight of the stunning structure from a distance is only matched by seeing it up close, but the best way to take in its true exhilarating beauty is to travel over the top by canal boat, which will give you an indication as to why the locals refer to it as the “stream in the sky”.
Another of the UK’s World Heritage Sites is the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, which is situated at the foot of the basalt cliffs on the Antrim coast. This mysterious rock formation consists of more than 40,000 black basalt columns, rising up out of the sea and which have been the stuff of myth and legend for centuries.
The most popular – and the reason behind its name – is that the formation is the remnants of a bridge built by Irish giant Finn McCool in an effort to link Ireland to Scotland. However, you really need to visit the site to form your own conclusions on its origin.
While the Giant’s Causeway may well have been built to connect Scotland to another part of the UK, Hadrian’s Wall was erected more than 1,600 years ago to have the opposite effect.
Areas of the wall still stand, but the historic site is much more than a few stacked bricks. It offers archaeology, incredible views, rare wildlife, peace and relaxation, as well as a superb selection of wonderful pubs.
Hadrian’s Wall is just one of the many UK landmarks that really must be seen before heading abroad.