7 reasons the UK wins at natural beauty every time
It's Earth Day today (22nd April) - the day on which the Earth Day Network's (EDN) inspiring efforts to change the planet for the better come to a crescendo of motivation, education and action. From our own little corners of it to the sprawling jungles that cover thousands of miles of it, our planet is worth celebrating. So in a nod to all of the wonderful things the EDN are doing and have been doing since 1970, here's a gentle reminder about why our little cluster of islands win, and then win some more, at natural beauty.
1. We have casual coves like this that could have stepped right out of a fairy tale
Mullion Cove is a village on the Lizard in Cornwall, and is home to lots of lovely restaurants, cafes, galleries and craft shops as well as some of the UK's most stunning scenery. Its Mediterranean-looking beach and imposing cliffs make for awe-inspiring views. They really do play homage to the fact that you don't need to leave Britain to set eyes on the wonders of nature.
2. And check out this mountain-edged lake, just taking people's breath away
The Lake District is a stunning amalgamation of rugged mountains and glassy waters, which lure even the most indoors-y of types into the open air. This picture is of Lake Buttermere, a 1.5-mile-long and 75-foot-deep expanse of cool water, perfect for water sports or simply gazing upon with a dreamy expression on your face. We love you planet Earth.
3. Then there's this epic edge in the peak district that has no problem making us humans look like ants
The Peak District is one place to go if you want to witness mile after glorious mile of nature's awesomeness. A national park since 1951, it spreads across the southernmost end of the Pennines, and covers parts of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. This picture is of Stanage Edge - a famous location for climbing and nature-admiring.
4. And of course, we have the North York Moors, otherwise known as a little slice of heaven
The North York Moors form one of the most inspiring landscapes on the planet, with wild heather, ragged rocks, moody forest and lush green grass spreading for 554 sq miles. Home to an abundance of wildlife and completely unspoiled expanses that stretch further than the eye can see, it's a photographer's dream and a reminder that the UK owns it when it comes to natural beauty.
5. We have mystical looking waterfalls that make us want to believe in magic
As this picture of the Fairy Pools of Glen Brittle proves, the Isle of Skye is a place of enchanting beauty. A popular walking spot, these crystal-clear pools are perfect for wild swimming and actually attract visitors from all over the world. And for the especially brave, some of the higher waterfalls can even be high-jumped from. There's something about that atmospheric mist rising up from the falls that makes us think we might actually spot a fairy or two prancing about in the background.
6. And our pebbly beaches are actually good. Really, stunningly good.
This picture of the Aberdeen coast in Scotland demonstrates that, actually, pebbly beaches aren't so bad after all. In fact, they're kind of excellent. It also shows that we know how to strategically place lighthouses so that they look really quite mesmerising. Not to mention that sunset, which could give Monet a run for his money. If you want to experience this haunting, almost gothic landscape for yourself, why not book into Copthorne Hotel Aberdeen nearby for a weekend of exploring?
7. And finally there's this happy 'accident', which makes us wonder if nature isn't actually an anonymous artist. Like Banksy.
Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which make up the geometric phenomenon you can see in this picture. Whilst you'd be forgiven for believing this structure is a man-made one, you'd be wrong. The columns formed as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, creating this stunning and other-worldly spot of natural beauty.
People travel far and wide to witness the wonders of nature, but UK residents needn't start booking their flights yet with such breath-taking scenery right on their doorstep. So next time you're in the mood to be inspired, why not start by looking a little closer to home?
If you're feeling inspired by these stunning pictures of the UK, why not enter out annual photography competition? You'll be in with the chance of winning £5000 worth of top-of-the-range photography equipment! And this year's theme couldn't be more fitting, because we're asking you to answer the question 'What makes Britain beautiful?'.
Simply go to the competition website to enter:/through-the-lens/