England is brimming with gorgeous green spaces complete with outstanding views to enjoy - from a limestone reef knoll in the Peak District to the highest point in Norfolk and the sprawling majesty of the Yorkshire Dales. So, if getting off the beaten track and discovering secret vistas and awe-inspiring English countryside sounds like a dream a come true, our round-up reveals 7 must-see spots.
Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill
If you’re dreaming of exploring some of England’s most remote and striking landscapes, you can add Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, in the white peak area of Peak District National Park, to your list. After a steep hike up the uniquely shaped limestone reef knolls, walkers are greeted with a breath-taking panorama over the undulating countryside and farmland below – a must for anyone longing for some time away from the crowds!
Starting in the remote village of Earl Sterndale, this walk could be complemented with a trip to the nearby spa town of Buxton, the charming village of Bakewell or a visit to historic Chatsworth House.
One Tree Hill
Allegedly a spot favoured by Queen Elizabeth I, One Tree Hill in south London’s Honor Oak area is a walk that takes you 90 metres above the capital, revealing an iconic view of the skyline that includes landmarks such as the Shard and the Gherkin. One Tree Hill is part of a seven-hectare park and nature reserve and is also an exciting spot for wildlife lovers, as it is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.
Found along the Monsal Trail cycle path, a once Victorian railway running between Manchester and London, Monsal Head is a picturesque viewpoint from which to enjoy Derbyshire’s charming green dales. Visitors can dream of finishing a tranquil cycle ride with a view of the sunset here, or of walking down to the River Wye below to enjoy a picnic surrounded by the trail’s stunning viaducts.
Norfolk, a beauty spot in the mid-east coast of England, boasts 90 miles of stunning coastline as well as the Broads National Park, making it a popular destination for lovers of the great outdoors. One of the best views of this charming part of England is found at Beacon Hill in Cromer Ridge. Sitting 103 metres above sea level, this is the highest point in the region and offers a unique and lesser-known way to enjoy the spectacular Norfolk coastline.
Those who can’t wait to plan their trip can study this circular walk, which takes in the dizzy heights of Beacon Hill along the way!
On the Staffordshire side of the Peak District lies another unforgettable view of stunning English countryside. Made up of vast valleys and a winding river, the top of Thorpe Cloud offers panoramic views of the deep green valleys, as well as the famous Dovedale stepping stones below.
If you’re a culture lover, you’ll be pleased to note that the historic National Trust property of Ilam Park, which is surrounded by lush woodland along the banks of the River Manifold, is but a short drive away.
Lying just 10 miles from the city of Birmingham, the National Trust’s Clent Hills is a green haven in the heart of the Midlands, making it an excellent option for those dreaming of combining some countryside mindfulness with a packed city-based itinerary. There are miles of footpaths and trails to discover, with views stretching over the Cotswolds, the Shropshire Hills and even as far as the Welsh borders.
History fan? You can look forward to spying several 18th-century follies from the nearby Hagley Hall, while those dreaming of immersing themselves in bird spotting can plan to take the short walk down to Walton Hill. Rising 316 metres above sea level, this is the highest point of the Clent Hills and gives a 360-degree vista of the luscious surroundings.
If you’re dreaming of discovering England’s wild moorland, you should include Oldham’s Saddleworth Moor in your future travels list. Located under an hour’s drive from Manchester city centre, this day trip offers highlights including strolling past tranquil reservoirs, hiking up steep, rugged hills onto the vast moorland above and admiring the area’s unique stone outcrop, the Trinnacle.
The path less travelled to the top of the moors offers some the most stunning views of the Peak District, and is one guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away!