Five natural wonders of England

by Katie Rowe

Category: We love
November 28 2014

Kielder Observatory in Northumberland

From the Jurassic Coast and the ancient caves of Cheddar Gorge, to basking sharks and fluorescent coral, there is so much, known and unknown, which makes England so naturally wonderful. Here, Rishika Sharma reveals five pleasing perplexities that you need to see for yourself.

The Milky Way

You don’t need to venture far into the Arctic Circle to experience nature’s striking light shows. Both Exmoor and Northumberland National Parks have been named International Dark Sky Reserves for their low levels of pollution, offering you the chance to witness magical astronomical sights with a naked eye and even more glittering displays through a telescope. Budding astronomers can even enrol themselves in a ‘Star Camp’.

Bath's hot springs

Known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, the thermal waters of the World Heritage City of Bath have been celebrated by worshippers of the goddess Minerva and now by those inflicted with wanderlust. While you can still see the original springs at the Roman Baths, the pool is off-limits due to conservation, and besides, you might feel a little shy plunging into the central pool, surrounded by tourists! Instead, take a dip and heal the stresses of modern day life at the open-air rooftop pool of Thermae Bath Spa looking over the city’s glorious Georgian skyline.

Lud’s Church

It’s not hard to see why Lud’s Church is linked to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by legend, and is also said to have been a secret hide-out of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. This deep chasm in the Black Forest of the Peak District looks like something out of a storybook. Enigmatic and eerily quiet, this mossy crevasse is sheltered from daylight, helping it retain an air of secrecy and mystery through time. 

Durdle Door

This pre-historic peculiarity, once part of a fossil forest, is now a beautiful limestone arch in Dorset. Over 140 million years old, Durdle Door is one of the most photographed symbols of the Jurassic Coast, and has appeared in countless TV shows and films over the decades. Once encircled by many caves and natural arches, this magnificent native architectural gem will eventually be reduced to rubble, just visible in the frothy waves.

Underwater coral

Coral diving in Penzance. Credit: Neil RickardsThough diving off the Australasian shores might make it on most bucket lists, there are many delights to discover down under but a lot closer to home. Grab your snorkel and head for the south west of England, where in Torbay’s Marine World you can marvel at the Devonshire cup coral and jewel anemones. Or instead, head to the Scilly Isles off the cornish coast. The microclimate here means that deep water coral grow plentiful. Other amazing aqueous animals in this region include basking sharks, dolphins and playful seals, which can be spotted in Penzance and the Lizard Peninsula in south Cornwall.

Find more of England's Natural wonders...

Katie Rowe

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