Britain is a Dynamic Green Island
Britain is a dynamic Island. Visitors tend to see a small region or just London and say they have DONE ENGLAND. Others tour a few castles in Scotland, and they have DONE SCOTLAND, and most people don't even mention WALES. Yet, for many - It's the most beautiful part, especially when you get off the beaten path.
Let me introduce you to the TEN LANDSCAPES of BRITAIN. In no particular order.
Number One: The South East
The counties which make up the South East of England are dominated by the North and South Downs, separated by the wooded Weald Valley. Prosperous commuter towns sit beside historic villages, castles, and famous gardens.
There are two national parks to explore, the New Forest and the South Downs, including a thriving wine region with particular emphasis on the sparkling variety. Tour Windsor Castle, Britain's largest royal residence and take a private boat tour through the Thames valley.
Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of England and a place of pilgrimage for people paying their respects to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. Not far from Canterbury are the white cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle. There is so much to do.
Number Two: The South West
From pre-historic wonders to remote country houses and rich arable land, the south-west has a fascinating mix of history and culture.
Tour the architecturally splendid spa city of Bath with elegant Georgian style homes and beautifully preserved Roman baths. World-famous Stonehenge sits high on the Salisbury plain. Visitors can see grander and lesser-known Avebury Stone Circle on the same day. The Cathedral cities of Winchester and Salisbury will intrigue you, and Stourhead Gardens offers the best man-made landscape in the world.
Never forget Britain's coast, and in the South West, you can hike the world-famous Jurassic Coast and partake in various waterborne activities. Tour the South Downs National Park, and please don't forget Cornwall and Devon, the peninsula with over 400 beaches, pretty fishing villages and sub-tropical gardens.
Number Three: East of England
The East of England is probably the least known to foreign visitors. Still, it has one of the most stunning stretches of coast, one of the world's great universities and the winter home of Her Majesty the Queen.
Cambridge must be one of Europe's most attractive cities with hundreds of architectural masterpieces, including the astonishing Kings College Chapel. During wartime, the region had hundreds of airfields many US bases. Duxford Aviation Museum and airfield remains active and has a prominent display of exhibits. The North Norfolk Coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to a vast colony of grey seals.
The Queen's private winter home, Sandringham, is open to the public for short periods. Wonder through the 600-acre country park, the house and formal gardens during summer.
Number Four: The East Midlands
The East Midland's has wild moors, the craggy uplands of the Peak District giving way to flat plains in the far east.
The historic Jewel in Peak District National Park is Chatsworth House, the ultimate stately home and a must-see when touring the region. You will also find a series of show caves within the peaks, where the Romans originally discovered the famous Blue John gemstones.
Head east and see rising from the flat landscape of the fens, the medieval marvel of Lincoln. The castle and cathedral sit stone ridge above the river Witham. Further south lies the most elaborate Elizabethan stately home in the country, Burghley House, built by William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I's trusted, adviser.
Number Five: West Midlands
The heart of England features dramatic landscapes, grand stately homes, cathedral cities and a large industrial zone.
Tour the Cotswolds, England's largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Although the Cotswolds landscapes are serene, the pretty limestone villages are a delight too. You are also in Shakespeare Country, Stratford-Upon-Avon is the birthplace of England's most celebrated poet.
Get off the beaten track and explore the border of Wales and stop in the lovely town of Ludlow and the half-timbered town of Shrewsbury. Hereford is a delightful city, and the cathedral has a fabulous old chained library and the precious Mappa Mundi, a map of the world created in the 1290s.
Number Six: Wales
Tour mountain ranges, ancient woodland, waterfalls and National Parks are what make up landscapes of Wales. The scenery is sublime and much less known than in other parts of the UK.
The turbulent history between Wales and England has left the border and strategic spots littered with the remains of giant castles. They are fascinating to visit and are often crowd-free, making your visit feel special.
Hear a male Welsh choir, climb a mountain, have Welsh' rarebit' and learn a few words of the melodic Welsh language. Wales has some of Britain's most spectacular beaches which you cannot miss.
Number Seven: The North West
The Lake District is arguably the most beautiful region of England and the adventure capital. This mostly untouched and protected area is a place for hiking, biking, eating and admiring the sublime views and rainbow watch. The 'Lakes' of sixteen plus various smaller pools have inspired poets, artists, and conservationists.
Due to the rich farmland, access to the fertile north Atlantic and rare breeds, the North West has a high concentration of 'foody' hotels.
There are ancient stone circles and a few country homes to visit. Still, the area is about being outdoors, building up an appetite and feasting at country pubs. The less intrepid can have private photography or art classes - As Taylor Swift writes " Take me to the Lakes where all the poets went to die..".
Number Eight: Yorkshire
Yorkshire is England's biggest county and home to ten World Heritage Sites, including one of our favourite places, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.
This northern stretch of England from east to west has a series of National Parks and designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty all overlapping. The Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and North Pennines are a short hop from the Lake District, making this northern region the most spectacular in England.
Stay in the stunning countryside or the medieval City of York. The walled city of York has a fascinating railway museum, the largest gothic cathedral in Europe and beautifully preserved streets.
Number Nine: The North East
Northumberland, England's most northern county, was Roman Emperor Hadrian's chosen location for the northernmost point of his empire.
Again the coastline in the northeast is breathtaking. Above the silky golden dunes of Bamburgh sits a vast and forbidding castle, protecting the shores of England from Viking invasion. The theme continues with fort after fort guarding our beaches. Marvel at Holy Island, the birthplace of the 8th century, illuminated Lindisfarne gospels.
The road to Scotland has a dark history peppered with battles and cross-border feuding. It is much friendlier today, break your journey to Scotland and stay, see Durham Cathedral, Hadrian's Wall and tour the coast.
Number Ten: Scotland
The sublime beauty of Scotland enchants all visitors, the fantastic food surprises, and variety of activities overwhelms.
Tour the castles, abbeys and stately homes. There is much to see, but more to do, such as playing golf, tasting the whiskey, hiking the mountains, and going off-road in the Highlands. You could try fishing or go on a Wildlife Boat Trip – experience whirls pools, white-tailed sea-eagles and the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen. Scotland has it all.
You will need to return over and over again to take it all in. The central area around Glasgow and Edinburgh has famous heritage sites. But, travel into highlands for whisky tours and outdoor activities. Head to the northwest coast the awe-inspiring beauty of sea lochs, islands and where mountains meet the shore.