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Three beautiful spots in the British isles

As lockdown starts to end, it may make sense to plan a holiday close to home, says Chris Carter.

Islands of Eigg and Rum © Albaimages / Alamy Stock Photo
The Inner Hebrides – a haven for nature lovers and hikers © Alamy

What with talk of quarantines and airlines going bust, foreign travel might not seem so appealing once the lockdown has been lifted. Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful places to visit in Britain. You might even forget you’re in Britain at all. 

The “emerald and turquoise landscape” of the Inner Hebrides, for example, bears “a remarkable resemblance to the Norwegian fjords”, says Marianna Hunt in Spectator Life. This archipelago off the west coast of Scotland is a haven for nature lovers and hikers, best toured by boat. 

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“Occasionally you’ll see a lonely stone house standing next to a pine tree, but for the most part, views will be of dramatic cliffs tumbling down into the sea and Jurassic rock formations covered in moss and ancient ferns.” 

Book a stay on the island of Eigg, with its 100 residents and one food shop. Dolphins, porpoises and minke whales live in the surrounding waters. The colours of the land and sea aren’t the only similarity with Norway, however. The “unforgettable” Northern Lights can sometimes be glimpsed from here too.

Unjustly pretty

In South Wales, the Gower Peninsula “packs an unjust amount of prettiness into its 70 square miles [of] winding lanes, soft green hills and ravishing, showstopping coastline”, says Chris Haslam in The Times. Once you’ve seen it for yourself, it will “become your benchmark of outstanding natural beauty”. “Of the top three beaches in the country, locals assert that four are in the Gower.”

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Rhossili is “a three-mile epic of west-facing, surf-thumped sand” marked by the wreck of the Helvetia, a Norwegian oak barque, sailing from Newfoundland, that foundered here in 1887. Oxwich Bay “offers marshland, dunes, lakes, forest and a river in one handy package”. As for “tiny” Brandy Cove, “you can probably have [it] to yourself if you can find it (follow the footpath south from Bishopston)”. 

Three Cliffs Bay was voted one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches in 2018. You can book a stay in a farm cottage from £349 for two nights. See threecliffsbay.com for details. 

Wordsworth country

If you want to experience the Lake District as William Wordsworth knew it, you should walk, says Simon Bainbridge in Countryfile. Wordsworth’s home, Dove Cottage, is the starting point for a circular ramble, “one of the most beautiful low-level walks in the Lake District”. The route follows the Coffin Path, with its “superb views across the shimmering lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water to the fells of Silver How and Loughrigg”. “Standing on the elevated path of Loughrigg Terrace, gazing down on Grasmere’s glistening waters, it is easy to appreciate why this beautiful scene became one of the most inspiring locations in English poetry.”

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