Real Life

Snap Happy: Come Marvel At Britain's Top Five Most Beguiling Views

A spectacular view offers more than a timely photo opportunity.

Beautiful scenery, appreciated at a particular point in time, has the power to transcend everyday life and move us in a way that few other things can.

So, it's little wonder that people living in Britain are rather attached to the broad stretch of panoramas found on our fair and humble shores.

A new poll allows rare insight into the aesthetic mood of a nation, by revealing our all-time favourite vistas.

The survey, commissioned by Samsung to mark the launch of their new Galaxy S8 smartphone, quizzed over 2,500 people on the UK landscapes that had moved them the most.

Participants chose from a longlist of contenders put together by travel experts.

The champion views cover an eclectic array of sites, from ancient monuments to distinguished political landmarks and ethereal Alpine ranges.

The data also unearth the five key factors that people believe make up a quintessentially British view, and include rolling countryside (42%), rugged coastlines (21%), country villages (20%), historical landmarks (15%) and spires, cathedrals and architecture (15%).

Come marvel at the top five winning aspects, below, and scroll down to see the rest of the top 20 list.

Bucket list inspiration, here we come...

1. Snowdonia – view of Llyn Llydaw from Mount Snowdon summit, Wales

This mystical landscape is steeped in folklore that imbues itself through generations of storytelling amid the wispy mountaintops. Local legend has it that Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur into lake Llyn Llydaw, beneath Snowdon, after King Arthur’s death - and that this was the waters Arthur sailed across to reach the magical isle of Avalon.

It's probably not hard to believe when you're stood on the summit of Mount Snowdon, admiring an other-worldly panorama of vast, mist-capped peaks rolling down to glassy blue veneer of the lake.

2. Scottish Highlands – view of Three Sisters mountains, Glencoe Valley, Scotland

The towering peaks of Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh make up the so-called "Three Sisters of Glencoe". This extraordinary and dramatic series of ridges is the jewel in the Scottish Glen's crown; a magnificent sight in a quilted expanse of show-stopping scenery.

The mountains here are formed from ancient volcanic strata, in a geographical event known as "cauldron subsidence" that took place millions of years ago. The striking vista is punctuated by steep waterfalls, snow-capped summits and roe deer wandering the moorland grass.

3. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

One of the world's most famous Neolithic structures, Stonehenge came into existence around 5,000 years ago as a simple earthwork area where prehistoric people buried their cremated dead. The stone circle was set up in the centre of the monument in the late Neolithic period, around 2500 BC.

Crafted from 84 sarsen and bluestones, the site has long fascinated astrologers, pagans and a very early generation of health tourists - who used to visit Stonehenge to find a cure for various ailments (but sometimes ended up being buried there instead). Nowadays, modern pilgrims still flock to Stonehenge to soak in its esoteric air, especially during the summer and winter Solstice.

4. St Ives Bay, Cornwall, England

St Ives Bay is one of the most idyllic stretches of coastline the UK has to shout about. Fine golden sands reach for miles along the shoreline, with outcrops of verdant greenery illuminated by a dazzling and quite unique quality of light.

Unsurprisingly, this mesmerising area of outstanding natural beauty has been a beacon for artists and sculptors. J M W Turner and the marine artist Henry Moore both sought to capture its allure in the mid-1800s and in the present day, St Ives is home to a thriving community of painters and ceramists.

5. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England

This awe-inspiring limestone rock formation boasts a series of ancient stalactite caves formed in the Ice Age. Situated in the Mendip Hills near the Somerset village of Cheddar, the gorge is the largest of its kind in England and measures a mammoth 400 foot deep by three miles wide.

The landscape here is broken up by a remarkable trail of weathered crags, pinnacles and sheer cliffs, creating a panoroma that is as rare as it is breath-taking. Britain's oldest skeleton, the mystical Cheddar Man, was discovered here in 1903. It's believed he lived in the Somerset area 9,000 years ago and was buried in Gough's Cave.

And the rest...

  • Loch Ness - view from Dores, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
  • Buttermere, Lake District, England
  • Westminster Bridge - view of the Palace of Westminster, London, England
  • Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Loch Lomond - view from Conic Hill, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
  • Ben Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland
  • Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat, Scotland
  • Peak District – view from Stanage Edge, Derbyshire, England
  • Brecon Beacons – view from the summit, Wales
  • Durdle Door, Dorset, England
  • Spires of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
  • Bamburgh Castle – view from the coast, Bamburgh, Northumberland, England
  • Seven Sisters, Sussex, England
  • Bournemouth pier and beach, Hampshire, England
  • Kings College – view from the River Cam, Cambridge, England

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