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The UK's top 10 natural wonders

Pistyll Rhaeadr, Powys, Wales

Pistyll Rhaeadr, Powys, Wales
What is it?
The tallest waterfall in Wales. Its name means 'spring of the waterfall', and it's formed where the Afon Disgynfa river runs over a cliff-face with a drop of nearly 75 metres.

What can I do there?
There are a number of walks that take you from the bottom, up to the top of the falls (and further up into the Berwyn Mountains) so you can see it from various angles in all its glory. Afterwards you can treat yourself to a cup of tea in the cafe, Tan-y-Pistyll, at the bottom.

Where is it?
Four miles from Llanrhaedr-ym-Mochnant.

More info: www.pistyllrhaeadr.co.uk
Nearest holiday park: Presthaven Sands

Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Lulworth Cove, Dorset
What is it?
One of the planet's best examples of a cove - a picture of it could comfortably serve as the dictionary definition. It formed through sea erosion over millions of years because, between the hard rock of the coast and inland, running parallel to the shore, is a band of softer rock - remember those geography lessons?

What can I do there?
Chill out on the cove's beach (though you won't be alone in summer). Take a boat trip to get another angle on it, while also visiting nearby Durdle Door, a huge arch of rock jutting into the sea.

Where is it?
Off the A352 between Dorchester and Wareham.

More info: www.lulworthonline.co.uk
Find holiday parks near Lulworth Cove

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

What is it?
A bunch of 40,000 enormous, mainly hexagonal columns of basalt on the Antrim coast. Legend tells that Finn MacCool, the Mr Big of the giants' world, knocked it up for a scrap with a Scottish giant; scientists tell that it was formed by cooling molten lava, 50-60 million years ago.

What can I do there?
Pick up a map from the Causeway Visitor Centre and walk some of the 15 miles of coastal footpaths. You can actually clamber over the basalt columns. Chug past on a restored steam train on the Giant's Causeway Tramway between Portrush and Ballycastle.

Where is it?
Three miles north of Bushmills, off the A2.

More info: www.giantscausewaycentre.com

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
What is it?
England's deepest gorge, at the Mendip Hills' southern edge, its limestone cliff walls rising to more than 150 metres. It was formed in the ice age, and in one of its many caves, the 9,000-year-old 'Cheddar Man' was discovered in 1903.

What can I do there?
Take the three-mile, round-trip Clifftop Gorge Walk, join a 90-minute caving expedition (April - September), or try rock climbing (October - March). For the fainter of heart, there's an open-top bus ride that gives a good overview. You can also visit the vast Cheddar Caves, though be warned: they are quite touristy.

Where is it?
Near the town of Cheddar.

More info: www.enjoyengland.com
Nearest holiday parks: Burnham and Doniford Bay

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District
What is it?
England's highest peak, in the middle of The Lake District - so it's a wonder within a wonder.

What can I do there?
Walk to the top, of course. Check the weather forecast, though, and wear stout shoes. Easiest way up is from Wasdale Head, to the west. To avoid the tourists, though (and get much better views of the mountain), take the trickier Corridor Route from Styhead Farm, at Borrowdale, to the north. On a clear day, the views from the top are life-affirming.

Where is it?
Slap bang in the middle of the Lake District.

More info: www.lakedistrictwalks.com
Nearest holiday park: Lakeland

The Northern Lights, The Shetland Islands

The Northern Lights, The Shetland Islands
What are they?
Otherwise known as the aurora borealis, they are nature's own spectacular pyrotechnic display, occurring in the northern skies and visible at night, particularly in late autumn and early spring. They're caused by solar particles colliding with atmospheric gas molecules - or something. Whatever, they're amazing.

How can I see them?
You need to get yourself up north. In the UK, Unst, in the Shetlands, is as north as it gets. The lights can be seen from there, and are known, charmingly, as 'merry dancers'. Hole up at friendly Buness Country House B&B (01957 711315) and cross your fingersâ¦

Where is it?
Buness Country House, Baltasound, Shetland, ZE2 9DS

More info: www.northern-lights.no

The Needles, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

The Needles, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight
What are they?
The remnants of a chalk ridge that once joined mainland Britain to the Isle of Wight. Three stacks of chalk remain (Lot's Wife, the only needle-like column, collapsed into the sea in 1764, but the name stuck). At the end of The Needles is a 19th-century lighthouse.

What can I do there?
Boats leave from Alum Bay to show you the stacks up close. The nearest view from the mainland is at the old searchlight emplacement at Needles Battery, at the top of the cliff, built in the 19th century to guard against French invasion.

Where is it?
At Alum Bay, at the Isle of Wight's western tip.

More info: www.theneedlesbattery.org.uk

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire

Flamborough Head, Yorkshire
What is it?
A beautiful, seven-mile-long headland with soaring white chalk cliffs, like the White Cliffs of Dover without - er, Dover. Dotted with caves and coves, it rises to more than 120 metres above sea level at Bempton Cliffs.

What can I do there?
View the southern side from Bridlington promenade, and hop on the Yorkshire Belle boat at Bridlington Harbour to see more. On the headland, you can stroll down to the beaches at North Landing and South Landing. There's an historic lighthouse, and the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs is England's best place to view seabirds.

Where is it? Just north of Bridlington.

More info: www.flamboroughuk.net
Find holiday parks near Flamborough Head

Winnats Pass, Peak District, Derbyshire

Winnats Pass, Peak District, Derbyshire
What is it?
A pair of towering limestone pinnacles rising up from Hope Valley. Winnats means 'wind gates', and they were regarded as the gateway into pretty Castleton in medieval times. The pass is thought to have originated as an undersea ravine between two ancient coral reefs.

What can I do there?
It's fun to drive the steep A6187 right through it - beware stray sheep! Paragliding off the ravine's sides is popular among the daredevil community. A great walk from Castleton also takes in crumbling Mam Tor.

Where is it?
A mile west of Castleton.

More info: www.peakdistrictview.com

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Loch Lomond, Scotland
What is it?
In terms of surface area, it's the UK mainland's biggest freshwater body of water, 24 miles long and five miles at its widest point. Its maximum depth is an incredible 190 metres. It's now part of Scotland's first designated national park.

What can I do there?
Cycle around the loch, take a cruise on it from Balloch, or explore it in a canoe: the stillness and beauty are mesmerising. Some parts of the loch are less, calm, though: you can with water-ski with Loch Lomond Waterski Club in Balloch, and sailing is also popular.

Where is it?
In Central Scotland, an hour from Glasgow.

More info: www.lochlomond-trossachs.org

Images courtesy of www.britainonview.com / Martin Brent / East Midlands Tourism/ Daniel Bosworth
.

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