The best (and the worst) of the UK
England, Scotland, Wales AND Northern Ireland. The UK is bloomin' brilliant. One of the main themes of this site is that Britain has loads of great places to visit and things to do.
I can't understand why British people spend their life savings on flying to New Zealand if they haven't see the Scottish west coast. Why do English travellers spend all that money going to New York if you haven't been to Edinburgh. And why go walking anywhere in the world if you haven't tried the South West Coast Path.
Britain has Avebury, Fair Isle, Appledore, Edinburgh, Snowdonia, Ventnor, Salisbury, St Davids, Branscombe and Lincoln Cathedral. Somehow I've set out to cover as many of the best bits of Britain as I can and warn you about some of the worst. There's so much on these islands however I fear it's a task way beyond me...
BUT, just for the thrill of it, I'm going to pick five great places I've been in the UK... and five that I didn't like. If you have different UK travel favourites why not post something on the SImon Heptinstall's Travels Facebook Page HERE. Click on LIKE while you're there, it makes me feel wanted.
Okay here goes:
Five LOVELY places
A grey stone fishing village on Orkney's mainland. Nothing prehistoric, nothing remarkable, but just an atmosphere and a feeling of being in a very different sort of community. I dram of living on the water's edge here... but never will.
2 Steephill Cove
It's just a dot on the map of the Isle of Wight. A few houses, a cafe, a couple of holiday homes, a shed selling seafood pasties... but it's a charming little place to be, what-ever the weather. Park in Ventnor and walk round the coast.
3 Gloucester Road, Bristol
An odd choice. At least a couple of miles of arterial suburbia... but is one of my favourite urban stretches of Britain. There are ranks of bohemia mixed with shoddy, cheap, bizarre and hopeless. Between the city centre and the football/rugby ground you'll pass a prison, 100 take-aways and scores of marvellous junk shops.
4 The Snowdon Horseshoe
A basin of rocky pinnacles with a series of lakes on different levels in the middle and at the centre of the curve stands the highest peak in England and Wales. It's an inspiring place.
Is this the cutest village in Scotland? At the point of Black Isle where the dolphin play stands this ancient unspoilt small town, with walks, views and artiness galore. I've never stayed at the hotel overlooking the water... but one day I want to.
And five unlovely places.
I've been to all these and have friends or family in most of them. Even the locals spend much of their time telling you how horrible their hometown is. If you book a holiday cottage in any of these places you've probably made a mistake.
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