In the United Kingdom, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a conservation area, just below the status of a national park, that was selected for conservation because of its significant landscape value. There are 33 such sites in England, located in every region of the country, and these areas are conserved in the hope that the natural beauty that they possess can be further enhanced. Below you will find a sampling of 20 important Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that you should see, with photographs accompanied by links to the nearest gateway city or area.
London - Stratford-upon-Avon: 2 hrs. 25 mins. approx.
Stratford-upon-Avon - Oxford :1 hr. 10 mins. approx.
Oxford - London: 1 hr. 50 mins. approx.
London - Bath: 2 hrs. 30 mins. approx.
Bath - Gloucester: 1 hr. 10 mins. approx.
Gloucester - Oxford: 1 hrs. 15 mins. approx.
Oxford - Stratford-upon-Avon: 1 hr. 5 mins. approx.
Stratford-upon-Avon - London: 2 hrs. 5 mins. approx.
London - Windsor: 1 hr. 5 mins. approx.
Windsor - Oxford :1 hr. 5 mins. approx.
Oxford - Bath:1 hr. 40 mins. approx.
Bath- London: 2 hrs. 40 mins. approx.
London - Oxford : 1 hr. 55 mins. approx.
Oxford - Bath: 1 hr. 40 mins. approx.
Bath - Plymouth: 2 hrs. 40 mins. approx.
Plymouth - Salisbury: 2 hrs. 45 mins. approx.
Salisbury - London: 2 hrs. 30 mins. approx.
North West England is the second-largest urban area in England, which includes Manchester, the UK`s third-largest city; Liverpool, on the River Mersey, known for its seafaring traditions and The Beatles; Blackpool, one of the most popular seaside resorts in England; and Chester, perhaps the best-preserved walled city in Britain.
Beautiful North East England consists of such cities such as Durham, which boasts a 1,000-year-old old town; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, developed around an old Roman settlement and once one of the most important shipbuilding centers in the world; and Sunderland, which grew around the 7th-century Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey.
Yorkshire is the quintessential Northern English travel destination. Yorkshire is known for its scenic landscapes, especially at the North York Moors, the Peak District National Park, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is also known for its bustling cities such as York, Sheffield, Leeds, and Bradford.
The English Midlands are often overlooked but are alluring to travelers. The region is full of history; many cities were founded over two millennia ago, and are some of the oldest cities in England. The Midlands was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, helping to cement the British Empire`s global influence.
The history of East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire) is vivid and rich; the oldest structures still standing in England, dating from the Bronze Age, are located in East Anglia. A number of large, ornate former monasteries-turned-cathedrals dot Cambridgeshire, from Peterborough to Fenland and the Isle of Ely.
South East England is a large and geographically diverse region, much of which sits in the Thames River Valley, and here you can experience such sights as the New Forest, the Chiltern Hills, and the White Cliffs of Dover, in addition to Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, and the list goes on.
South West England is filled with exciting sights such as Stonehenge, the world-famous prehistoric stone circle; the Roman-era hot springs of Bath; the coasts of Dorset and east Devon; and the tin mines that dot the coasts of Devon and Cornwall. All of these popular attractions are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are five Outstanding Natural Areas of Beauty in Wales, ranging from the Clwydian Hills in north Wales to the Wye Valley and Gower Peninsula in south Wales.
Scotland has more Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty than any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. 40 conservation areas are located here and they are called National Scenic Areas.
The fifteen beautiful national parks of the United Kingdom are very popular tourism draws, and it is estimated that over 100 million visitors from Britain and abroad flock to the parks each year.