23 Places So Gorgeous And Breathtaking You’ll Go “Whattttt”

We asked the BuzzFeed Community for their favourite hidden spots in the UK. Here are the results.

1. Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro, Cornwall

“There’s a small beach area where many caves and small pools of water are located, good for those who love to explore. There’s only a certain time of day you can visit too as the tide goes up very quickly.” – sophieb483cbacae

2. The Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides

“This summer I’m doing a 10-day tour of the outer Hebrides in Scotland. Ten days of standing stones, fairy pools, and Viking settlements. HEAVEN! Or, should I say, VALHALLA!” – beckie

3. The Roseland Peninsula, Falmouth

The Roseland Peninsula, Falmouth

Tom Tolkein / Via thomastolkien.wordpress.com

“The Roseland Peninsula, on the other side of Carrick Roads from Falmouth. Taking the ferry across the harbour to St Mawes and then an even smaller ferry across to St Anthony, walking around the peninsula, exploring the little beaches and coves, then getting the ferries back, walking across Falmouth and chilling out on Gyllyngvase beach. Perfect way to spend a hot summer’s day.” – Tom McAteer, Facebook

4. Longleat, Wiltshire

Longleat, Wiltshire

“There’s a beautiful path through the forest to a hill overlooking the Longleat estate and safari in Wiltshire. The locals all call it Heaven’s Gate – you can see for miles and it’s especially glorious at sunset!” – zoeye2

(This photo is of Wiltshire, not specifically Longleat.)

5. Vindolanda, Hexham

Vindolanda, Hexham

“I recently visited Hadrian’s Wall and i would strongly recommend that to everyone. Vindolanda is amazing!!” – matthews4db7f00b2

6. The Durdle Door, Dorset

The Durdle Door, Dorset

“Beautiful.” – yolandaw415afa4e4

7. Kinver Rock Houses, Staffordshire

Kinver Rock Houses, Staffordshire

“They’re so unique and their history is fascinating. And the surrounding area is beautiful too!” – sofamiliar

8. St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire

St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire

“The area around St Abb’s Head in Berwickshire, southeast Scotland, is beautiful. There are steep cliffs, but if you walk far enough you can find a ruined castle out on a tiny island.” – anniem4f5db16fc

9. Dunster, Somerset

Dunster, Somerset

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10. Sugar Loaf Mountain, Monmouthshire

Sugar Loaf Mountain, Monmouthshire

“You have to include Sugar Loaf Mountain in Monmouthshire, Wales. I took myself off to Wales a couple of weeks after my 30th birthday last year, staying in Cardiff for a solo holiday. I googled things to do nearby – next thing I know I’m on a train to Abergavenny on a mission!

“The views were beautiful, and little did I know when I woke up that day that a couple of hours later I’d be up the top of a mountain, chatting to strangers and more importantly petting their dogs, so far removed from my normal London life!” – michaele44634e500

11. The Shell Grotto, Margate

The Shell Grotto, Margate

“It’s fascinating and gorgeous – and how the place came to be is still a mystery. Even reading the Wikipedia page makes it sound amazing.” – sophiab42cf32be2

12. Dean Village, Edinburgh

Dean Village, Edinburgh

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13. Lerwick, Shetland

Lerwick, Shetland

“The Clickimin Loch is lovely at night when you look across to the Broch.” – kerrym4703fbb7f”

14. St David’s, Wales

St David's, Wales

“St David’s, the smallest city in the UK (pop. 1,841). The main attraction is the cathedral, which holds the relics of St David (unsurprisingly), Wales’ patron saint. The cathedral close is particularly beautiful, since it contains several ruined medieval buildings, including the bishop’s palace, as well as quite a few cows in the meadows by the river. Oh, the city is also in the middle of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only National Park designated primarily because of its coastline, which is truly spectacular.” – clickbaitmcclickface

15. Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

“Isle of Skye is pure magic… The Quirang is like walking in another world. You’ll never forget it.” – tacodingo2

16. Cragside House, Northumberland

Cragside House, Northumberland

“It was the first home in the world to take advantage of hydro power to generate electricity for the home, and it’s got vast grounds to explore. It’s kinda like if Willy Wonka and Frankenstein designed a stately home. Oh, and it’s beautiful.” – johntheone

17. Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire

Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire

“There’s a place in the Peak District, Ladybower Reservoir – it is a beautiful expanse of water. If you know the right way to go, it leads to Slippery Stones, a natural water swimming spot, and it’s super pretty in summer.” – Linkakq

18. Tollymore forest park, County Down

Tollymore forest park, County Down

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19. Inverie, Lochaber

Inverie, Lochaber

“The main village on the Knoydart peninsula on the west coast of Scotland. It isn’t connected to the main road network, so it is only accessible by ferry (or a 17-mile hike!). It’s incredibly beautiful, with wonderful views of the islands Rum, Eigg, and Muck and Sgurr Coire Choinnichean as an incredible mountain background.

“It’s also home to The Old Forge, which is the most remote pub in mainland Britain!” – hjj2

20. Millport, near Glasgow

Millport, near Glasgow

“It’s a beautiful tiny isle near Glasgow. You can rent bikes and cycle around the island in about 1–2 hours. Both cafés, one close to the ferry port and one in the ‘town’ part, are absolutely delicious. Biggest attraction? Crocodile Rock, for sure. It’s absolutely worth going to since it is such a magical and beautiful place to be.” – laram45f255215

21. Giant’s Causeway, Antrim

Giant's Causeway, Antrim

“Giants Causeway, County Antrim. Easily.” – annam4c7ab19bb

22. Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Beddgelert, Snowdonia

“Absolutely stunning.” – cerysedwards

23. Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk

Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk

“The vast beach and the colourful huts at Wells-Next-the-Sea, north Norfolk.” – danm49cb25d99”

Source: Ylenia and Buzzfeed

Germans reveal why they still ‘Love UK’

Admit it, times have been hard for the UK recently. First, the result of the EU membership referendum left many – even among the winning side – in shock. The value of the pound plummeted and the prime minister announced his intention to quit. Then underdogs Iceland kicked England out of Euro 2016 in humiliating style.
So German paper Zeit Online decided it needed to cheer the Brits up a bit and show they were still appreciated. The best way to do this it decided was to ask its readers to list things they like about the UK.

Initial tweet

And did they respond! The hashtag #WeLoveUKBecause quickly started trending in Germany. Thousands of people used it, confirming their affection for the island nation.

Apparently, the German are true lovers of many things British, as they have demonstrated with their tweets. A variety of aspects of British life were mentioned, from culture to sport to food and weather.

Of course, there was tea. “You can make cups of tea like no one else and it is the answer to every single problem!” one person tweeted.

Tea tweet

 

“#WeLoveUKBecause of Doctor Who, breakfast, very friendly people everytime, black humor, lovely landscape and – yes, the weather!” another user tweeted. Others said “your #pubculture is unique”.

Muppet Show tweet

“Music, TV and film wouldn’t be the same without all your talent and your dry, dark humour,” one tweet said. And they weren’t alone. Many expressed their fondness for Monty Python and Sherlock. And some Germans clearly have an abiding admiration for the late great Margaret Rutherford, the original big screen Miss Marple.

Tweet of photo of Margaret Rutherford

A queue

That tweet wasn’t the only mention of British food. “#WeLoveUKBecause whoever survives such breakfast habits and such weather apparently owns [an] adorably viable set of genes,” one said.

Food tweet

Fish&chips tweet

Many also pointed out the general friendliness of the nation. “Strangers call you ‘love’ or ‘darling’ and somehow that feels really nice,” a user said.

And beautiful landscapes were also mentioned.

“Some of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. The Highlands, Edinburgh, Beachy Head, multiple beautiful towns & villages.”

Tweet admiring the London landscape

But all in all, if you are British and you have had a bad week, don’t feel sad! There are people out there who love you!

Source

Britain’s new i360 tower a ‘pier in the sky’

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The world’s tallest moving observation tower, the i360, opens to the public on Thursday, a futuristic landmark that has transformed the historic seafront in the English tourist resort of Brighton.

A 162-metre (530-foot) high steel tower is ringed by a doughnut-shaped glass observation pod that gently glides up and down.

The design is meant to be a 21st-century take on the Victorian pleasure piers that characterise British seaside towns: this time, a vertical pier in the sky, according to project chiefs.

It is hoped that the attraction will further boost tourism in the southeastern resort of Brighton, a gem of 1700s and 1800s architectural grandeur.

Designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield, the tower is the sequel to their London Eye observation wheel, which opened in the British capital in 2000 and is one of its most popular visitor attractions.

Several places wanted a copy of the giant wheel, but the husband-and-wife team felt the concept wasn’t viable in smaller cities.

Instead they took the chance to recalibrate it for Brighton, already Britain’s most popular seaside destination for foreign tourists, in this project that has taken 13 years of work to come to fruition.

“The key ingredient, as with the London Eye, is moving very slowly to a great height for a fantastic view,” said Barfield.

– ‘The architecture of pleasure’ –

The i360 sits at the entrance to the 1866-built West Pier, which burnt down in 2003.

With a height to diameter ratio of 40 to one, it is the world’s slenderest tall tower, according to Guinness World Records.

“This is very much in the spirit of the West Pier, whose purpose was to delight, entertain and inspire people,” Marks told AFP, standing at the top of the tower.

“Just as it invited Victorian society to go out and walk on water, the i360 turns that concept vertically and invites people to walk on air and get a new perspective on the city.

“Everybody seems to love a great view,” he added.

“It’s a pleasure both to the eyes and the intellect not only to gaze at the horizons but to look beyond them.”

The tower cost £46 million ($61 million, 55 million euros) to build but promises to break even as long as it attracts around half its estimated annual 700,000 visitors.

From the top, visitors can see for 26 miles (42 kilometres) along the coast and out over the English Channel.

Until now, the Royal Pavilion has been Brighton’s standout landmark: an over-the-top, mock Indian palace completed in 1823 as a seaside residence for King George IV, who was known for his indulgent lifestyle.

The Sussex city is also known for its Georgian and Regency terraces, as well as its later Victorian piers, and is now home to an up-and-coming arty crowd and is often considered Britain’s “gay capital”.

The tower’s designers say the new structure, which dominates the city’s skyline, is in keeping with Brighton’s history of bold architecture built for pleasure, but it has not been universally welcomed by locals.

The tower’s nicknames range from the “iSore” to more sexually innuendoed names, and some residents decry the local authority taking on a £36 million loan to fund the project — though the city council insists it is charging the i360 a higher rate than the borrowing costs.

– Alien spacecraft-style pod –

The 18-metre diameter pod — technically an oblate ellipsoid shape — is pulled up by a giant cog and steel cable winch system, located underground. It also uses a counterweight within the tower.

Christian Bouvier, vice-president of French cable car experts Poma, which built the pod and the drive mechanism, said the vertical lift system was a new technical challenge for the company.

“This has never been done before,” he told AFP.

The 200-capacity pod looked like a visiting alien spacecraft when first assembled next to a cornfield in France, Bouvier said.

Looking out from his maiden ride in the pod, he said: “It’s really the wow effect. It is sensational to see, as if in a helicopter.”

Bouvier compared the i360 to Paris’s most famous tower.

“David Marks is really the Gustave Eiffel of our century,” he claimed.

The tower’s lattice steel cladding is designed to diffuse the wind so that it does not wobble, and to protect it from expanding in the sun.

“The results of this actually turned out better than the theory,” said Bouvier.

The pod will travel up and down around 200 times a week, starting in September, and cost visitors £15 ($20, 18 euros) a ride.

by Robin Millard

© 2016 AFP

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Don’t Be A Tourist! 9 Places Only Hardcore Londoners Know About

‘That’s very touristy’ is possibly one of the most heinous comments a person could make about your chosen bar, place or activity. In London, no one wants to look like a tourist. When it comes to finding out the best places to try (for both Londoners and tourists alike), it’s hard to decipher what’s good when researching online. (Unless, of course, you read SL *wink*). There is, however, a brand spanking new app launching their beta version in London – Cool Cousin – which will help you find amazing places to try, as recommended by locals – the people who know best. The app allows you to find and chat to ‘Cousins’, people who live in the city you’re planning to visit and who will give you real, tried-and-tested recommendations of cool places to try. Here are some places in our city, shared by some of the London Cousins.

1 brixton

1. Pop Brixton

Recommended by: Adrianna, Yoga Teacher
Adrianna says: The latest edition to the community, Pop Brixton is an open-air style market, which personifies the spirit of Brixton. Here you’ll find a combination of restaurants of all cuisines, local fashion designers, bars, and a health food café called homegrown (a personal fave) There is a greenhouse style seating area for when the days are well, like London, but the most wonderful thing is to sit in the sun, cocktail in hand as the sun is setting while listening to love music, because there is an event space called Pop Box, which hosts various events from live music, to movie, to yoga and capoeira.
49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ

 

2. Champs Barber

Recommended by: Barrie, Owner of Scotch & Limon
Barrie says: Run by an ex Colombian boxing champion, champs is pound for pound the best barbers in London. No need to book, just rock up and enjoy the trim.
31 Riding House St, London W1W 7DY
3. Reign Vintage

Recommended by: Jacob, Musician and Filmmaker
Jacob says: I’m almost reluctant to make public my secret of Reign Vintage. This place is the best vintage shop in London. Fact. The clothes are fantastic, affordable, and diverse. Whether you’re looking for a 60s dress, a 70s suit, or just a shirt, bag or hat, this is the place. The staff are delightful and you’re in the heart of Soho.
12 Berwick St, London W1F

 

4. The Rum Kitchen

Recommended by: Adora Mba, African Art Blogger
Adora says: My best friend owns this place so I may be a tad biased, but honestly if you like good food, good music and a great ambience it is the place to get your grub on. Book in advance! The queues are always long for walk-ins. I prefer the Soho branch for whatever reason but then I prefer to have brunch at the All Saints one. Different strokes for different folks – most importantly the food is still great at both! You simply must try the jerk chicken thighs, the spare ribs, the jerk chicken burger and the goat curry with rice. HEAVEN.
Multiple Locations: Kingly Court, Carnaby St, London W1B 5PW & 6-8 All Saints Rd, London W11 1HH
5. The Dove Beer and Kitchen

Recommended by: James, Music Producer and DJ

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James says: Way before the craft beer movement became a thing, there was The Dove, serving up a really wide range of specialist bottles as well as guest ales & beers. Really cosy pub too, lots of board games for wintery afternoons or a good few tables on the pavement on Broadway Market. The beers are great but i wouldn’t personally recommend eating there though, way better other options for food in the area in my opinion…
24-28 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ

 

6. The Escapologist

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Recommended by: Alex, PR professional & London Community Manager for Cool Cousin
Alex says: My favourite thing about this bar is that you can enter one of the spaces through a secret door that looks like a large painting! Make sure you experience that. I prefer going there in the late afternoon rather than the evening for an intimate drink with a friend in one of the booths. The Nero Must Die cocktail is a great alternative to an Espresso Martini.
35 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LD
7. The Peace Pagoda

Recommended by: Adam Bodini, Photography and Brand strategy consultant
Adam says: The Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park is an amazing place to escape and reflect on the world. Overlooking the Thames, surrounding by lush greenery it is easy to feel completely at peace and relaxed here. I often escape to the Pagoda, lie down and forget about the stresses and strains of the world.

 

8. Howling Hops Tank Bar

Recommended by: Ilana, Cinematographer
Ilana says: A fairly new addition to the ever growing Hackney Wick. This micro brewery is awesome to go to if you like an ale! They have loads of tanks filled with an eclectic mix of ales in a great space that feels really communal. They don’t serve in pints of half pints. If you are a meat eater you can get a massive platter of it here.
Unit 9A Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln, London E9 5EN

 

9. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Recommended by: Max, Filmmaker and Props Scouter

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Max says: Hidden off the forever busy Dalston Lane is this incredible and relaxing community garden. The garden was built on an old railway line and is surrounded by warehouses and some converted industrial buildings. They serve both hot and alcoholic drinks and the garden gets lots of sunlight. They also often do biscuits and cakes. The vibe is incredibly friendly and they often hold workshops.
13 Dalston Ln, London E8 3DF

 

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Summer’s here: Britain’s 20 best beaches

To help you plan a trip to the coast this summer, and with Britain finally basking in heat, we have asked a group of our regular writers to recommend their favourite beaches around the country. Some of the nominations are deservedly popular spots along the south and western coast of Britain, while others are of the wild and unspoilt variety, where even at the height of summer you can find a secluded spot beneath cliffs or among dunes. Some of the shorelines here – those in Scotland and the Isles of Scilly, for instance – are so remote that you will need to find a base for a night or two. So for each destination we have suggested somewhere to stay locally, and – where it exists – somewhere to eat on or near your stretch of sand.

North Cornwall

1. Watergate Bay, Newquay

Two miles of golden sand backed by cliffs and caves, where the Atlantic swells produce reliable surf and peregrine falcons, gulls and fulmars wheel overhead. Spot strawberry anemones and crabs among the rock pools, walk along the clifftop, or book a surfing or traction kiting lesson

South Cornwall

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2. Porthcurno, near Land’s End

Set beneath the clifftop Minack Theatre, this is arguably the county’s most beautiful bay: a funnel of sand caught between lichen-encrusted granite cliffs. Easily accessible, it has fine white sand and is popular with families. It’s best at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay (one of which is nudist) and sit on sandbars beneath the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas, surrounded by Grecian-blue water.
Eat: at the Coffee Shop at the Minack Theatre, above the beach offers coffee, Cornish cream teas, and light meals. You have to pay for admission to the site (adults £4.50; 15 and under £2.50), but this includes access to the gardens. (01736 810694; minack.com).
Stay: at The Old Coastguard hotel in Mousehole, which offers a spacious bar/restaurant, and a superb location with views over the palm-filled garden sloping down to the sea. Doubles from £130, including breakfast.

Isles of Scilly

3. Pentle Bay, Tresco

Pentle Bay induces a broad grin. You can’t help it after crossing Tresco Island’s lush interior and walking through sandy grass into a wall of dazzling colour: bleached white sand, emerald-and-turquoise ocean dotted with islands and impossibly blue sky. Everything is light, bright, almost tropical in its brilliance. It takes a dip in the briny – two degrees colder than the mainland – to confirm that you are still in Britain.

North Devon

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4. Saunton Sands

Behind this untamed three-mile stretch of beach is Braunton Burrows, one of the largest sand-dune systems in Britain, and home to myriad rare plants and butterflies. Atlantic rollers sweep on to the vast sandy beach.
Eat: at The Sands on the Beach, sister cafe to the Saunton Sands Hotel, offers casual dining options at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacks
Stay: at the Saunton Sands Hotel offers family-friendly accommodation right above the beach, with indoor and outdoor pool, health club, and sea-view rooms.

South Devon

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5. Blackpool Sands

Three miles south-west of Dartmouth is this sheltered and peaceful crescent of fine shingle, backed by wooded hills. It’s popular with families, and a great spot for swimming as its turquoise waters are clean and usually calm. You can hire kayaks and paddle boards.
Eat: at The Venus Café, right on the beach, serves Devon crab, baguettes and salads, open daily from 8.30am-9pm until the beginning of September.
Stay: at Strete Barton House, Strete: a stylish b & b in a 16th-century manor house near Dartmouth. Doubles from £105, including breakfast.

Dorset

6. Studland Bay

Four miles of pristine white sand, which shelves gently into milky-blue waters, with a backdrop of dunes and heathland. The northern stretch, most easily reached by chain ferry, has an away-from-it-all, desert-island feel, appreciated by the naturist sunbathers at Shell Bay; the southern Knoll Beach is popular with families.
Eat: at the National Trust Beach Café, Knoll Beach, which serves hot and cold main meals and snacks. You can dine indoors or out (01929 450500; nationaltrust.org.uk/studland-beach/eating-and-shopping).
Stay: at The Pig on the Beach hotel, which offers cosy interiors, superb breakfasts and an extensive kitchen garden, with views ofOld Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight.

Isle of Wight

7. Compton Bay

A rural and unspoilt stretch of coast caught between the English Channel and the grassy downs of West Wight. Walk south to Brook Bay at low tide and you may find ancient dinosaur tracks revealed on the foreshore, or spot fossils in the crumbling cliffs (see dinosaurisle.com for details of fossil walks). Access from the clifftop car parks (National Trust) is by steep wooden steps.
Eat: at The Café at Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater Bay, is set in a charming photographic museum and serves teas and lunches.
Stay: at Compton Farm Caravan and Camping, close to the beach.
Or stay in one of the smart yurts of the Really Green Holiday Company at Afton, a short drive or cycle away.

Sussex

8. West Wittering

It’s a long, narrow and often traffic-choked road to the Witterings from Chichester, but that’s what gives this Sussex beach its remote feel. The fine, open stretch of sand, overlooking the Solent and Chichester harbour, is spotlessly clean and at low tide there are pools for paddling. Out on the water, acrobatic windsurfers sweep past. From the far western end, you can cross a narrow ridge to East Head, a lovely and remote sand-dune spit at the mouth of the harbour. Get there early to avoid the queues and bag a parking spot.
Eat: at the well-run beach café, which serves a range of snacks and sandwiches.

Kent

9. Botany Bay

This is the most northerly of Broadstairs’s beaches, and perhaps the prettiest – a 660ft curve of sand backed by white cliffs, with chalk stacks, rock pools and safe swimming. At low tide you can walk to Joss Bay, Kent’s best surf beach.
Eat: at Oscar’s Festival Café (07595 750091; oscarsfestivalcafe.co.uk), in Oscar Road, Broadstairs. It serves light breakfasts, lunches, teas and magnificent cakes in a charmingly retro interior.
Stay: at Crescent Victoria Hotel in Margate (from £54 a night), which offers individually-styled rooms, a retro vibe, and fabulous sea views.

Suffolk

10. Walberswick

The wooden bridge leading from the picturesque village of Walberswick to the beach is always crammed with children clutching crabbing lines and plastic buckets. Clamber over the ridge of dunes into the magical light of the Suffolk coast and you’ll understand why so many artists are drawn to paint this long and empty stretch of sandy beach.

Eat: at the Anchor for superior pub food, plus brunches, BBQs, and Curry Fridays
Stay: at In Southwold, stay at the refurbished Crown Hotel, which has a restaurant using local ingredients or the Swan Hotel, which offers an old-fashioned welcome and family-friendly service.

 

Norfolk

11. Wells/Holkham

You don’t know the meaning of “big sky” until you cross the wooden boards through the dunes and tip out on to this vast stretch of sand, midway along the north Norfolk coast. You can lay out your beach towels here or walk east on a path through the pine woods to the slightly more sheltered beach at neighbouring Wells-next-the-Sea. In high summer it’s easier to park at Wells and walk the other way. In any case, take a windbreak – and watch out for the caprices of the incoming tide.
Eat: at The Beach Cafe on the Holkham Estate is backed by pinewoods and near the beach. Food is homemade, using local produce, and includes hot and cold snacks, lunches, and sandwiches, as well as ice-creams and drinks.
Stay: at Cley Windmill overlooking the salt marshes about 11 miles east along the coast.

Yorkshire

12. Sandsend

Set against a backdrop of grassy cliffs, where the wide sweep of beach from Whitby ends, this stretch is quieter and prettier than its famous neighbour. Children play in the little becks that flow across the sand and ducks waddle across the green in charming Sandsend village. This is a great place for fossil hunting at low tide.
Eat: at The Woodlands is a lovely café-cum-restaurant close to the beach; closed on Mondays.
Stay: at The Porthole, a converted 19th-century bunker built into the cliff with a private terrace overlooking the sea

Northumberland

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13. Bamburgh

Overlooked by Bamburgh Castle, this beautiful stretch of wild coastline offers clear seas and huge sands that stretch to Seahouses, three miles away. On a clear day you can see out to Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands.
Eat: at The Old Ship Inn, Seahouses, an atmospheric pub with sweeping sea views; local seafood is the speciality. Or eat simply: barbecue Bamburgh bangers from R Carter & Son butchers (01668 214344; bamburghbanger.co.uk).
Stay: at St Cuthbert’s House , an elegant 200-year-old former chapel in North Sunderland near Seahouses.

Lancashire

14. Formby

The monumental dunes here are classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and from their tops there are views of the Cumbrian mountains – and even Blackpool Tower on a clear day. Footpaths lead through the pinewoods behind to a red squirrel reserve (this is one of the last outposts in Britain), and on the vast expanse of beach you can sometimes spot prehistoric human and animal footprints. The sunsets are spectacular. Read our guide to a walk along the Formby coast.
Eat: at one of the picnic areas, or among the dunes.
Stay: at Bay Tree House b & b, Southport

East coast of Scotland

15. Lunan Bay

This magnificent two-mile strand on the unheralded Angus coastline is backed by dunes and overlooked by Red Castle, a crumbling 12th-century fortress. Its pink sandstone hues match the colour of the low red cliffs and curious rock formations on the beach below. This is a great place for birdwatching, and is popular with surfers and riders. Some swear the sands have a rosy tint; certainly the shore glitters after a storm, when semiprecious stones such as agate and jasper can be found. Take care when swimming as there are strong currents.
Stay: at Ethie Castle, on the coast near Lunan Bay, a14th-century sandstone fortress that is one of Scotland’s oldest inhabited castles – and one of its most atmospheric b&bs.
Eat: at Gordon’s Restaurant with rooms in nearby Inverkeilor , a place for serious foodies.

West coast of Scotland

16. Sandwood Bay, Cape Wrath, Sutherland

Sutherland’s, and arguably Scotland’s, best beach is Sandwood Bay: a glorious, mile-long stretch of sparkling sand that is pounded by North Atlantic rollers and backed by undulating dunes. The beach, which is owned and managed by the John Muir Trust, is popular with intrepid types – there’s a hike of four and a half miles from Blairmore.
Eat: picnics.
Stay: at Mackay’s Rooms, Durness, has seven stylish bedrooms, two self-catering properties and two crofts.

Scottish Islands

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17. Luskentyre, Outer Hebrides

Hidden at the end of a winding road on the wild north-west coast of the Isle of Harris, this long stretch of brilliant sand is washed by shallow, startlingly azure water. Farther out are the steel-grey rollers more often associated with Scotland, studded with empty, windswept islands.
Eat: at a scenic picnic spot – there are no cafes within walking distance.
Stay: at a cottage or b&b.

Northern Ireland

18. Portstewart Strand

A magnificent beach on the Causeway Coast, bounded at one end by low basalt cliffs and at the other by the River Bann. The dunes that back the two-mile-long Strand reach heights of 100ft and more, lending it an air of wildness and mystery, and the waves that crash on to the beach provide reasonable surfing. In neighbouring Portrush you can marvel at sea-sculpted shapes in limestone cliffs on White Rocks beach – the Cathedral Cave, the Lion’s Paw, the Wishing Arch.
Eat: at Ramore Wine Bar, on the harbour in Portrush
Stay: at the Royal Court Hotel which stands above Portrush, looking down on the town, the East Strand and the Royal Portrush Golf Course.

Wales

19. Marloes Sands

There is a half-mile walk from the car park to this magnificent National Trust-managed beach, but it’s worth it for the crystal-clear water and dramatic sandstone cliffs, the views of outlying islands, and for the fossils, rock pools, seals, surf and space.
Eat: at the Lobster Pot Inn, Marloes.
Stay: at a self-catering property in the area; summer short breaks are available, if booked at the last minute.

20. Rhossili beach

The Worm’s Head promontory marks the beginning of this four-mile stretch of golden sand. Set at the western tip of the peninsula, it bears the full might of Atlantic swells, and is popular with surfers, walkers and paragliders. Access is tricky, involving a walk down the cliff path. Look out for the hull of the Helvetia, wrecked on the beach in 1887. There can be strong undertows when the surf is high.
Eat and stay: at The Worm’s Head Hotel

 

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How to Get the Full Harry Potter Experience In London

First came the books, then the films; now the world premiere of the play is here.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I and II,” co-written by JK Rowling, is on stage at Palace Theatre from June 7.

The play is set 19 years after the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Harry is now a husband, father of three and an overworked employee of Ministry of Magic—an organisation that preserves magical law. As his youngest son Albus wrestles with his inherited powers, Harry has issues of his own. His archenemy, the evil Voldemort, may have been conquered but Harry is still haunted by his past.

The show is directed by the Olivier and Tony Award–winner John Tiffany, best known for the West End’s musical show “Once”. Details are under wraps, but with special effects by Jeremy Chernick—who’s worked on Cirque du Soleil’s “Wintuk” and “America’s Got Talent”—expect to be blown away.

Unusually, the play is too long for a single show, so to see it all you need to buy tickets to both parts; watch them on the same day or two consecutive evenings. Alas, it’s fully booked until 2017, but call for potential return tickets.

Unlucky? You can still keep the story of Harry Potter alive, says JK Rowling. “No story lives unless someone wants to listen. So whether you come back by page or by big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

So let the stories you know and love pop off the page by visiting these film locations around London. Let’s take you on a tour of the city!

London Zoo

The zoo’s reptile house is featured in the first film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” After Harry speaks to a Burmese python, he makes its tank glass disappear, causing his annoying cousin Dudley to fall in as the snake escapes. ‘Thanksss!’ While there, check out the Asiatic lions in the new Land of the Lions.

 

Leadenhall Market

The opticians in Bulls Head Passage, by Leadenhall Market, is the entrance for the Leaky Cauldron wizard’s pub in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” The magicians passed through it to access stalls in Diagon Alley. A 14th-century meat market, it’s now home to shops, cafes and wine bars. Note its ornate roof.

 

Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station

Hogwarts Express departed for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from this platform. To find it, Harry would run into a wall between platforms 9 and 10. Visit the entrance to the real platform 9 and you’ll find a trolley disappearing into a wall and the sign for Platform 9¾.

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St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The neo-gothic façade of this hotel, next to King’s Cross station, is the entrance to the station in the films. Eagle-eyed fans might remember when Harry and Ron parked Ron’s dad Mr Weasley’s Ford Anglia here, before flying it to Hogwarts in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Sip cocktails in Booking Office Bar or enjoy the spa pool.

 

Borough Market

Leaky Cauldron moved from Leadenhall to Borough Market for the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Following a hair-raising journey over Lambeth Bridge—‘Little old lady, 12 o’clock!’—the triple-decker Knight bus bumps into a car outside Chez Michéle florist at 7 Stoney Street. Go early and try the market’s regional produce.

 

Millennium Bridge

This suspension bridge featured in the sixth film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” when Voldemort ordered Death Eaters to attack it. The bridge collapsed into the Thames, killing muggles (non wizards). Cross from Tate Modern on the South Bank over to St Paul’s Cathedral.

 

Piccadilly Circus

This major intersection features in the seventh film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” While escaping Death Eaters, Harry, Ron and Hermione just miss being hit by a double decker outside what is now Gap. The statue of Eros is a handy meeting point outside Criterion Theatre.

 

Warner Bros Studio

On a studio tour, Harry, Ron and Hermione discuss the films on screen before you’re led into the Great Hall. You then see costumes, props and the steam train Harry took to Hogwarts’ before ‘flying’ on broomsticks.

 

Westminster tube station

Harry and Mr Weasley ride this station’s escalators in the fifth film, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” en route to Harry’s hearing at Ministry of Magic. Mr Weasley uses his hand instead of an Oyster card and is puzzled when the barriers don’t open. ‘Trains underground! Ingenious, these muggles!’ The station closed for a day during filming. It’s close to Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
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Did you know? You can book the Harry Potter Walking Tour here:

http://www.london-discount-hotel.com/sightseeing/harry-potter-walking-tour