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From the fire-engine reds made famous by London’s phone booths to the sandstone glow of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Britain has always been an Instagram addict’s dream.
Although it’s hard to beat the colours and textures of British cities, the countryside — where crystal-clear lakes back onto mountains and forests are plucked from a fairytale — is just as tailor-made for not-to-be-missed photo opps.[related_articles]57582,55910[/related_articles]
Here’s our round-up of the most Instagrammable spots in the country. Your favourite filter is optional.
Land’s End, England
Land’s End is the kind of landscape that conjures an Enid Blyton adventure story: granite cliffs that plunge sharply into the water, a coastal path that winds around hidden coves and inlets and an Atlantic that’s always a mysterious shade of grey-blue.
Although the westernmost point of England is heavy on natural beauty, it’s also littered with man-made landmarks that can lend your selfies a point of interest.
Longships Lighthouse has been standing guard in the distance since 1795 (it was immortalised in a painting by JMW Turner) and you’ll also find First and Last House, a historic cottage that was built by Cornwall local Gracie Thomas. It’s been serving refreshments — including Cornish ice-cream! — for over 100 years. Sounds good to us.
Glen Etive, Scotland
It’s hard to imagine an Instagram subject as cinematic as Glen Etive. This otherworldly piece of the Scottish Highlands, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Glasgow, has all the makings of a classic photo.
Here, the River Etive winds through snow-capped mountains before forming a series of lakes and waterfalls and the single-track Glen Etive Road meanders for 14 miles. It takes you to the ridge of Buachaille Etive Mor, a pyramid-like peak that’s shrouded in mist and blanketed in heather and bracken.
The surrounding moorlands — which starred in Braveheart and James Bond’s Skyfall — are also home to golden eagles and herds of red deer, the largest land mammal in Britain. If you keep watch, you might be lucky enough to document wild stags, which can grow up to three metres tall.
The Black Mountains, Wales
Wales is known for emerald-coloured valleys and thickets of verdant forest. But the country’s craggy mountains make for arresting Instagram fodder. The Black Mountains, a cluster of red sandstone hills to the north of the Brecon Beacons National Park, are a case in point. This range, which spans the distance between Ammandford in the southwest and Sennybridge in the northeast, is among the most photogenic places in the country.
Sure, the summit of Fan Brycheinog towers 802 metres above sea level. But it’s hard to go past Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr, a pair of lakes that were formed during glacial movements dating back to the Ice Age. Unfolding across a natural amphitheatre, they resemble water bodies from another planet. Make sure you capture their mirror-smooth surfaces, which reflect and refract changes in the Welsh light.
Longleat Safari Park And Hedge Maze, England
What makes a more shareable image than a pride of lions striding through grasslands or a young giraffe taking its first steps?
At Longleat Safari Park, a safari park housed on a 9000-square-acre estate, you’ll find lions and giraffes, but also monkeys, tigers and rhinos. The park, which houses some 500 wild animals, was the first of its kind outside Africa and has been luring aspiring wildlife photographers to the Wiltshire countryside for over 50 years.
Although Longleat is known for its conservation efforts, it’s a magnet for both nature and culture lovers thanks to Longleat House. This high Elizabethan manor is fringed by gardens conceived by the legendary landscape architect Capability Brown. It’s also worth take a photo of Hedge Maze, a green labyrinth built from 16,000 English yew trees. It’s been a beautiful part of the estate since 1975.
Durdle Door, England
Dorset in southwest England is known for its unusual coastline that dates back to the Jurassic Period. The highlight? Durdle Door, a majestic limestone archway that encircles a cove and resembles a Mediterranean postcard. This natural landmark, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, is among the most photographed sites in this part of the country – and for good reason.
But the rock formation, which was created nearly 25 million years ago, isn’t only thing worthy of Instagram. If you walk east from Lulworth Cove, you’ll arrive at Worbarrow Bay, a shingle beach that’s flanked by limestone cliffs.
And if you venture a little further, you’ll stumble on Tyneham. This abandoned coastal village, which was evacuated by the British army during World War II, is dotted with crumbling ruins. It’s also the kind of place that sums up all the starkness and drama of this far-flung part of England, where keeping your smartphone at hand is always a good idea.[qantas_widget code=LHR]Check out Qantas flights to London.[/qantas_widget]
(Lead image: Longleat Hedge Maze/Website)
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