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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best England of All Time

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    1
    Shropshire Hills AONB

    Shropshire Hills AONB

    The Shropshire Hills area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in the English county of Shropshire, close to its border with Wales. Designated in 1958 , the area encompasses 802 square kilometres (310 sq mi) of land primarily in south-west Shropshire. The A49 road and Welsh Marches Railway Line bisects the area north-south, passing through or near Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow. The Shropshire Hills, located in the Welsh Marches, are relatively high, with the highest point in the county, Brown Clee Hill, near Ludlow, towering to a height of 540 metres (1,772 ft). This gives Shropshire the 13th tallest hill per county in England. Titterstone Clee Hill, part of the Clee Hills, is of a similar height to Brown Clee, at 533 metres (1,749 ft), making it the third largest hill. The Stiperstones are the second largest in the county, at 536 metres (1,759 ft), and are notable for their tors of quartzite; particularly notable are Devil's Chair (SO368991) and Shepherd's Rock (SO373998). More accessible hills are the Long Mynd, which covers an area of 5,436 acres (8½ square miles) and peaking at Pole Bank at a height of 516 metres (1,693 feet), is
    6.44
    9 votes
    2
    6.25
    8 votes
    3
    Bodmin Moor

    Bodmin Moor

    Bodmin Moor (Cornish: Goen Bren) is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is 208 square kilometres (80 sq mi) in size, and originally dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. Bodmin Moor is one of five granite plutons in Cornwall that make up part of the Cornubian batholith (see also Geology of Cornwall). The name 'Bodmin Moor' is relatively recent, being an Ordnance Survey invention of 1813. It was formerly known as Fowey Moor after the River Fowey which rises within it. Dramatic granite tors rise from the rolling moorland: the best known are Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall at 417 m (1,368 ft), and Rough Tor at 400 m (1,300 ft). To the south-east Kilmar Tor and Caradon Hill are the most prominent hills. Considerable areas of the moor are poorly drained and form marshes (in hot summers these can dry out). The rest of the moor is mostly rough pasture or overgrown with heather and other low vegetation. The Moor contains about 500 holdings with around 10,000 beef cows, 55,000 breeding ewes and 1,000 horses and ponies. Most of the moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Bodmin Moor, North, and has been
    6.57
    7 votes
    4
    England

    England

    England /ˈɪŋɡlənd/ is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, while the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separate it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial
    7.20
    5 votes
    5
    Gower Peninsula

    Gower Peninsula

    Gower or the Gower Peninsula (Welsh: Gwyr or Penrhyn Gŵyr) is a peninsula in south Wales, jutting from the coast into the Bristol Channel, and administratively part of the City and County of Swansea. In 1956 Gower became the first area in Britain to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. About 70 square miles (180 km) in area, Gower is known for its coastline, popular with walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, especially surfers. Gower has many caves, including Paviland Cave and Minchin Hole Cave. The peninsula is bounded by the Loughor Estuary to the north and Swansea Bay to the east. Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers 188 km², including most of the peninsula west of Crofty, Three Crosses, Upper Killay, Blackpill and Bishopston. The highest point of Gower is The Beacon at Rhossili Down at 193m/633 ft overlooking Rhossili Bay. Pwll Du and the Bishopton Valley form a statutory Local Nature Reserve. The interior of Gower consists mainly of farmland and common land. The population resides mainly in villages and small communities, though suburban development has made a number of communities in eastern Gower part of the Swansea Urban Area. The southern coast
    8.50
    4 votes
    6
    Cannock Chase

    Cannock Chase

    Cannock Chase (grid reference SK000165) is a mixed area of countryside in the county of Staffordshire, England. The area has been designated as the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Chase gives its name to the Cannock Chase local government district. Cannock Chase is located between Cannock, Lichfield, Rugeley and Stafford. It comprises a mixture of natural deciduous woodland, coniferous plantations, open heathland and the remains of early industry, such as coal mining. The landscape owes much to the underlying Triassic bunter formations. Cannock Chase was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on 16 September 1958 and is the smallest area so designated in mainland Britain, covering 68 km (26 sq mi). Much of the area is also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Despite being relatively small in area, the chase provides a remarkable range of landscape and wildlife, including a herd of around 800 fallow deer and a number of rare and endangered birds, not least migrant Nightjars. A feeding station at the Marquis Drive Visitors' Centre, sponsored by the West Midland Bird Club, attracts many species, including Brambling,
    8.00
    4 votes
    7
    6.40
    5 votes
    8
    Arnside and Silverdale AONB

    Arnside and Silverdale AONB

    Arnside and Silverdale is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, on the border between Lancashire and Cumbria, adjoining Morecambe Bay. One of the smallest AONBs, It covers 29 square miles (75 km²) between the Kent Estuary, the River Keer and the A6 road. It was designated in 1972. The area is characterised by low hills of carboniferous limestone, including Arnside Knott (522 feet) and Warton Crag (535 feet), interspersed with grassland. Much of the area is covered by deciduous woodland, in which ash, oak and hazel predominate. The coastal areas contain large areas of salt marsh, although these are under threat from the shifting channel of the Kent Estuary. The Leighton Moss nature reserve, owned by the RSPB, is the largest area of reedbeds in North West England, and is an important habitat for birds. The bittern, one of the resident species, has been adopted as the logo of the AONB. In addition there are 15 SSSIs in the area; one of these, Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve, is home to some rare species of butterfly including the High Brown Fritillary. Arnside and Silverdale are the main villages in the area. Other settlements include Warton, Yealand Redmayne,
    7.25
    4 votes
    9
    Anglesey

    Anglesey

    Anglesey /ˈæŋɡəlsi/ (Welsh: Ynys Môn [ˈənɨs ˈmoːn]) is an island off the north west coast of Wales. Two bridges span the Menai Strait, connecting it to the mainland: the Menai Suspension Bridge designed by Thomas Telford in 1826 and the Britannia Bridge. Anglesey is also the name given to a county which includes the island of Anglesey itself, Holy Island on which the town of Holyhead stands, and various minor uninhabited islets. The Norse name Anglesey came into existence in the 10th century and was later adopted by Anglo-Norman occupiers during the invasion of Gwynedd. Almost three quarters of the inhabitants are Welsh speakers and Ynys Môn, the Welsh name for the island, is used for the UK Parliament and National Assembly constituencies. With an area of 714 square kilometres (276 sq mi), Anglesey is the largest Welsh island, the sixth largest surrounding Great Britain and the largest in the Irish Sea. Môn is the Welsh name of Anglesey, derived from the British enisis mona, appearing first during the Roman era as 'Mona': it is the Mona of Tacitus (Ann. xiv. 29, Agr. xiv. 18), Pliny the Elder (iv. 16) and Dio Cassius (62). It is called Môn Mam Cymru ("Môn, Mother of Wales") by
    8.67
    3 votes
    10
    Chichester Harbour

    Chichester Harbour

    Chichester Harbour is a large natural harbour to the south west of the city of Chichester on the Solent. It straddles the boundary of West Sussex and Hampshire. Geographically it is a ria. It is one of four natural harbours in that area of the coastline, the others being Portsmouth Harbour, Langstone Harbour and Pagham Harbour. The harbour and surrounding land is managed by Chichester Harbour Conservancy . Chichester Harbour is one of the few remaining undeveloped coastal areas in Southern England and remains relatively wild. Its wide expanses and intricate creeks are at the same time a major wildlife haven and among some of Britain's most popular boating waters. The massive stretch of tidal flats and saltings are of outstanding ecological significance. Very large populations of wildfowl and waders use the mudflats feeding on the rich plant life and the huge populations of intertidal invertebrates. More than 7,500 Brent geese overwinter on the intertidal mud-land and adjacent farmland and more than 50,000 birds reside in or visit the Harbour throughout the year. The harbourside villages are: West Wittering, West Itchenor, Birdham, Dell Quay, Fishbourne, Chidham, Prinsted, Thorney
    8.67
    3 votes
    11
    North Devon AONB

    North Devon AONB

    The North Devon Coast was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in September 1959. The AONB contributes to a family of protected landscapes in the Southwest of England and a total of 38% of the region is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as Category V Protected Landscapes. The twelve Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty extend to 30% of the region, twice the proportion covered by AONBs in England as a whole and a further two National Parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, cover an addition 7%. The North Devon Coast AONB covers 171 square kilometres (66 sq mi) of mainly coastal landscape from the border of Exmoor National Park at Combe Martin, through the mouth of the Taw & Torridge Estuary to the Cornish border at Marsland Mouth. The dune system at Braunton Burrows has also been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the whole of the AONB is within the Reserve boundaries. The North Devon Coast was first considered to require some form of national landscape protection in 1953 and was originally intended to be part of the Exmoor National Park. The Torridge section was to be part of the proposed Cornwall Coast National Park. This was not to be,
    8.67
    3 votes
    12
    South Devon

    South Devon

    South Devon is the southern part of Devon, England. The area is not precisely defined, but because Devon has two coasts, with its major population centres on the two coasts, the county is commonly divided informally into North Devon and South Devon. In a narrower sense "South Devon" is used of the part of Devon south of Exeter and Dartmoor, including Plymouth, Torbay and the districts of South Hams, West Devon and Teignbridge. South Devon is also sometimes taken to include East Devon, which includes the first seaside resort to be developed in the county, Exmouth and the more upmarket Georgian town of Sidmouth, headquarters of the East Devon District Council. Exmouth marks the western end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The landscape of South Devon consists of rolling hills dotted with small towns, such as Dartmouth, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, Salcombe, and Totnes. The towns of Torquay and Paignton are the principal seaside resorts on the south coast. Another notable feature is the coastal railway line between Newton Abbot and the Exe Estuary: the red sandstone cliffs and sea views are very dramatic and in the resorts railway line and beaches are very near.
    8.33
    3 votes
    13
    Cotswolds

    Cotswolds

    The Cotswolds are a range of hills in southwestern and west-central England, an area 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The highest point in the Cotswolds range is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), 2.5 miles (4 km) to the north of Cheltenham. The Cotswolds lie mainly within the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but extend into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire. The hills give their name to the Cotswold local government district in Gloucestershire, which administers a large part of the area. The name Cotswold is sometimes attributed the meaning, sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides, incorporating the term, wold, meaning, woodland. The English Place-Name Society has for many years accepted that the term Cotswold is derived from Codesuualt of the twelfth century or other variations on this form, the etymology of which was given, 'Cod's-wold', which is 'Cod's high open land'. Cod was interpreted as an Old English personal name, which may be recognised in further names: Cutsdean, Codeswellan, and Codesbyrig, some of which date back to the
    6.25
    4 votes
    14
    South Hampshire Coast

    South Hampshire Coast

    The South Hampshire Coast was an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Hampshire, England, UK that was subsumed into the New Forest National Park when it was established on 1 April 2005. It lies between the New Forest and the west shore of the Solent. It includes freshwater lagoons, salt-marsh, shingle, tidal mudflats, wooded coastal lowlands and the estuaries of the Beaulieu and Lymington rivers. The entire length of the AONB's coast is covered by Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the estuaries in particular are notable for wildlife. Places of interest include Bucklers Hard.
    7.67
    3 votes
    15
    Surrey Hills AONB

    Surrey Hills AONB

    The Surrey Hills is a 422 km (163 sq mi) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), located in Surrey, England. The AONB was designated in 1958 and covers one quarter of the county of Surrey. The Surrey Hills AONB adjoins the Kent Downs AONB to the east and the Wealden portion of the former Sussex Downs AONB (now South Downs National Park) in the south west. The highest summit of the Surrey Hills AONB is Leith Hill near Coldharbour, at 294 metres (965 ft) above sea level, or 314 metres (1,030 ft) above when Leith Hill Tower is considered. It is part of the Greensand Ridge, which traverses the AONB from west to east, and is the highest point in south-east England. The Surrey Hills area has three long-distance walks running through it. These are the North Downs Way, the Greensand Way and the Pilgrims' Way. Blackheath Common is also part of this area. The northern ridge of these hills is predominantly formed by chalk and the southern ridges are predominantly greensand. They provide a haven for many rare plants and insects. Parts of the area are owned and managed by the National Trust, including Ranmore Common, Leith Hill and Box Hill. Chiddingfold Forest is a Site of Special
    7.67
    3 votes
    16
    Llŷn Peninsula

    Llŷn Peninsula

    The Llŷn Peninsula (Welsh: Penrhyn Llŷn or Pen Llŷn, Welsh pronunciation: [ɬɨːn]) extends 30 miles (48 km) into the Irish Sea from north west Wales, south west of the Isle of Anglesey. It is part of the modern county and historic region of Gwynedd. Much of the eastern part of the peninsula, around Criccieth, is technically part of Eifionydd rather than Llŷn, although the modern boundaries have become somewhat vague. The area of Llŷn is c. 300 km. with a population of at least 13,000. Historically, the peninsula was used by pilgrims en route to Bardsey Island (Welsh: Ynys Enlli), and its relative isolation has helped to conserve the Welsh language and culture, for which the locality is now famous. This perceived remoteness from urban life has lent the area an unspoilt image which has made Llŷn a popular destination for both tourists and holiday home owners. Holiday homes remain a bone of contention among locals, many of whom are forced out of the housing market by incomers. From the 1970s to the 1990s, a shadowy group known as Meibion Glyndŵr claimed responsibility for several hundred arson attacks on holiday homes using incendiary devices, some of which took place in Llŷn. The name
    9.00
    2 votes
    17
    Malvern Hills

    Malvern Hills

    The Malvern Hills are a range of hills in the English counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a small area of northern Gloucestershire, dominating the surrounding countryside and the towns and villages of the district of Malvern. The highest summit of the hills affords a panorama of the Severn valley with the hills of Herefordshire and the Welsh mountains, parts of thirteen counties, the Bristol Channel, and the cathedrals of Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford. They are known for their spring water - initially made famous by the region's many holy wells, and later through the development of the 19th century spa town of Great Malvern, a process which culminated in the production of the modern bottled drinking water. The Malvern Hills have been designated as a Biological and Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Countryside Agency (now Natural England). The SSSI notification has 26 units of assessment which cover grassland, woodland and geological sites. The site (The Malvern Hills SSSI (Chase End Hill)) is listed in the 'Forest of Dean Local Plan Review' as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS). Management of the
    9.00
    2 votes
    18
    East Hampshire AONB

    East Hampshire AONB

    East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England was designated in 1962. The designation was revoked in March 2010, together with the neighbouring Sussex Downs AONB, upon the establishment of the South Downs National Park. The southern part of the area is mainly rolling chalk downland used for farming that is a westward extension of the Sussex Downs. The north and east includes steep wooded hills and heathland. Features include; Petersfield, the Rother valley, Warnford and West Meon. Four National Nature Reserves and many several Sites of Special Scientific Interest fall within the AONB. The Hanger's Way, South Downs Way, Staunton Way and Wayfarer's Walk long distance paths pass through it. Notable hills include Butser Hill near Petersfield, Beacon Hill and Old Winchester Hill near Corhampton and St Catherine's Hill and Cheesefoot Head near Winchester. There was controversy in 1994 when a new stretch of the M3 motorway was cut through Twyford Down, separating St Catherine's Hill from the main AONB.
    7.00
    3 votes
    19
    High Weald AONB

    High Weald AONB

    The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is situated in south-east England. Covering an area of 1,450 square kilometres (560 sq mi), it extends across the counties of Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. It is the fourth largest Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) in England and Wales. It is characterised by an attractive, small-scale landscape containing a mosaic of small farms and woodlands, historic parks, sunken lanes and ridge-top villages. The High Weald AONB was designated under the National Park and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 in October 1983. Designation as an AONB gave official recognition to the unique landscape of the High Weald, strengthened the ability of government agencies and local authorities to conserve and enhance the landscape, and provided priority for financial support for these objectives from the principal government agency responsible for AONBs, the Countryside Agency (now Natural England). AONBs do not possess separate administrative structures like Britain's National Parks, but rely on existing structures. In the case of the High Weald, this requires co-ordination of the policies and management activities of fifteen local authorities,
    7.00
    3 votes
    20
    Quantock Hills

    Quantock Hills

    The Quantock Hills is a range of hills west of Bridgwater in Somerset, England. The Quantock Hills were England’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty being designated in 1956 and consists of large amounts of heathland, oak woodlands, ancient parklands and agricultural land. The hills run from the Vale of Taunton Deane in the south, for about 15 miles (24 km) to the north-west, ending at East Quantoxhead and West Quantoxhead on the coast of the Bristol Channel. They form the western border of Sedgemoor and the Somerset Levels. From the top of the hills on a clear day, it is possible to see Glastonbury Tor and the Mendips to the east, Wales as far as the Gower Peninsula to the north, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor to the west, and the Blackdown Hills to the south. The highest point on the Quantocks is Wills Neck, at 1,261 feet (384 m). Soil types and weather combine to support the hills' plants and animals. In 1970 an area of 6,194.5 acres (2,506.8 ha) was designated as a Biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. They have been occupied since prehistoric times with Bronze Age round barrows and Iron Age hill forts. Evidence from Roman times includes silver coins discovered in
    7.00
    3 votes
    21
    Mountains of Mourne

    Mountains of Mourne

    The Mourne Mountains /ˈmɔərn/MOHRN, also called the Mournes or Mountains of Mourne, are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. It includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 850 metres (2,790 ft). The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty and has been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. The area is partly owned by the National Trust and sees a large number of visitors every year. The name Mourne (historically spelt Morne) is derived from the name of a Gaelic clann or sept called the Múghdhorna. The Mournes are visited by many tourists, hillwalkers, cyclists and rock climbers. Following a fundraising drive in 1993, the National Trust purchased nearly 1,300 acres (5.3 km) of land in the Mournes. This included a part of Slieve Donard and nearby Slieve Commedagh, at 767 metres (2,516 ft) the second-highest mountain in the area. The Mourne Wall is among the more famous features in the Mournes. It is a 35 kilometres (22 mi) dry-stone wall that crosses fifteen summits, constructed to define the boundaries of the 36 square kilometres (8,900
    5.50
    4 votes
    22
    Forest of Bowland

    Forest of Bowland

    The Forest of Bowland, also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England. A small part lies in North Yorkshire, and much of the area was historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Once described as the "Switzerland of England", it has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1964, and is used for grouse shooting, walking and cycling, though it is relatively unfrequented by tourists. One of the best known features of the area is Pendle Hill, which is separated from the main part of the Forest of Bowland AONB by the Ribble Valley. In total, 13% of the AONB is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its important areas of heather moorland and blanket bog. The area is nationally and internationally important for its upland bird populations – the hen harrier is the symbol of the AONB. There are over 500 listed buildings and 18 scheduled monuments within the AONB. The name "forest" is used in its traditional sense of "a royal hunting ground", and much of the land still belongs to the British Crown as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. In the past wild
    6.67
    3 votes
    23
    Isles of Scilly

    Isles of Scilly

    The Isles of Scilly ( /ˈsɪli/; Cornish: Syllan or Enesek Syllan) form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. Since 1890 the Islands have had a local authority separate from Cornwall's, but some services were combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall; the authority has otherwise had the status of a county council since the passing of the Isles of Scilly Order 1930. The council is currently known as the Council of the Isles of Scilly. The adjective "Scillonian" is sometimes used for people or things related to the archipelago. The Duchy of Cornwall owns most of the freehold land on the islands. Tourism plays a major part in the local economy, along with farming and agriculture. Scilly has been inhabited since the Stone Age and its history has been one of subsistence living until the early 20th century. Farming and fishing continue today, but the main industry now is tourism. The islands may correspond to the Cassiterides (Tin Isles) visited by the Phoenicians and mentioned by the Greeks. However, the archipelago itself does not contain much tin—it may be that they were used as a staging post
    6.67
    3 votes
    24

    Lecale Coast AONB

    The Lecale Coast AONB is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the Lecale peninsula in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is located between Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains and has a low, sometimes sandy, rocky or grassy shoreline. Its southern tip lies along an extensive sand dune system at Dundrum Bay. Stretching from Dundrum Bay to Strangford village, the coastline is a place of delightful coves, dramatic headlands and secluded sandy beaches. It was designated an AONB in 1967 and covers an area of 31.08 km².
    8.50
    2 votes
    25
    Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB

    Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB

    The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Suffolk, England. The AONB covers ancient woodland, commercial forestry, the estuaries of the Alde, Blyth, Deben, Orwell and Stour rivers, farmland, salt marsh, heathland, mudflats, reed beds, small towns and villages, shingle beaches and low eroding cliffs along 60 miles of coastline. Features include the coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold. Bawdsey, Covehithe, Dunwich, Minsmere, Orford, Orford Ness, Sizewell, Thorpeness, Walberswick and the RSPB Minsmere Reserve. There are three National Nature Reserves in the area and many Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Three long distance footpaths pass through the AONB: the Suffolk Coast Path, the Sandlings Walk and the Stour and Orwell Walk.
    8.50
    2 votes
    26
    Dedham Vale

    Dedham Vale

    Dedham Vale is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Essex-Suffolk border in east England. It comprises the area around the River Stour between Manningtree and Smallbridge Farm, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Bures, including the village of Dedham in Essex. It is part of the area known since the artist's lifetime as Constable Country, as it was made famous by the paintings of John Constable. Among many other works of the area is Dedham Vale 1802 in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It supports a viable and diverse agriculture with a mix of farm sizes. The majority of the land in the valley is still farmed despite development pressures. Farming is the primary tool for supporting the area’s landscape and wildlife. Throughout the valley Eocene and glacial deposits overlay chalk deposited during the Cretaceous period. London Clay and sands are often exposed on the valley sides as the river and its tributaries cut through the deposits. The composition of these layers and where they occur is paramount in determining what species will grow, which habitats can occur and how the area is farmed. The river is the key landscape focus for the valley, its course is defined by
    8.00
    2 votes
    27

    Antrim Coast and Glens

    The Antrim Coast and Glens is an area of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1988. The designation takes in the coastline from Ballycastle in the north to Larne in the south of County Antrim, and includes Rathlin Island. The inland area encompasses the Glens of Antrim and the Antrim Plateau which reaches its highest point at Trostan, 550 m above sea level and comprises 706 square kilometres.
    10.00
    1 votes
    28
    Ring of Gullion AONB

    Ring of Gullion AONB

    The Ring of Gullion (Irish: Fáinne Cnoc Shliabh gCuillinn, meaning "hill ring of Slieve Gullion") is a geological formation and area, officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, (AONB) located in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The area centres on Slieve Gullion, the highest peak in County Armagh, measures roughly 42 by 18 kilometres (26 by 11 mi) and comprises some 150 km² defined topographically by the hills of an ancient ring dyke. Parts of the area have also been officially listed as Areas of Special Scientific Interest. The geological formation was the first ring dyke to be mapped, although its significance was not understood until similar structures had been described from Scotland. It was emplaced during the Paleogene opening of the Atlantic Ocean during the formation of the North Atlantic Igneous Province. The structure of the ring dyke was produced when the active volcano's caldera underwent collapse producing a concentric suite of faults providing space into which magma was able to intrude. The ring dyke is composite with both porphyritic granophyre and porphyritic felsite components. The composition of the remainder of the volcano today is
    10.00
    1 votes
    29
    9.00
    1 votes
    30
    East Devon AONB

    East Devon AONB

    East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers over 100 square miles (260 km) of the East Devon countryside (England). This countryside includes eighteen miles (29 km) of Heritage coastline. The designated area covers: twenty-nine parishes and borders the coastal towns of Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth but includes the entire resort of Budleigh Salterton. East Devon has two AONBs within its catchment area which includes the Blackdown Hills (designated 1991) and East Devon AONB (designated 1963), both AONBs make up over 66% of the district. East Devon AONB Partnership is a joint initiative funded by Natural England, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council. Through ventures such as community projects and project grants East Devon AONB Partnership helps to conserve and manage the East Devon AONB.
    7.00
    2 votes
    31
    North Wessex Downs AONB

    North Wessex Downs AONB

    The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The name North Wessex Downs is not a traditional one, the area covered being better known by various overlapping local names, including the Berkshire Downs, the White Horse Hills, the Lambourn Downs, the Marlborough Downs, the Vale of Pewsey and Savernake Forest. The AONB covers an area of some 1,730 km (670 sq mi). It takes the form of a horse shoe on its side, with the open end facing east, surrounding the town of Newbury and the River Kennet watershed. The northern arm reaches as far east as the suburbs of Reading, mid-Berkshire, whilst the southern arm similarly reaches Basingstoke in northern Hampshire. The western extreme of the AONB reaches as far as Calne and Devizes. The highest points are the 297m (974 ft) summit of Walbury Hill, situated southwest of Hungerford in West Berkshire, close to the Hampshire border, and the Milk Hill-Tan Hill ridge east of Devizes, mid-Wiltshire, at 295m (968 ft) above sea level. At its northeast extreme, the North Wessex Downs AONB faces across the Goring Gap to the Chilterns AONB on the other
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    2 votes
    32
    Northumberland Coast

    Northumberland Coast

    The Northumberland Coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering 39 miles of coastline from Berwick-Upon-Tweed to the River Coquet estuary in the north-east of England. Features include: Alnmouth, Bamburgh, Beadnell, Budle Bay, Cocklawburn Beach, Craster, Dunstanburgh Castle, the Farne Islands, Lindisfarne, Seahouses and Amble. The coastal area is situated to the east of the A1 road. It is sparsely populated and includes sandy beaches, sand dunes, rugged cliffs and isolated islands. It includes two National Nature Reserves. Fortresses and peel towers along the coast are evidence of past conflicts between the English and Scots in this border area. Coal fields are nearby and 'sea coal' is washed up on the beaches.
    7.00
    2 votes
    33
    Blackdown Hills

    Blackdown Hills

    The Blackdown Hills are a range of hills along the Somerset-Devon border in south-western England, which were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1991. The plateau is dominated by hard chert bands of Upper Greensand with some remnants of chalk, and is cut through by river valleys. The hills support an extensive range of wildlife leading to the designation of 16 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). There is evidence of human occupation since the Iron Age. Fortifications include the remains of ancient hill forts, Norman motte-and-bailey castles and Second World War airfields. There are also religious buildings such as Dunkeswell Abbey and village churches. The hills are crossed by a network of minor roads with major transport routes including the M5 motorway running around the periphery. Straddling the borders of Somerset and Devon, the Blackdown Hills AONB covers an area of 370 square kilometres (143 sq mi). Heavily cut with sharp valleys, the hills reach their highest point of 315 metres (1,033 ft) above sea level at Staple Hill in Somerset. The hills in the southern part of the area, near Honiton in Devon, are more gentle. The Blackdown Hills are a
    5.33
    3 votes
    34
    Mendip Hills

    Mendip Hills

    The Mendip Hills (commonly called the Mendips) is a range of limestone hills to the south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset, England. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Avon Valley to the north. The hills give their name to the local government district of Mendip, which administers most of the area. The hills are largely formed from Carboniferous Limestone, which is quarried at several sites. The higher, western part of the hills has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which gives it a level of protection comparable to a national park. The AONB is 198 km (76 sq mi). The Mendip Hills AONB and Somerset County Council's outdoor education centre is at the Charterhouse Centre near Blagdon. A wide range of outdoor sports and leisure activities take place in the Mendips, many based on the particular geology of the area. The hills are recognised as a national centre for caving and cave diving, as well as being popular with climbers, hillwalkers and natural historians. Several explanations for the name "Mendip" have been suggested. Its earliest known form is Mendepe in 1185. One
    5.00
    3 votes
    35
    Clwydian Range

    Clwydian Range

    The Clwydian Range (Welsh: Bryniau Clwyd) is a series of hills and mountains in north east Wales that runs from Llandegla in the south to Prestatyn in the north, with the highest point being the popular Moel Famau. The range is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The summits of these hills provide extensive views across north Wales, to the high peaks of Snowdonia, eastwards across the Cheshire Plain, Peak District and towards Manchester and Liverpool to the northeast. The AONB is to be extended to include the Dee Valley around Llangollen and Horseshoe Pass, which will result in an area approximately 390 square km. The Clwydian Hills are formed from an upstanding block of Silurian age sandstones, mudstones and siltstones. The range's rocks are intensely faulted; the major Vale of Clwyd Fault is responsible for the impressive west-facing scarp of the Clwydian Range. It downthrows the rocks to the west and separates the younger Carboniferous and Permo-Triassic rocks of the Vale of Clwyd from those of the hills. The range includes a number of hills possessing Iron Age hill forts, including (from the north) Y Foel (Moel Hiraddug), Moel-y-gaer, Penycloddiau, Moel Arthur,
    6.00
    2 votes
    36
    Chiltern Hills

    Chiltern Hills

    The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. They are known locally as "the Chilterns". A large portion of the hills was designated officially as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965. The Chilterns cover an area of 833 km (322 sq mi) and are 18 km (11 mi) at their widest and stretch 74 km (46 mi) in a southwest to northeast diagonal from Goring-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, through Buckinghamshire, via Dunstable Downs and Deacon Hill in Bedfordshire, to near Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The boundary of the hills is clearly defined on the northwest side by the scarp slope. The dip slope, by its nature, merges with the landscape to the southeast. Similarly, the Thames provides a clear terminal to the southwest, whereas northeast of Luton the hills decline slowly in prominence. The chalk escarpment of the Chiltern Hills overlooks the Vale of Aylesbury, and approximately coincides with the southernmost extent of the ice sheet during the Anglian glacial maximum. The Chilterns are part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England, formed between 65 and 95 million years ago, and comprising rocks of the Chalk Group and which also includes
    5.50
    2 votes
    37
    Cornwall

    Cornwall

    Cornwall ( /ˈkɔrnwɔːl/ or /ˈkɔrnwəl/; Cornish: Kernow [ˈkɛɹnɔʊ]) is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. Cornwall is a peninsula bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of 535,300 and covers an area of 3,563 km (1,376 sq mi). The administrative centre, and only city in Cornwall, is Truro. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the south-west peninsula of the island of Great Britain, and a large part of the Cornubian batholith is within Cornwall. This area was first inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. It continued to be occupied by Neolithic and then Bronze Age peoples, and later (in the Iron Age) by Brythons with distinctive cultural relations to neighbouring Wales and Brittany. There is little evidence that Roman rule was effective west of Exeter and few Roman remains have been found. Cornwall was the home of a division of the Dumnonii tribe—whose tribal centre was in the modern county of Devon—known as the Cornovii, separated from the Brythons of Wales after the Battle of Deorham, often
    5.50
    2 votes
    38
    Howardian Hills

    Howardian Hills

    The Howardian Hills form an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Yorkshire, England. located between the Yorkshire Wolds, the North York Moors National Park and the Vale of York. The AONB includes farmland, wooded rolling countryside, villages and historic houses with parkland. The hills take their name from the noble Howard family who owned large areas of the hills. The Howardian Hills form a roughly rectangular area of well-wooded undulating countryside rising between the flat agricultural Vales of Pickering and York.The irregular 180 metres (591 ft) ridges of the Howardian Hills are a southern extension of the rocks of the Hambleton Hills in the North York Moors. Jurassic limestone gives the landscape its character. The area contains a rich tapestry of wooded hills and valleys, pastures and rolling farmland, as well as extensive views from the higher ground across the agricultural plains below. On the eastern edge, the River Derwent cuts through the Hills in the Kirkham Gorge, a deep winding valley which was formed as an overflow channel from glacial Lake Pickering. In the spring of 1993 North Yorkshire County Council with the aid of a grant from the Royal Commission on
    5.50
    2 votes
    39
    Nidderdale

    Nidderdale

    Nidderdale is one of the Yorkshire Dales (although outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park) in North Yorkshire, England. It is the upper valley of the River Nidd, which flows south underground and then along the dale, forming several reservoirs including the Gouthwaite Reservoir, before turning east and eventually joining the River Ouse. The only town in the dale is Pateley Bridge. Other settlements include Wath, Ramsgill, Lofthouse, and Middlesmoor above Pateley Bridge, and Bewerley, Glasshouses, Summerbridge, Dacre, Darley, Birstwith, Hampsthwaite and Kettlesing below Pateley. Nidderdale was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1994. In addition to Nidderdale itself (above Hampsthwaite), the AONB includes part of lower Wharfedale, the Washburn valley and part of lower Wensleydale, including Jervaulx Abbey and the side valleys west of the River Ure. Nidderdale was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and in the Lower Division of Claro Wapentake. In the 19th century local government reforms most of the dale fell within the Pateley Bridge Poor Law Union, later the Pateley Bridge Rural Sanitary District and from 1894 Pateley Bridge Rural District. In 1937
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    2 votes
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    41
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    1 votes
    42

    Lagan Valley

    Lagan Valley is an area of Northern Ireland between Belfast and Lisburn. The Lagan is a famous river that flows into Belfast Lough. For a section, the river forms part of the border between the counties of Antrim and Down. It has a number of interesting features including a towpath which runs alongside the River Lagan. The towpath is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists, dog owners etc. It is a very scenic and peaceful area and is ideal for walking, cycling etc. The towpath begins in the Stranmillis area of south Belfast and runs all the way to Lisburn. The cycle route forms part of National Cycle Route 9.There are a number of "off route" mountain bike trails along the towpath. Lagan Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The AONB was established in 1965 and the greater part of it lies within the Greater Belfast area. The Lagan Valley is also the name of a constituency in the House of Commons covering Lisburn and surrounding areas, as well as the Assembly constituency in the same area. The parliamentary constituency has been a Unionist stronghold. The current MP for the constituency is Jeffrey Donaldson of the Democratic Unionist Party who was first elected as
    4.00
    2 votes
    43
    Norfolk Coast AONB

    Norfolk Coast AONB

    The Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers over 450 km of coastal and agricultural land from the The Wash in the west through coastal marshes and cliffs to the sand dunes at Winterton in the east. The area includes; Hunstanton, Wells-next-the-Sea, Blakeney, Blakeney Point, Sheringham, Cromer and Mundesley. The terrain behind the coast is rolling chalk land and glacial moraine, including the almost 300 foot (90m) high Cromer Ridge. East of Weybourne there is severe coastal erosion. National Nature Reserves in the AONB include the world-famous bird reserves at Cley Marshes and Titchwell. The Winterton Dunes are one of the country's finest dune systems. The Heritage Coast stretch of the AONB is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a candidate Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area. The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail pass through the AONB.
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    1 votes
    44

    Sperrins

    The Sperrins or Sperrin Mountains (from Irish: Speirín meaning "little pinnacle") are a range of mountains in Northern Ireland and one of the largest upland areas in Ireland. The range stretches the counties of Tyrone and Londonderry from south of Strabane eastwards to Maghera and north towards Limavady. The region has a population of some 150,000 and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has a distinctive glaciated landscape. The Glenshane Pass, part of the A6 Belfast to Derry road, is in the mountains and has notoriously bad weather in winter. Sawel Mountain is the highest peak in the Sperrins, and the seventh highest in Northern Ireland. Its summit rises to 678 m (2224 ft). Another of the Sperrins, Carntogher (464m), towers over the Glenshane Pass.
    4.00
    1 votes
    45
    Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs

    Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs

    The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 379 square miles (980 km) of Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. It is the sixth largest AONB in England. The landscape is mainly farmed chalk downland. The people who populated the area thousands of years ago constructed Ackling Dyke and the Knowlton Circles. The area was later the scene of conflict in the English Civil War, seeing the destruction of Old Wardour Castle. Other features include Tollard Royal, once considered the capital of Cranborne Chase; and Fovant, where soldiers training during the First World War cut regimental badges into the chalk hillside. The AONB includes two large blocks of woodland, Grovely Wood and Great Ridge Wood.
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    Isle of Wight AONB

    The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the Isle of Wight, England's largest offshore island. The designated area of the AONB covers approximately half of the island (189 square kilometres), concentrated around the south-west and north-west coastal areas and including an area of inland downland in the island's east. It also covers around half the coastline including both the Hamstead and Tennyson Heritage Coast areas. The area was designated in 1963.
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    47
    Kent Downs AONB

    Kent Downs AONB

    Kent Downs is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Kent, England. They are the eastern half of the North Downs and stretch from the London/Surrey borders to the White Cliffs of Dover. It is renowned for its natural beauty. Among the named parts of the Downs are:
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    48
    Lincolnshire Wolds

    Lincolnshire Wolds

    The Lincolnshire Wolds is a range of hills in the county of Lincolnshire, England. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and the highest area of land in eastern England between Yorkshire and Kent. They run roughly parallel with the North Sea coast, from the River Humber in the northwest to the town of Spilsby in the southeast. The Wolds comprise a series of low hills and steep valleys underlain by calcareous (chalk and limestone) and sandstone rock, laid down in the Cretaceous period. The characteristic open valleys of the Wolds were created during the last glacial period through the action of glaciation and meltwater. Geographically, the Lincolnshire Wolds is a continuation of the Yorkshire Wolds which runs through the East Riding of Yorkshire; the point at which the ranges of hill crosses the Humber is known as the Humber Gap. The Lincolnshire Wolds can be divided into four distinct areas: The Red Hill nature reserve near the village of Goulceby is notable for the unusual red colour of its soil and underlying chalk. Wolds Top is the highest point in the whole of Lincolnshire and is marked by a trig point just north of the village of Normanby-le-Wold, at
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    North Pennines

    North Pennines

    The North Pennines is the northernmost section of the Pennine range of hills which runs north-south through northern England. It lies between Carlisle to the west and Darlington to the east. It is bounded to the north by the Tyne Valley and to the south by the Stainmore Gap. The North Pennines was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1988 for its moorland scenery, the product of centuries of farming and leadmining. At almost 2,000 square kilometres (770 sq mi) it is the second largest of the 49 AONBs in the United Kingdom. The landscape of the North Pennines AONB is one of open heather moors between deep dales, upland rivers, hay meadows and stone-built villages, some of which contain the legacies of a mining and industrial past. The area shares a boundary with the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the south and extends as far as the Tyne Valley, just south of Hadrian's Wall in the north. In the North Pennines are: 40% of the UK's upland hay meadows; 30% of England's upland heathland and 27% of its blanket bog; 80% of England's Black Grouse; Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, Common Snipe and Common Redshank; 36% of the AONB designated as Sites of Special Scientific
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    50
    South Downs

    South Downs

    The South Downs is a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 square miles (670 km) across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. It is bounded on its northern side by a steep escarpment, from whose crest there are extensive views northwards across the Weald. The South Downs National Park forms a much larger area than the chalk range of the South Downs and includes large parts of the Weald. The South Downs is characterised by rolling chalk downland with close-cropped turf and dry valleys, and is recognised as one of the most important chalk landscapes in England. It is one of the four main areas of chalk downland in southern England. The South Downs is relatively unpopulated, although in Sussex there has been large-scale urban encroachment onto the chalk downland by major seaside resorts, including most notably Brighton and Hove. The South Downs has been inhabited since ancient times and at periods the area has supported a large population, particularly during Romano-British times. There is a rich heritage of historical features and archaeological remains,
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    Strangford Lough

    Strangford Lough

    Strangford Lough, sometimes Strangford Loch, is a large sea loch or inlet in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is separated from the Irish Sea by the Ards Peninsula. The name Strangford is derived from Old Norse: Strangr-fjǫrðr meaning "strong fjord"; describing the fast-flowing narrows at its mouth. It is called Loch Cuan (formerly anglicised as Lough Cuan) in Irish, meaning "calm lough" (describing the still shallow waters of the mud flats), and Strangfurd Loch or Strangfirt Lough in Ulster-Scots. The fretum Brene (called in some of the other Vitaey fretum Brenasse) was the ancient name applied to the narrow entrance to Strangford. It is a popular tourist attraction noted for its fishing and the picturesque villages and townships which border its waters. These include Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula, which is connected to Strangford across the lough by a car ferry. The island studded sea lough is the largest inlet in the British Isles, covering 150 km². Almost totally landlocked, the lough is approached from the Irish Sea through the eight kilometre long fast-running tidal narrows, which open out into more gentle waters where there are 70 islands. Countless tidal rocky outcrops
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    52
    Wye Valley

    Wye Valley

    The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an internationally important protected landscape straddling the border between England and Wales. It is one of the most dramatic and scenic landscape areas in southern Britain. The River Wye (Welsh: Afon Gŵy) is the fifth-longest river in the United Kingdom. The upper part of the river passes through the settlements of Rhayader, Builth Wells and Hay-on-Wye, but the area designated as an AONB surrounds only the 72-mile stretch lower down the river, from just south of the city of Hereford to Chepstow. This area covers parts of the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, and is recognised in particular for its limestone gorge scenery and dense native woodlands, as well as its wildlife, archaeological and industrial remains. It is also historically important as one of the birthplaces of the modern tourism industry. The area is predominantly rural, and many people make a living from tourism, agriculture or forestry. Ross-on-Wye is the only town within the AONB itself, but Hereford, Monmouth, Coleford and Chepstow lie just outside its boundaries. The varied landscapes of the Wye Valley can be explained by
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