Britain’s Greatest National Treasures aired recently on ITV. Viewers were treated to 90 minutes of wonderful TV, where Sir Trevor McDonald and Julia Bradbury counted down the best twenty landmarks that Britain has to offer. And it was packed full of famous landmarks, breathtaking scenery and slightly mystical sites too. Britain really does rock when it comes to national treasures and it got me thinking. How many of the 20 landmarks featured have I actually visited? And which ones do I need to add to my list immediately?
Britain’s Greatest National Treasures- In England
Let’s start with London, shall we? It featured heavily in the countdown with eight of the twenty being located in the capital city. Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster were listed, as well as Buckingham Palace, The British Museum, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. But let’s not forget my favourite London landmark that was included. The incredible Kew Gardens, which I visited for the first time just last year. Having called London my home for over seven or eight years, there is no surprise that I have visited every single one of the London treasures featured in the countdown.
During a work trip way back when I was a university student I was lucky enough to visit number one on the countdown- Stonehenge. Which is an impressive sight to see, but once you’ve seen it and taken some photos, that’s pretty much all there is to do in the area. Luckily this visit coincided with a quick stopover in Bath too. Where, of course, we visited the Roman Baths.
Let’s head down south now. St Michael’s Mount and Cheddar Gorge are still to-do’s for me. But I have been lucky enough to explore the stunning Eden Project and part of the Jurassic Coast also. My brother lives in Somerset so it was only a short drive to the Jurassic Coast, where the famous rock formation of Durdel Dor can be found. The views are stunning and the walks will take your breath away (quite literally). Plus the cream teas and some of the best in the country.
Britain’s Greatest National Treasures- In Ireland
The only Irish landmark on this list. And it just had to go to the mystical Giant’s Causeway. I visited the site on a day trip from Dublin but would have loved to spend a little more time exploring. This unusual site is made up of 40,000 large black basalt columns. And an Irish giant named Finn McCool was once named the cause behind the causeway. Folk tales aside the site was actually created due to huge amounts of volcanic activity 50-60 million years ago. Head straight to the Grand Causeway to discover the biggest of the three rock areas. But also make time to visit the Giant’s Boot and the Wishing Chair too.
Britain’s Greatest National Treasures- In Scotland
Scotland appeared only twice on the list. Once for Loch Ness, which I may have visited on a family trip to Scotland, but have no recollection. And once for Edinburgh Castle. Which I have visited and will be visiting again this October. Everywhere you go in Edinburgh the castle dominates the skyline, albeit it is slightly small from some perspectives. I found my favourite view of Edinburgh Castle when exploring the smaller side streets of the city. The view over Edinburgh from the castle is not bad too!
Out of the twenty national treasures I still need to visit eight. In addition to the two southern landmarks of Cheddar Gorge and St Michael’s Mount I also need to visit the White Cliffs of Dover, although I recently went Camping in Folkestone and the cliffs there are pretty similar. As well as the Northern landmarks of Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District, the Scottish Loch Ness and Wales’ Mount Snowdon. How many of Britain’s national treasures have you visited? And what ones are left on your list?
Until next time.