Off the Pavement: Lesser Known Sights of the UK

seagullOne of the common facets of the populations of every place in the world is that most of the people have their own secret places to go. Places the tourists don’t know about. The UK is no different. Though the popular tourist’s attractions should be on all itineraries, there are a few places that are off the pavement and shouldn’t be missed.

Silecroft, Cumbria:
The bulk of visitors to The Lake District, don’t go there for the beach. They are missing one of the area’s real jewels. The coastal area is dominated by this five mile long sand and shingle beach. It’s an easy drive from Ambleside and it has all the facilities for water sports that you will need, with fishing, canoeing, and waterskiing. The area has won water quality awards many years running. There is a mountain nearby that has awesome vistas of the countryside both near and far.

Llandudno Pier, Conway:
The Victorians were in love with piers and this is one of the more unusual of the Victorian variety. It is 2,295 feet long and, unusually, has two entrances. It also boasts a 45 degree turn, about one third of the way down its length, offering a panoramic view of the Conway Mountains.

Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire:
This is a prime place to watch sea birds, in fact it one of the best locations in the country. Skomer Island is a rather flat island with bays, headlands, rocks, and inlets. It has been a nesting place for puffins, shearwater, and razorbills for many generations. It is also home to seals, sponges and corals.

Wembury, Devon:
This is home of the quintessential rock pool, the rock pools should be viewed during the two hours around low tide. During that time many species of strange and wonderful sea creatures can be found within the rocks. Children will forget the ice-cream of nearby Torquay and Paignton while searching for small living treasures of the sea.

Mewstone is a strange shaped island viewable from Wembury Beach. What was once a prison and private residence is now home to a bird sanctuary. It houses over 1% of the world’s population of Shy Albatrosses and Fairy Prions.

Brownsea Island, Dorset:
This place claims its fame from the very first Boy Scout camp that was held there in 1907. It is a small oval island that is reached by ferry. Almost as famous as the wild life are the tea rooms where native red squirrels may be seen.

Pagham Harbour, West Sussex:
This is a large area of mudflats, salterns, tiny rivers and teeming with wildlife. You may want to start from the car park (limited space) and just walk to take in all the natural beauty. Pagham is very close to Chichester, the home of the famous Festival Theatre.

Blaize Bailey, Gloucester:
This is high Forest of Dean country. From the summit you can see magnificent views of the Severn Valley and its famous bore (tidal wave). There are many species of flora here as well as abundant numbers of various species of native and non-native deer.

Pullingshill Wood and Marlow Common, Buckinghamshire:
This area has two claims to fame. Firstly, it is one of the premier resorts on the River Thames. Secondly it has this outstanding area of natural beauty. This area enjoys protection because of the ground cover. Pullingshill is natural woodland and has been for centuries whilst Marlow Common has only had trees for a mere 50 years.

Bedford Purlieus, Bedford:
Once part of the Rockingham Royal Forest this area is one of the richest in wild life in Great Britain. It can support both lime and acid loving plants and a healthy number of different species of fungi. It’s also the home to a plethora of butterfly species. It is a National Nature Reserve owned by the Forestry Commission and a must see for the avid nature lover.

Though the UK has the modern sights that most tourists plan ahead of time to see, there are natural wonders that only centuries of environmental crafting can create. Leaving the pavement and exploring this wonderful country can yield a lifetime of interesting and beautiful memories that no tourist pamphlet can capture.

London resident Samantha Hathaway is a financial consultant, nature enthusiast and a content contributor for Payday Loans, a company providing payday loans for money advances when you need them.

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