Top 10 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty UK

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset AONB

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset AONB

1. The Cotswolds AONB

A gentle quintessentially English landscape of rolling hills, historic market towns and heritage inns covering Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Dunwich, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

Dunwich, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

2. Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB stretches from Kessingland in the North all the way south to the beautiful Stour estuary and Constable Country. The area contains iconic coastal landscapes in Britain including the largest shingle spit in Europe – Orford Ness and the great sweeping sandy beaches of Dunwich Heath. Classic seaside locations also feature including enchanting Southwold with its award-winning pier and Aldeburgh, world famous for its annual classical music festival.

3. Dedham Vale AONB

Dedham Vale AONB and the Stour Valley on the Suffolk/Essex border is Constable Country, a gentle English lowland landscape of meadows, river valleys and woodland. The landscape around Flatford and Dedham village has changed little since Constable’s day.

Dedham Vale AONB - Constable Country on the Suffolk/Essex Border

Dedham Vale AONB – Constable Country on the Suffolk/Essex Border

4. The Northumberland Coast AONB

The Northumberland Coast AONB on the North East Coast contains endless sandy beaches and nature reserves, magnificent coastal castles, over 100 ancient monuments and wildlife rich off-shore islands. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is the Northumberland Coast’s world famous heritage attraction.

High Force Waterfall, Teesdale, North Pennines AONB

High Force Waterfall, Teesdale, North Pennines AONB

5. The North Pennines AONB

The North Pennines AONB is the second largest of the UK AONBs covering North Cumbria, the South Tyne and Allendale and the Durham Dales of Weardale, Teesdale and the Derwent Valley. Landscapes are a mix of wild high moorland peaks like Alston Moor and broad upland Dales. Spectacular naturally formed attractions include the famous waterfalls of High Force and Low Force in Teesdale.

Sissinghurst, Kent High Weald AONB

Sissinghurst, Kent High Weald AONB

6. High Weald AONB

The High Weald AONB on the Kent and Sussex border. World famous Kent and Sussex gardens are in The Weald including Wakehurst and Sissinghurst plus ancient woodlands like Ashdown Forest, inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The Seven Wonders of the Weald include steam railways, castles, vineyards and family fun farm parks.

7. Isles of Scilly AONB

The Isles of Scilly AONB off the West Cornwall Coast. St Mary’s is the largest of the Scilly Isles. Things to do on the Isles of Scilly include beautiful walks, great bird watching, seal and dolphin watching boat trips and exquisite tropical gardens which thrive in the mild climate here.

Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula AONB

Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula AONB

8. The Gower AONB

The Gower AONB on the South West Wales Coast, a lesser known AONB gem with stunning world best beaches and coastal walks. Rhossili Bay on The Gower is one of Britain’s most spectacular stretches of coast. This Welsh AONB is perfect for year round romantic breaks and weddings. The Gower is also a popular surfing hotspot on the Welsh coast.

9. Dorset AONB

The Dorset AONB is spread across the West Dorset Coast and Countryside contains the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, a mecca for coastal walking featuring stunning beaches, secluded bays and iconic geological coastal features like Durdle Door.

18th century West Wycombe Park, Chilterns AONB

18th century West Wycombe Park, Chilterns AONB

10. The Chilterns AONB

The Chilterns AONB is a landscape of ancient woodlands, beautiful landscaped parks and gentle rolling hills covering much of Buckinghamshire. The Chilterns contain beautiful villages like Amersham and Great Missenden, inspiration for the children’s stories of Roald Dahl.

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.