The UK isn’t all bustling cities and gloomy weather: it’s full of stunning views and secret spots that could quite easily be mistaken for fairy-tale backdrops. From the rugged moorland of Yorkshire to the breath-taking coastline of Sussex, here be witches, dragons and castles!
Llanrwst, North Wales
Billy Goats Gruff Bridge, check; Hansel and Gretel cottage, check; fairy-tale backdrop, double check. When in search of majestic settings, it’s hard to eclipse the quaint Welsh town of Llanrwst. It isn’t hard to imagine mythical sprites hovering across this awe-inspiring landscape!
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Standing on an island in the water where three lochs meet, Eilean Donan Castle is atmospheric enough for fairy-tale royalty. With its craggy stone bridge and remote beauty, it isn’t hard to imagine a Scottish king and queen pulling on their armour while an evil dragon attempts to breach the castle walls.
Dunrobin Castle, Scotland
Inspiring images of princesses, pumpkins and magical balls, Dunrobin Castle is a stately home that wouldn’t look out of place in Cinderella. Coupled with dreamy gardens and views over Moray Firth, this unique landmark is an unmissable sight.
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
It isn’t hard to imagine Bamburgh Castle’s rocky platform being shrouded in atmospheric mist. Built in idyllic surroundings on the Northumbrian coast, the castle has played host to famous battles spanning the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. Its craggy cliff-face is the perfect setting for any damsel in distress; in fact, the castle has even been cited in works of literature, and featured in the TV series ‘The Last Kingdom’.
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
The Priory ruins of Bolton Abbey form a rugged backdrop to the 60 stepping stones crossing the estate’s main river. Take to the rocks and play a game of Billy Goat’s Gruff, keeping a sharp eye out for beastly trolls!
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire
Mother Nature and mining have shaped Roseberry Topping’s peak into the distinctive cone you see today. Many visitors say that it reminds them of Switzerland’s Matterhorn, but we think it looks more like a volcano hiding a sleeping dragon.
Tree Tunnel, West Sussex
Once a Roman road and now a sight to behold, West Sussex’s Tree Tunnel is a thing of beauty. The tube-like canopy that wraps around the path could quite easily be a setting for a Hans Christian Anderson fairy-tale. But you won’t find a creepy cottage or witch’s lair at the end of this path, instead, there’s a charming windmill and fantastic views of the coast.
Portmeirion, North Wales
Portmeirion is a fairy-tale village if ever we saw one. Pastel colours and elegant architecture mean picture-perfect views in every direction, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a magical kingdom. And with its location by the water, there’s every chance you could see a mermaid!
Lake Vyrnwy, Mid Wales
Lake Vyrnwy might just be a reservoir, but with its location in the Welsh hills, it could easily be part of a fairy-tale empire. Lush forests surround the Lake on all sides, hiding bears and witches, while an elaborate watch-tower houses knights on the look-out for trouble.
Castell Coch, South Wales
The towering spires and forest blanket of Castell Coch give more resemblance to a Sleeping Beauty scene than a Welsh landmark. You may even find Rumpelstiltskin hiding in one of the castle towers, trying to spin straw into gold.
Bodiam Castle, Sussex
Moat? Check. Spiral staircase? Check. Beautiful surroundings? Double check. Bodiam Castle has all the ingredients of a fairy-tale stronghold. Its huge turrets and imposing battlements conjure up tales of witches, dragons, knights and princesses: create your own story as you wander the castle ruins.
Are you itching to head out and explore some of the UK’s fairy-tale hotspots? Which of these enchanting views is first on your list?