The stunning hexagonal-shaped columns in the cave of Staffa looke carved, like a cathedral, yet they are naturally formed basalt rock created from cooling lava. I’m a sucker for rock formations and I would love to see the scale of the cave in real life. Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, can only be reached by boat and is uninhabited- perfect.
Formed in the same way as Fingal’s Cave, and by the same lava flow, The Giant’s Causeway is located on the coast of Northern Ireland. Legend has it that both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave are the end sections of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Finn McCool) to Scotland, so he could reach and fight Benandonner, his gigantic Scottish rival.
White-tailed sea eagles on Mull
Whales in the Hebrides
Did you know that we get Killer Whales in our UK seas? How cool is that?! And I want to see them. And dolphins. And other whales. They can be seen around the Hebridean Islands and, conveniently, boat tours operate from the Island of Mull to Fingal’s Cave with whale watching on the way, meaning I could tick three sights off my list in one day!
The bird migration on the Norfolk coast
Every Autumn, especially in the month of October, thousands of birds arrive from Scandinavia via the shores of Norfolk while others pass by on their way to warmer climates, leaving the UK behind. Hundreds of species pass Norfolk on their travels including different species of thrush, owl, warbler, shearwater, skua, and goose. Holme Bird Observatory, The Wash and the RSPB Titchwel reserve are ideal places to observe flocks of birds build up their fat reserves for their long journey ahead. For any birdwatcher the migration spectacle is a must, and one I haven’t seen.
Thatched house villages in Cotswold
My eyes have witnessed the postcard-perfect thatched cottages of the Cotswolds, fronted with flowering Wisteria set against perfect clear skies, only on Television programmes such as Location Location Location and Escape to the Country. I dream of walking down their quaint village streets and chatting to locals over their stone walls. My normal UK destinations of choice are ‘up North’ so venturing south for a week would feel like a foreign holiday in the sun.
Stars and planets at Kielder Observatory
Set in the darkest skies in England, the Kielder Observatory hosts night events to spectate the wonders of our universe through inspiring lectures and star-gazing workshops. Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is the largest Dark Sky Park area of protected night sky in Europe, so what better place to go than here? We plan to spend a weekend camping in the Northumberland Nation Park and spend the Saturday night at one of the observatory events. Looking at their website, the events book up very quickly, with some events sold out for the rest of the year!