MOST Brits are swapping their foreign holidays for staycations this summer, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on an adventure.
There are plenty of jaw-dropping natural landscapes right here on our doorstep.
Today, the Seven Natural Wonders of the UK have been revealed – a list of natural landmarks have been chosen for their shared beauty, uniqueness, and geological significance.
Selected by experts at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in partnership with outdoor brand Merrell, the natural beauty spots named include Pistyll Rhaeadr, Loch Coruisk and the Cuillins, Wastwater, Dovedale, the Needles, the Jurassic Coast and the Giant's Causeway.
A new survey commissioned as part of the project revealed that 90 per cent of those polled hadn't heard of all seven places and 41 per cent had never visited any of them.
Read on to find out more about each of them…
Wastwater, Lake District
Surrounded by some of the Lake District’s tallest mountains, Wastwater lies in one of the wildest and most dramatic valleys of the National Park.
The valley of Wasdale was created by Ice Age glaciers carving out U-shaped hollows in the hard volcanic rocks.
Although the Ice Age began about 2.4 million years ago, it was the latest period of intense cold, about 10,000 years ago, that caused the striking features seen today in the Lake District.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway lies on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 due to it being ‘a spectacular area of global geological importance.”
The geological features of the Causeway were formed around 50-60 million years ago, when the Antrim Coast was subjected to intense volcanic activity.
The formation of the columns was a result of successive lava flows which cooled rapidly when they met with the sea.
Dovedale, Peak District
Located in the Peak District, Dovedale is a stretch of the Dove Valley where the Dove River tumbles through impressive limestone ravines.
The limestone rock of Dovedale and the wider Peak District consists of the fossilised remains of marine life from the Carboniferous period, 350 million years ago when the area was underneath a shallow tropical sea.
At the end of the Ice Age, vast quantities of meltwater cut through the layers of limestone leaving behind the limestone rock formations like those found in Dovedale.
The Needles, Isle of Wight
The Needles form the western tip of a backbone of chalk that crosses the centre of the Isle of Wight, with three distinctive, jagged, chalk stacks that extend into the sea.
However, the fourth and taller, needle-like stack that gave its name to these rocks, known as ‘Lot’s Wife', collapsed during a storm in 1764.
Only the stump of the former 120 ft pinnacle is now visible at low tide and forms a dangerous reef off the coast. The vertical chalk stacks of the Needles are a result of heavy folding of chalk which results in hard chalk, resistant to erosion.
Jurassic Coast, Dorset
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 due to the global importance of its rocks, fossils and geological landforms, the Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile stretch of coast from Orcombe Point in Exmouth, Devon to the Old Harry Rocks, near Swanage in Dorset.
The site provides an almost continuous sequence of rock formations covering the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, known collectively as the Mesozoic Era, and is internationally renowned for its contribution to the study of earth sciences over the past 300 years.
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Loch Coruisk & the Cuillins
Loch Coruisk, meaning ‘Cauldron of Waters’ in Scottish Gaelic, is an in-land, freshwater loch situated in the heart of the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye.
Whilst the head of the loch is surrounded on three sides by the imposing volcanic Black Cuillins, the southern end connects to the sea by the Scavaig River which discharges into Loch Scavaig.
Pistyll Rhaeadr, Wales
At 240 ft tall, Pistyll Rhaeadr is one of Britain’s highest waterfalls.
Situated just inside the Welsh border the waterfall is formed from streams originating in the Berwyn Mountains, falling in three stages to form the Afon Rhaeadr below.
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