The United Kingdom, comprising of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, is a patchwork of fascinating history and modern culture. London, the capital city, is hugely influential all over the globe, and has a whole host of attractions that are bound to enthrall visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Although most people head straight for the bright lights of the city, the UK has some truly timeless hidden gems that OROGOLD wants to share with you, from charming countryside villages steeped in history and tradition to soaring snow-capped mountains on an isolated Scottish island.
The New Forest, Hampshire
The New Forest, created to be royal hunting grounds in 1079 for King William I, is anything but new, and was once part of a primeval forest that covered the whole of southern England. Today, it is a national park that measures over 93,000 acres with woodlands, scrubland, open heaths and more, and enjoys unique laws and privileges, making it one of OROGOLD’s favorite rural playgrounds in England. The New Forest is home to plenty of wildlife, but the most popular are the New Forest ponies, who roam semi-wild around the area. Several species of local deer can also be spotted, darting in between the ancient oak and beech trees. The quaint and picturesque countryside villages are also not to be missed, with Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst being two of the more popular ones.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye, part of the Inner Hebridean islands of Scotland, saw its first settlers in 4000 BC, and underwent Viking colonization from 700 AD onwards. Although the area went through significant historical turmoil, and changed hands many times, the locals fiercely clung on to their language, traditions and way of life. Skye’s more alluring attraction is its scenery, and the sparkling lochs, towering cliffs and mountains of all shapes and sizes form some of the most dramatic scenery, making it no surprise that it was recently given the title of 4th Best Island in the World by National Geographic. Since the majority of tourists tend to stay at the quaint towns of Portree and Trotternish, it is easy to find corners of the island where you can get away from it all, and have the majestic landscape all to yourself. When the mist begins to set in and you need to warm up, there are plenty of historic castles, museums, whisky distilleries and local pubs to keep you occupied.
The Lake District
The Lake District, a region and national park in Northwest England, is the most popular national park in the country, welcoming over 15 million visitors a year. With its landscape reminiscent of fairy-tale postcard panoramas, it is easy to see why many Romantic poets ended up settling in the area in the 19th century. The region has plenty of literary connections, with its craggy hilltops and glittering lakes providing inspiration to the likes of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Lake cruises are a great way to explore the area, or, for a more unique birds-eye view, a Tree Top Trek will have you gliding through the canopies of the ancient oak woodland, giving you unobstructed views of Lake Windermere.
Although the cities of the UK may receive the most visitors, the timeless magic of this charming country can only be truly experienced in the majestic countryside. Traveling through the UK is like a journey through history, giving you a better glimpse into the extraordinary eccentricity that makes the UK so intriguing.