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- Britain Chooses Its Best Park Bench Views
It’s no surprise that parks and outdoors spaces have been a saviour during lockdown. Green space is proven to help uplift our mental health and wellbeing, and for many of us, our daily exercise has been the highlight of the day.
But which runners and walkers are lucky enough to live near some of the UK’s best-loved scenery? The team at Haddonstone has been finding out. They’ve trawled thousands of TripAdvisor reviews, searching for the UK’s most amazing views that can be enjoyed from the comfort of a public park bench.
Scotland was the clear winner, with the views from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh receiving over 4,000 mentions – that’s nearly 3000 more than any other UK location!
Haddonstone has rounded up the top 13 stunning views to be enjoyed from a park bench across the UK. Will your favourite beauty spot be included?
4,067 mentions of views
Magnificent Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano and the highest mountain in Edinburgh’s craggy Hills. Nestled within the royal Holyrood Park. Arthur’s Seat stands a staggering 251m above sea level, offering one of the best views of Scotland’s capital city.
It’s no surprise that so many people complement its views – it’s a must see for Edinburgh’s residents and visitors alike. You can easily drive to the summit of Arthur’s Seat, whilst walking to its summit will take you around an hour. In ‘normal’ times, people come from all over the world to hike to the top for the beautiful panorama of the city.
Dating back 2000 years, Arthur’s Seat has been a popular filming location over the years, but most people will recognise it from Trainspotting.
Technically, there isn’t actually a park bench on top of Arthur’s Seat. However we’re counting this one because it has so many ratings, and the entire landmark is based on, well, a seat!
Coming in second is a landmark that’s just a stone’s throw from Arthur’s Seat, proving that Edinbugh’s views really are the most favoured in Britain.
The vista from Calton Hill can be reached on foot in just ten minutes, and provides equally spectacular views of the capital.
From one side, you can take in the sights of Edinburgh Old Town, Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Walk around to the other side of the hill, and you’ll be greeted by stunning views of the Firth of Forth, linking Edinburgh to the North Sea.
Sit back and relax on one of the many park benches – a perfect place for peace and quiet.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset.
It’s one of the UK’s most recognisable structures, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831. Day or night, sunrise or sunset, the 702-foot-long bridge is an architectural marvel.
Clifton Downs offers a huge green space on a cliff top overlooking the bridge, and is just a 30 minute walk from Bristol City Centre. It’s an idyllic setting, with park benches and open areas to sit and watch the world go by, as well as the famous Clifton Observatory, which is currently closed for visitors.
This world-famous open-air amphitheatre is carved into the granite cliffs overlooking the half-moon cove of Porthcurno Bay. Set in beautiful sub-tropical gardens, the Minack Theatre’s summer season usually runs between May and September, and often includes performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
If you go on a sunny day, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in ancient Greece. Perch yourself on one of the café benches or treat yourself to a sea view spectacle sat on one of the 750 stone seats. We recommend you hire one of the padded seat cushions and bring a blanket for chilly evening performances.
You’ll be rewarded with stunning views, luscious gardens and world-class theatre performances. A seat at the Minack Theatre is unlike any other in the UK.
Lulworth Cove is situated on Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast, and its pebble beach is hugely popular during the summertime for good reason. Around 500,000 visitors make their way to this natural cove each year to take in its stunning beauty.
A World Heritage Site, Lulworth Cove is one of the globe’s finest natural coves. It was originally formed when the sea broke through a thin layer of the Portland Stone cliff, creating an almost perfect semi-circular bay.
There are several park benches in and around the cove, offering awe-inspiring views.
Lulworth Cove really is one of a kind, and we’re not surprised it made it into the top five best views on TripAdvisor.
Beachy Head is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising 531ft above sea level, near to the renowned Seven Sisters.
Its iconic white chalk cliffs are seen as the ‘eastern gateway’ to the South Downs National Park, and its expansive green space and park benches offer stunning views across the English Channel.
Infamous Beachy Head has been featured in many films. It made a short appearance in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as playing a starring role in Quadrophenia, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and many more.
Based in the Lake District, Orrest Head is a popular destination for both seasoned hikers and casual walkers. An easy uphill walk from Windermere station, this must-see destination offers unrivalled 360-degree views over Lake Windermere, Morecambe Bay and the Pennines.
At 239 metres above sea level, Orrest Head Viewpoint is the highest vantage point along the Orrest Head walk. Lush and teaming with wildlife as is customary in the Cumbrian countryside, it’s no surprise that Wainwright wroteof Orrest:
“Orrest Head for many of us, is ‘where we came in’ – our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty…Dare we hope there will be another Orrest Head over the threshold of the next heaven?”
The first mention of London in this list. Primrose Hill’s namesake hilltop park has been presenting spectacular views across London since it was purchased from Eton College in 1841. Originally bestowed as recreational parkland to the poor of north London, it now offers unequalled views to thousands of locals and tourists every year.
Stroll through Grade II listed royal Regent’s Park and climb to the top of the natural hill that stands 210 ft above sea level. From here, you can take in the pretty pastel-coloured Regency townhouses of Primrose Hill and the ZSL London Zoo. At this height you won’t even need a clear day to enjoy the capital’s skyline. Look to the east for a great view all the way to the Canary Wharf skyscrapers, or gaze west to see the London Eye and west end.
Next to the park benches at the top of the hill, you will find a stone inscribed with William Blake’s homage to the area:
“I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill”.
When it’s open, Grade II listed Cabot Tower in Brandon Hill, Bristol, provides truly impressive views over the city centre, Clifton and Hotwells.
Built in the 1890s as a 400-year commemorative tower honouring the journey taken by John Cabot from Bristol to Canada, this historical structure is surrounded by beautiful open green spaces.
Take in the two-hectare nature reserve managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust, the wildflower meadow, informal gardens and open grasslands. There’s plenty of places to walk and stop for a breather. A firm favourite is the park bench next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The village of Corfe Castle is located over a gap in the quintessentially pretty Purbeck Hills in Dorset.
Its eponymous ruined castle stands proudly about the foothills and is now managed by the National Trust.
Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century, and was partly demolished by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians in 1646. Today, it is revered as one of Britain’s most iconic survivors of the English Civil War.
Take the Corfe Common ‘history walk’ from the village through the parkland and around the castle. On this well-trodden circuit, you can enjoy spotting the local wildlife as well as the historic archaeological landscape.
Sitting on one of the many park benches located around the ruins, you could be mistaken for feeling like you’ve stepped into a period drama!
With three mentions out of 12, Edinburgh arguably really does have the best views in the UK, according to TripAdvisor reviewers.
The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic memorial in homage of Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.
The location is home to Edinburgh’s Christmas Market, but throughout the year it’s known for telling the tale of two cities.
From one side, you can see views of the historic Old Town, but turn your head the other way, and you can watch the modern-day hustle and bustle of the New Town in the urban park.
Brimham Rocks is a staggering collection of natural rock formations in North Yorkshire. Managed by the National Trust, this 183.9-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest sits proudly in North Yorkshire.
A collection of park benches can be found throughout the area, with the top spots facing the uniquely rock formations.
Surrounded by moorland, there are few places in the world like Brimham Rocks. Locals should take a flask on their heather-laden ramble this time of year and watch out for the many bird species to be found in this beautiful location.
Another favourite vantage point in our capital city, the top of the hill at Greenwich Park offers outstanding panorama views of London throughout the whole of the year.
It’s an awe-inspiring spot, and one of the most photographed views in London for good reason. The vantage point from Greenwich Park displays the incredible contrast between London’s history and heritage, and today’s modern-day metropolis.
From the Royal Observatory, you can look down onto the 16th century Queen’s House, now home to an internationally renowned art collection, and the National Maritime Museum. Henry VIII used Greenwich Park as a hunting ground and if you’re lucky you might spot its small herd of Fallow and Red deer, which still calls Greenwich Park home.
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