Isles of Scilly named UK’s most scenic destination of outstanding natural beauty

(CNN) — The Isles of Scilly have been voted the most scenic destination of outstanding natural beauty in the UK, according to a survey by the users of the consumer champion platform Which?.
Located about 30 miles off the Cornish coast, in southwest England, the paradisiacal archipelago is known for its oceanic views, Mediterranean plant life and rocky scenery.

Pockets of historical relics such as Roman brooches and Gallic clay statuettes have been found across the five islands, which lie in the Atlantic Ocean.

With 34 destinations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to choose from, as well as 40 locations in Scotland, 5,813 participants had to evaluate their experience of the UK’s holiday hotspots based on variables including scenery, walks, wildlife and tourist attractions.

The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland was ranked third out of 34 destinations.

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While borders reopen, some pandemic-induced travel restrictions remain in place, and so holidaymakers have turned to alternative vacation ideas, including “staycations,” which grew in popularity in the UK.

The sprawling sandy beaches by the Northumberland coast were voted a close second. Home to seals, puffins and the occasional dolphin, the low-lying coastline promises opportunities for walks along miles of sandy dunes, marshes and mudflats.

Other highly-ranked destinations include Northern Ireland’s 30km stretch of the Causeway Coast, which is characterized by the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, as well as Strangford Lough, a bio-diverse sea loch covered in woodland, meadows and marshes.

Destinations in Northern Ireland were popular with participants, taking four out of the top 10 spots. The seaside towns of Cornwall and Dorset were also ranked favorably, as well as Wales’ Gower Peninsula, which is popular with surfers, swimmers and dog walkers.