Seven natural wonders of UK listed – but poll shows Brits haven’t heard of them

The list of Britain’s top natural wonders has been published and spans a breathtaking waterfall in Wales to Dorset’s one and only Jurassic Coast.

The Royal Geographical Society has come up with a list of Seven Wonders of Nature in the UK, bringing together all the beautiful and unique geological sites Britain’s nature has to offer.

Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfallat Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant has made it onto the list of natural landmarks, a waterfall just inside the Welsh border and which at 240ft is thought to be one of Britain’s highest.

The majestic waterfall is made of streams originating in the Berwyn Mountains, falling in three stages to form the Afon Rhaeadr.

It joined other top locations such as Loch Coruisk and the Cuillins, Wastwater, Dovedale, the Needles, the Jurassic Coast and the Giant’s Causeway.

However, a new survey commissioned as part of the project revealed a lack of knowledge of the UK’s most revered natural landmarks, the WalesOnline reports.

A staggering 90 per cent of those polled admitted to not having heard of all the Seven Wonders.

Survey results showed that 41 per cent of UK adults have incredibly never visited any of the Seven Wonder landmarks – with the Jurassic Coast being the most visited (31 per cent) and Pistyll Rhaeadr being the least visited (6 per cent).

The survey, of 2,000 people, was commissioned by outdoor specialists Merrell ahead of the launch of its new MOAB footwear collection and revealed that more than half of UK adults are more likely to visit one the UK’s best beauty spots than they were pre-coronavirus.

Results from the survey also suggests the pandemic has made the public more open to UK travel with 44 per cent stating they were more open to exploring unfamiliar places in the UK, more than they were before the pandemic.

Television presenter Mary-Ann Ochota, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society said: “One of the few positives to come out of the pandemic is the opportunity many of us have had to explore the natural wonders on our doorsteps.

“And hopefully this summer will offer even more chances to explore new places in the UK.

“This list will have a couple of sites that might be familiar, but there’s also likely to be some hidden gems that you might never have heard of.

“These seven locations are really extraordinary – I think most of us would be amazed to learn that they’re right here in our own country.”

Simon Sweeney, UK marketing manager at Merrell, said: “The Natural Wonders have been devised to inspire native exploration and celebrate nature’s greatest gifts in the UK.

The other six Natural Wonders of the UK

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 o

f 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 most characteristic and unique feature of the site is the regular polygonal basalt columns – estimates suggest that there are approximately 40,000 columns around the Causeway.

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.

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.

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.

Following a visit to Dunvegan Castle, Sir Walter Scott visited Loch Coruisk in 1814, describing it as “that dread lake” in his poem ‘The Lord of the Isles’.