12 Places You’d Never Believe Were In The U.K.

The U.K. landscape varies wildly, from the snow-swept peaks of Ben Nevis to the tropical looking, white sandy beaches of Cornwall. It wasn’t for the weather, you’d probably never have to go abroad at all.

1. The Maldives?

Put away your passport (and your sun cream): this perfect white sandy shore is actually Seilebost Beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

2. Mont Blanc?

This is actually the Observatory Gully on Ben Nevis in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in the UK.

3. Italy?

Good guess, but this is actually the quirky Portmerion Village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. If it looks familiar, that might be because it was used as the location for surreal 60s spy drama The Prisoner.

4. Ancient Greece?

No, this is Cornwall. The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The theatre is at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England.

5. Normandy?

Nope, Cornwall again! St Michael’s Mount’s Cornish name means “grey rock in the woods”, and may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount’s Bay was flooded. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

6. Cyprus?

This might look like a Mediterranean sun-trap, but it’s actually Achmelvich Beach in the Highlands of Scotland. Sutherland, to be precise.

7. Polynesia?

You don’t have to go to the Pacific ocean to visit this reef-like inlet. It’s actually part of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Two miles to the north of Lizard Village lies the secluded Kynance Cove, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

8. South of France?

Although it looks Provence-like, the road signs and very British-looking onlookers clearly show that this picture-perfect village is actually in England. It’s called Cockington (stop sniggering) and it’s only a stone’s throw from Torquay in Devon.

9. Portugal?

This lookalike starts with the same letters, at least. This is Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The deep blue water is popular with surfers.

10. New Zealand?

This is actually a view from the top of the deliciously named Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills. No hobbits here!

11. India?

This Taj Mahal style building is Brighton’s iconic Royal Pavilion. It was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811.

12. Skyrim?

No, it’s not actually a location from a video game. This is the spectacular Smoo Cave in Durness, Sutherland (Scottish Highlands). The cave is unique within the UK in that the first chamber has been formed by the sea, and the inner chambers by rainwater.

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