How to make a British countryside bucket list

There's so many wonderful places to see in the British countryside and not enough time. Dave Perrett thinks it's time to make a to do list...


You see lots of the British countryside while working for Countryfile Magazine. Stunning, sweeping vistas, craggy coastlines, wonderful wildlife… we get to see the lot. But while we get out into the great outdoors regularly, we also ‘see’ a lot of the countryside through the magazine’s beautiful photographs and inspiring writing. Which leads me to a bit of a problem…
You see, I grew up in, and still live in, rural Britain, and I like to think that I’ve seen a lot of the wonder and beauty of our countryside. Or at least I did. And yet working for Countryfile Magazine makes me realise how little I’ve actually seen; and now there’s so much more I want to see. I have a list of beautiful places to visit that gets longer by the week.
I’ve strolled through the New Forest, stared in wonder at Durdle Door, walked part of the Thames Path, crossed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in a barge, stood in Avebury stone circle and walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, to name a few. And yet I can’t help feel that I haven’t scratched the surface. I’ve never climbed Snowdon (I’ve driven through Snowdonia, but clearly that doesn’t count) or boated on the Broads, or experienced the tranquility of the Cairngorms.
Take this month’s magazine – being from south-west England, I’d never even considered going to Skye. It seems like a world away. But reading Monty Halls’ evocative article puts in near the top of my list – ‘tropical’ beaches, spectacular wildlife, the Cuillins – it looks stunning. But it has plenty of competition. Next on my list are a few places closer to home – the Elan Valley, followed by Symonds Yat, and a few walks in the Cotswolds again. But before all that I’m going back to Pembrokeshire, then Devon, with plenty of walks in the fields and woods near me to keep me busy in the meantime.
Britain is so full of beautiful places that the list keeps getting longer. You can’t see enough of our contrasting landscapes.
What’s on your list and when do you plan to get there?