Ready to go adventuring, mates? Come journey across the UK and discover some of its most intriguing landmarks!
The UK is home to many natural and humanmade wonders. Some date back to prehistoric times, others to the Middle Ages and quite a few of them have only recently come on the scene. These places of interest hold special meaning for the people in the areas where they are located and also for the nation as a whole. What's more, many of them are a testament to the beauty of nature or to the ability of man to create enduring marvels.
Castles and cathedrals dot the landscape - some beautifully preserved and others in glorious ruin. Moors, lakes and hills take on a character all of their own and have become steeped in the history and folklore of the people who live around them. There are modern structures, too, which are amazing feats of engineering, rivaling any you could find elsewhere in the world.
Residents of the UK or history pros should have no problem saying where each of these things is located. They are all so well-known, however, that almost anyone would be able to score very well on this quiz. You would definitely be quite "barmy" not to give it a go!
Built in 1703, Buckingham Palace was originally named Buckingham House and was owned by the Duke of Buckingham. It was bought by King George III in 1761 as a retreat home for his family and became known as Queen’s House. Buckingham Palace has been the official London home of the British monarch since Queen Victoria took up residence there in 1837.
The earliest parts of Stonehenge were constructed about 5,000 years ago (around 3,000 BCE). The circle of pillars which make up the most prominent feature at Stonehenge was built later, around 2,500 BCE. The purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery, as does concrete evidence as to who created it and how they did it.
Big Ben is the nickname given to Grand Bell – the largest of the five bells in the clock tower. The name Big Ben has also been used for both the clock and the entire tower. The official name of the tower, however, has been Elizabeth Tower, ever since it was renamed in 2012 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II.
King’s College was founded by King Henry VI in 1441 and was officially named The King's College of Our Lady and St Nicholas in Cambridge. The King's College Chapel is one of the most architecturally outstanding buildings on the college campus. It was constructed between 1446 and 1515.
Sherwood Forest is most famous for being the hideout of the legendary hero Robin Hood and his Merry Men. One living legend of Sherwood Forest is the great oak tree called Major Oak. It is at least 800 years old and has a trunk measuring more than 33 feet around.
The small hill on which the Edinburgh Castle is built is called Castle Rock. While Edinburgh Castle dates back to the 12th century, people have lived on Castle Rock for over 2, 000 years. One of Edinburgh Castle’s most interesting artifacts is the Stone of Scone (or the Stone of Destiny), which is transported to Westminster Abbey to be part of the coronation ceremony of every British king or queen.
Trafalgar Square is one of the most historic public sites in the UK. The pigeons of Trafalgar Square are also quite famous and have been featured in various works of art, novels, films, etc. They have caused damage to the stonework in the square, however, and it is now illegal for anyone to feed them within the square.
Loch Ness is a large lake (loch in Scottish) in the Scottish Highlands. It is said to be home to a prehistoric creature known as the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie, for short. There have not been any credible sightings of Nessie, but many persons still believe in her existence.
The city of Bath has been a spa location from as far back as 60 CE when the Romans constructed the first baths and temples around its hot spring. The spring water is said to have curative properties which you can benefit from by either soaking in it or drinking it.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the year 960 and has been at the center of royal ceremonies for much of its history. The monarchs are crowned at Westminster Abbey, and several royals (including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew and Prince William) were wed there.
Windsor Castle is one of several crown-owned residences used by the royal family. The castle was built in the 11th century and holds the distinction of currently being the largest of all occupied castles in the world.
When Forth Bridge opened in 1890, it was the largest bridge of its kind anywhere in the world. It is still in second place, with only the Quebec Bridge in Canada being larger than it. Close by Forth Bridge is the equally spectacular Forth Road Bridge (opened 1964).
Devon in South West England is home to Dartmoor and all the ecological and archeological treasures which it holds. Along with open moorland, the area also features river valleys and granite hills (or tors). Dartmoor, which receives over 2 million visitors annually, is listed as both a national park and a Special Area of Conservation.
Approximately 40,000 basalt columns are making up the Giant’s Causeway. They are located in Northern Ireland and were formed over millions of years by volcanic action and erosion by glaciers and the sea. Their hexagonal shape is a result of the cooling process which helped in their formation.
At just over 4,400 feet high, Ben Nevis ranks as the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is an ancient volcano whose dome had collapsed in on itself. The top of Ben Nevis is a flat area of about 400 acres, making the mountain a plateau.
Tower Bridge was opened in 1894 and remains one of the most impressive crossings over the River Thames. It is just over a mile from the also famous London Bridge, although that bridge has been rebuilt several times. A section of Tower Bridge can be opened to allow tall ships to pass by.
The Brighton Palace Pier is a seaside amusement park which opened in 1899 and now welcomes over 4 million visitors annually. The first Brighton pier was built in 1826, but storms destroyed it, and several which followed. Brighton Palace Pier has an astounding 67,000 long-life, energy saving bulbs illuminating it at night.
Blackpool Tower opened in 1894 and is modeled after the Eiffel Tower in France, which was opened five years earlier. Features of the Blackpool Tower include the Tower Eye observation deck and the splendid Tower Ballroom. Close by the tower is the exhilarating Blackpool Pleasure Beach amusement park.
Mount Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales where its traditional name is “Yr Wyddfa,” meaning “burial mound.” According to legend, Snowdon is the resting place of the giant Rhitta Gawr who was defeated by King Arthur. Mount Snowdon is located in the protected area of Snowdonia National Park.
The Lake District in the county of Cumbria is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and deepest lake, Wast Water. It is also where you find Lake Windermere, a long narrow lake with 18 islands inside it. The largest island and the only one ever inhabited, is the privately owned Belle Isle.
The Natural History Museum in London opened in 1881 but was not given its current name until 1992. It is an outstanding example of Romanesque architecture housing over 80 million specimens. The Natural History Museum welcomes over 5 million visitors each year and does not charge admission, in most cases.
The county of Bristol in South West England is home to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The bridge spans the River Avon as it passes through the Avon Gorge. The Bristol Suspension Bridge opened in 1864 as a toll bridge with the funds being used for bridge maintenance.
Land’s End is a granite promontory or headland in the county of Cornwall. It juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and is noted for being the westernmost point in England. Land’s End is a popular tourist destination with some visitors coming to take part in rock climbing on the cliff face.
Construction of the Tower of London began as early as 1066, and although it has had many uses over the centuries, it is best known as a royal prison. While it is simply referred to as the Tower of London, it is actually a castle that covers 12 acres of land.
The Church of St. Michael was built on Glastonbury Tor in the 14th century and has been destroyed since then, except for a single tower, St. Michael's Tower, which stands at the very top of the hill. Legends surrounding Glastonbury Tor include stories of a cave underneath it which leads to the land of the fairies.
The Guardian is a 7-foot tall bronze statue of a bull running and turning. It was sculpted by Lawrence Broderick and installed in Bullring shopping center in 2003. The Guardian is its official name, but it is popularly known as the “Bullring Bull” or just “The Bull.”
The Avebury monument consists of a large outer stone circle with two smaller circles, side-by-side inside it. The large outer ring also encompasses the village of Avebury. Avebury is noted as the world’s largest megalithic monument (or prehistoric monument made of large stones).
The massive, ornate and impressive St. Paul’s Cathedral sits atop Ludgate Hill, occupying the highest point in London since the 1600s. It is the last in a series of churches dedicated to St. Paul which have been constructed in that location over the past 1,400 years. St. Paul’s Cathedral is the UK’s second largest cathedral, with only the Liverpool Cathedral being bigger than it.
The White Cliffs of Dover are among the most easily recognizable landmarks in all of the UK. They stand up to 350 feet high and are composed of soft, white, porous chalk that is being slowly eroded at an average rate of about 0.5 inches per year. There have been instances when huge portions of the cliffs have broken off and fallen into the water below.
The Eden Project is a display of thousands of tropical and Mediterranean plants in their natural habitats. The biomes are constructed from thermoplastic over a steel frame. Tim Smit, the man whose idea it was to create the Eden Project, also had input in the development of the Lost Gardens of Heligan botanical gardens, also in Cornwall.
The Coventry Cathedral is formally named the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and often gets called St. Michael’s Cathedral, for short. It was constructed between 1956 and 1962 as a replacement for the original St. Michael’s Cathedral, which was built in the 14th century but destroyed by bombing in World War II.
The Royal Albert Dock was opened in 1880 and operated over the next 100 years, closing in 1980. It now serves as a popular spot for watersports, as well as home to the London City Airport and several commercial businesses. The Royal Albert Dock and its neighbors, Royal Victoria Dock and King George V Dock, make up the Royal Group of Docks.
Over 1 million persons visit the Kew Gardens every year, where they can view more than 30,000 plant specimens. Kew Gardens is also home to a treetop walk, two galleries, a museum, a botanical library and the smallest of the royal palaces, Kew Palace.
The London eye is a large Ferris wheel featuring 32 capsules, each with the capacity to carry 28 passengers. It serves as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks and as an observation wheel for a bird’s eye viewing of the city of London. The London Eye was first called the Millennium Wheel when it opened on December 31, 1999.
The Emirates Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth Harbour is 560 feet tall and can be seen from up to 23 miles away. Developers of the tower had planned to open it in 1999 and so named it Portsmouth Millennium Tower. It did not open until 2005, however, by which time the word Millennium was dropped from its name.
Cheddar Gorge is in the village of Cheddar, for which cheddar cheese is named. The limestone gorge and the caves it contains are important archeological sites. The 9,000-year old skeleton of Cheddar Man, the oldest known complete human skeleton ever discovered in the UK, was found in Cheddar Gorge in 1903.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club held the very first Wimbledon Championships in tennis in 1877. The Club boasts a total of 55 courts, including the impressive Centre Court which is the largest of them all. It is the court on which all finals are played in the annual tournament.
British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley created the Angel of the North statue in Gateshead. The Angel is made of steel and stands 66 feet tall with wings outstretched to 177 feet wide (almost the same with as a jumbo jet’s wings). It was erected in 1998 and now receives roughly 150,000 visitors annually.
The Needles is made up of three chalk stacks, approximately 100 feet high, located off the coast of the Isle of Wight’s most westerly point. The farthest stack features a lighthouse which was built in 1859 but is not currently accessible to visitors. There were originally four stacks, but one (which most looked like a needle) fell into the sea in 1764 during a storm.
According to legend, King Arthur was born in Tintagel Castle, in North Cornwall. The castle dates back to Norman times, and although it stands in ruins today, it is a popular tourist attraction, especially for those intrigued by stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.