We’ve scoured the GWR network for some of our favourite vistas. Pay them a visit and see if you can think of any other impressive panoramas, guaranteed to take your breath away?
St Ives Harbour, Cornwall
Head down to the beautiful St Ives harbour beach at low tide and take in the surrounding landscape. There are colourful fishing boats resting side by side in the sand, houses, pubs and hotels stacked in layers, facing the sea. Drifts of seaweed tickle the water’s edge, and the soothing lull of the waves, and the fresh salty air help paint the most sublime of pictures.
British Camp Hill Fort, The Malvern Hills
Trains to Cornwall
The British Camp is an Iron Age hill fort located at the top of the Herefordshire beacon in the Malvern Hills – a haven for ramblers, dog walkers and anyone looking for a moment’s peace. There are loads of glorious views available from the Malvern Hills and at times you can see up to twelve of its surrounding counties in the distance. On a bright and clear day at the British Camp, it can feel as though the blue skies are endless, the green hills are forever roaming and any troubles you may have are far out of view.
Windsor is best known for its castle, which is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It also has top views, our favourite being the vista from The Copper Horse statue at the top of Snow Hill in Windsor Great Park. From here you can see the length and breadth of a three-mile, tree-lined avenue that leads all the way to Windsor Castle, also known as The Long Walk. It is quite simply, breathtaking.
The Minack Theatre, Penzance
Trains to Cornwall
The world famous open-air theatre in Porthcurno near Penzance is a spectacle in itself. Carved into granite cliffs, this summer theatre presents drama, musicals and opera in the most breathtaking of settings. The theatre truly has the wow-factor and looks as though it was built some 2,000 years ago (when actually it was built in the 1930s). It is surrounded by sub-tropical gardens and succulent plants that add a dash of colour, all year round. Walk along the steps at the stage’s edge for your second glorious view, a sweeping panorama of Porthcurno bay that will blow you away.
In Radcliffe Square in the heart of Oxford sits the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. At its peak (127 steps high) is a platform with a birds-eye view of the historic colleges. Take a moment to pinpoint the Bodleian Library, the High Street and the many university colleges. It costs £4 to climb the tower but is worth doing for a romantic view of Oxford’s spectacular architecture.
As far as London views are concerned, The Shard is the new kid on the block. The View from The Shard was opened to the public in 2013, offering the highest panorama in the city, and on a clear day lets you see as far as 40 miles away. And if standing on an open-air platform 800 feet above London wasn’t impressive enough, The Shard has now introduced a new a 360-degree VR experience, which includes a 100-miles-per-hour virtual slide.
Ahead of the 2021 Tour of Britain, we bring you the best bike trails the country has to offer in our top cycle route planner, including where to hire and how to book when travelling with your own set of wheels.