THE BLOG
06/08/2013 01:13 pm ET Updated Aug 08, 2013

A Few Places I've Discovered in Nearly 15 Years

So, I'm a 14-year-old girl in England. America always looks so colorful compared to the little dead town I live in. Since January, I've started going to London, the capital, a lot more. Every Sunday, I'm going to Pineapple Dance Studios and doing some performing arts stuff, which is really cool. I love it there. But I've traveled all over the country and I've been to several places in Wales and Scotland and found that there are colorful places in the UK if you look hard enough. So these are the places in the UK that I love the most.

15. Puzzlewood is an enchanting wood in the Forest of Dean area. On the border of Wales, it has the beauty of nature that Wales captures so easily. JRR Tolkien frequented the place when writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy and it is obvious when you go there as it looks the Middle Earth he so beautifully describes. Doctor Who and Merlin have been filmed there before and it is a stunning place to visit.

14. Tintern Abbey is also found in the Forest Of Dean and is said to be haunted by the monks who used to live there and knights. Some have said they found it chilling to be around at night but, having only been there in the day, I've found it beautiful and calming. It was destroyed in 1536 when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and began the Church of England so he could divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and marry Anne Boleyn. The scenic views from this little Abbey are too hard to describe as they truly do take my breath away every time I visit.

13. Corfe Castle was first introduced to me several years ago. It is in my beloved Dorset and it is always on my list of places to go when I visit as it is so beautiful. I am told that my mother loved it there and the moment I saw it, I knew why. It is a ruin but it is still beautiful. If visiting my favourite county, Dorset, Corfe Castle is a must as it is so perfect there.

12. Kenilworth Castle is somewhere I've been going since I was little. My sister and I used to run over all the ruins and terrorize the beautiful remains. At the age of 14, I'm still doing that but my sister, 17, isn't so keen on running around a castle with her little sister. There are often events like medieval stalls then jousting or sword events which are followed by falconry which is fabulous to witness. I love this castle and when I grow up and have children, I will drag them there and they will see the beauty in history. An amazing fact about Kenilworth is that it was destroyed because it was too powerful. It is sad but true.

11. I learned of a place named Cadair Idris in a sweet folk song I sang for one of my grades in singing. Funnily enough, my dad fell madly in love with it and discovered the place existed.

Singing of the sweet little white cottage had felt like a dream and to think this mountain was real and the cottage actually did sit in Llangollen was a dream come true. Forgetting the song and mountain ever existed, my dad and I began doing day trips once more. The day trips done in my childhood seemed like a lifetime ago and I had forgotten how tiring it was sitting in a car all day with only my father as company. Then the ridiculous idea of driving all the way to Wales loomed on my adventure seeking father. The 200 mile drive was an idea I was not particularly fond of, I have to admit. Then the idea sprouted to visit the mountain that had almost become a legend. On the drive there, I had so many questions; "did my dream cottage really exist?" was the main one.

Finally, I woke up to see a magnificent mountain and my pestering dad. He made me stand in front of my dream mountain so he could take a picture. I had never been more disappointed. There was no white cottage and Llangollen wasn't as pretty as I had imagined. The beautiful mountain seemed so lonely to me. But the cottage that I once dreamed was not a dream at all. It had been demolished so the cottage had existed and that was enough for me. We always frequent this mountain when in Wales because I've never seen somewhere quite like it. It's truly beautiful.

10. Swanage Beach, Dorset, is atmospheric, even on the rainy day that I visited it. As I frolicked in the sea with my sister, I never imagined the beauty I would experience that day as the only way to describe it was as atmospheric. It rained so the sand was clumpy but it didn't matter and it was perfect. Beaches always have a relaxing feeling but this sandy beach was still perfect despite the weather chucking it down.

9. As a coeliac, there aren't a lot of places I can eat out. Blue Pool in Dorset is one of the places I can. This makes it so much more attractive to me as I love my food more than I love caffeine sometimes, which means a lot. This little lake is colored blue but it is green in some lights. It is wooded around it and is like somewhere in a Disney film, I'm sure. I could imagine Snow White just popping down with her animal mates and washing clothes or something. One of my favorite things about it is the dragonflies. I live slap bang in the middle of England and the furthest points from a beach so I rarely see dragonflies, but Blue Pool is flooded with them. There are red and blue ones which I find fascinating. It's too beautiful to miss when in Dorset.

8. Stonehenge is magical. It feels very cliché for me to say that because it's a lot more known than the other places I've mentioned but when I was told I was going there, I was hesitant. I was never particularly in the place nor did I care about the legends. Since it was on the way to visiting relatives, dad thought it would be a good idea to visit it but I really wasn't interested. It was a tourist attraction in my eyes but when walking around it and touching the rock they put in the entrance, something happened to me. I really do believe something happened to me. I felt different when I left Stonehenge and I felt a lot happier. Walking around the mysterious rock structure, I was moved and the magic in the myth intrigued me. I highly recommend it if you want to leave feeling like you've learned something new without learning anything.

7. Greenwich in London feels very classic, to me anyway. I haven't been very much but I do like it there. Johnny Depp filmed one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films at the ex-royal naval college which is now Trinity, college of music. The little market stalls with pretty dresses and twinkling jewellery can tempt any girl but the food is stunning and it is right on the Thames. It isn't highly recommended enough. It is also the centre of time, interestingly enough, as the Greenwich Observatory is up the hill by the college.

6. The West End in London is so typically English; I don't even know where to start! I spend every Sunday in Covent Garden, which is just one part of the West End but I have time and walk around. I discover so much there. The National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery are by Trafalgar Square, the great Lord Nelson overlooks everything and there's always somewhere to go shopping in Shorts Gardens round the Covent Garden area. The high class area is a must in London. It's the best place to see a show in the whole of the UK, after all.

5. Whitby Abbey is the only place to go for the true experience of the Gothic fiction that is Bram Stokers' Dracula. The Abbey showed me the true meaning of Gothic horror and fascinated me the minute I set eyes on it. I could immediately see how Bram Stoker was inspired by its dark beauty. It was almost haunting to me. In the depths of Northern England, a southerner, like me, was scared about her first trip to Yorkshire. I'd never experienced Yorkshire before and I am so glad my first visit was straight to the beautiful Whitby Abbey. I got my first Gothic Crucifix and I wore it every day until it got broken and there were a lot of tears. This place is atmospheric and moody.

4. Wast Water and Coniston are two lakes found in the wonderful county of Cumbria. The beauty of Cumbria is found in their beloved lakes and the peaks found there. Wast Water is just stunning. Overlooked by Scaffold Pike, the water glistens and the wind whistles. It is one of the places you can feel free. The little mound a few feet off the shore is fun to clamber up after crossing the stones. It reminds me of Neverland from Peter Pan and when I get there, I never want to leave. Coniston means more to me than a lot of places I've visited. I feel like I have a long history there after falling madly in love with the idea of Donald Campbell. Coniston Water has seen many record breaking races of water speeders. This sport can be fatal and Donald Campbell took on his father's legacy. Sir Malcolm Campbell set four world records on Coniston in Bluebird K4. Donald Campbell took up Water Speeding and set several records.

In 1964, he set both World Land and Water Speeding records. Donald Campbell's teddy, Mr. Whoppit, became his mascot and always travelled with him in every race. Donald raced in Bluebird K7 and in his final race; Mr. Whoppit and Bluebird went down with their captain. Campbell's final race was on January 4th 1967 and the race had a tragic end. When I was younger, I always wanted my own Bluebird. When my dad came home from his trip up there with a model Bluebird and the story surrounding it, that's when the little obsession began. About six years and a broken model Bluebird later, I finally made my first trip up to this beautiful lake where my old obsession lay. It has had a lasting impression and I return there to get a new model Bluebird each visit. The beauty of Coniston will never escape me.

3. Shell Island, or the Mochras as it is known in Welsh, is on the very coast of Wales and it is stunning. I'm actually running out of adjectives to describe how beautiful all these places are! This is the most beautiful sandy beach I've ever been to. I saw my first crab there. I thought it was dead; I kicked it and walked away to show my dad. I couldn't find it after that. The shells I found on that beach were beautiful. The intricate detailing on each shell was breath taking and the view of the sea glimmered in the sun. I drew 14 butterflies in the sand at least and watched them get washed away by the sea, one by one. I can honestly say this is the most beautiful sandy beach in the whole of the UK.

2. Camden Town is the only place to shop in London, for me. The offbeat and quirky styles are right up my street but the best part of it, for me anyway, is that everyone is themselves. There's something for everyone in Camden and what I discovered there was someone totally different from who I thought I was. When I shop there, I leave with something totally unique. No one is going to be wearing the same as you because everyone buys something different there. The clothes vary from Steampunk to Cyberpunk to preppy to vintage to gothic to futuristic. The possibilities are endless. There is something in there for everyone and this market has left me speechless on every visit. At every turn there's something to fall in love with.

1. Finally, we're back to my beloved Dorset. Though Dorset is so far away, there is a place in Dorset that melts my heart and makes everything better. I am literally the worst at thinking things through but when I'm there, I contemplate life and my decisions and what I'm doing with my future. Durdle Door offers a stony beach with clear waters and pure beauty. My first trip with my dad since my childhood was to Dorset and the first place on our list was Durdle Door. I can't express my love for it. Five years on and I am still just as in love with the sparkling waters, rocky arch and pebbles found in Durdle Door. The moment I set eyes on that sea that surrounded the arch in the middle, I knew I'd found my place. It was where I knew I would grow old. It was true love.

I'm not the only person who has become far too in love with it. I envy anyone who lives on Durdle Door's doorstep as it would be a dream come true for me.

So, that is my life experience with the beauty the UK has to offer. If you are interested in any of the places, go ahead and email me! Certainly look them up on Google Images! Just to say, I don't live in any of these places sadly, and I've only ever been there on day trips. I would love to know where anyone else has been! Anyway!

All my love,
Anna x

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