Rock on: The UK’s top geo-sites
If geography bored you at school, think again. From stunning basalt columns and mighty volcanic plugs, to glacial valleys and fabulous waterfalls and ribboning rivers, the UK boasts some of the world’s most incredible geological sights (or sites?) that will surely take everyone's breath away.
Now a top 100 of these amazing geo-sites have been named by the Geological Society of London, including 10 "people's favourites". You can see all 100 on an interactive map
Among the top sites are cliffs and outcrops, peaks and ranges, quarries and mines, cathedrals, rivers, tunnels, caves, coves and islands.
We urge you to get out and see some of these geosites, whether on foot, by bike or simply during an atmospheric drive. Geology can be so much more than academic.
Our top 10 geo-sites
Here we pick 10 of our favourite geo-sites form the Geological Society of London list.
1) Isle of Staffa
Impressive basalt columns, including those in awesome Fingal's Cave, found on the remote Scottish island of Staffa. Take a boat trip to Staff during a Macs Adventure Mull Walking and Wildlife Tour
. (Pic credit for above: William Marnoch.)
2) Pen y Fan
The highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, in Wales, is carved from layers of red sandstone. Seeing is believing.
3) Millook Haven
A section of the north coast of Cornwall's where you can see amazing exposed and folded beds of sandstone and shale. (Pic credit: Ian Griffiths.)
Another Scottish Highland’s geological wonder is Glencoe. The landscape reveals the remains of a super volcano, which was then shaped by glaciers in the Ice Age. A drive or walk through this scenery is jaw-dropping stuff. Glencoe is on the great long-distance walking route, the West Highland Way
5) Lulworth crumple
Located on England’s southern Jurassic Coast, the Lulworth Crumple refers to the hard rocks at the mouth of the cove, which have eroded much more slowly than the rocks behind giving the cove its horseshoe shape. (Pic credit: Martyn van de Streek.)
6) Hunstanton Cliffs
The cliffs are famous in Norfolk for their contrasting and colourful layers, as well as the numerous fossils found here.
The spectacular scenery of Assynt, in the far northwest of Scotland, and the dramatic peak of Suilven. See and walk Suilven on a Highlands and Islands Discovery Tour
. (Pic credit: Andrew on Flickr.)
This Northumberland coastal wonder offers stunning rocks formations, including the Great Whin Sill, which can be seen supporting Dunstanburgh Castle, alongside other formations like Greymare Rock. You’ll discover Craster on the St Oswald’s Way Walking Tour
9) Brimham Rocks
Found near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, the balancing formations of these rocks were nominated in the Society’s outcrops category. (Pic credit: Andrew.)
10) Granite Pluton
Granite Pluton on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, and the Loch Ranza area, is renowned for its volcanic igneous geology formed some 600 million years ago. Macs Adventure offers a walking holiday of the Arran Coastal Way