September 16, 2021
Most Instagrammed Nature Spots
Where are the UK’s most popular walking and nature spots?
Walking has been one of the few safe and social activities we have been able to do over the past year in the pandemic. In fact, there have been over one million people searching for “walks near me” in the UK alone in the last year!
If there is one positive to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s our reconnection and rekindling with the great outdoors. Spending time in nature and outdoors is crucial, not just for our physical health, but also our mental health.
As we look forward to the easing of restrictions and the impending opportunities to meet more friends and family outdoors, we are also considering staycations and UK breaks to stay and support local businesses and enjoy all the British and Northern Irish countrysides have to offer.
Most of us have our favourite and treasured local landmarks and national nature attractions, but we wanted to find out which nature spots in the UK are most popular overall to inspire us for our next adventures post-lockdown. We have analysed Instagram hashtag variants for over 100 UK top locations, counting the overall individual Instagram posts with relevant hashtags, to reveal the UK’s most Instagrammed and popular nature spots.
The 15 most popular walking and nature spots in the UK (based on the number of hashtagged posts)
And here are the results! The research has revealed that Cumbria’s iconic Lake District is the UK’s most Instagrammed nature spot, with over 3.5 million posts on Instagram. In second and third are Dorset Hills and Stonehenge in Wiltshire with 1million and 800k posts respectively.
1. Lake District, Cumbria - 3,640,121
2. Dorset downs, Hampshire - 1,031,686
3. Stonehenge, Wiltshire - 801,241
4. Kew Gardens, London - 663,533
5. Yorkshire Dales, N. Yorkshire and Cumbria - 610,447
6. Loch Ness, Inverness - 564,176
7. Loch Lomond, Southern Scotland - 508,420
8. Richmond Park, London - 418,571
9. Brecon Beacons, South Wales - 404,791
10. Seven Sisters, Sussex - 371,730
11. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim - 307,412
12. Durdle Door, Dorset - 266,193
13. Ben Nevis, Scottish Highlands - 218,041
14. Eden Project, Cornwall - 206,427
15. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire - 161,773
Image Credit: Matt Newman. The Lake District, England.
About the UK’s 5 most popular nature spots:
Lake District is officially the UK’s largest national park so it is no surprise to see its beauty recognised in posts on Instagram. Containing 16 lakes and more than 150 high peaks, this popular nature spot is a favourite beyond the UK with international tourists too. Be sure to check out one of England’s highest and most prominent mountains based within the Lake District - Scafell Pike - if you’re up for a 5 mile walk and climb.
Dorset downs is an absolute nature gem in the south-west of England. Collectively, these 40 hills of differing sizes are a hiking hotspot for Brits, and attractive not just for their natural beauty, wildlife, and views, but also for their archaeological history and nature conservation site status. One of these, the National Trust’s Lewesdon Hill is well worth a visit as it is the highest point in Dorset and has views between its trees over Somerset, Devon and out to the sea.
Stonehenge is a well-known prehistoric monument situated in Wiltshire. Listed as an English Heritage site, this collection of vertical Sarsen standing stones is one of the seven wonders of the world! A walk in its Salisbury Plains surroundings is sure to connect you with your Neolithic ancestors and stun you with its mystery, beauty and sheer size.
Kew Gardens’ stunning London botanic gardens are world-leading both in terms of its scientific research and internationally recognised plant species. The intricate and carefully crafted walking routes around the grounds are a beautiful day out for all the family, so it’s no wonder that its flower beauty and nature projects have been high appearing on Instagram.
Yorkshire Dales is another of the UK’s 15 national parks. With many unique species of moths, bats, butterflies and plants, this nature spot is popular with locals, national visitors and even international tourists alike. A walk here can be at leisure, or more intense on its own Three Peaks (Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent), where thousands of walkers take up the 24.5 mile circular route challenge in around 12 hours!
Why it’s important to spend time outdoors in nature
Our whole ethos at Absolutely Bear is centred around sustainability. We want to reconnect more urbanites with their roots in nature and inform on sustainable and ethical options for conscious consumers.
Getting outside in natural surroundings is just one way for us to easily and quickly appreciate the planet around us. It can help us build a deep-rooted connection with nature which can really help to drive sustainable living choices that are vital to the future of planet. But why else is it so important to spend in nature?
Our founder Nick Fletcher shares three benefits of spending time in nature:
#1 It helps you to de-stress and re-calibrate
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life when we are juggling a social life, family and friend meetups and work, it’s hard to create the time to pause and reflect. Going on a walk in a scenic place or even just near local woodlands, is a quick and easy way to relax and take a break from the usual chaos of routine and urban life. Just 30 minutes or one hour walking outdoors each day, breathing in fresh oxygen and getting exercise is a sure-fire way to feel refreshed and grounded.
#2 You can appreciate wildlife and the planet’s ecosystem
We share this planet with many animals, species and ecosystems. Even in central London or a built-up city, nature is all around us and on our doorstep. Kew Gardens and Richmond Park even feature in the UK’s most scenic Instagram spots as proof! Time outdoors can be a great way to appreciate and feel connected to the wider world and habitats around us.
#3 It’s got lots of added mental health benefits
We know that walking is good for physical health, but it has many mental health benefits too. Often walking is an activity done with a friend or family member, and therefore has significant links to happiness levels and endorphins associated with laughter and human interaction.
If you’re planning your next UK-based adventure or looking for a beautiful, Instagram-worthy spot, you’ll need to make sure you’re fully kitted out and comfortable for the walk. Our ethical clothing and accessories portfolio is well-suited for any man’s weekend walk or evening stroll; ranging from backpacks, beanies, caps, hoodies and polo shirts to suit all British weather conditions and occasions.
More information and methodology
We have analysed over 100 of the UK’s most popular nature spots and re-ranked them by popularity based on Instagram posts. We have combined all variations and uses of associated hashtags with each location and combined the volume of posts to re-rank the nature spots by Instagram popularity.