If there’s one thing that the UK has plenty of, it’s iconic and historic landmarks. Naturally, many of these are located in London, which is central to English history and widely accepted as the capital of the financial world.
However, attempting to decide the best or most famous landmarks on these shores is incredibly challenging, with a huge number to choose from just in London alone.
In this article, we’re at least going to discuss five of the most Iconic Landmarks in the UK, while exploring them in detail and asking why they play such a key role in English or British heritage!
What are the Most Iconic Landmarks in the UK?
#1. Big Ben – Westminster Abbey, London
Let’s be honest – would any list of this type be complete without a reference to London’s iconic Big Ben?
Located in Westminster Abbey in the heart of London, Big Ben is the single most famous clock in the world, and one that dominates any views of the Thames River. Interestingly, ‘Big Ben’ was the name initially awarded to the bell within the Elizabeth Tower, with this now used colloquially to describe one of the most impressive physical landmarks in the UK.
Construction of Big Ben was completed back in 1859, and to this day, it towers impressively above the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Because of this, it’s often suggested that Big Ben watches over the heart of UK democracy, with its hourly chimes a regular reminder of its presence and truly iconic structure.
In terms of physicality, Big Ben’s minute hands are a staggering 4.2 metres (14 feet) long by themselves, while they also weigh a whopping 100 kilograms (or 220 pounds). The numbers themselves are approximately 60 centimetres (or 23 inches) in length, while each individual clock dial includes a staggering 312 pieces of glass.
#2. Tower Bridge – Tower Bridge Road, London
Next up is London’s Tower Bridge, which sits on the aptly named Tower Bridge Road and is considered to be one of the major landmarks in the UK (and indeed the whole of Europe).
It’s quite telling that Tower Bridge is often mistaken for London Bridge, as this fact shows its immense presence, central location and stunning architectural design.
Undoubtedly, Tower Bridge remains one of the most beautiful structures of its type anywhere in the world. This is because of its unique colours and materials, with its blue steel structure and 19th-century Gothic architecture immediately recognisable regardless of where you’re from in the UK.
There are two excellent times to visit Tower Bridge. Firstly, you can visit during the evening hours when the landmark is lit up and fully illuminated, creating a genuinely romantic experience.
Secondly, visiting when a ship is passing through enables you to observe the bridge at work, with this quite a therapeutic experience and one that lets you gaze at a genuinely impressive feat of engineering.
#3. Seven Sisters Country Park – South Downs National Park, East Sussex
Next up is one of the most impressive natural landmarks in the UK, with the Seven Sisters Country Park widely established as a stunningly beautiful location that attracts visitors from across the length and breadth of the country year-on-year.
This is certainly an exceptional place for walks and bird watching, while its various waterways also host canoeing and other types of watersports all year round.
Located in the picturesque South Downs National Park, the iconic landmark derives its name from the seven chalk cliffs that comprise one of the natural wonders in England. We’d also argue that this is the most recognisable of all English natural wonders, and this alone makes it worth a visit during the summer months.
The Seven Sisters Country Park also features accessible trails for travellers of all shapes and sizes, regardless of their physical capacity or level of mobility. There’s also a particularly nice trail (comprising a 4km round trip) that enables you to enjoy most of the park’s stunning landscapes, creating a fulfilling and active experience that can generate some enduring memories.
This venue is located around 30 minutes from Brighton and two hours from London (by car), while domestic flights can also be booked if you live even further afield.
#4. The Kelpies – Helix Park, Falkirk
In the heart of Helix Park, Falkirk, there sits the Kelpies. One of the UK’s more unusual landmarks (and one the least well-known north of the border), the Kelpies are essentially two horse-headed structures that sit astride the Forth and Clyde canal, while they feature an iconic and unique design that has to be seen to be believed.
The Kelpies were commissioned and built to visually represent Scotland’s horse-powered heritage, while they hark back to a completely different time when motor vehicles were little more than a fanciful dream.
From a practical perspective, the Kelpies also form a gateway between the east and west in Falkirk, while we’d argue that the landmark is best seen and experienced in the dead of night.
But why is this, we hear you ask? Well, the Kelpies light up and are illuminated in the evening, with the subtle, purple glow letting you to see the landmark in a truly unique light and enjoy a genuinely unique sightseeing experience.
Iconic Landmarks #5. The Angel of the North – Gateshead, the North East
For fifth place on our list, it was a close call between Edinburgh Castle and the iconic Angel of the North, with the latter getting the nod due to its immense global appeal and genuinely unique nature.
The Angel of the North is essentially the UK’s answer to the Cristo Redentor and North America’s Statue of Liberty, as it comprises a towering angel structure with wings that stretch out on both sides.
Built by Sir Anthony Gormley to represent the miners working in Gateshead at the time, this is a truly towering and physically impressive landmark, and one that’s visible from some considerable distance away.
The sight is especially impressive during the height of summer, as here the blazing sunshine creates a stunning contrast between the red copper finish and the bright blue sky. We’d definitely recommend that you check this out when in the UK and the North East, as there are few landmarks like it anywhere in the world.