The Face of BritainCategory: Land + People
By L. Dudley Stamp
It would be difficult to find an area of comparable size anywhere in the world which exhibits quite such marked contrasts as may be found within the very limite,d area of the British Isles. A journey of twenty-five miles in Britain will often afford as much variety of scenery as one can find in two hundred and fifty miles in many of the newer lands, and within her .hundred thousand square miles may be found an epitome, sometimes beautifully modelled by Nature in miniature, of most of the scenery in Europe.
Too often the visitor, with but a few days to spare sees only Lowland Britain — it may be Liverpool and London with perhaps a side trip to Edinburgh — and so fails to appreciate the contrasts between the wild, almost inaccessible fiords or sea lochs of the north-west Highlands of Scotland, the Dutch-like scenery of the drained fens of the Holland division of Lincolnshire, the rolling downland of Salisbury Plain, the secluded, heather covered glades of the New Forest, the rugged crags of North Wales, the smiling orchardland of Kent, the grimy, narrow, congested valleys of South Wales, and the desolate almost uninhabited moorland of Sutherland. These scenic contrasts are often within easy reach of the great centres, so that a Londoner born and bread can still thrill at the discovery of new bypaths within twenty-five miles of the city, whilst the Glasgow slumdweller has the finest combination of sea and highland scenery within the same radius.
The charm of Britain lies in no small measure in these contrasts, thrown as they are into even greater prominence by the fickle yet fascinating moods of British weather.