The United Kingdom is home to a multitude of breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. Within its borders, there are several designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) that showcase the country's diverse beauty and rich biodiversity. In this article, we ask ‘what are areas of outstanding natural beauty’ and explore some of the notable AONBs in the UK, highlighting their unique features and why buying a property near these areas is so beneficial.

What are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

Nature has the power to captivate us with its awe-inspiring landscapes, breathtaking vistas and untouched wilderness. In recognition of these exceptional natural treasures, certain locations are designated as "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (AONBs). These areas are bestowed with legal protections and conservation measures to preserve their unique natural character and ensure their enjoyment for generations to come. One of the key objectives of designating an area as an AONB is to protect and conserve its natural and cultural heritage. This involves striking a delicate balance between preserving the area's inherent beauty and allowing for sustainable human activities that benefit local communities.

Spotlight on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK

So, what are areas of outstanding natural beauty found in the UK? Well, Britain is fortunate enough to have 46 idyllic locations that are designated as AONBs. Below are a few examples of the AONBs found across various parts of the UK:

Dedham Vale

Dedham Vale is a picturesque destination located on the Essex-Suffolk border, offering up splendid countryside scenes. It’s an area with a rich history and has inspired many of the great English painters with its beautiful scenery. Also known as Constable Country, this AONB is predominantly farmland and nature reserves - making it perfect for a country walk.


Cornwall offers up a plethora of beautiful landscapes and historical significance. From the dramatic coastlines to the ancient Celtic ruins strewn across the area, Cornwall is one of the most striking AONBs found in the UK. From unique wildlife like rare seabirds and otters to a rich and storied history that dates back to the Palaeolithic era, Cornwall has so much to offer those who live and visit there.

The Cairngorms

Situated in the Scottish Highlands, the Cairngorms AONB is a vast and wild landscape, characterised by rugged mountains, deep glens and ancient forests. The largest national park in the UK, The Cairngorms covers an area of 4,528 km². It’s also home to rare wildlife, including golden eagles, red deer and the elusive Scottish wildcat.

3 Benefits of Purchasing Property Close to an AONB

Investing in a property within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) comes with a range of unique benefits beyond the breathtaking landscapes and serene environment. Here are just some:

1. Natural Beauty and Tranquillity

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of owning a property in an AONB is the unparalleled natural beauty and tranquillity that surrounds you. AONBs are designated for their exceptional landscapes, including rolling hills, pristine coastlines and diverse ecosystems. That means you’re never far from awe-inspiring views, an abundance of great walks and days out.

2. Conservation and Environmental Stewardship

By purchasing property in an AONB, you become an active participant in the conservation and environmental stewardship of the area. AONBs are protected to preserve their natural heritage, and as a property owner, you play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and protecting the biodiversity of the region. Living within the area means you can be part of preserving the landscape for future generations.

3. Property Value and Investment

Properties in AONBs often hold their value well due to their desirability and limited availability. The combination of natural beauty, conservation regulations and the unique character of AONBs contributes to the attractiveness of these properties to potential buyers. That makes buying a property in these areas an attractive investment for many.

Find Your Perfect Home in an AONB

Owning a home in an AONB offers a unique and captivating way for you to immerse yourself in the country's natural splendour and rich heritage. Whether exploring the dramatic views or getting closer to the rare wildlife, AONBs are a testament to the UK's commitment to preserving and celebrating its outstanding natural landscapes. If you’re looking to discover your dream home close to an AONB, browse our developments at Beech Grove Homes.