Ten silly place names with beautiful scenery

Ten silly place names with beautiful sceneryNational Trust

From Scrubby Bottoms to Boobys Bay, sometimes the joys of the British countryside can be found in the silliest of places. The names of these little gems may have you a-tittering, but don't let that put you off! The National Trust recently compiled a list of silly walks, so we thought we'd check some of them out:

Silly walks around the UK
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Ten silly place names with beautiful scenery

The origins of the name are a little mysterious, but may have been coined from the steep steps which on ascending would result in the person in front you having their posterior close to your face. "This three-mile walk takes takes in a magnificent stretch of coastline with the natural splendour of secluded coves and beaches," says the National Trust. Slightly inland, the soft rolling hills separate the coast from farmland. Don't miss: the sunken lane at Lansallos Cove conjures up images of smugglers and wreckers hauling carts laden with contraband...

A booby is a seabird closely related to the gannet and can be seen diving off-shore in stormy weather which might explain the name. "This four-mile walk takes the walker along a popular stretch of the north Cornish coast with stunning views across Constantine Bay and onwards to the lighthouse at Trevose Head," says the National Trust. Don't miss: the chance to see some rare species of bird and plant life, and hidden coves.

Sitting high above the sweeping River Avon, the woodland surrounding Sandy Balls, a popular holiday resort, is protected as a nature reserve. It's an ideal place to start your exploration of the Forest, with its 150 miles of footpaths. The trails leave you spoilt for choice, with woodland tracks and riverside rambles galore.

This five mile walk takes in some of the best scenery of the south Downs, Sussex Weald, Devil's Dyke and Brighton and Hove. Some of it involves a steep climb, but it's worth it. Don't miss: Stopping off at the Shepherd and Dog pub in Fulking for a well-deserved drink at the end.

Clough comes from the Old English ‘cloh’ meaning dell, while it is believed the pisser part of the place name may derive from ‘pissant’, meaning insignificant and slang for an ant. The Northern Hairy Wood Ant is found in large numbers at Pisser Clough. "This steep two mile walk through the valleys of Hardcastle Crags offers stunning riverside views while the oak, beech and pine woods are full of tumbling streams," says the National Trust. Don't miss: dippers, heron and grey wagtails on the river and woodpecker, jay, nuthatch and goldcrest in the woods. Dragonflies hover over the millponds in spring and summer.

While it's common knowledge that 'ware" means common grazing land, no one's sure why this beautiful place is called Scratch Arse - the National Trust says it would love to hear theories on this. "This four mile walk along the spectacular Jurassic Coast has been shaped by the quarrying industry and the ever-changing backdrop of the sea," says the National Trust. Don't miss: Wildflowers such as cowslips, chalk milkwort, horseshoe vetch and the rare early spider orchid in spring. Butterflies such as chalkhill and Adonis blue, and the local Lulworth Skipper also thrive on the short turf.

The rock may well be named after the sound of the sea hitting it, but 'slap' in Old English meant a ‘slippery muddy place’ - so this could well have an influence on its name. "The four mile walk runs east of the valleys of the National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden, and next to Helford River, is a mixture of woodland and cliff-top, wildflower-rich field," says the National Trust. Don't miss: You can spot wild thyme, heathers, orchids, dog violets and sea campion growing here and a variety of wartime structures as during the Second World War the Helford River was the base for operations against German-occupied Europe.

Scrubby Bottoms is so-called because of its location at the bottom of the valley and the large amount of scrub (vegetation dominated by shrubs). "On this half a mile short circular route around the woodland there are a variety of habitats, including sedge-covered wetland and a ridge lined with Monterey pines," says the National Trust, whose volunteers have made a huge difference to improving access, with groups putting new boardwalks in place and local school children have helped to clear the bracken to enable new saplings to grow. 

Although now covered in trees, in the past Windy Gap was heathland and unsheltered at 300m above sea level. "An exhilarating two mile walk across the highest point in south-east England, which has been a popular picnic spot since the 19th century," says the National Trust. Don't miss: the 360 degree views from Leith Hill Tower where on a clear you can see up to 13 counties and on the southern slopes of Leith Hill, the wood is a mass of colour in spring and early summer.

Dating back to the 1920s, this wooden structure is believed to have been designed to make it easy for horses to cross, and its name may be taken from the fact that horses were referred to as 'cocks'. "The gentle three mile stroll takes you into the heart of the National Trust’s oldest nature reserve," says the National Trust. Don't miss: More than 4,000 species are found at Wicken Fen including Britain’s largest dragonfly, the emperor. In spring, listen out for the loud ‘boom’ of the highly secretive bittern.

In ancient times the chalk downs which form the central spine of the Isle of Wight were thought to resemble a dragon, with its tail being The Needles and its head at Bembridge Foreland. Below Culver Cliff, a small cove called The Nostrils supposedly forms part of the creature’s head. "This short, energetic coastal walk of just less than three miles will give you a fascinating insight into the Isle of Wight’s role in wartime defence and intelligence," says the National Trust. Don't miss: Peregrine falcons and Chalkhill Blue butterflies lurking around the cliffs, plus spectacular views over Sandown and Whitecliff Bays.


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