Countryside is GREAT - Part 2

Richard continues his exploration of Britain's great countryside. He sees the lakes and mountains of Scotland and two of the world's natural wonders: the Giant's Causeway in Ireland and the magnificent Durdle Door in Dorset.


Next we’re heading north.

I’ve come to Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, home to 5 out of 6 of the tallest mountains in Britain, and what’s more, I'm going to get to the top of that mountain without losing my breath!

If you don’t fancy the hour and a half walk to the top, like me, you can ride the Cairngorm Mountain Railway. 

Richard: Hiya. One ticket for the funicular, please.

The journey is 2km long, which makes this the highest railway journey in Great Britain. The train takes us to the top of the mountain – nearly 2000 metres above sea level. Now this is what I call mountain climbing… 

It only takes about 7 minutes to get to the top and it’s the best way to experience the peaks in all weather conditions. 

And here we are right at the top. It might be very windy, but just look at the views – absolutely incredible.

The views across Cairngorm National Park are stunning and you can see why this is Britain’s largest nature reserve.

Colin Kirkwood knows the Cairngorms better than most and works at the Mountain Railway.

Richard: What can we see at the top of Cairngorm mountain?

Colin: Well, you get a wonderful view from here. Looking down you can see over Loch Morlich, which is a famous beauty spot in this area, but you also get wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. You can see Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain, to the west, and to the north, some eighty miles away, you can see Ben Hope.

Richard: Great Britain has a lot of mountains. What makes this one stand out?

Colin: Well, this is the sixth highest mountain in Britain. It's also a wonderful place for people to come to walk, to climb and, of course, to enjoy snow sports.

Richard: What kind of wildlife can we see?

Colin: Well, if you're lucky, you may see ptarmigan on the mountain, it's kind of like an iconic bird for this area, and also a dotterel, which is a rare and protected species, and you might well see some mountain hare as well.

Richard: What do you love most about it?

Colin: Well, I think it's a very special place to work. To me, it's a real privilege to be able to work in this kind of mountain environment and to enthuse about it to other people and attract them to coming here.


Another one of Scotland’s famous landmarks is Loch Ness. It’s 37km long and 239m deep at the deepest point, and some say it has its own monster!

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is just a short trip across the water. This world heritage site is the most popular tourist attraction in the area. 

Around 40 thousand rock columns were formed by the eruption of a volcano here, thousands of years ago. The tallest of the columns are around 12 metres high. 


The British coastline offers both beauty and variety.

This is the Jurassic coast in Dorset. It could be as old as a quarter of a billion years and that amazing arch is called Durdle Door, and it’s one of the most photographed landmarks along this coast.

Durdle Door is a huge natural limestone arch near to Lulworth Cove on the south coast of England and is owned by the Lulworth Estate.

This area is part of 153km of natural World Heritage coastline. It’s a geological or rock formation walk through time.

Looking after this countryside is an important job.

Sarah Spurling is a countryside ranger.

Richard: Wow! A beautiful sunset, Sarah. Is this the best time to see Durdle Door?

Sarah: It's a lovely time to see it. It's lovely every time of day, but it's pretty beautiful, isn't it?

Richard: Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the actual rock itself.

Sarah: Well, Durdle Door is a beautiful limestone arch, carved out with the power of the sea. It could be at least a thousand years old and it's one of the most magnificent features in Britain.

Richard: How exactly did it form?

Sarah: Well, Durdle Door used to be part of a big wall of rock that joins up with rocks you see in the water. That would have been the old coastline many thousands of years ago. The sea's worn it down over many years, leaving behind the rocks that you see now. The softer rocks behind it were eroded much more quickly, leaving Durdle Door sticking out into the water.

Richard: This whole coastline is really special, isn't it?

Sarah: Yeah, it is. I mean, it's special because of wonderful natural features like Durdle Door, also the sheer variety of landscapes and environments you can enjoy.

Richard: And it's quite environmentally sensitive.

Sarah: The nature of the landscape round here means that the area has escaped much of the development and modern farming that you see in other areas, and so the features and the wildlife that remain are good examples of what once may have been common.

Richard: Thanks, Sarah. Shall we enjoy the view?

Sarah: Let's enjoy the view.

Do you know what? I’ve truly discovered the most amazing countryside, and it’s all here in Great Britain.

Task 1

In what order do these things get mentioned in the video?


Task 2

Match the descriptions you heard about the places. Each place has two descriptions.


Task 3

Complete the phrases.


Task 4

Select the four adjectives that are possible in the gap, but don't select the one that isn't possible.



Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2

Soumis par alphazero le mer 30/09/2020 - 09:12

Well, to tell the truth, I have never left my city and I'd like to travel to my countryside, where my grandparents are living there. The landscapes are unspoilt and the view is breathtaking because there aren't many tourists who visit here and spoil the nature so it's also secluded. On top of that, the countryside has a lot of green space so I can take a stroll around there compared to my city which has a lot of emissions which can be harmful. I was thinking of visiting there in the summer with my parents.

Soumis par Cristina_cv le ven 27/03/2020 - 22:11

I really love the British Contryside, it seems such a extraornidary landscape and this area is a natural reserve. It is a lot atracctive at less for me. The Durdle Dooor is amazing because it was formed by the roks by the sea hit, since thought two thousand years and it is one of the most popular countries visited by the tourists, it longitude its Impressive. Giant's Causeway is a very beautiful place, that it ofeer a magnificent view and amazing souns on the top on the mountain. I loved this place beacuse it is one of the most important mountains in Ireland, the animals can live free in this place and also the people protect the wildlife.

Soumis par DAQV le ven 27/03/2020 - 04:43

Which of the places would you like to visit? The place I would like to visit from the video would be the first Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, since I like mountainous places. What are the most famous natural beauties in your country? In my country, which is Mexico, we have a great diversity of natural wonders, it would be impossible to name them all, one of the ones that I like the most and I think that it is little known is Real de Catorce, which is in San Luis Potosí and is a very magical town. cute, relaxing and mysterious. Are they popular with tourists? In this case, the magical town is little known, but as it is, tourism in Mexico will gradually become known.

Soumis par MdRm le dim 21/07/2019 - 16:48

I'd really like to visit them all but i feel special atraction for Durdle door; i find that rare arc in a lake really interesting. I live in andean country, Colombia, so there are a los of mountains. Even though i lived my childhood in a flat zone of the country anytime we traveled with my family we had to go through the mountains so i just got used to them and don't get stunned by the views anymore. I am currently living in Bogota and every time i look through my window i see Monserrate wish is a pretty popular church on top of a mountain. You can see all the city from there so it's a really got spot to visit.

Soumis par Claudette Ndenzako le lun 21/01/2019 - 18:43

I love the countryside for its peacefulness and tranquility. The landscape and stunning view of the mountains and fields are some of the features that make the countryside attractive to many people. The English countryside is beautiful especially the South with amazing historical features. In my home country in Africa the countryside is unspoiled. There is no modern world feel such as cafes, restaurants, shops or tourism going on. The country is made of mountains and hills with rivers running through. People are still living pretty much primitive lives. The mountains and rivers are populated with farm animals eating grass and drinking water. Each family builds their hut and grow their crops on their piece of land. The landscape is gorgeous. People wouldn't normally have running water in their household, so you would see people fetching water or washing clothes and themselves in rivers. All this gives our countryside a beautiful feeling of simpleness and natural way of living.

Soumis par Rafaela1 le dim 04/11/2018 - 06:01

I love this lesson. The description of the landscape is really fascinating! It's so informative that I lean toward visiting all of them! Yupe, we have many natural beauties in my country bustling with lots of tourists. It's hard to choose the best!

Soumis par btriton le sam 19/05/2018 - 08:28

In fact all the places or natural parks are beautiful, so I want to go all of these places to see the and enjoy the landscapes, in my country Peru, there are many places and natural parks as well to visit, in amazon jungle Manu Park is located at south east of the country with stunning flora and fauna to discover and see, Huascaran Park located in "Cordillera Blanca) or white range and is highest peak in my country with about 6300 meters above sea level. and yes these palces are touristic places, so every visitor could go. I will wait you.

Soumis par Poupounchka le sam 02/12/2017 - 10:23

Hello! Can you say why the answer for Comprehension task #2 is 3. d, j? In the video I heard and then reread in the transcript that World Heritage Site (option d) is the coastline (option 4)? While they may be both World Heritage Sites, I can't find where in the video it says that Giant's Causeway is one. Thank you for any help!

Soumis par Kirk le sam 02/12/2017 - 13:59

En réponse à par Poupounchka


Hello Poupounchka,

The transcript on the webpage (under the exercises) says:

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is just a short trip across the water. This world heritage site is the most popular tourist attraction in the area. Around 40 thousand rock columns were formed by the eruption of a volcano here, thousands of years ago. The tallest of the columns are around 12 metres high.

There in the second sentence it indicates that it's a world heritage site. 

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Soumis par nicky62 le mar 18/04/2017 - 09:16

hi , would you help me to understand the meaning of the word home in the following sentence? I’ve come to Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, home to 5 out of 6 of the tallest mountains in Britain, ........ thank you

Hello nicky62,

Here, 'home' refers to the location of these mountains. In other words, Cairngorm National Park is where these five mountains are located. It might help to think of this as part of an omitted relative structure like 'Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, which is home to five out of six ...'

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Nizam Balinese le ven 24/02/2017 - 11:25

Hi Team. ☆ What are the most famous natural beauties in your country? ☆ Are they popular with tourists? =================== One of the best beaches worth to explore in my place is Blue Point Beach. The sea waves on the shore is quite challenging, so almost everyday there are Surfers who try the waves at this beach. Not only offers a challenging ocean waves, Blue Point Beach also offering the beauty of beach with white sand that truly surrounded by towering cliffs. Because of surrounded by cliffs, visitors who want to enjoy the beauty beach should enter the gaps are narrow cliff which in Bali interpreted as "mesulub". Because visitors to reach the beach should be mesulub, so this beach also called Suluban Beach. Foreign Tourist are more familiar by the name of Blue Point Beach because it's not far from the beach there is a hotel named Blue Point. Before entering a narrow gully, you got down the stairs quite a lot. One the tip of bottom step, you will be presented with a view in a rock cave. If the sea waves was high, sea water will enter the cave. As soon as you come out the way "mesulub" crevices of cliff beautiful scenery with the pounding of the waves will welcome you on this beach. During the day the beach is invanded by foreign tourist who want to feel the sun bath of Suluban by way lay on the clean white sand. At the late afternoon into the spot to witness the phenomenon of sunset moment. These moments were used by the photographer to hunting photos fitting the sun sink behind the horizon. And do not be surprised if you visit Suluban Beach, you will see a lots of hotels and restaurants built right on top of cliffs around this beach. So, when will you visit my place Team?

Soumis par Genc le ven 17/02/2017 - 12:14

I'd love to visit Durdle Door, of course.I literally fell in love with the its view, though. Well, we have Cappodocia which is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.Many people around the world pay a visit this area which is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features.

Soumis par lumiane le ven 10/02/2017 - 05:22

I most like to visit the Jurassic coast in Dorset because there is an amazing arch is called Durdle Door. In my country, there is same one as well in Ly Son Island. It's absolutely stunning at sunset
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