This article was published by the Great British Mag content team on 6 April 2021.

If it’s the amazing countryside, dramatic mountains and sweeping coastlines that draw you to the UK then these universities will be right up your street. 

They’re all surrounded by beautiful rural landscapes that promise enough opportunity for exploring to keep you occupied for as long as you choose to stay. 

University of Cumbria 

This is the only university in the whole of the UK that’s actually located inside a national park. Its Ambleside campus sits among the dramatic scenery of the famous Lake District which, with more than 214 mountains and some of the countries largest lakes, is considered to be one of the UK’s most beautiful regions. It promises endless opportunity for hiking and exploration.  

The lake district at sunset

University of Exeter 

Flanked by the East Devon Area of Outstanding National Beauty and Dartmoor National Park, Exeter is a small South West city that suits outdoorsy types perfectly. Not only is there plenty of countryside nearby to use as your playground, but there are miles of coastline to acquaint yourself with, too.   

Dartmoor National Park

Keele University

Tucked away in the Staffordshire countryside and standing in the midst of 640 acres of landscaped grounds, Keele is considered to have one of the most beautiful rural university campuses in the UK. But it’s not just the immediate grounds that are rife for stomping through on hikes and adventures: the Peak District National Park, with more than 200 square miles of land available to explore, is under an hour away. 

Peak District, UK

University of the Highlands and Islands

With several locations dotted around the northernmost regions of Scotland – including the small isles off the coast – this university won’t leave you wanting when it comes to outdoor pursuits. Forests, lochs (the Scottish word for lakes), mountains and moorlands are all there begging to be explored, with natural beauty in plentiful supply. This is prime territory for rock climbing, mountain biking and skiing.

Wick in the Scottish Highlands

University of Bath

Hugging the southern border of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and not far from the Mendip Hills, either – the University of Bath is surrounded by plenty of greenery and rural landscapes. Sitting just outside the small city from which it takes its name, the uni is encircled by quaint villages and quintessential English countryside that’s rife for rambling and peppered with country pubs.

Bath UK

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