With spook season in full swing, we’re delving into some of Britain’s most mesmerising and rarest natural phenomena. From wells that turn objects into stone to seas that glow blue at night, the UK is home to some truly magical sights – and hunting them down is the perfect family activity.
The Petrifying Well, North Yorkshire
Formerly known as the Dropping Well, this natural water feature is the only one of its kind in England. As the name suggests, it literally petrifies objects placed in it, turning them into stone!
Once a place of great superstition, the well is now a tourist attraction in its own right – where visitors can see various objects suspended under its waters slowly turning into stone. The phenomenon occurs as a result of the well’s extremely high mineral content, depositing tiny specks of stone and encasing objects over time. It takes an average of 3 to 5 months to fossilise a teddy bear and stone bears can even be bought in the park’s gift shop!
The Petrifying Well can be found in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, and is the ideal place to break a journey if you’re travelling to our holiday parks on the Yorkshire Coast.
Video sourced from Simon Riches
The Northern Lights, Scotland
Yes, you heard us right – you don’t need to hop on a plane to Iceland to see this magical spectacle. As long as the conditions are right, you could be in with a chance of spotting the northern lights in Scotland!
For the best chance of witnessing the aurora borealis, you’ll want to head north during late autumn and winter - where the combination of higher latitudes, dark nights and cold clear skies create the ideal conditions. The further north you travel, the more likely you are to see them – away from the orange glow of light pollution from towns and cities. The solar activity that’s responsible for this phenomenon is hard to predict, so keep your eyes on the sky and you might just get lucky.
Why not book a festive break at Tummel Valley Holiday Park? It’s just a stone’s throw from the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, an official Dark Sky Discovery Site, and one of the best places in the UK to spot the northern lights.
Video sourced from mjsferrier
The Severn Bore, Gloucestershire
The Severn Bore is one of the UK’s most fascinating natural phenomena. Occurring twice a day up to 130 days a year, a giant tidal wave sweeps up the River Severn from its mouth to its source.
This unique phenomenon has attracted sightseers for years, as well as kayakers and even surfers who attempt to ride the wave upstream! Caused by the rising tide pushing water into the Bristol Channel, the Severn almost appears to flow backwards, with particularly high tides and the right wind conditions resulting in gigantic upstream waves. The biggest waves occur during the months surrounding the spring and autumn equinox, meaning October is a great time to spot big waves.
If you’re travelling to our holiday parks in South Wales or down the M5 to the South West Coast, make sure you check the tide times – it’s well worth a stop on the banks of the River Severn to witness this spectacular sight.
Video sourced from SWNS TV
Technically speaking, you could encounter bioluminescence on any of the UK’s shores, as conditions tend to dictate its occurrence rather than location. While it’s typically associated with tropical waters, this rare natural phenomenon has been spotted on the beaches of Anglesey in Wales, as well as the Norfolk Coast in recent years.
If you’re on the hunt for electric blue waves, your best chance of seeing this spectacle with your own eyes is during a heatwave, with warm salt water providing the perfect habitat for the millions of plankton that emit the blue glow. Long sunny days provide them with the energy they need to emit their blue glow at night, with disturbances in the water creating spectacular underwater light shows.
Next time you’re taking an evening walk down the beach, keep your eyes on the waves – and, with a bit of luck, you’ll be in for a mesmerising show.
Video sourced from WikiSkip
Looking for more spooky activities this autumn? You’ll love our blog on top Halloween attractions.