Pixel Britain: 8 iconic British scenes in 16-bit

Days out

Posted by Hannah on 5th January 2018

Are you a child of the 80s? Did you grow up with a Gameboy permanently attached to your hands? Or maybe you were more of a Sega person. Whether you spent your childhood pretending to be an Italian plumber or a blue hedgehog, these pixelated iconic British scenes are likely to get those nostalgia juices flowing. They might even give you an idea for your next day-trip.

White Cliffs of Dover (Kent, England)

No sight is more thoroughly buried into the nation's consciousness as the gateway to Britain than the White Cliffs of Dover. The clifftops have inspired artists and writers for centuries – and it’s not hard to see why. They represent quintessential British ideals like hope and resilience in the most difficult of times. They also make the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll. A wander along the coastal path provides breathtaking views of both the sea and lush countryside.

White Cliffs of Dover

Castlefield Canals with Beetham Tower (Manchester, England)

This area was the bustling terminus of the Bridgewater Canal during the Industrial Revolution. For many, Castlefield is now an oasis of calm within Manchester city centre – a place to eat lunch or escape from the masses. It’s the UK’s first Urban Heritage Park, which protects and preserves its canals and cobbles, making it a tranquil traffic-free haven. Looming in the background is the modern, 48-story Beetham Tower. Standing at 171 metres tall, you can hear it whistling on a windy day.

Castlefield Canals and Beetham Tower in Manchester

Borough Market (London, England)

From fresh bread to fruits and veggies, cakes to oils and teas, Borough Market has it all. Dating back to the 13th century, the market is renowned for its wide selection of produce from all over the world. Thousands of tourists hit the market daily, sampling gourmet food from Britain and beyond at more than 100 shops, stalls and restaurants. Located right next to London Bridge just a few steps from the Thames, there are few locations that so evocatively epitomise the capital.

Borough Market in London

Blackpool Central Pier (Blackpool, England)

If you grew up in the 80s before the advent of cheap air travel, chances are you spent a few summer holidays on this beach. But it’s not all over for the iconic tower; with 8.6 million visitors last year, Blackpool is the UK’s most popular seaside destination. By night it is beautifully lit, and from September until November the whole seafront explodes with light. Stretching for 10 kilometres and using over one million bulbs, the Blackpool Illuminations are an awesome spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

Blackpool pier and illuminations

Riding the West Highland Line over the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Glenfinnan, Scotland)

There’s no better way to see the West Coast of Scotland than by train. The ride is full of stunning views, and none more so than Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument, both of which can be seen while crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This charming railway bridge was immortalised when the Hogwarts Express passed over it in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Take this train journey and we’re sure you’ll agree: the views are truly magical.

West Highland Line and the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland

Glastonbury Festival at night (Somerset, England)

Whether it’s music, dance, comedy, theatre, circus or cabaret that you want, Glastonbury Festival has something for everyone. The five-day festival of contemporary performing arts is sometimes a mudfest and always unforgettable. In recent years, the Pyramid Stage has hosted Beyonce, Radiohead and Kanye West, amongst others. You’ll have to be up early to secure your tickets though – they usually sell out in under half an hour.

Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival

Angel of the North (Gateshead, England)

Antony Gormley's “Angel of the North” sculpture, overlooking a road travelling through Northumberland towards Gateshead, was made from 200 tonnes of steel and can withstand winds of more than 100 miles per hour. It perfectly evokes northern England's industrial past. Standing 20 metres high with wingspan of 54 metres, the sculpture dominates the skyline and dwarfs all who get up close and personal. It’s an awe inspiring sight and, since spreading its wings in 1998, has become one of the most popular and talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

Angel of the North

Walk up Snowdon (Snowdonia National Park, Wales)

At an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. It’s also the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom, with around half a million visitors every year. There are many paths up Snowdon, each catering to a different skill level. Whichever one you choose, it’s sure to be an exhilarating and mind-blowing experience, with breathtaking views every step of the way.

Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia, Wales

These quintessential British scenes are some of the most iconic and popular destinations for visitors looking to find the true spirit of the United Kingdom. There’s truly something for everyone here. Although if the pixel art has you feeling nostalgic, maybe you’ll only get as far as the nearest arcade...

Look out for the next edition, capturing even more Great British sights, from the waterways of Norfolk to Cornwall's Eden Project.


National Trust. (2017). The White Cliffs of Dover. nationaltrust.org.uk

Creative Tourist. (2016). Castlefield, Manchester. Creativetourist.com

Borough Market. (2017). Borough Market. boroughmarket.org.uk

Radio Wave. (2017). Latest tourism figures show a positive picture for Blackpool. wave965.com

Blackpool Illuminations. (2017). Blackpool Illuminations. Blackpool-illuminations.net

ScotRail. (2017). West Highland Line. scotrail.co.uk

Glastonbury Festival. (2017). Glastonbury Festival. glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Gateshead. (2017). The Angel of the North. gateshead.gov.uk

Walk Up Snowdon. (2017). Welcome to Walk up Snowdon. walkupsnowdon.co.uk

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.