The English countryside never stops to amaze with its picturesque beauty. Away from the busy London, in the countryside, you will find some of the most beautiful villages in England that will make you want to pack your bags and move here. There is something special about the rural areas of England, where fields of green grass crossed through by windy streams are home to some of the most pretty villages in England. It’s hard to say which are the best villages in England so why not rent a car and visit them all? Some though make very easy day trips from London by train.
I have asked a few travel bloggers to tell me their stories about the most beautiful villages in England they have visited, and here is what they had to say:
By Kiara from Gallop Around the Globe
Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the south coast of East Devon between Seaton and Sidmouth, Branscombe should, in my opinion, definitely hold the accolade for being one of the most beautiful villages in England. Colourful cottages and stone buildings with thatched roofs are tucked away in a picturesque valley that runs all the way down to a beach on the famous Jurassic Coastline. It’s charming, timeless and – dare I say it – almost magical.
There are three National Trust properties in the village – the oldest working forge in England, a 19th century mill that has been returned to its original working order and opens for five months of the year, and an old bakery that operates as a mini museum and tearoom. There’s also a Grade 1 listed church that’s believed to date as early as circa 955. And If you’re into hiking, you can follow a picturesque coastal path to Beer, 3.4 kilometres away.
Branscombe is three hours and 20 minutes from central London, taking the fastest route along the M3 and A303. If you’re travelling by train, the closest station is Axminster. If you want to stay in the village itself, I can totally recommend the Mason’s Arms, a 14th century thatched inn with an award-winning restaurant attached.
By Laura from Travelers Universe
Bibury is often referred to as the most beautiful village in England and as subjective as that might be, there’s no denying that Bibury is an incredibly charming place. Getting from London to Bibury, one of the prettiest Cotswold villages, is not the easiest thing in the world though. Driving will take you there in about 2 hours and that’s the fast and headache-free version. Public transportation gets more complicated and you’ll basically have to take the train to Moreton-in-Marsh first, then the bus to Bibury from there (with a change in Bourton on the Water). Not very convenient, I’ll admit, and I can think of easier day trips from London that you can take. But this village is so gorgeous, I promise it’s worth all the trouble.
In terms of accommodation, there are a few vacation rentals and Airbnbs you can book. If you’d rather stay in a hotel, The Swan Hotel is an iconic building covered in ivy right next to the Trout Farm. In Bibury, walking around is truly the main attraction. Make sure you stop by the Arlington Row to take a photo with the famous houses that made it on the inside cover of the British passport. Then stop by the Trout Farm to feed the fish and eat a delicious trout sandwich (the best I’ve ever had, seriously!). If weather permits, I highly recommend you also go hiking in the countryside. Bibury is surrounded by rolling hills dotted with sheep. Believe me, it’s a glorious experience and there are plenty of walking paths you can follow.
By Leo from Safari Nomad
Lynmouth is a lovely village on the coast which is situated within Exmoor National Park and is famous for having some of the highest sea cliffs in England.
It has loads of things to do, whether for solo traveller, family or a group of friends. The most you will enjoy beautiful and unspoilt nature, steep sea cliffs and river valleys. Join Lynton & Lynmouth cliff railway with stunning views or the South West Coast Path. Visit Middleham gardens – a short walk along the East Lyn River, Watersmeet house – a fishing lodge, today used as an information center and is a good starting point for woodland, streamside and seaside walks. Golf lovers will love Putting Green with 18-hole games. At Flood Memorial hall you can find free exhibition of the village pre-flood.
Steep hilly setting, deep woodlands, river gorges and walking trails remind of Alpine villages in Switzerland that is why this harbour village is also known as Little Switzerland. Personally I don’t need any other reason why this village is so famous.
There are different types of accommodation on offer, from reasonable to expensive prices. Choose among private homes, apartments, hotels, self catering cottages, campsites or bed and breakfast establishments.
To reach Lynmouth from London you can use public transport. Take a bus service from London to Barnstaple and from there another bus to Lynmouth.
If you travel by train, the nearest station to Lynmouth is Barnstaple or Taunton station.
By Chris from England Explore
Clovelly is a gorgeous fishing village on the North coast of Devon in the West Country of England. There are several other pretty fishing villages in England – indeed many in the West Country – but none come close to the steep cobbled main street.
This descends to a pretty harbour via some lovely whitewashed cottages, most of which are heritage listed. Even better it’s inaccessible by car and so walkers have the street to themselves. Just remember that if you do walk down to the harbour, you have to come back up again! Apart from the walk down the hill, there’s not too much to do – other than perhaps have a donkey ride by the sea.
It’s also probably not the best place to stay – especially if you have a car – and is more of a day trip from one of the many better holiday spots nearby such as Westward Ho! And Ilfracombe.
It could also be combined with a trip to Tintagel, home to King Arthur, just over the Cornish border.
The area is probably best explored by car and is around 4 to 5 hours from London down the M4 and M5. Alternatively there are train services to nearby Barnstaple, after which you’ll probably have to hire a car anyway. In summary then Clovelly is our choice for the prettiest English village – and is a lovely day trip on a holiday is this popular tourist area.
By Sophie Marie from Baby Toddler and Kids
Growing up, The Lake District was always a favourite family trip of ours and Ambleside was somewhere we stayed often. As an adult, I really fell in love with the village and its abundance of beautiful stone cottages.
The only convenient way to reach Ambleside from London is by car. It’s a 280 mile journey which takes about 5 hours but it’s well worth the drive if you are looking for a great UK family holiday.
Right in the heart of The Lake District there are some fantastic walks with incredible scenery starting from the village itself. These range from very easy beginner level walks perfect for families right up to much more difficult mountain hikes with some scrambling involved.
The village is a favourite holiday spot with many and there are a number of small family run bed and breakfasts and cottages to rent. A lot of the accommodation is even dog friendly so your 4 legged friend doesn’t need to miss out either.
By Faith from XYU And Beyond
Sonning is a quintessentially British village and the rich and famous just love living there. Located about an hour outside London Sonning can be reached by train to Reading and then bus to Sonning. If you are making the visit to Windsor Castle head a little further west to reach Sonning.
Sonning is located on the Thames River with an incredibly pretty countryside on its doorstep. Apparently back in the day, the Bishops used to love living in Sonning thanks to its proximity to Westminster. The same holds true today as this is the home of Teresa May, the ex-Prime Minister.
The town also has some royal history as King John stayed in Sonning as the articles of the Magna Carta were being drafted in the 1200s at Sonning Manor. However, after Queen Elizabeth, who was famously cheap, came into power the Manor was left to ruin.
One of the loveliest buildings to visit is St. Andrew’s Church which is close to the river. The Church is a neo-gothic style designed in 1852.
The Bull Inn, which is next to the church used to serve as a guest house for pilgrims. Today it stands as one of the areas most popular pubs.
On the north side of the Bull Inn is the Deanery Garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. This fabulous walled house and garden now belong to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame. The garden at the Deanery is apparently a gorgeous affair designed by Gertrude Jekyll.
The Old Mill is now a live theatre venue and it sits just down from George and Amal Clooney’s little island in the Thames.
By Teresa from Brogan Abroad
A traditional seaside town, Whitby is located on the east coast of Yorkshire. It is a quaint little town traditionally famous for the jet industry and the ruins of Whitby Abbey.
Perched on the East Cliff above the town and overlooking the North Sea, Whitby Abbey is perhaps the most iconic sight in Yorkshire. Built in the 7th century, it was first a Christian monastery but it became a Benedictine abbey after the Norman Conquest. It was eventually abandoned in the 18th century and we are now left with some of the most dramatic ruins in the British Isles.
The Abbey is said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so in recent years, it has also become famous for its links to the Count. So much so, that it holds two Dracula related events, one annual and one biannual, the Bram Stoker Film Festival and the Whitby Goth Weekend.
There are important historical links in Whitby. Another popular attraction is the house where Captain Cook served his apprenticeship as a seaman, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.
Whitby itself is a very quaint little town and worth a wander around, with plenty of beautiful beaches, and it’s one of the best places in the UK to have traditional fish and chips. I visited as a day trip from York and I’d love to go back to spend a little bit longer.
Hawes, North Yorkshire
By Clare from Epic Road Rides
We recently visited Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales, and it’s wonderful. It’s set in the heart of the iconic Yorkshire Dales scenery, surrounded by moorland and limestone valleys that are criss-crossed by ancient, grey stone walls. The lush green valley bottoms surrounding the village are full of wildflowers in Spring and the moors on top of the hills are wild, barren and desolate, the preserve of flocks of hardy sheep. The village itself is classic Yorkshire, built of solid grey limestone with white-framed windows and slate roofs. The buildings almost blend into the landscape around them.
It’s quite a way from London to Hawes: around 4.5-5 hours drive. Alternatively, you can get the train to Leeds and then get onto the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line, which many say is one of the most spectacular train journeys in England. If you get off at Garsdale, it’s only 10 miles in a bus or taxi to Hawes.
There are lots of accommodation options, including B&Bs and hotels. We stayed at Simonstone Hall, just outside Hawes. It’s an impressive building with sweeping views across the countryside, and is famous for being where Kate Winslet chose to stay for her honeymoon (though that was a few years ago and it isn’t as swanky as this claim to fame might suggest!).
There’s lots to do in the village. One of the better-known things to do is to visit the Wensleydale Creamery. Wensleydale is Yorkshire’s most famous cheese, as promoted by the Wallace and Gromit animations. There’s also the Dales Countryside Museum and two waterfalls: Hardraw Force (England’s highest single drop waterfall) and the Aysgarth Falls (one of the region’s most iconic beauty spots) are a short distance away.
We love to explore the area by road bike. The Buttertubs Pass and Fleet Moss are both on the doorstep and offer some of the most challenging and unmissable cycling in the UK. You’ll need to be fit though!
By Laura from The Travelling Stomach
The Lake District is a well trodden destination for hikers and climbers, marvelled at the majestic mountains and lakes that decorate the area. Its quaint towns and beautiful villages are perhaps slightly overshadowed (both in the metaphorical and literal sense!) by their surroundings, but one who’s history and chocolate box houses are a destination in themselves is Grasmere.
If you have a car, that’s the best way to explore the area, with a 5-6 hour drive from London. Alternatively, regular trains run to Oxenholme, with a change to some of the smaller towns, which should take you around 3 hours to get to Grasmere.
Made famous by the writer and poet William Wordsworth, who lived here until his death in 1850 and whose grave sits in St Oswald’s church in the village, Grasmere is a destination for literary pilgrimages and others alike. The school where William Wordsworth once taught all those years ago now houses another famous export of the village: gingerbread. Sarah Nelson invented Grasmere Gingerbread not long after Wordsworth’s death, and her shop lives on in the village, selling freshly baked gingerbread.
You can stay in the village at one of the B&Bs or hotels, but if you’re feeling flush, head to The Forest Side just a few minutes outside for a true gastronomic adventure. Unashamedly revolving around the magic of its dining room and kitchen, it boast a one Michelin star restaurant, and you can happily spend your days relaxing in the plush lounge beside the log fire, after returning from a lake-side walk in the fresh Cumbrian air.
by Richa from My Tickle Feet
Lower Slaughter is one of the best villages in the Cotswolds region in the UK, not far off from Stratford upon Avon. We drove to Cotswold from London on a weekend road trip covering a few other of the prettiest Cotswold villages. Driving is probably the best way to reach these villages including Upper & Lower Slaughter.
Given how naturally beautiful Lower Slaughter is, it turned out to be my favorite village in the region. In my opinion, the best part of this village was the beautiful trail that runs between the Upper Slaughter and the Lower Slaughter villages. I highly recommend you to walk through this path which passes through a river, meadow, farms, eventually ending in either of the Slaughter towns.
There is a historic Old Mill Museum by the river in Lower slaughter that you will eventually run into at the end of the trail. Inside the Mill you will find a café and a gift shop. Church of St. Mary’s is an impressive medieval church to visit in this village as well. Another great walk in this tiny village would be the Copse Hill Road which was voted the most romantic street in Britain in 2011. The Slaughter Manor House is a 17th century home which is now open as a hotel if you are looking for a luxurious accommodation.
By Gemma from Families Can Travel
Set in the beautiful Peak District National Park, Tissington has to be one of the prettiest and unspoilt villages in England.
Located just 5 miles from the market town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire and 150 miles from London. Getting to Tissington by car is an easy journey along the M1 to Derby, followed by the A52 to Ashbourne and then A515 towards Buxton, where you’ll see Tissington signposted. Regular trains run from London St Pancras direct to Derby. From here, you can take a bus to Ashbourne, then onto Tissington.
For luxury, self-catering lodges with outdoor hot tubs and swimming pool facilities, stay at Landal Sandybrook. Or for a beautiful barn conversion with stunning views across the Peak District, try the Mayfield Hideaway.
This picturesque village is full of pretty limestone cottages built around the impressive Tissington Hall that stands proudly in the centre of the village. The 17th century, Jacobean mansion has been home to the Fitzherbert family for over 500 years.
Sitting prominently opposite the hall is the church. From here, take a circular walk around the village and past the duck pond. Look out for the wells along your way and if you visit during the week after Ascension Day (40th day of Easter), you’ll see them beautifully dressed with flowers and natural materials, a custom whereby the wells are decorated in thanksgiving.
Be sure to visit Mr Edward’s Sweet & Fudge Shop, a quaint little 1940’s sweet shop with a fantastic selection of good old-fashioned sweets, ice cream and delicious home-made fudge. Or treat yourself to lunch or afternoon tea at Herbert’s Fine English Tearoom.
From Tissington village, you can easily access the Tissington Trail for walks or bike rides to Ashbourne or Parsley Hay.
Whether you’re just passing through or spending the day in Tissington, its unspoilt beauty, impressive hall and perfectly maintained cottage gardens will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a picturesque village postcard.
Rye, East Sussex
By Suzanne from The Travel Bunny
Rye in East Sussex is a picturesque English village with steep cobbled streets, a small castle and a clutch of medieval buildings and ancient inns. Just two miles from the coast and set in the Sussex countryside it makes a perfect weekend break destination.
To get to Rye from London high-speed trains run to Ashford International taking 38 minutes. From Ashford another train to Rye takes around 20 minutes which makes this historic town ideal for a day out from the city or a weekend away.
There are plenty of places to stay in Rye from quaint hotels to small cottages and B&Bs. I like the atmospheric Mermaid Inn with its ancient oak beams and crooked walls. It’s in a good location and has an intriguing history of smugglers and hauntings.
There’s plenty to keep you busy in Rye and it’s easily walkable. Explore the steep cobbled streets lined with medieval buildings, discover the Landgate, Ypres Tower and visit Mermaid Street which is one of Britain’s most photogenic streets. Climb the tower in St Mary’s Church for views over the countryside and out to sea. Shopping is good with small independent shops, antiques and galleries. Nearby, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is great for bird spotting or head to Camber Sands beach for swathes of golden sand and sand dunes near London.
The charming cobbled lanes, medieval half-timbered buildings, rustic old inns and ancient castle make Rye one of the most beautiful villages in England.
By Liza from Tripsget
Looe is one of the prettiest small towns in Cornwall and it’s a strong contender for entire England as well. Looe is separated into two parts by the river East Looe and before, it used to be two different villages located on both sides of the river. Looe is a very pretty fisherman town / village with beautiful colourful houses, nice restaurants and pubs, friendly people and unique local shops. Moreover, Looe has an amazing beach, so it’s a marvellous destination for summer. On a hot sunny day, you can even swim!
Besides, there are so many pretty places in Cornwall, that you will definitely find what to do nearby. From Looe, you can also get to Polperro via the famous Polperro Heritage walk – one of the best walks to do in Cornwall.
Getting to Looe from London might take a while, but it’s definitely not impossible. We got there in one day and managed to see the Durdle Door and Torquay on our way. However, for that, you definitely need a car. Keep in mind, that it’s about 4.5-hour drive from London. Getting to Looe using public transport might be a bit tricky, but certainly not impossible. You can take a GWR train direction Penzance and descent in Liskeard. From there, you would need to take a local bus to Looe. If you depart at 10 am, you will be in Looe by 2:30 pm.
You can totally stay in Looe overnight (Shellseekers Guest House is a great option) or choose to stay in the nearby village called Polperro that is equally beautiful.
by Mansoureh from Travel with Mansoureh
Chilham is a small parish village in the English county of Kent, located in the valley of the River Stour beside the A28 road, a 15 minutes drive from Canterbury. The best way to get to this medieval village from London is driving via the M20, and take the Ashford exit.
You can park your car in the main square, but if you don’t find a free parking spot don’t worry, there is a big car park free of charge at the bottom of the village where you can also find toilets and an information board about the area.
Then, you can walk up the hill into the well preserved mediaeval square of black and white timber-framed buildings, where you can find a pub, a lovely traditional English tea room and a gift shop. Going there is like turning the clock back hundreds of years. On the east side of the square, you can find the church of St Mary, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, but its history goes back to the 7th century.
On the other side, you can see Chilham Castle, which was built in 1616, one of the most beautiful places in Kent. The castle is a private residence and it is not open to the public, but you can visit its beautiful gardens every Tuesday from the beginning of June until the end of September between 10 am and 4 pm. Chilham has been a film location in Top Gear, Emma, Miss Marple and The Moving Finger.
By Laura from What’s Hot Blog
Lacock is a beautiful medieval village just over two hours away from London by car. It’s one of the oldest and most beautiful villages in England because it retains its medieval charm and has barely changed in hundreds of years. The village is very small so it’s very doable as a day trip, or as an extra stop on a day trip to Bath. There are lots of quaint British pubs and tea houses to enjoy as well as Lacock Abbey, a National Trust property. The Abbey will take up the bulk of your time in this village as you spend time wandering through the beautiful interiors and gardens. As you wander through the village look out for trinkets made by locals that they sell on the doorstep. To pay, just push some money through the letter box – they’re very trusting!
Lacock has recently attracted a lot of attention because it has been used as a Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter filming location. Lacock Abbey’s interiors have been used as Hogwarts corridors and classrooms many times and you’ll also find Harry’s parents’ and Slughorn’s homes. The village’s streets are undisturbed by cables and other signs of modernity so they’re also often used in British period dramas. If you’re looking for a slice of England from times gone by, add Lacock village to your bucket list!
By Jasmine from The Life of a Social Butterfly
Picturesque Painswick is best known as “the Queen of The Cotswolds”; a village of undisturbed beauty, away from some of the other busier tourist hotspots in The Cotswolds.
Romantically remote, the village of Painswick is easily one of the most charming villages in England and is a place where visitors can switch off from everyday life and relax.
Nestled in the heart of The Cotswolds Hills, home to England’s sole surviving complete Rococo Garden and a great spot to enjoy a walk on the famous Cotswolds Way walking route; Painswick has much to offer, despite being less well known.
The Rococo Gardens: Originally used as a backdrop for lavish events, Painswick’s Rococo Gardens are adorned with blooming floral displays in Spring/Summer, but the real treat is seeing the carpet of white snowdrops in the Winter.
The Cotswolds Way: Whether you are an avid walker or not, there is much beauty to behold on The Cotswolds Way route, which takes you from Bath to Chipping Camden. Painswick is located halfway between the route, perfect for those who want to do some exploring, but don’t perhaps want to experience the whole 100 miles Cotswolds Way route.
Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can capture some photos of the wildlife as you ramble your way around the beauty of The Cotswolds.
There are a number of full-day trips from London, some of which provide stops in other iconic areas, such as Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Warwick Castle. If you want to stay in England for a longer time and thinking of a place to move to close to all these places, Coventry is a good base. Hiring a van company in Coventry can be helpful when it comes to transporting stuff from once place to another.
Alternatively, you can take the train from Paddington Station or hire a car from the airport.
To really enjoy the beauty, peace and tranquillity of visiting The Cotswolds, it’s best to stay for a long weekend. The Painswick is an affordable luxury hotel in Painswick and overlooks The Cotswolds hills for a truly picturesque place to stay in Painswick.
By Priya from Outside Suburbia
When we were in Scotland with our children, we visited the charming little town of Alnwick and the castle. Alnwick is located in one of the remotest regions of England, a few miles from the Northumberland Coast Area. Alnwick castle is very impressive and still inhabited by the 12th Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy and his family. You might recognize it from the Harry Potter films. It is featured as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films and as a location for the show Downtown Abbey. Our kids were excited to try the broom flying lessons when we were visiting the castle. We also ran into the boy himself, or at least someone dressed as Harry Potter.
The castle has been in the Percy family for 700 years and all their history, priceless paintings and furniture, books, journals, photographs, personal possessions and has a homely feel to it. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England and has been home to legendary kings and queens of England to the present day. The well-manicured Alnwick castle Gardens with its water sculptures and Bamboo Labyrinth is equally enchanting. There is even a section that has some of the deadliest plants in the appropriately named Poison Garden. You can find cannabis and poppies, source of opium among other deadly plants – you are not allowed to touch or smell them though.
Plan to spend some time in the village center, it is quaint with coffee shops and cosy cafés, and famous fish and chip restaurant. You can find many local boutiques and other shops in this little town that only about 8000 people call home.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly
By Michelle from Greedy Gourmet
One of the most beautiful villages I’ve ever seen here in the UK is Tresco. Tresco is a charming place located at the Isles of Scilly. In fact, Tresco is the 2nd largest island of the Isles of Scilly on the shores of Cornwall in England. Indeed, it is an isolated place, but that makes it ever more beautiful. You’ll need to fly there.
When you stay at Tresco, you can select your own type of accommodation, whether it be 1) sea garden cottages, 2) flying boat cottages or 3) traditional cottages. If you only plan to stay for one night, then book a night at The New Inn or the Sea Garden Apartments. Whatever you choose, you are bound to end up with stunning seaside views. You can also enjoy long walks by the beach as well as do some hiking.
In terms of food, Tresco is famous for its fresh ingredients which includes island-reared beef and of course tasty and fresh seafood. Crabs and lobsters should definitely be on the sampling menu of you are looking to taste local produce. There are plenty of restaurants, but if you feel like dining at home, then pop by The Stores & Deli, which has a large selection of food and wine. You can make your own feast in your private cottage and enjoy the stunning scenery. The views and scenery is what makes this village one of the most beautiful in England.
By Josh and Sarah from Veggie Vagabonds
There are some parts of England which really live up to the quaint countryside stereotype. One of those places is most definitely Cheddar in the southeast of England. And, yes, it is the birthplace of cheddar cheese!
This small little town is surrounded by rolling countryside, has beautiful cycle trails through apple orchards, bunting filled streets and quirky little pubs. If you’re looking for a beautiful village experience in England then this is the place for you.
Though there are many draws to the town one of the most famous and spectacular is Cheddar Gorge. This geological marvel is actually the largest gorge in the UK and really a sight to be seen. You can hike up to its peaks and see incredible views, cycle through the middle with towering walls on either side, or our personal favourite: rock climb on the cliffs!
Inside the walls of the gorge are plenty of surprises. Cheddar is also home to a number of incredible caves, formed over millions of years, which are open for the public to explore. Of these sites it’s Gough’s Cave which normally steals the limelight. It was here the famous Cheddar Man was found in 1903 which is still the oldest complete human skeleton found in Britain, dating back to the Mesolithic period!
To get to Cheddar you can easily take a train to Bristol and then a connecting train to Cheddar. Or, once you reach Bristol, it’s also possible to cycle all the way along the Strawberry Line cycle route.
Haworth, West Yorkshire
By Carol from Wandering Carol
Where to stay: Ashmount Country House is an upscale bed and breakfast in a 19th-century home that offers an irresistible high tea.
How to get here from London: Take the train from London Kings Cross Station to the town of Keighley. Then catch the restored Keighley and Worth Valley railway to Haworth.
The village of Haworth in West Yorkshire has a shadowy beauty, the shadow being that of the Bronte sisters, a literary trio who lived here for many years, but who died at a tragically young age. When future novelists, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were growing up here, they would spend hours writing and dreaming up make-believe worlds along with their beloved brother Branwell in the Bronte Parsonage where they were raised. Today, visiting the parsonage is one of the highlights of seeing this atmospheric village. Other sights include the Bronte Parish Church, where their father, Patrick Bronte, was the village rector, and the village graveyard with its crooked headstones.
Surrounded by the moors, Haworth is one of the most romantic spots in England, and the weathered main street has plenty of picturesque stops, such as Cobbles and Clay, a combination cafe and pottery painting studio, and the Cabinet of Curiosities, formerly the druggist shop where the family would buy their medicine.
The town is not all about the Brontes, however. The KWVR Steam Train is a scenic way to explore the heritage of the area, and the station is right in town. The town is not all about the Brontes, however. The KWVR Steam Train is a scenic way to explore the heritage of the area, and the station is right in town. Completed in the late 19th century, this historic train has less than a 5-mile run, but it’s a great way to experience the region around the lovely Worth Valley.
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
by Fiona from Passport and Piano
Holmfirth lies in the middle of Holme valley in Yorkshire, and two main things attract visitors here. Firstly the stunning location.
Holmfirth is surrounded by the beautiful Pennine moors and the hills of the peak district. There’s an abundance of walks, nature trails and panoramic views to enjoy, so you need to remember to bring your hiking boots, camera and binoculars.
Blackmore foot reservoir to the north is popular with birdwatchers, and the path to Ramsden reservoir provides you with fabulous views across the valley.
In spring the woods around Dingley reservoir are carpeted in bluebells, and quintessentially English villages such as Dingley and Ramsden are a delight to visit on a weekend walk.
Aside from the glorious scenery visitors flock here to see the filming locations of Worlds longest-running sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine. This popular tv program was filmed in Holmfirth and the surrounding countryside.
You can enjoy a bite to eat at Sid’s Cafe and a visit to Nora Batty’s steps will have you reminiscing about the many scenes filmed there. There’s a Last of the Summer Wine vintage tour bus that you can take to see the famous filming locations around the valley including the white horse inn which featured in most episodes.
There’s also a summer wine museum which has some fascinating photographs on display alongside many of the famous props.
Other popular attractions nearby include Holmfirth Vineyard which has a fantastic wine tasting tour and an excellent restaurant.
From London, the easiest way to get to Holmfirth is by train. If you depart from St Pancras, you can catch the train to Sheffield, change there for Huddersfield and then catch the bus.
The journey from Euston Station to Manchester is quicker. At Manchester Picadilly station you will need to change to either the TransPennine Express or the Northern Line which will get you to Huddersfield. From Huddersfield there are plenty of buses to Holmfirth.
By Bernadette from A Packed Life
The charming village of Appledore is located on the north coast of Devon, where the sea meets the estuary. It’s a simple journey here from London, either taking the train to Barnstaple via Exeter and catching the excellent local bus, or driving to Bristol on the M4, and then taking the M5 and the North Devon Link Road.
Once you arrive in Appledore, you’ll think that you’ve been transported to a different era. You can discover the proud seafaring heritage of this village through the Maritime Museum, full of tales of ships sailing to the New World. The historic dockyard is worth your time too. Catch the tiny ferry across the estuary to Instow for sailing and fabulous walks at low tide. Back in Appledore, there’s fine fish cuisine, a deli for picnics and plenty of cafe culture.
This small village plays host to an international literary festival in the autumn. So it’s not surprising to find plenty of galleries and interesting shops in the tiny lanes full of brightly painted cottages, statement door signs and lots of sea-focused art. You can rent a cottage here yourself, or else stay in one of the village’s small hotels. There’s additional accommodation on the coast everywhere from Westward Ho! to the surfers’ beach at Croyde around the bay. That intoxicating mixture of sea, art and history meant Appledore grabbed my heart. I have a sneaky suspicion it might do exactly the same to you.
Malham, North Yorkshire
By Sinead from Map Made Memories
Malham is a tiny village lying in the Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire and is one of my favourite villages in England. It is a five-hour drive from London or a two-hour train ride to the historic city of York from where you can hire a car to visit rural Malham, a one hour drive away. Alternatively, take two trains from London to Skipton via Leeds and then catch a public bus which drops you in the heart of the village.
Pretty Malham consists of several attractive stone houses, a couple of cafes, two friendly pubs (which offer rooms) and an excellent youth hostel with camping area. Malham is very popular with hikers as there so many great walks to choose from on the doorstep including walks to the idyllic Janet’s Foss waterfall, the impressive Gordale Scar gorge and the nature reserve surrounding the glacial lake of Malham Tarn.
However, my favourite place in Malham is the spectacular view from the top of Malham Cove, the 70-metre high limestone amphitheatre located an easy, short walk north of the village centre. Climb the steeply rising stone steps at the side of the cliff to the limestone pavement at the top for an incredible view over the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales.
by Daniel from Layer Culture
If you find yourself in the United Kingdom and looking for the most beautiful villages in England, you must not forget to visit Hathersage. Situated in both Derwent valley and the Peak District you’ll find that Hathersage is a busy village with a rich historical background. The village is easily accessible as the transport links to Hathersage from London, for example, are quite straightforward. You can arrive here by train from St Pancras International.
You may want to stay here overnight, so it is recommended that you find one of the many hotels or even Airbnb’s that are available in the village. If you prefer a quiet stay, see the George Hotel which is very popular with visitors who search for lodgings with fine character and quality. Also, make sure you carry some comfortable walking shoes as Hathersage is most popular with people who love walking and even rock climbing. You can walk up to the moorland which overlooks the village and even gets up to as far as Stanage Edge – which is a famous climbing location. What makes Hathersage so special is its rich history and preserved county life, whether it be a weekday or a busy Sunday afternoon you won’t be disappointed with what you encounter here.
by Sam from The Adventure Lab
The best way to get to Bradford-on-Avon from London is to take the GWR train from Paddington and change in Bath. This pleasant journey through the North Wessex countryside takes around 2hrs each way.
Driving will take around 3hrs, so you’d be best to stay for a night. The upside of this option is you’ll have the flexibility to stop off at a few other places (e.g. Stonehenge) along the way.
If you’re keen to stay near town, I recommend The Castle Inn. The rooms are located above a beautiful old pub and all have great views of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Perhaps the best thing about staying at The Castle Inn is the Inn itself. With a lovely beer garden for summer and a cozy log fire for winter, you may find it a struggle to leave!
Aside from wandering around the town itself, there are a range of lovely nature walks in the surrounding area, including some along the historic waterways.
One sight that should not be missed is the Tithe Barn. Originally part of a range of farm buildings, the barn attracts visitors thanks to its impressive architecture and sheer scale. The surrounding grounds are also beautiful and make a great backdrop for the barn – pack your camera!
The town is incredibly picturesque and has a range of activities and sights on offer to keep you busy during the day. What’s more, it’s not yet overrun with tourists and is doable as a day trip on the train from London.
Thornbury, South Gloucestershire
By Amber from With Husband in Tow
Bristol is known as a food and drink destination with classic pubs and tons of craft beer brewers. But, just outside of Bristol, travelers can step back in time in the adorable village of Thornbury. Thornbury is located about two hours drive directly west of London. It is accessible by public transport from Bristol. Bristol is only 12 kilometers away.
If looking to feel like royalty for a weekend, Thornbury Castle is the perfect place to step back in time and feel like a member of the Royal family. Once owned by Henry VIII and dating to the 10th Century, Thornbury offers individually decorated rooms containing four-poster beds and period furniture. The castle is also worth a visit because of its stunning architecture. They also serve afternoon tea in the library each afternoon.
With a population of only 12,000, Thornbury is the model of an adorable British village, with a handful of pubs, a fabulous Indian restaurant, and even its own gin distillery. Just wander down High Street to see the little, picture-perfect buildings with flowers in their windows. It’s perfectly charming. Visit the Thornbury Museum to learn about the village’s history as a market town. There are also loads of activities nearby including the Bristol Aerospace Museum.
Have you visited any of these beautiful village in England? Which one is the most beautiful village you have visited in the UK? Let me know in the comments below.
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