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The United Kingdom has a territory rich in postcard villages made from stone cottages with thatch roofs built near a river in the middle of a green countryside dating back to medieval times, give that almost fairytale look. Each has something different to tell: from the classic villages with cobbled streets and half-timbered buildings, coastal villages overlooking the ocean, to castles and stone bridges. Thanks to the collaboration of the best travel bloggers in the industry, in this article there are 32 prettiest villages in the UK to be inspired by for your next trip.



Sitting at 1,112 ft above sea level in Aberdeenshire is Braemar. This village may well be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland. It can be found one of the highest peaks at the Cairngorms National Park and boasts 360-degree views of the sublime Grampian Mountains.

The name comes from the Gaelic phrase Bràigh Mhàrr, which means the area of upper Marr. Indeed, it is at an upper side of the Earldom of Mar and commands a sweeping panorama of endless woodlands and hills. Locals only started referring to the village as Braemar in 1870.

One of the most iconic charms of Braemar is the sheer amount of hiking and cycling routes. This quaint village is a paradise for outdoor lovers. There are actually more than 24 Munros, or mountains of 3000 ft or higher, which can be hiked for an unforgettable view and experience of the region.

Meanwhile, sports enthusiasts could drop by the Braemar Golf Club, which is the UK’s highest golf course and over a century old. It is nestled at an elevation point of 1,200 ft! You can also see the nearby Glenshee, the largest ski resort in all of Scotland.

The best time to visit Braemar is on the first Saturday of September because this is the time of the annual Braemar Gathering and Highland Games. Not only will there be special festivities that reflect local traditions, but the Royal Family has also been coming here every year since the first Gathering took place in 1832.



Newborough is a tiny town located in northern Scotland around 30 minutes from the city of Aberdeen. This area is known for its stunning coast lines and impressive beaches. Newburgh is a coastal town with one of the best beaches in the area. Scotland is cold so swimming here is usually not an option unfortunately. However, this is one of the best places in the UK to see seals in their natural habitat. People drive here from far away just to see the seals. However, the beach is rarely very crowded so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful area. There are impressive sand dunes and lots of hiking trails through nature which are perfect for an afternoon walk. It can get quite windy in Newburgh though so make sure to pack a jacket. Scotland is most beautiful during the summer, especially the north. Temperatures can get up to 20°C if you’re lucky and it’s usually sunny during the day. Make sure to visit during this time to get the most out of your trip. Newburgh has a beautiful beach but it’s also known for its traditional pubs and taverns. Come here for an authentic Scottish meal such as bangers and mash. You also absolutely need to head to the nearby flagship Brewdog brewery. This is arguably Scotland’s most famous beer and the brewery tours are an incredible experience. You can enjoy a fantastic pizza at the brewery and of course a tasting.



Set in the heart of Angus is the pretty and historic village of Glamis, most famous for its castle which was the childhood home of The Queen Mother.

Glamis Castle was built in 1400s and is regarded as one of the most beautiful, and haunted, castles in Scotland. Princess Margaret was born here and, despite still being home to Royal descendants, the castle is open to the public. The grounds include The Macbeth Trail, a walk through the estate’s woodland complete with statues and excerpts from Shakespeare’s famous play which was set here.

Alongside the castle, this picturesque village has a lot of to offer despite its small size. Built to house estate workers in the 1700s, Glamis is now a conservation area. Take a short walk around the village and you will find St Fergus Well, The Mercat Cross and the 9th century Pictish Manse Stone.

In the centre of the village you’ll find The Bothy Experience, home to local award-winning spirit producers Gin Bothy, and Glamis Gallery, featuring an array of work by local artists. Parking is free with public toilets in the village next to The Corner Shop and cafe. The best time to visit Glamis is in the summer as the castle is usually closed in the winter months. It’s also worth checking with the venues before you visit as most are open on specific days and times only.

glamis castle


If you’re looking for a pretty small town to visit in Scotland, and you like hiking, photography or nature, Portree on the Isle of Skye is the perfect place for you to visit.

Despite its small size, Portree is the largest town, and the capital of, the Isle of Skye. It’s really easy to get to- if you’re coming from the north of Scotland there’s a bridge which is open whatever the weather, and if you’re coming from the south you can catch a ferry which runs several times a day. 

When you are creating your 2-3 day Isle of Skye itinerary, Portree is the best place to base yourself as it’s almost in the middle of the island and everywhere is fairly accessible from there. There are plenty of hotels, B & Bs and campsites nearby for you to choose from, and several great pubs in the town which offer food and drinks. There are also lots of outdoor stores and shops to browse should you need anything.

There’s more to see and do around Portree in Spring, Summer and Autumn- in winter many places close, but there aren’t so many tourists which might be a bonus for you.

For the outdoor lovers, you can enjoy kayaking, rock climbing or abseiling. You can also swim in rock pools or hike to the famous Fairy Pools. The weather is very changeable on Skye, so be cautious before you set off hiking. Make sure you bring warm clothing- it can gets very cold throughout the year and let someone know your plans.

Skye is also fantastic for anyone who enjoys nature photography. The large skies are perfect for sunset photos and this is also a fantastic place for photographing the night sky as the light pollution is incredibly low and the stars are breathtaking.

It’s also amazing for wildlife photography and sightings. Stand quietly by the shoreline and you’ll probably see otters, seals and dolphins playing in the shallows. We once had a wild dolphin in the bay within 20ft of us!



The village of Culross is nestled along the wide breadth of the River Forth to the east of the Kincardine bridge. Not far outside of Edinburgh, Falkirk, or even Glasgow, Culross is a village to visit for a day of tranquility and history.

Culross has been a royal burgh since 1588 with a palace built by Sir George between in the late 1500’s/early 1600’s. Just outside of the palace are gardens, a café, and park. Monks had previously settled in Culross, founding an abbey there in the early 1200’s.

Among the top attractions to see in Culross is the palace built for Sir George. This palace is now a part of The National Trust for Scotland and was featured in the popular show Outlander. Not far from the palace are beautiful gardens – some just above it by hidden staircases as well as statues honoring those such as Lord Thomas Cochrane.

Culross is a beautiful village to explore over a day. Walking through the cobble stoned streets will transport you back in time. The village also has several local cafes and a pub (with excellent food as well). There are walking paths along the River Forth, including a pier out into the water. Towards the east side of town along the walking path is a larger grassed area with park benches to sit and enjoy the peacefulness of this place. The pier into the river provides exceptional views of the village, as well as the river.

While this may be a historical village for the palace and connection to Sir George, the charm lies within the village and the location itself. Along the River Forth makes you feel like you are properly on the sea, all while being nestled fairly inland. A day, or afternoon in Culross will not be wasted exploring and enjoying this tranquil and historic place.



It is easy to miss St Boswells as you drive from Kelso to Melrose in the Borders of Scotland.

Originally called Lessudden, it was later renamed after St Boisil who was an abbot at nearby Melrose Abbey who cured the ailments of the villagers.

St Boswells is on the route of St Cuthbert’s Way a 62 mile walk from Melrose to Lindisfarne which takes you through the village.

On the main street of St Boswells is the aptly named Main Street Bookshop. It has evolved into a hub for people all over the Borders with a coffee shop, delicatessen as well as traditional bookshop. There is even a cosy nook under the stairs for children to curl up and read books. Book talks are regularly arranged with a range of authors.

With a local award-winning butcher in the village, it is no wonder that the restaurants serve excellent food. Try Hunters Stables restaurant for an Italian-Scottish fusion of food. Don’t miss their fabulous stone fired handmade pizzas.

The Buccleuch Arms at the bottom of the village opposite the Green is a great place for lunch or dinner and also has rooms if you are staying in the area.

The 40 acre Green is one of the largest village greens in Scotland. In July the Annual Fair. It started off in the 1600s as a sheep fair and has grown to include other animals.

The St Boswells Golf Club stretches along the banks of the River Tweed. The 9-hole golf course is open to members and non-members.

The ruins of Dryburgh Abbey is close by to St Boswells and worth a visit.  The burial place of Sir Walter Scott, it sits peacefully on the edge of the Tweed in a secluded wooded area.

Established in 1150 the abbey was built in a pinkish sandstone and is remarkably complete for its age. Like most abbeys it fell into disuse with the 1560 Protestant Reformation.

Dryburgh Abbey



The village of Bamburgh in England’s most northerly county of Northumberland is a picture-postcard pretty place to visit.   The village is dominated by Bamburgh Castle, which sits between the village and the glorious Bamburgh beach.  Once the seat of the Northumbria Kings and many centuries later, the home of Lord Armstrong, who built the first British house to be lit by hydroelectricity, the castle is stunning both inside and out and also affords fantastic views of the beach, the nearby Holy Island of Lindisfarne and of course the gorgeous village of Bamburgh.

In the shadow of the castle is the cricket pitch and the few streets that make up the village with local bed and breakfasts, a hotel and a couple of pubs. There’s also a rather special museum here, run by the RNLI (the Royal National Lifeboat Institution).  The Grace Darling museum commemorates Victorian Britain’s great heroine.   Grace was just 22 when she worked with her father, the lighthouse man, to row out and rescue survivors of a shipwreck in 1838.   She died several years later and you can also visit her grace in St Aidan’s Churchyard in the village.  A trip to the Longstone Lighthouse (which you can take from the nearby village of Seahouses is also glorious.   Bamburgh is stunning at any time of year, but the weather is generally best between June and September, at other times, the wind off the North Sea can be bracing, to say the least!



If you’re looking for pretty villages in the UK, you must visit Helton in The Lake District. A rural village, approximately 4 miles south of the market town Penrith and 1 mile south of the larger village Askham, Helton is tucked behind the hills of Ullswater and it’s small and charming.

A picturesque village consisting of houses made of dark, Cumbrian slate and white-washed walls, it straddles a steep slope running down from the limestone fells to the flood plain of the River Lowther.

Sadly both the village pub and the Wesleyan chapel that was built in 1857  have now been converted for residential use so Askham is where you’ll need to head for the local bakery, village shop, pubs, outdoor swimming pool and Lowther Castle, however, Helton’s charm lies in its fells.

The fell above Helton, Askham Fell, has a stone circle, cairns and even a beautiful river for picnics and wild-swimming. You can walk over the fell to drop down into quaint Pooley Bridge and admire Ullswater from above.
In the summer, the fells are a mass of fragrant, yellow gorse bushes, crackling brown bracken and a magnet for birds of prey however in the autumn, puddles are plentiful whilst the landscape will glisten with red and orange hues. The peace and solitude of this adorable, pretty, English village will be sure to lure you in & dazzle you with its splendour.


Haworth, located close to Bradford, West Yorkshire, has changed little in the last 200 years. In fact, the most famous residents of the village, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë would likely still recognise their home today.

One of the top things to do in Haworth is to visit the Parsonage Museum where the Brontë sisters grew up. It is now a museum dedicated to the lives of these literary heroines who challenged the perception of female novelists. Just opposite the Parsonage, you can find the parish church where Patrick Brontë served as vicar for 41 years. Two of the three sisters are buried in the vault here, along with their mother, father and brother, Bramwell.

If you really want to walk in the footsteps of these literary greats, pack your walking boots! You can take in the rugged beauty of the moors on a walk to Top Withens, which will take approximately 2 hours. Top Withens reportedly served as the inspiration for the Earnshaw family home in Wuthering Heights. Besides the literary attractions, there is still plenty to do in Haworth. The main street is packed with boutique stores selling beautiful homewares and gifts. There are also plenty of coffee shops to pause for a cake and a drink. If you follow the main road from the parsonage down the hill, you will come to the pretty Haworth Central Park and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Hop aboard a steam train to enjoy a scenic ride through the surrounding moorland. If you are planning a visit to Haworth, it is worth noting that it is a popular tourist spot, which gets busy. If possible, avoid visiting on weekends or school holidays. If you visit on a weekend, ensure you arrive early to secure a parking spot!

Haworth Main street
Haworth main street


Saltaire is one of the prettiest villages in West Yorkshire – its Victorian buildings, art and independent shops make it a great place to visit for a day. The name of this village comes from Sir Titus Salt and the River Aire. Sir Titus Salt is an important figure in Saltaire’s history as he and his workers built a large textile mill and the village. In 2001, Saltaire was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nowadays, Salts Mill is a must-see location where you can find an impressive collection of pictures by David Hockney across the building, a bookshop, temporary exhibitions, a restaurant and a cafe. The cafe, called Cafe in to the Opera, is a great place to have food, but also to enjoy one of the best views in Saltaire.
Apart from Salts Mills, Saltaire has beautiful green spaces such as Roberts Park. The park is perfect for strolling, relaxing on the grass or watching a cricket match. It also includes lovely spaces for children and monuments. Next to Roberts Park, it’s The Aire Sculpture Trail, a picturesque 20 minutes short walk that includes 15 sculptures inspired by children from the local primary school.
Last but not least, another place to check during your trip to Saltaire is Saltaire United Reformed Church, a mid 19th-century church commissioned and paid for by Titus Salt, located next to Saltaire’s train station.


The village of Wentworth in South Yorkshire can be found in the Domesday Book, meaning it dates back to at least 1066. From 1250 until as recent as 1979, the majority of the village was owned by various branches of the Wentworth family. The Wentworth’s were a line of Earls, aristocrats and landowners, who had significant claims over the South Yorkshire region.

The charm of Wentworth is in the quaint cottages and buildings that make up the village. Take a stroll down Main Street revel in the quiet village life. Grab a slice of homemade cake at the Village Tea Room or a pint of local ale at the Rockingham Arms. This ivy-covered building is the quintessential English countryside pub!

The main attraction in the area is Wentworth Woodhouse. This grand country house and estate was home to the Wentworth family and has the longest façade of any country house in England. In fact, Wentworth Woodhouse can often be seen in film and TV, acting as a stand in for Buckingham Palace.

Wentworth Woodhouse stands empty today, but you can admire the spectacular rooms and gardens to get a taste of what life there was like. The Wentworth Estate is also ideal for walking. In the grounds you will find 21 unique follies including Needle’s Eye, Hoober Stand, Keppel’s Column, the Rockingham Mausoleum and many more!

Spring through to early autumn is the ideal time to visit if you are planning on exploring the grounds. However, the village and Wentworth Woodhouse host a number of Christmas events throughout winter, which are perfect for a festive day trip.



The picture-perfect village of Ashford-in-the-Water is located approximately 2 miles (3 km) north-west of the well-known market town, Bakewell, in Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park.

Ashford-in-the-Water was once the centre of quarrying for Ashford Black Marble which is actually a dark limestone and not true marble. However, as the sedimentary rock is rich in bitumen, once it’s cut and polished it becomes very decorative. Therefore, products such as urns, obelisks and other items made from Ashford Black Marble became very popular. The first recorded customer of the mineral was actually Bess of Hardwick in 1580. Both the mining and marble processing came to an end in the early 1900s when the A6 bypass was built and the buildings had to be demolished.

Now Ashford-in-the-Water is a charming village with limestone cottages and picturesque bridges sitting on the meandering River Wye. The village’s most photographed bridge is called Sheepwash Bridge. The 17th century packhorse bridge was used by farmers to wash sheep in the River Wye. A sheepwash wall attached to the bridge is where the sheep were placed before their wash. The bridge is now both a Scheduled Monument and a Grade II* listed building.

The village is also known for its maiden’s garland or virgin’s crown which is a garland usually made of paper, flowers and ribbons attached to a wooden frame. The garland was used as a funeral memorial for female virgins.

Ashford-in-the-Water is the perfect stop if you’re exploring the Monsal Dale and Wye Valley area. The village has a few pubs and a traditional English tearoom, which provides visitors with the perfect refreshments.

If you visit the village around Trinity Sunday, you can also witness its annual Well-Dressing tradition. During the celebration locals decorate their wells and the water sources are blessed after service.

Ashford in the water


When looking for pretty villages in the United Kingdom and you find yourself in the north of England, Hathersage makes an excellent spot to visit. Many people visit this tiny village in search of the prince of thieves legend Robin Hood and since his cave is located on nearby Stanage Edge this is one of many reasons why the village attracts international tourists; as well as curious locals looking to learn more about the local history. Since Hathersage is one of the many villages in the Peak District you’ll find there are excellent transport links. For example, one route would be to travel from London which would be a direct train from St Pancras to Sheffield then a quick transfer to a 10-minute train from Sheffield to Hathersage. Many visitors love hiking the many guided trails or visit one of the landmarks such as the nearby Ladybower Reservoir. If you make the decision to stay in Hathersage overnight to make a weekend of your visit, you can stay at places such as the George Hotel, which is popular with those in search of lodgings with fine class and character. Since there is such easy access to other popular places to visit in Northern England such as Manchester, you can turn a trip here into a cross-country adventure. Many visitors find that Hathersage is special due to its rich history and well-protected county life. Whether you visit on a weekday or a busy bank holiday afternoon, you won’t be disappointed with what you encounter here.



Uppermill is one of the Saddleworth villages, in the south Pennine hills to the east of Manchester. There are fourteen villages in Saddleworth, each one with its own character, but Uppermill is the largest and the most popular with visitors.

Uppermill sits on the Huddersfield narrow canal, and there are lots of lovely walks along the towpath, particularly eastwards towards the Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel. There are also fantastic moorland hikes; Saddleworth is on the very edge of the Peak District National Park, and there are a range of routes suitable for everyone, from casual walkers and families to those who enjoy more strenuous trails.

One of the best things about visiting Uppermill is the number of special events. Late spring sees the Saddleworth Whit Friday Band Contests, where brass bands from all over the world compete to be named the best in each village; each band is scored by a judge who hides away so they won’t be influenced by the name of the band. The middle of summer has Yanks weekend, a 1940s-themed event where everyone dresses up and the village pubs blare wartime dance tunes. In late summer, it’s time for the Rushcart weekend, when morris dancers compete in village dance-offs before pulling a giant haystack on a cart up to the parish church. Once the Rushcart reaches the church, there are lots of fun activities like a bad singing contest, gurning contest (pulling faces) and wrestling.

If the activities have you working up an appetite, there are lots of places to eat in Uppermill. There are traditional pubs, lots of cafés, a couple of really good coffee shops and Italian, Indian and Asian restaurants.



Warwickshire is full of pretty historic villages and towns and somewhat off the beaten path sits the tiny rural village of Wootten Wawen. Located around 6 miles from Stratford upon Avon there is a canal crossing above the main road on a cast iron aqueduct built in 1813. 

Along the footpath near the canal runs the Monarch’s Way which follows the escape route taken by Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester.

Just beyond the canal is the oldest church in Warwickshire, St. Peters which was founded in 730 by Aethelric of Mercia. Nestled on a beautiful hilltop close to the River Alne the Church is known as the Saxon Sanctuary because it is the most Anglo-Saxon building in the county, even Shakespeare is said to have attended services here.

The Church tower has 6 bells within its 16th-century oak frame and on the door frames of the church keeps your eye out for some Crusader graffiti carved into the stone archways.

The churchyard was a burial ground for those who died in Coventry of the black death and the burial ground called the Coventry Piece and must never be disturbed.

Wootton Hall Park is a 20 hectare landscape park and Wootton Hall is situated in the park with a lake and woodland walks surrounding it. The park sits right beside the Church.

The Palladian house within the park dates mainly to 1687 incorporating an Elizabethan house that used to stand on the site. It was a ruin but in 1958 it was bought and restored by a company who opened a mobile home park.

Right across the road from the Church and Wootton Hall is a fabulous old pub called the Bull’s Head. The pub contains a stone dating the building at 1317, which would make it one of the oldest pubs in Warwickshire at least if not in England.

wooten wawen


One of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds (located in Southern England between Oxford and Cheltenham) is beautiful Burford. With buckets of period charm and buildings dating back centuries, it’s little wonder it’s been used as a filming location for various British tv shows including inspector Morse.

Burford has just over 1,000 residents who are easily outnumbered by tourists during the busy summer months. But you can hardly blame the crowds for coming: Burford is pretty enough to feature on the front of a postcard. In fact, if you tour the souvenir shops, I’m sure you’ll find many Burford postcards, as well as other adorable souvenirs and trinkets.

Places to shop in Burford include Three French Hens for homeware and antiques, Madhatter Bookshop, the Sweet Shop for retro sweets and Cotswold Cheese company for British cheeses, chutneys and crackers.

Another impressive feature of Burford is St John the Baptist Church, a Grade I listed building with over 1,000 years of history, once used to imprison Cromwell’s army.

Once you’ve toured the village and lusted over the million-pound cottages you’d love to buy, head for some delicious food. Huffkins is an adorable place for afternoon tea with all the trimmings: scones, sandwiches and a pot of English breakfast tea. There are also a couple of cosy pubs like the Mermaid and the Cotswold Arms. This latter pub is also one of the best places to take photos in Burford. The red leaves growing up the golden Cotswold stone are an Instagrammer’s dream!



Oxfordshire is blessed with many gorgeous villages, but perhaps its prettiest is Great Tew, the picture postcard village on the edge of the Cotswolds.

It’s rather untypical for the Cotswolds, which is full of honey coloured sandstone cottages with tiled roofs. Great Tew, however, is built mainly from the darker ironstone, and many of its cottages have thatched roofs, made of straw. The latter gives the place a chocolate-box look.

The village also has celebrity appeal. The very fashionable Soho Farmhouse, favourite of the trendy London set, is just outside the village and the Beckhams are reputed to own a cottage there.

Despite all this, the village is also a great place for more down to earth pursuits such as walking. The Great Tew Estate, which owns much of the local area, has some fantastic walks available to download on its website. And the area is criss-crossed by public rights of way – there are walks for all abilities to enjoy around the village.

After a good walk, you’ll be in need of refreshment and there’s nothing better than what we think is the best feature of the village: the Falkland Arms. This lovely pub is perfect for a drink in the sun during the summer months, or to huddle out of the cold in winter.

It’s owned by the local Wadworth Brewery; we recommend a pint of their excellent 6X bitter – heaven in a glass – possibly accompanying a meal from the pub’s excellent kitchen. You can even stay there.

Whatever you’re into then, Great Tew is a wonderful place for a visit. Highly recommended.

Great Tew


Bibury is one of the most beautiful, charming and picturesque villages to visit in the Cotswolds. Described by William Morris as as THE most beautiful village in England Bibury is located a few miles from the market town of Burford in Gloucestershire and is a great base from which to explore the area.

The most famous landmark to visit in Bibury is Arlington Row. The historic houses of Arlington Row were originally constructed as wool storage buildings in 1380 and later converted into weavers’ cottages during the 17th century.

Arlington Row stands opposite a water meadow called Rack Isle where cloth was hung to dry during the Middle Ages. Arlington Row is one of the most photographed locations in the United Kingdom with a picture of the row of houses even appearing on the inside cover of UK passports.

The best time to visit Bibury is either early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when visitors are fewest. During peak season, parking can be extremely difficult.

There are a few places to eat in the village including The Swan Hotel which has a brasserie and bar. The Bibury Trout Farm (one of the oldest in Britain) is located in the village is an ideal stop if you have little children who will enjoy feeding the fish. It also has a popular café which is open daily from April to October and Thursday to Sunday during the winter months.



One of the pretty villages in Uk is Castle Combe, a villagein Wiltshire County in the Cotswolds area where time seems to have stopped.It was even used as a movie location for the filming of Stardust and the original Dr Doolittle film. The village has about 350 inhabitants and the atmosphere that you breathe has a fairy-tale feel. Once upon a time, in these honey coloured stone houses, placed side by side, lived the wool weavers of which it was an important centre of production and distribution. Today they are listed as historical monuments and are protected by strict building regulations that have allowed to preserve the atmosphere. No new building has been built since 1600. That’s probably why in 1962 it won the title of the most beautiful village in England. Castle Combe develops along the road that from Market Cross, where once the local market was held, reaches the bridge over the river of Bybrook. It is a journey where you are always accompanied by ancient homes, beautiful, colourful flowers on the windows and climbing plants on the wall. Castle Combe is very popular on Instagram, the most famous angle of the village is from the bridge crossing the river and looking up the main street. Whilst this shot is beautiful, there is so much more to this quaint village. In addition there are a couple of tea rooms, a pub and the St. Andrew’s church which preserves one of the oldest astronomical clocks still in operation in the UK.

castle combe
castle combe


If you are looking for a postcard-perfect charming English town with endless cobbled streets, fascinating history and antique shops, look no further.

Located in East Sussex, Rye is a town with a fascinating history and was once the smuggling capital of England. Start your day with a visit to Ypres Tower and Rye Castle Museum to learn about Rye’s history. Follow on with a stroll in the main high street to admire the historic architecture and discover some of the many antique shops, independent shops, bookstores etc. Pay a visit to Hunter Jones (a lovely shop with equally lovely owners) and Tiny Book Store to get some souvenirs home.

The main attraction of the medieval town is, without a doubt, Mermaid Street. The quaint street is a delight to explore thanks to the well preserved Georgian houses and half-timbered Tudor houses with quirky names like “The House with Two Front Doors” or “The House Opposite” and the steep cobbled streets.

If you are feeling peckish after all the walking, head to The Cobbles Tea Room. It is what you would expect from a British tea room in a quaint little town: quirky, cosy and comfortable. They have a good selection of tea, cakes and scones (including gluten-free options). Alternatively, you can treat yourself to some healthy vegetarian and gluten-free food at The Figue.

In the afternoon, head to the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Explore one of the UK’s most important wildlife conservation sites before walking to the nearby dunes of Camber Sands. Play, have a small picnic, admire the sunset or simply relax until it’s time to head back to London.

Getting there: Just one hour 10 minutes by train from London St Pancras International, with a change at Ashford.



Rottingdean is one of the most intriguing villages on the East South Coast of England. Located just four miles from Brighton, Rottingdean used to be known as a smuggler’s village. Due to the cliffs breaking here and its isolation to the main roads, during the 19th century, Rottingdean became the preferred place for smugglers to bring in their contraband goods such as alcohol, tea and lace. There used to be tunnels underneath the village, starting at the Ye Olde Black Horse pub and including the church, where some of the goods were stored. One of the biggest smugglers of the village was the butcher himself.

One of the most popular attractions in Rottingdean is the windmill. Located in the Beacon Hill Local Nature Reserve, the Rottingdean Windmill overlooks the sea, and it can be seen from far away. The windmill has gone through quite a few destructive events through its history. The last time it was damaged was by the Great Storm in 1987. Today the mill is a grade 2 listed monument and can be visited on open days.

Another place to visit in Rottingdean are the Kipling Gardens. The famous author Rudyard Kipling lived in a house adjacent to the gardens and wrote here his famous poem “A smuggler’s song”. In fact, many artists chose to live in Rottingdean because of its peaceful atmosphere. Part of the park used to be part of the Elms, the name of the house Kipling lived in.

Just across the street from the gardens is the 1000 years old St Margaret’s Church. One famous person buried in its cemetery is the guitarist Gary Moore.



Cockington Village is probably one of the most photographed villages in the UK and symbolizes what is meant by “very British”. Located about a mile from Torquay on the English Riviera, it boasts picturesque narrow streets, charming thatched cottages, and a huge surrounding Cockington Country Park that invites you to take long walks in the countryside. In principle, a visit is possible all year round, but of course the village is especially beautiful to look at in the summer when the sun is shining.

During your walk through the village you will feel like you are taking a trip through the past, as Cockington Village is bursting with history. Many of the cottages date back to the 16th century or even older, such as the old forge. The village also includes a medieval church, an abandoned watermill, medieval carp lakes and, at the heart of the village, Cockington Court manor house with its many arts and crafts workshops.

In addition, Cockington offers you a range of stores, cafes, tea rooms, beautiful rose gardens, typical English accommodation and a Lutyens-designed pub, the famous Drum Inn. So how about a game of cricket followed by a serving of cream tea in one of the charming cafes? This type of afternoon tea is typical of southern England and consists of black tea, scones (small sweet rolls, sometimes with and sometimes without raisins), clotted cream and jam. It’s so delicious and you should definitely try it! If you have a little more time, you should also try one of the walking trails along the stunning water meadows. These lead directly to the seafront.

Cockington is definitely worth a visit! If you want to visit Cockington, check out this England Checklist for more inspiration.



Shanklin is one of the most beautiful villages on the island of Wight, in particular the old village is worth a visit in fact it is the typical English village of fairy tales with a winding road that passes in the middle. It is located on High Street and is lined with charming thatched cottages, traditional tea rooms, and restaurants with names such as the Village Inn, Strawberry Thatch Tea shop unmistakable for the pink color and the Pencil cottage. Romantic poets Keats and Longfellow used to buy their stationery here. 

Among the things not to be missed in Shanklin is the Shanklin Chine the oldest tourist attraction on the island of Wight. It is a beautiful wooded gorge through which you can stroll and enjoy views that have inspired artists from Austen to Turner. In addition to admiring it during the day in summer you can also visit it at night during the Chine Lumierè, when hundreds of lights illuminate the narrow paths, streams and waterfalls inside. 

But the village is also known for its beaches such as Shanklin Beach which covers a wide stretch of soft golden sand, with two ends offering something different. The South End is quiet, ideal for a quiet holiday, while the lively Eastern End offers beach shops and cafes.
You can reach the island of Wight from Southampton from Porthmouth or from Lymington by ferry, while Shanklin can be reached by car or by public transport, the island company is called Southern Vectis.

shanklin, isle of wight


Picture-perfect Charlestown is a historic port village just two miles from Cornwall’s china clay capital, St Austell. Not surprisingly, this tiny village is part of the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and a local conservation area.

Wander down the broad main street and admire the detached Georgian houses and cottages lining narrow side lanes. Highlights include the Grade II listed St Paul’s Church and the Rashleigh Arms Inn and Beer Garden. All roads eventually lead down to the harbour and the sand-and-shingle beach bordered by the South West Coast Path.

Charlestown’s narrow port and outer harbour were constructed in the late 18th century by local entrepreneur Charles Rashleigh, hence its name. It transformed the tiny fishing village (population 9) into a thriving hub employing over 3,000 workers. Today the peaceful setting is a far cry from the once-bustling port with its shipbuilding, brickmaking and smelly pilchard-curing industries. You can imagine the quayside warehouses piled high with cargo, copper, tin and China Clay from the nearby quarry, now home to the Eden Project.

However, not everything has changed. While neighbouring harbours shelter  fishing boats and gleaming motorboats, Charlestown’s port is home to majestic tall-masted schooners creating a tangible air of yesteryear. If you’re lucky you might see a film or period drama in the making. Past productions include Poldark, Hornblower, Alice in Wonderland, Dr Who and the recent drama Bait.

Overlooking the quay are several upscale restaurants include the Longstore Steakhouse, Wreckers Deli, Tall Ships Creamery (good for ice cream!) and Pier House Hotel which serves excellent Sunday roasts.

On the opposite side of the port the Shipwreck Treasure Museum is a fascinating place to visit. Crammed with 8,000 artifacts from over 150 shipwrecks, it reveals Charleston’s history and heritage in its own unique way.

Surely there’s nowhere prettier to while away a Sunday afternoon than Charlestown!



Polperro is an idyllic fishing village in the beautiful county of Cornwall on the South Coast of England. It is a quaint little place with plenty to keep visitors entertained. Polperro village has history dating back to the Domesday Book and medieval times. However, the harbour has initially built in the 16th century. The more fascinating stories of the village relate to pirates, including Willy Wilcox a local legend.

The beautiful scenery is one of the big daws for holidaymakers to visit. One of the best ways to enjoy this is by hiking on the nearby South West Coast Path to see the village from above. Further along the coast are many other magnificent sights to see, including some small remote coves. Just along the coast is Chapel Pool, one of nature’s own swimming pools. This is a great place to relax and have a swim if the tide is in your favour.

Polperro has a museum, a model village, a beach and other things to enjoy. Another must do activity is a local boat ride of the nearby coastline. These are great fun and you may see some local wildlife. Some boats also visit other nearby places like Looe and Fowey, again great trips.

The local food in pubs and restaurants is fantastic, they mostly serve fresh seafood caught in the village. The most notable of these is The Blue Peter Inn, who serve some very special dishes, including a tasty seafood platter.

Visiting is best in pleasant weather so the summer months are the best time to visit. However, it is always beautiful and there are lots of things to do in or near to Polperro.

polperro view
polperro, cornwall


Mousehole is a quaint fishing village in Cornwall that dates back to the 13th century. It is located a couple of miles south from the more popular town of Penzance on the Cornish coastline. It is one of the most picturesque towns in the area and offers some cute cottages and bed and breakfasts to stay at in Cornwall.
Mousehole is best visited during the hot summer months, when you can grab an ice cream and casually stroll along the beautiful harbour. While the area is packed in between June to August, especially when the weather is scorching, you can try to come earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. There are limited parking spaces, however, and it’s quite a narrow drive down and back up (so do be forewarned).
When here, you can walk around and explore the small shops, galleries and restaurants. Its old-world charm will surely please just about any type of traveller. If you’re travelling with kids, they might find it refreshing on a hot sunny day to jump off one of the two breakwaters into the water below that protect the inner harbour (just be careful).
While it is a small village, you can spend a few hours here relaxing with a coffee in hand and snapping some photos. Visit before or after a coastal walk, and before you know it, your day has passed and it’s time for dinner!

mousehole cornwall


Port Isaac is without a doubt one of the prettiest villages in England. Additionally, it is regularly named as one of the best places to visit in Cornwall. If you’ve ever been or stumbled across photos on Pinterest, you will understand why.
Whilst there isn’t tons of things to do in Port Isaac, you could easily spend a day or two here appreciating the breathtaking views and taking in your surroundings. The well loved fishing village is just beautiful making it the perfect spot to snap some photos or get creative.
If you’d prefer, you could choose to join a tour about Doc Martin. This English TV show is set in Port Isaac and tours run daily in peak season. Your guide will take you to all of the key filming locations and share interesting information about the series.
Furthermore, some of key things to do in Port Isaac include shopping, exploring the winding alleyways or climbing to the top of Roscarrock Hill to admire arial views the village.
Best time to visit: as with most places in England, the very best time to visit Port Isaac is between April and September. This is because you’re most likely to be treated to nice weather instead of the typical rainfall that is normal for this part of the globe.
The Summer months of June, July and August are super busy. As such, visit in the shoulder season to take advantage of decent weather and fewer crowds.
port isaac


Located on the beautiful north Cornwall in England’s south west St Ives is a popular seaside holiday destination known for its busy harbour and stunning views. The picture-postcard pretty town is set on the sweeping St Ives Bay with its long stretch of golden beaches.

The pretty town offers visitors a relaxed holiday atmosphere with upscale boutiques and restaurants. For outdoor lovers there are plenty of opportunities for walking, birdwatching and cycling in the area.

St Ives has long attracted artists and art lovers thanks to the sunshine, great light and beautiful views. Two of the most popular attractions in St Ives include the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture garden and the Tate St Ives.

Popular day trips include taking a boat trip to Seal Island to view the colony of Atlantic Grey Seals that live on the island or hopping on the train for the 4 mile ride from St Ives to St Erth.

Beach lovers can choose between Harbour Beach, Porthmeor Beach, Porthminster Beach and Porthgwidden Beach. Each beach offers something different but if surfing is on the cards Porthmeor Beach with its Surf Schools is the place to head.

There are numerous places to eat and drink in St Ives. Enjoy a traditional Cornish pasty or perhaps a cream tea. Ice cream parlours are also in abundance – try Moomaid of Zennor for their exotic flavours including almond and cherry or espresso Martini! Just keep an eye out for the seagulls who will happily steal your food!

St Ives


New Grimsby Village on The Isles of Scilly

New Grimsby is one of the most picturesque villages on the Isles of Scilly, which is a small group of five inhabited islands a few hours by ferry from Lands End in England. The village is located on Tresco Island by a small beach and a quay for the small local boats to dock at. 

It has a very laid back atmosphere to it with some art shops to explore and an excellent local pub called the New Inn where you can enjoy a meal and drink. During sunny days the Inn is a gathering place for locals and tourists alike to sit in the outdoor garden, with occasional live bands playing. 

The village has excellent views across to its neighbouring island, Bryher, which you can also visit by taking a small local boat across the strait.

Around a 15-minutes walk along the coast, you reach the historic Cromwell’s Castle with some old cannons on display, and a 10-minute walk across the interior of the island will take you to Old Grimsby village which has its own unique charm and good food and views at the Ruin Beach Cafe.

The famed Tresco Abbey Gardens are a 15-minutes walk away where you can stroll in magnificent gardens that have sub-tropical plants that can only be grown on the islands and nowhere else in the U.K.

The Isles of Scilly are best visited during spring and summer as in the winter months most facilities for tourists close down for the cold weather of winter.

new grimsby



Tenby is one of the most picturesque coastal villages in South Wales located in the county of Pembrokeshire was originally a 13th Century fishing harbour. Its Welsh name is Dinbych y Pysgod which means “fortlet of the fish”, however, in English, it is called Tenby. It is a delightful seaside town rich in history that overlooks the bay of Carmarthen. The first thing you notice when you arrive are the pastel colored houses in fact among the interesting things to do is to walk in the center of the village through narrow streets and cobbled between the beautiful houses in the promontory. To visit the Tudor Merchant’s House, a museum that shows the life of a merchant, who lived in Tenby more than 400 years ago. Or you can relax on one of the beaches, Castle Beach won the UK’s best beach award in 2019. There are, however, other beaches in the north or the port beach or even the south beach that walking towards the Giltar point the view becomes spectacular. For trekking lovers this is the starting point of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path northwards goes to Saundersfoot, a 4.5 mile stretch with a fabulous view of the Saundersfoot Bay from the promontory to Monkstone Point.One of the most beautiful experiences is visiting the island of Caldey by boat to see the conservation area and puffins of the sea. The island is run by monks who still have Celtic traditions and you can visit on Monday – Saturday in summer time.

You can reach Tenby:

  • by car about 5 hours from London and two hours from Cardiff
  • by train, about two and a half hours from Cardiff you have to change at Carmarthen
  • by bus with the National Express about 2 and 40 minutes from Cardiff.


One of the prettiest villages in Wales has to be Betws-y-Coed. This picturesque village stands right on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales and is chock full of character and cafes- everything a good tourist village should be.

The village is open all year round for tourists and there are plenty of hotels, B & Bs and campsites nearby to choose from. The best time to visit is either June or September, when the weather is still warm enough to enjoy being outside, but it’s not quite as crowded as it gets during the school holidays of July and August. 

Around the village, you’ll find plenty of great pubs and restaurants to enjoy. Don’t miss Olif, which somehow manages to combine Welsh and Spanish cuisine in a way that’s utterly delicious. Take the time to wander around and enjoy the beautiful stone buildings, including the clock tower and the station, which looks like something straight out of a movie.

Whilst you’re at Betws, don’t miss a trip to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall- located just north of the town but very easy to find. You need a contactless card to get entry, but it’s a very pretty place to spend an hour or two. 

You also need to visit the Tu Hwnt I’r Bont tearooms- a 15th century tearoom stood next to the famous Pont Fawr bridge. It’s only a short drive outside Betws and booking is advisable as it’s only a small cafe.  

Lastly, if you have your own vehicle, head to nearby Pen-y-pass, one of the most famous roads in Britain. If you’re lucky enough to be motorcycling in the UK, it’ll be of the highlights of your trip. 

betws y coed


Portmeirion in Northern Wales is a hidden village that transports you to a different world that doesn’t look or feel like the UK. One minute you’re roaming through the Snowdonia National Park and the next you’re arriving at a vibrant Mediterranean haven. The designer who dreamt up the pretty village was even knighted for his contributions to British architecture. If you visit, you will see why.

There are many things to do in Portmeirion. From enjoying the delights of the colourful village, to several forest or coastline walks. Take a gander though the pet cemetery or the ghost gardens if you want a unique and sombre experience. Or hike the trail to the vantage point looking across the peaks and ocean surrounding the town. You can even walk along the beautiful sands of the estuary. This private coastline is so quiet that it almost feels like you’ve got the entire place to yourself.

Portmeirion is also a resort with many different accommodation options should you wish to stay the night. Each room has a different theme and stunning views across the town or the ocean. While Portmeirion isn’t a town or village in the true sense of the word (no one lives in it and you have to pay a small entrance charge), this hidden gem is still one of the prettiest towns and villages in the UK.


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  • Kitti

    24 April 2021

    A great collection of picturesque villages. I’m happy that I could contribute to this post. I’ve visited a few already, but definitely adding more to my list.

  • 6 October 2021

    Your pictures catch the utter charm of these villages. Thank you for your photography!


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