It looks likely that staycations will be the preferred holiday for many this summer, so if you are already thinking about where to go, we’re here to provide some inspiration. In England alone, there are so many charming villages that it is almost impossible to choose between them. We spoke with listed building specialists, Artichoke, to narrow down our list to five of the most beautiful English villages. Discover the best of our green pastures below.
Five of the most beautiful English villages
Standout feature: Stunning Medieval castle
Almost completely surrounded by a loop of the River Coquet and located just a mile from the coast, Warkworth is a beguiling place to visit. Best known for its well-preserved castle that welcomes visitors from its hilltop position, the village itself is just as magical, having been well-preserved and largely untouched by modern tourism. Picture time gone by as you wander Warkworth’s streets, which are lined with quaint gift shops and tea rooms. With several enchanting inns and holiday cottages to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice as to where to stay.
Bibury, The Cotswolds
Standout feature: Quintessential village aesthetic
Another one of the prettiest English villages has got to be Bibury, situated in the revered Cotswolds. In fact, described by the poet William Morris as the “most beautiful village in England” in Victorian times, we would be hard pressed to argue that much has changed. With stone buildings dating back to the 14th century, all scattered along the banks of the River Coln, every part of the village offers architectural eye candy. However, one street in particular – Arlington Row – you may recognise; it is one of the most photographed in Gloucestershire thanks to its picturesque nature. One of the iconic Arlington Row cottages is even available for holiday rental, allowing you to live out your historic fantasies on your staycation.
Standout feature: Idyllic thatched cottages
Found on the sunny south coast of Devon, Branscombe offers not just classic rolling hills but also breathtaking sea views over the Jurassic Coast. Thought to be the longest village in England, this valley of thatched cottages adorned with climbing flowers trickles down to the sea, making it a pretty perfect staycation spot. What’s more, several of the historic buildings here are National Trust properties that you can explore, including the Old Bakery and the
Forge, where the compact forge is thought to be the oldest working thatched forge of its kind in England.
Port Sunlight, Merseyside
Standout feature: Model village history
Port Sunlight is one of the most beautiful English villages you may never have heard of. Built in 1888 for workers at the nearby Sunlight Soap Factory, today this model village boasts wide boulevards lined with intriguing cottages built in a range of architectural styles, including two exact copies of the farmhouse belonging to William Shakespeare’s wife. With 900 Grade II listed buildings, an award-winning museum detailing the village’s fascinating history, and 130 acres of stunning gardens, you won’t know where to look first!
Standout feature: Wonky Medieval architecture
Not just one of the prettiest English villages but also the best preserved Medieval village in Britain, Lavenham is a fountain of historic charm. Houses here are painted in an array of bright colours and are all noticeably crooked, having been crafted of green timber that has twisted and warped over the years. Formerly an important part of the wool industry and the 14th richest town in Tudor England, today Lavenham boasts over 300 buildings listed as being of architectural and historic interest. Harry Potter fans may recognise it instead as Godric’s Hollow, with Lavenham being used as the set for some of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
*this is a collaborative post*