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Picturesque Villages in the UK

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Crave cobbled streets, charming harbors, and misty mornings? Escape to Britain’s captivating villages. From chocolate-box cottages to dramatic coastal settings, each boasts unique beauty. Immerse yourself in local folklore, explore rolling hills, and soak up the sun (when it peeks through!). Whether you seek a cozy overnight stay or a weekend escape, these gems offer something for everyone. Climb through history in Culross, Scotland, or relax under the Cornish sun in Portloe. Unwind, explore, and discover your own slice of British village bliss.

Most Beautiful and Charming Villages in the UK

20. Turville, Buckinghamshire, England

Nestled in the heart of the English countryside, Turville epitomizes the quintessential charm of a rural village. With its Tudor cottages, idyllic picket fences, and a centuries-old church, it exudes timeless appeal. Adding to its allure is a welcoming 16th-century countryside pub, serving as a focal point for community gatherings. Notably, the village derives its name from a picturesque windmill that graces its landscape. Turville’s enchanting ambiance has captured the attention of television producers, earning it appearances on popular shows like Killing Eve and The Vicar of Dibley. Surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Chiltern Hills, Turville offers breathtaking panoramic views and an abundance of scenic walking trails, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its tranquil splendor.


19. South Pool, Devon, England

South Pool is a tiny village in southerly Devon. It’s the picture of the English countryside, where days consist of walks along picturesque paths, watching the creek’s changing tide, and soaking up the coastal sun in a cosy pub garden. When the tide is high, boats and canoes glide through the waters, bobbing past whitewashed cottages and lush green hills. There isn’t much to do but appreciate the scenery and enjoy the slower pace of life, and you can get an incredible view of the patchwork fields from the Grade I listed St Nicholas and St Cyriac Church.


18. Sonning, Berkshire, England

With honey-coloured cottages and overhanging trees along the River Thames, Sonning is a little fairytale nook of Berkshire. Take a boat tour along the water and marvel at the riverside mansions, or take the short walk from Sonning Bridge up to Sonning Lock. The village is particularly pretty in the warmer months when you can make the most of the charming pub gardens and riverside tea rooms. Sonning is so idyllic that it has attracted many celebrities, including George and Amal Clooney.


17. Lower Slaughter, the Cotswolds, England

Lower Slaughter is one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds, with traditional limestone cottages, pretty stone footbridges, the calm River Eye running through, and an old water mill. There has been no building work in Lower Slaughter since 1906, so a walk through the village really does feel like stepping back in time. There isn’t much to do, but the beauty is in walking through the picturesque streets, admiring the cottages – Copeshill Road is particularly beautiful. The Slaughters (Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter) are often grouped together. Lower Slaughter is the biggest of the two, but there is just a twenty-minute walk between the villages, so visiting both is easy.


16. Alfriston, East Sussex, England

Alfriston embodies idyllic village life. Cosy thatch-roofed pubs, medieval buildings, independent shops, and chocolate-box cottages set the scene of country village wholesomeness. While you can spend your time exploring the local art and book shops or hopping from one cute pub to another, the dramatic South Downs is the main attraction here. Lace up your walking boots and hike along the South Downs Way, leading to the iconic Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.


15. Alnmouth, Northumberland, England

Alnmouth is a quiet yet quaint village clinging to the edges of the North Sea. When the tide is out, the golden sands come into vision, creating a perfectly curved soft sand beach. With kite surfers taking to the waters and colourful townhouses in the background, it’s a picture-perfect scene. Follow one of the trails along the Northumberland Coastal Path for incredible views, or explore the heritage trails that weave through the village. The popular and charming market town of Alnwick is a stone’s throw away, too – you can even take the scenic 1.5-mile Aln Valley Cycle Path to Alnwick Castle, where the first two Harry Potter films were filmed.


14. Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia, Wales

This Snowdonia village is as pretty as can be, with its huddle of dark stone and slate houses and gentle river flanked by lush greenery. Being the gateway to the grandeur of Snowdonia, there is natural beauty aplenty. Llyn Elsi, Swallow Falls, and Fairy Glen are straight out of a fairytale, or you can venture to Cadair Idris for an exhilarating mountain hike. Give your walking boots a break and spend time exploring the village, too – the Conwy Valley Railway Museum showcases old-fashioned steam trains, or you can hop from one cosy pub to another.


13. Beddgelert, Snowdonia, Wales

Nestled in the foothills of Snowdon, this village is as scenic as you can get. The dramatic scenery stretches up to the mountaintop, which you can take in from the village’s stone bridge. The village itself is a pretty smattering of grey-stone cottages, cosy pubs, and craft shops. While there isn’t much to do in Beddgelert, it’s a gorgeous base for exploring the region or taking time to slow down. The beaches of Porthmadog are an easy drive away, and you can hop on the iconic steam train at Beddgelert’s railway station. The surrounding natural beauty is the main draw here – walking and cycling trails splinter off from the village in all directions.


12. Portloe, Cornwall, England

Clinging onto the rocky hillside, Portloe is a cluster of sea-sprayed, whitewashed cottages on the Roseland Peninsula. Cornwall’s tourist towns can be busy, but Portloe is a true snapshot of what a peaceful Cornish fishing village is like. The beaches of the Roseland Peninsula are blissfully uncrowded, and the coastal walks are jaw-droppingly beautiful. A short walk up to the headlands will offer gorgeous views of the rugged coastline, and you can also join directly onto the famous South West Coast Path.


11. Crail, Fife, Scotland

This quiet, scenic fishing village sits on the East Neuk, boasting the prettiest harbour in the coastal region. It’s a maze of sloping streets, quaint cafes, independent eateries, and charming speciality stores. The area is not short of beaches, including the beautiful Roome Bay (just a ten-minute walk from Crail), or you can make the most of Crail Beach on your doorstep. The village is also directly linked to the famous Fife Coastal Path, which takes you over cliffs and high above the sea. You can join onto the path and admire the dramatic, moody coastal scenery as you approach Fife Ness Lighthouse – the most easterly point in Fife.


10. Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Wales

When you pay a visit to lovely Laugharne, it’s not hard to see why Dylan Thomas loved it so much. He once described it as a “timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town”. You can even stop by his house, the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, overlooking the calm estuary. And one of the best walks in the area is the Dylan’s Birthday Walk: a 3-mile trail along the Wales Coastal Path. The Welsh poet wrote ‘Poem in October’ about this beautiful trail, feeling pensive on his 30th birthday. Laugharne Castle is another must-see, it’s particularly beautiful at sundown.


9. Solva, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Sitting pretty on the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast, Solva is postcard-perfect. The brightly painted cottages and sweeping landscape make this timeless village one of the most beautiful villages in the UK. Solva is full of cosy pubs, delis, craft stores, galleries, and more, so you’re not short of things to do. However, scaling the Gribin is arguably the best thing to do here – where you can soak up views across the green hills and St Brides Bay. High tide sees colourful boats bob along the sea, with a narrow stretch of golden beach: the perfect place to watch the sun go down with a takeaway seafood platter.


8. Cartmel, Cumbria, England

Packed with Edwardian charm, Cartmel is a beautiful village on the edge of the Lake District. The location is hard to beat, surrounded by hills that cascade down to the foamy coast, and with Lake Windermere just seven miles away. The village is a bustling hotspot for its boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants, namely chef Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume. It might be gaining a reputation for being an upmarket holiday destination, but Cartmel’s picturesque maze of limestone cottages, cobblestone lanes, and a 12th-century Priory remains wonderfully charming. The bucolic scenery, complete with a pretty river running through the village, is almost as sweet as Cartmel’s famous sticky toffee.


7. St. Abbs, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Clustered on the rocky edges of the Berwickshire Coast, St. Abbs is a picture-perfect fishing village. Marvel movie fans might recognise the quaint village from Avengers: Endgame. While the harbour dotted with colourful fishing boats and the whitewashed houses are beautiful, the rugged coastal scenery is the standout here. St. Abbs Head National Nature Reserve is wildly beautiful with volcanic cliff faces and endless unspoilt views of the North Sea, but it’s a bird watcher’s paradise. It’s home to thousands of seabirds and migratory birds, including the odd Atlantic puffin. The area is also a popular scuba diving spot, where you might even spot a minke whale.


6. Dent, Cumbria, England

Sunken into a deep valley, Dent is the picture of a Yorkshire Dales village. The sleepy village is like stepping back in time, with whitewashed cottages, a blacksmith, sloping alleyways, and just two traditional pubs. There’s also a memorial fountain dedicated to Professor Adam Sedgwick, one of the most prominent names in geology. You can learn more about Dent’s history and the working lives of local people at the Dent Village Heritage Centre. The surrounding natural beauty offers plenty of walking trails – the Dales Way runs beside the village, or you can scale Whernside, the highest ascent in Yorkshire.


5. Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

There are plenty of picturesque villages along the famous Causeway Coastal Route, but Cushendun is particularly beautiful. From the pretty sheltered harbour to the expansive beaches, there’s a lot to love here. Whitewashed cottages, rose gardens, and historical buildings make up the town, while the surrounding area is full of hikes. The village is situated in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, so you won’t be short of spectacular scenery. The area is also known for local folklore and long-running history, adding to the mystical atmosphere of the village.


4. Culross, Fife, Scotland

With its rows of golden and pastel-hued 17th-century cottages, Culross is as charming as can be. The National Trust of Scotland has ensured the village is frozen in time, perfectly preserving this slice of pretty history. Be sure to capture the view across the terracotta rooftops from Mercat Cross, and Culross Abbey is just a short walk from here. Legend has it that St. Mungo, Glasgow’s Patron Saint, often visited the Abbey. Parts are in ruins, but you can still see the refectory, the vaulted ceilings, and the cloisters. Despite being a small village, there’s a lot to see in Culross – and no visit is complete without exploring the Palace. The distinctive bright mustard grand house was originally constructed in 1597, and visitors can go inside to marvel at the painted ceilings, Dutch floor tiles, and 17th-century furniture.


3. Port Isaac, Cornwall, England

With whitewashed cottages between two sloping hills and a fishing-boat-dotted harbour, Port Isaac is one of the most beautiful villages in the UK. It’s so picturesque that it was the setting of Doc Martin, although it appears as ‘Port Wenn’. The village is an idyllic setting, where you can watch fishing boats throw their lines and sail back to the harbour with the day’s catch. When you’re not meandering through the sloping 14th-century narrow streets and exploring its cute shops, you’ll be soaking up the Cornish sun on the beach. The famous Polzeath Beach is just a short drive away – a haven for surfers and sunsets.


2. Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Even on the greyest of days, the colourful seafront cottages are beautifully bright. Tobermory is so photogenic that Balamory was filmed here – while pretty villages are sometimes described as ‘looking like Balamory’, Tobermory is the real thing. Despite its small size, Tobermory is the capital of the Isle of Mull, and there is a lot to do here. Take a tour around the whisky distillery, visit the Isle of Mull Aquarium, eat plenty of fresh seafood, stroll through the An Tobar gallery, and learn more about the Hebridean island’s heritage at the Mull Museum. Venture to Aros Park for a beautiful coastal walk, with views over Tobermory Harbour and stretching across the Sound of Mull.


1. Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

Set in a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands, Ullapool is situated in one of the most unspoilt areas of the UK. There is stunning scenery everywhere you turn, particularly around Loch Broom, and the harbour has a timeless buzz with fishing boats casting their nets as they’ve done for centuries. While you could easily perch on the waterfront and soak it all in for hours, there is so much to do in Ullapool. Inverpolly National Nature Reserve is a short drive away, where you can spot golden eagles, wildcats, pine martens, and other wildlife, as well as the highly photographed hill, Stac Pollaidh.

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