Britain Villages Queens Head Pub Hawkshead

Half-timbered Hawkshead pub, Queens Head is filled with character

by Sam McCall

Britain Villages Castle Combe

Castle combe boasts the photogenic honeycomb houses like a number of Cotswold villages

While city breaks have a lot to be said for them, sometimes there’s nothing better than kicking back and enjoying a more relaxed pace of life in rural surroundings. Britain has a wealth of ancient villages and hamlets that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time – so whether you’re staying in a luxury country hotel, a bed and breakfast or even booking a property for yourself through a service like Rent My Cottage, here are some of the most picturesque villages to visit in Britain.

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Straddling the Bybrook River, this beautiful Cotswolds village is often used as a location for historical and fantasy films (including War Horse and Stardust). Many of its natural stone buildings, constructed in the classic Cotswold style, are listed to preserve them for future generations. As well as having plenty of walking trails in the local area, Castle Combe enjoys close proximity to historical attractions like Bowood House, Stonehenge and the City of Bath.

Britain Villages Deils Cauldron Falls Comrie

Walking trails around Comrie lead to the inspiring Deil’s Cauldron Falls

Comrie, Perthshire

This village in the southern Highlands has a gorgeous location by the pebbled banks of the River Earn, and a suitably striking parish kirk in the White Church. The attractive high street has plenty of restaurants and cafes to relax in. The woodland trails surrounding the village make it a fantastic destination for walkers, and local sights to see include the Deil’s Cauldron waterfall, the 72-foot Melville Monument and the numerous Pictish and Celtic standing stones.

Ardglass, County Down

A coastal fishing village with plenty of character, Ardglass is home to a great 19th-century harbour and modern marina, along with more mediaeval tower houses than any other town in Ireland. There used to be seven castles in Ardglass, but only Jordan’s Castle – restored in the 20th century – survives and now overlooks the harbour. There is also a golf course in the town that offers players fantastic views over the Irish sea.

Britain Villages Swallow Falls Betws-y-Coed

Swallow Falls is one of many highlights of Snowdonia National Park

Betws-y-Coed, Conwy

Situated in Snowdonia National Park, this Welsh village is surrounded by woodland, lakes and mountains – a truly stunning mix of scenery. The village itself is no less beautiful, with a large green, lovely stone arch bridges and a 14th century church to discover. Keen photographers should pay a visit to the nearby Fairy Glen, where the River Conwy passes through a narrow gorge, as well as the amazing Swallow Falls, the tallest continuous fall of water in Wales.

Hawkshead, Cumbria

Just north of Esthwaite Water in the Lake District is this pretty village, filled with whitewashed buildings and charming little alleyways and courtyards. The village centre is completely pedestrianised and features a great selection of pubs (see lead photo), as well as literary connections such as the grammar school attended by William Wordsworth and the Beatrix Potter gallery. The surrounding national park is also perfect for nature lovers and hikers.

Photo Credits: half-timbered pub, castle combe, deils cauldron, swallow falls

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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