When you think of English villages, you may be taken away to an unspoilt landscape of rolling hills, peppered with honey-coloured cottages, Saxon towered churches and comfortable pubs with roaring fires and sleepy dogs.
And you wouldn’t be disappointed. Rosehill Travel have selected what we believe to be seven of the prettiest villages in England, complete with climbing roses, babbling streams or gently lapping tides and of course, steeped in history.
A classic representation of a charming Cotswold village, Bibury was dubbed, ‘The most beautiful village in England’, by William Morris, and it’s not difficult to see why. Bibury is possibly most famed for Arlington Row but also boasts cottages that wouldn’t be out of place on a chocolate box. The river Coln flows through the village and with it’s pretty bridges and resident swans has been dubbed, ‘The most Instagrammable village in the UK’ (Gloucestershire Live)
Bibury is a very popular stop on our day tours, and close to many of our luxury and premium hotel accommodation in The Cotswolds.
Staithes, North Yorkshire
As the only other UK village to feature as an ‘Instagrammable’ place to visit, we couldn’t omit the idyllic seaside village of Staithes. Once the busiest fishing port in the North East, it is surrounded by dramatic cliffs, which can be enjoyed on foot for stunning views, and ensconced in heroic tales of ship wrecks and boats lost at sea. Staithes is also a favourite location for fossil hunters to unearth hidden nuggets of natural history.
Around 2 hours from some of our chosen hotels in The Lake District, it is surely worth a day trip. And there’s an abundance of fresh caught cod and lobster to dine out on.
Cartmel, Lake District
If your desire is to be shrouded in English history, the 12th century Cartmel Priory with stained glass windows and ancient choir stalls will truly delight you. Cartmel is a true hidden gem of fine dining amongst breathtaking scenery, provided by those rolling hills you’re looking for. More history can be found in the nearby Eggerslack Woods, which provided wood for bobbin makers at the textile mills, and where water tanks dating back to 1880 can be seen.
Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds
We’re back in the Cotswolds and a moment’s drive from the Michelin starred hotel, Lords of the Manor, as featured in our premium accommodation. Don’t be dismayed by the name! Slaughter is derived from the Old English name for wet land, or muddy place. These days the mud has been replaced by ‘the most romantic street in Britain (2011)’ according to Google. Lower Slaughter was once the home of the son of the designer of the famous Spitfire fighter plane, used in WW2. There is also a converted mill which retains the original water wheel which once produced flour for the villagers.
Clovelly, North Devon
To the coast once more, and on to the picture postcard seaside village of Clovelly where you’ll find white painted cottages dotted down the tree covered hillside, which leads to the glistening harbour. The famous cobbled street takes you to the quay where you can soak up the tranquillity of bobbing boats before visiting the 400-year-old New Inn for a pint of English ale or a cheeky cocktail.
If you love period dramas, Lacock is the village for you. Used as a backdrop for films such as Pride and Prejudice, Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, you will be in awe of the medieval timber framed cottages, not to mention the 800-year-old Lacock Abbey.
Lacock is under 20 minutes from the premium Lucknam Park Hotel, as featured in our accommodation, and under an hour’s drive to the Roman city of Bath.
A pretty market village adorned with an eclectic mix of stone cottages, 17th century inns, old arches and village squares, this ancient village is bound to enchant you in the way it did William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. Hawkshead was founded by the monks of Furness Abbey estate, which was once the home of Stephen, King of England (c1096-1154).
History and cream teas abound, this village will be a certain highlight of your Lake District holiday.
Now you’ve got an idea of where to visit, book either your day tours or short breaks with Rosehill, and we’ll make sure you hit all the highlights of some of the prettiest villages in England. Read more about some of the luxury and premium accommodation we have selected for you, or browse the tailor-made breaks and guided tours on offer.