The United Kingdom is teeming with adorable towns that look like they’ve waltzed right off the pages of a storybook. Here’s a look at ten.
When you think of the UK, London is usually the first place that comes to mind. However, the country boasts enchanting towns that look like they’ve been pulled directly out of a fairytale.
Often overlooked in favor of the towns in neighboring France and Germany, the small quiet villages of the UK are not as frequented as the major cities, a blessing for those who decide to go as they just might have the town all to themselves–aside from the locals of course. Stray from the beaten path during your next trip to the UK and check out one or two of these delightful places.
Rye’s selling point is its network of cobbled streets studded with medieval cottages. Simply walking through the village is enough to take your breath away. Local historic sights include the former house of novelist Henry James and the magnificent Rye Castle, which dates back to the 14th century.
Situated in the picturesque Cotswolds region, Bibury is considered one of the world’s most charming towns, a verdant landscape peppered with adorable stone houses. You can easily while away an entire day strolling along the banks of the River Coln and exploring the Chedworth Roman Villa, which comprises the remnants of an ancient estate.
Sitting on England’s southern coastline is the village of Polperro, a sleepy fishing village that will transport you back in time with its white-washed cottages that cling to the side of grassy cliffs. This is the perfect place to do nothing but take leisurely walks and listen to the sound of the waves against the shore.
4. Oban, Scottish Highlands
Oban is often thought of as the gateway to the Hebridean Islands, but if you’re willing to spend a few days there, you’ll see it is a lot more than just a springboard. Among Oban’s other draws, you will find some of the UK’s finest and freshest seafood. Think oysters, mussels, lobster, and more.
5. Portree, Scotland
Portree is an exceptionally scenic village on the Isle of Skye, boasting a gorgeous seafront lined with multi-colored houses. The town is wonderfully verdant and offers its visitors the chance to breathe some of the freshest air to ever touch your lungs. Spend your days here soaking up the views and meandering through the lush forests.
6. Portmeirion, Wales
Specially designed to enchant, Portmeirion has an Italian feel to it, despite being in North Wales. The village is home to several holiday cottages, sub-tropical gardens, a spa, and a number of cafés and restaurants. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, Portmeirion also has some sensational historic architecture to enjoy.
7. Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay sprawls the North York Moors National Park in Northern England. Built into a cliff overlooking the ocean, the village is one of the most picturesque spots in the UK. As you climb its narrow, cobbled lanes you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the water. If the weather permits, set off on a country or coastal walk and admire the blend of natural and man-made beauty that permeates every nook and cranny.
8. Castle Combe
Castle Combe is the quintessential sleepy English village. It has old stone houses, half-covered with ivy, sitting proudly along the edge of a babbling river and a picturesque bridge that connects the village with the outside world. Featuring several bed and breakfasts and pubs, Castle Combe caters to visitors who come to see the village dubbed the prettiest in all of England.
Lacock is almost entirely owned by the National Trust, hence its virtually unspoiled appearance. Here, medieval houses sit alongside cozy pubs and historic sites, which include Lacock Abbey, known for its appearance in the Harry Potter films. The Abbey joins its own village with the Fox Talbot Museum.
10. Donaghadee, Northern Ireland
The village of Donaghadee is Northern Ireland’s closest point to Scotland, which is visible across the Irish Sea on a clear day. The village seamlessly blends old and new, natural and man-made, and has created one of the country’s most delightful destinations. Stroll in the sand and dig into a hearty meal at one of the village’s numerous pubs.