If you look past the large towns and cities of England you will find neatly tucked away, on rugged cliffs, in rolling green hills, near forests, on moorland, with beaches, by rivers, some of the most amazing small towns. Steeped in sometimes ancient history, and packed with sometimes ancient pubs, wonderful landscape with warm and the most welcoming people.
10 MOST CHARMING SMALL TOWNS TO VISIT
This storybook northern town is most known by its association with its most famous product: Bakewell pudding, a pastry casing with a bottom layer of jam and a frangipane filling. Bakewell is located in Derbyshire Dales and is surrounded with well-trod hiking trails. You can also visit the Grade 1 listed Bakewell Parish Church – dating back from the Anglo-Saxon times, which was founded in 920 AD.
Between 1174 and 1482 the town changed hands 14 times between England and Scotland. Nowadays the town is much-visited for its highly visible history: medieval town walls, Elizabethan ramparts, 13th century castle ruins, its 17th century ‘Old Bridge’, town hall, Britain’s earliest army barracks and England’s northernmost hotel, amongst others.
Dating back to 656 when a monastery was built, founded by King Oswy of Northumbria. The 14th century Whitby Abbey iconic ruins now stands in its place. Tourist and goths alike are drawn to the town for the twice yearly Whitby Goth Festival which was majorly inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The town was once called home to Captain James Cook and arctic explorer William Scoresby.
Just a few minutes away from one of England’s most famous beaches, Camber Sands – a two-mile-long playground for kitesurfers and beachlovers. The ancient town is all cobbled streets and tumbledown rows of houses by the sea. The town was once important for trade and military purposes in the medieval times, but today it is practically a living museum. The Rye Castle, popularly known as Ypres Tower, was built in 1249 by Henry III to protect against frequent raids by the French; even older, the Norman-era St. Mary’s Church looks over the town.
Set just outside the town on a collection of typically Cornish cliffs, this Cornish town is world renowned for being the location of King Arthur’s stronghold, the Tintagel Castle. The castle ruins are a destination in themselves, wandering around this cinematic landscape with the legend of King Arthur in mind is simply dreamy. Back in town you can visit the exquisite 14th century building , the Old Post Office, housing the town’s famous fudge shop, Cornish pasties, fish & chips shops and pubs.
The town in the Cotswold Are has been claimed as “the prettiest” English town in England. Various movies and TV series have been filmed here, including Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Downton Abbey. The historical 15th century St Andrew’s church reflects the former prosperity of the Cotswolds’ textile industry. The 14th century Manor House Hotel offers five-star accommodation.
During the 15th and 16th century the town was famous for its wool. Medieval buildings lean higgledy-piggledy like something from another time. Walking through a hundreds of half-timbered buildings spell out the past, with a contemporary infusion of eateries and places to stay.
The picture-postcard village - nestles in Lyme Bay, on the 95-mile long Jurassic Coast, England’s first natural World Heritage Site and forms part of the South West Coastal Path. You can visit the Quarry Caves, Bicton Garden, Crealy Great Adventure Park, Fine Foundation Centre, Pecorama, Norman Lockyer Observatory or take a cruise with Jurassic Coast Cruises. Surrounded by white chalk cliffs, the shingle beach is lined with fishing boats still bringing in their daily catches and is famous for its mackerel.
Once home to William Wordsworth, the preserved town is a tourist mecca not only for its whitewashed cottages, old pubs and cobbled streets, but also for its location: the Lake District. The former homer home of Beatrix Potter who also lived here, is now open to the public - a great opportunity to feel snug inside a real English cottage. The beautiful English town famous for its lakes, fells and forests, hiking in English countryside is supremely idyllic here.
Located in the Cotswolds the villiage is just a short drive from Cirencester, a region renowned for quaint towns and lovely countryside. Attractions in Bibury include Arlington Row, a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River Coln, the Bibury Trout Farm and the Saxon Church, the Church of St Mary. Strolling around the town and you will fall in love with the place, an ideal place for countryside walks and tearooms.
England can be visited at any time of year, as its climate is relatively temperate and, in general, doesn't experience extremes during either summer or winter. Overall, late March to early June and September to November are the best times to visit, when it's usually warm and dry.