Home » The Real Britain » Embarking on a Serene Journey: Top 10 Must-Visit Villages in the English Countryside

Embarking on a Serene Journey: Top 10 Must-Visit Villages in the English Countryside

Embarking on a Serene Journey: Top 10 Must-Visit Villages in the English Countryside

Picture this: rolling green hills, charming thatched cottages, and tranquil streams that whisper the tales of yesteryear. The English countryside is dotted with such picturesque villages, each holding its unique allure, waiting to be explored. If you’re keen on stepping into a scene that feels like it’s straight out of a Jane Austen novel, then you’re in for a treat. We’ve curated a list of the top 10 must-visit villages in the English countryside for your next serene adventure. Pack your bags, and don’t forget your sense of humour, as some of these places have quirks as delightful as their names!

1. Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Often hailed as ‘the prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe in Wiltshire is like stepping into a fairytale. With its honey-coloured stone cottages and medieval streets, it’s no wonder it has become a favourite among filmmakers. Don’t miss the 14th-century market cross and the whimsical Wood Street, where you can almost hear the echoes of horse-drawn carriages.

2. Bibury, Gloucestershire

Arlington Row in Bibury looks like a postcard from the past. This row of weavers’ cottages from the 17th century is so picturesque that Henry Ford once tried to buy the entire row to ship it to the USA! Thankfully for us, he didn’t succeed, and we can still enjoy its untouched beauty. Stroll alongside the River Coln for some soul-refreshing views.

3. Clovelly, Devon

Clovelly is unique because of its steep, cobbled streets that tumble down to the sea, so cars are a no-go here. Instead, goods are transported using donkeys or sledges. It’s as charming as it sounds, with stunning sea views, vibrant flowers, and pottery and craft shops along the way. Plus, enjoying a Devon cream tea with the sea breeze in your hair is an experience not to be missed.

4. Haworth, West Yorkshire

Brontë fans, unite! Haworth, set amidst the dramatic landscapes of the Yorkshire moors, was the home of the Brontë sisters. Its rugged beauty inspired classics such as ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’. The preserved Victorian streets offer a glance back in time, and the Brontë Parsonage Museum is a must-visit for literature buffs.

5. Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire

Dubbed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, Bourton-on-the-Water mesmerises with its elegant low bridges spanning the River Windrush. It’s both quaint and lively, offering a myriad of attractions from miniature villages to classic car museums. And, if you fancy a chuckle, visit the Dragonfly Maze and get happily lost in its puzzling charm.

6. Polperro, Cornwall

With its tightly-packed ancient fishermen’s houses spilling down to the harbour, Polperro looks virtually unchanged by time. The village’s history as a smuggler’s haven adds an intriguing layer to its charm. For a truly serene experience, visit before or after the summer rush, when the narrow streets echo with the sound of the sea.

7. Lacock, Wiltshire

Lacock is so enchantingly preserved that it frequently stars in films and TV shows, including ‘Harry Potter’. Owned mostly by the National Trust, this village offers a timeless snapshot of England. Its abbey, with beautifully kept grounds, is a serene spot for reflection and rejuvenation.

8. Lavenham, Suffolk

Lavenham is a technicolour dream of medieval timber-framed buildings, leaning and jostling in a delightful display of architectural tipsiness. Once one of the wealthiest places in England, thanks to its wool trade, today Lavenham’s wealth lies in its remarkable preservation and enchanting atmosphere.

9. Mousehole, Cornwall

Yes, it’s pronounced ‘Mowzel’, darling. This charming fishing village, with its snug harbour and labyrinthine streets, is full of character. Its unique Christmas lights, art galleries, and sea view cafés make Mousehole a year-round destination. Remember to try the locally famous Stargazy Pie, if you dare!

10. Ambleside, Lake District

While technically a small town, Ambleside has the soul of a village, with its cosy restaurants, independent shops, and stunning lake views. It’s an ideal base for exploring the Lake District, whether you’re after a leisurely cruise on Lake Windermere or an adventurous hike up the surrounding fells.


The English countryside is studded with gems waiting to soothe your soul and delight your senses. Each village on our list offers a unique slice of tranquillity and history, with plenty of laughter and charm along the way. Whether you’re meandering through medieval streets, indulging in local delicacies, or simply soaking in the breathtaking landscapes, these villages promise an unforgettable journey back in time, with a side of quintessential British quirkiness. So, why not lace up your walking boots, grab your camera, and embark on a serene adventure to these must-visit English villages? Your perfect countryside escapade awaits.

Now, over to you!

Which of these charming villages have you visited, or which one would you love to visit first? Any hilarious or heartwarming stories from your travels in the English countryside? Share in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Share this
What are your thoughts?
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for anything!

Great Days Out and Things to do!




Check out other recent posts

Find something fun to do

RealBritainCompany is a Free resource to help you find your way to the best places when visiting the UK
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x