Travel

14 of the Most Beautiful UK Towns to Visit

In the post-Covid landscape, many people (like me) are choosing the stay in the UK and visit our many gorgeous and diverse towns, rather than travel abroad this summer.

Lots of people would normally head to one of the big cities but instead, I think we should all enjoy a piece of British charm, and explore the best of what our little island has to offer. These are my top 14 most beautiful towns in the UK to visit.

Bibury, Gloucestershire

Bibury is a gorgeous throwback town that’s home to quaint little cottages and one of the most photographed streets in the UK, Arlington Row.

Three things to do:

  1. Take the perfect Instagram photo outside the 14th-century weaver’s cottages on Arlington Row (above).
  2. Explore Bibury Trout Farm, a stunning farm founded in 1902 that spawns around 10 million trout a year!
  3. Visit the Church of St Mary, a stunning Saxon church that featured on the Royal Mail’s 1992 Christmas stamp.

Where to stay:

The Swan Hotel, Bibury

Brixham, Devon

A beautiful harbour town located on the English Riviera in South Devon, life in Brixham is centred around the harbour and offers the freshest fish and seafood money can buy.

Three things to do:

  1. Explore the magical Greenway, the private home and gardens of Agatha Christie and her family, now owned by the National Trust.
  2. Enjoy the stunning views at Berry Head National Nature Reserve, one of the main gateways to the English Riviera Global Geopark. Perfect for adventurers who love hiking, climbing, and kayaking.
  3. Swim at Shoalstone Pool, one of a few outdoor sea water pools left in the UK. Originally built in 1896, the pool is carved into the natural rock of the seafront, and is the perfect place to spend a day relaxing in the sun.

Where to stay:

Ranscombe House, Brixham

Conway, Wales

Conway is a beautiful little Welsh town built around an incredible castle, and the surrounding landscape is just as stunning as the castle.

Three things to do:

  1. Climb to the top of one of Conway castle’s towers and take in the amazing view over the town.
  2. Visit Quay House, the smallest house in Britain! You can even go inside and see what life would be like.
  3. Spend a relaxing afternoon wandering around Bodnant Garden, enjoying the manicured lawns, expensive ponds, and impressive terraces.

Where to stay:

Gwynfryn B&B, Conway

Crosby, Sefton

Only 20 minutes outside of Liverpool by train, this Viking settlement has some of the most beautiful sea views to be found in the UK. The wind turbines have added an industrial element to the landscape, but it’s still as beautiful as ever.

Three things to do:

  1. Walk along the beach and the coastal path, and take in the immense sea views.
  2. View the ‘Another Place’ sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist, Antony Gormley.
  3. Head a bit further afield and explore the New Brighton Lighthouse, first built in 1827.

Where to stay:

Number 18, Conway

Hathersage, Derbyshire

Deep within the Peak District is the gorgeous little village of Hathersage. Around a 25 minute drive from Sheffield, it’s a great little spot to visit to spend a few days getting away from modern life.

Three things to do:

  1. Go walking in the Peak District, you won’t find a landscape more beautiful.
  2. Explore Peveril Castle, one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses estimated to have been built around 1066.
  3. Visit Chatsworth House and Gardens, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The house has 30 rooms to explore and boasts an award-winning estate farm shop too.

Where to stay:

The Plough Inn, Hathersage

Knaresborough, Harrogate

A stone’s throw from Harrogate is the gorgeous Yorkshire town of Knaresborough. This market town is full of English character and charm, with cobbled alleys and secret passages all to be found and explored.

Three things to do:

  1. Tour the medieval Knaresborough Castle, once home to kings and courtiers alike. Inside you can see ancient graffiti, learn about local legends such as Guy Fawkes and see if you can find the rumoured special tunnel that runs underneath the castle.
  2. Every Wednesday is the famous Knaresborough market, that has happened every week in the same square since 1310. Here you can find the best of Yorkshire’s local produce and crafts, and hear the local news straight from the town crier!
  3. Learn the story of Mother Shipton and the waters that turns objects to stone, at Mother Shipton’s Cave.

Where to stay:

Goldsborough Hall, Knaresbourough

Lacock, Wiltshire

Situated in Wiltshire, Lacock is a village that’s a total throwback to times gone by; perfect for anyone who is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life.

Three things to do:

  1. Take a walk around the beautiful Lacock village which has played host to filming crews for many tv and film shows, including Harry Potter!
  2. Visit the Fox Talbot museum that commemorates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the photograph negative process,
  3. Tour the 14th century Lacock Abbey, which was once used as a nunnery for the Augustinian order before being converted to a private residence in the 1500s.

Where to stay:

Sign of the Angel, Lacock

Lochawe, Argyll and Bute

Loch Awe is a small village named after Scotland’s longest freshwater lloch whose banks it was built upon. This stunning part of Scotland is still relatively unexplored and offers so much beauty and tranquility to the people who seek it out.

Three things to do:

  1. Visit Kilchurn Castle, a 15th-century castle built at the north end of Loch Awe by Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy.
  2. Head deep within the Ben Cruachan mountain and view one of the hidden wonders of the world, the Cruachan Hollow Mountain Power Station buried one kilometer below the ground.
  3. Get lost in the Ben Lui Nature Reserve and scale the four munros, glimpse a rare golden eagle or enjoy the lush growth of the mountain plants.

Where to stay:

Craig Villa Guest House

Mevagissy, Cornwall

The Cornish beauty of Mevagissey was once a thriving fishing village. The fishing still happens to this day, just on a smaller scale.  The town itself has a huge seafaring history and small boats are still made in the town today.

Three things to do:

  1. Spend a day wandering the villages’ narrow alleyways, browsing local shops, cafes, and art galleries.
  2. Enjoy the Mevagissey Feast Week, a celebration that has been held in Mevagissey for hundreds of years. Originally held in December, the feast now takes place on 29th June every year and features exhibitions, demonstrations, live music, and lots of fish dishes to eat.
  3. Visit the Mevagissey Museum and learn all about the rich history of this seafaring town.

Where to stay:

Tremarne Hotel, Mevagissey

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Evening Everyone! We hope you are all well and looking forward to your upcoming holidays 🥳 All our guests will be recieving an email in the next couple of days, just outlining what we have had put into place to keep you, as guests and us at The Tremarne, safe! To summarise : 🧼 There will be hand sanitiser in nearly every corner of the hotel (😂)we do ask that this is used regularly! 😷 All staff will be wearing face masks or coverings, but we promise that the same welcoming, happy faces are underneath! ⬆️There is a one way system upstairs to the guest bedrooms to avoid contact on the stairs. 🍳 We have a new procedure for breakfast, however this will all be explained on the email when booking, and again when you check in. (You will still get to sample the delicious Full Cornish Breakfast!) ⏰ Check in times will be staggered to control the flow of our lovely guests! 😆We have invested in a disinfectant Fogging machine, which shall be used after every guest check out and in all the public areas of the hotel. (Wes is going to look like a ghost buster!!) 🧼We will he cleaning all touch points regularly throughout the day. 🍽 We have had to limit our availability in the restaurant for evening meals, so we do urge you to book these in advance. As well as booking any restaurants in Mevagissey will be advised, please let me know if I can help with this in any way! 🏊‍♂️ Our swimming pool will unfortunately be closed until further notice. We are waiting on the Government to give us the green light for that one! Although holidays are going to be a little different for now, we still endeavour to make your holiday as comfortable and welcoming as we can. Most of all, we want you to enjoy yourselves! Please bare with us while we are introducing these new systems. We know we can make this work with your help, patience and kindness! We are super excited to welcome you all to The Tremarne from Saturday. Wes, Tam, Carter & Leo xxx

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Rathin Island, County Antrim

Rathin Island is one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems. It’s about 6 miles off the coastline of Ireland and a beautiful spot to visit in Spring and Summer.

Three things to do:

  1. Head to the Boathouse Visitor Centre where you can learn all about the history and present-day life of the island, and see artefacts from the shipwrecks that lie around the island.
  2. If you’re visiting between April and July, don’t miss an opportunity to see the puffins at the seabird centre.
  3. Take a boat trip to the Rathin West Light House, knows as Ireland’s ‘upside down’ lighthouse, and embrace the stunning sea views that it offers.

Where to stay:

Glass Island, Ballycastle

Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire

Possibly one of the prettiest little villages in all of Yorkshire, Robin Hood’s Bay is an old smuggler’s town where time seems to have stood still.

Three things to do:

  1. Head over to the Old Coastguard station, and find out what makes this part of the North Yorkshire coast so special.
  2. Pay your respects at the 19th century Old St. Stephen’s Church which stands prominently on its hillside looking out to sea over the bay.
  3. Take the Robin Hood’s Bay Ghost Walk where you will hear takes of the smugglers and shipwrecks that used to make their way through the old streets and alleyways.

Where to stay:

Aldersyde Bed & Breakfast

Shaftesbury, Dorset

Nestled within the Dorset countryside, this small market town has a fascinating history that dates back to Saxon times.

Three things to do:

  1. Take out your camera and head over to Gold Hill (above) to capture the perfect shot of what has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England.”
  2. Explore the carefully excavated foundations of Shaftesbury Abbey and Garden, and learn all about the history of this foremost Benedictine nunnery at the museum.
  3. Head over to the Melbury Vale Vineyard, a small family-ran, sustainable vineyard where wine, liqueur, brandy, and cider are all produced.

Where to stay:

Black Pig Retreats

Tintagel, Cornwall

Set on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, Tintagel is the home of the King Arthur, Excalibur and Merlin legend. Will you be chosen to be a Knight of the Round Table?

Three things to do:

  1. Visit the natural beauty of St Nectans Glen waterfalls, a sacred site that was carved by the river Trevillet.
  2. Immerse yourself in the history, myths, and scenery at Tintagel Castle, where Arthur and his knights are believed to have resided.
  3. Read all about the legends and the history at The Vale of Avalon and Arthurian Centre. There is something for everyone including brass rubbing, a tearoom, and a gift shop.

Where to stay:

The Avalon Hotel, Tintagel

Whitby, Yorkshire

Tucked in at the edge of the North York Moors National Park, you won’t regret making the journey to one of the more remote undiscovered places in England.  Still a working port, shipping to Europe and Scandinavia, this seaside town has a long tradition of seafaring. 

Three things to do:

Where to stay:

  1. Visit the 13th Century ruins of Whitby Abbey, one of the most dramatic and atmospheric sites on the Yorkshire Coast
  2. Discover all about the life and times of the famous Captain Cook, at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.
  3. Grab yourself a large portion of fish and chips, and eat by the seafront. Whitby’s reputation for excellent fish and chips is unmatched and you’d be mad to miss out. Ask a local for their favourite fish and chip shop!

Cobble View Rooms, Whitby

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post of the 14 of the Most Beautiful Towns in the UK to Visit! If you end up visiting any of these towns, be sure to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #thesallyreport and show me where you ended up!

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