Most Charming Towns in the UK [Slideshow]
Quaint, idyllic and surrounded by nature, small towns in the UK offer the quintessential weekend getaway.
Whether you spend your time with locals at traditional pubs, hike along hilltop trails or find treasures at the markets, you’ll always find something to do.
Though, doing nothing at all is certainly an appealing option…
From the salty air of stunning coastal communities to chocolate-box pretty villages, here’s a look at 10 of our top picks.
Winding, traffic-free streets, charming cottages and a sparkling bay add to Polperro’s timeless, fishing village appeal. Once a smuggling hotspot in the 18th century, the town now brims with handcrafted goods and delicious seafood restaurants. Swim in the tidal sea pool, explore nearby beaches, visit art galleries and enjoy the relaxed pace of life.
Bakewell is a small market town, with a whole lot going on. It’s located on the River Wye, in the heart of the Peak District. The Bakewell Show is just one of many attractions in the town’s yearly calendar, but you’ll enjoy gardens, museums, pubs, cafes, quirky shops and arts and crafts, no matter when you visit.
Ice-creams, fish and chips and adventure-activities make Weymouth a top spot for traditional, seaside holidays. Life’s all about getting out and about in the fresh air here, with cycling, horseback riding, boating and walking. Combine fun activities with golden sand, a deckchair and clear waves lapping at the shore and you’ll be planning your next trip, before you’ve even left.
Rye, East Sussex
When a town is populated with artists, musicians and celebrities, chances are you’ll find inspiration there too. Ancient buildings, cobbled streets and secret passages attract tourists and film crews alike. Perched on a hill, the town’s medieval streets boast shops, galleries and restaurants among beautifully preserved buildings. You don’t have to miss out on the sea, either, with the golden sands of Camber close by.
Cobbled streets wind down to a quaint harbour surrounded by historic fishing cottages, in pretty Crail. Situated in East Neuk of Fife, time slows down as you eat ice-cream and watch fishing boats rock on the water. Explore the heritage centre, local shops, tearooms and galleries.
It’s famous for its Blue Flag Beaches and historic Whitby Abbey, which was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for ‘Dracula’. Along with eating fresh fish and chips, visit the beach huts of West Cliff Beach, the Church of St Mary and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.
Nestled in the Suffolk countryside, Framlingham is a perfect slice of country living. Market Hill sits at the heart of town, with markets, shops, pubs and restaurants. History-lovers descend on the 12-century castle, surrounded by parkland and estates.
You’ll find enchanting Bibury just a short drive from Cirencester, in the Cotswolds. With its Arlington Row cottages and meandering river, it’s little wonder Willian Morris once described it as the most beautiful in the area. A backdrop for movies such as ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, the town offers a Trout Farm, The Church of St Mary, walking trails and historic hotels.
Tobermory, Inner Hebrides
With its postcard-perfect port dotted with colourful houses, the capital of Mull oozes charm. Walking, boating, fishing, golfing and whale watching are just a few of the attractions, but among the most popular. Culture abounds, with the Mull Museum, the Marine Visitor Centre, art galleries and live music.
Overlooking the Pembrokeshire coast, Tenby is a seaside resort with cobbled streets, surviving old town walls, restaurants, shops, cafes and pubs. Stroll along the coastal path for panoramic views, cruise to nearby Caldey Island and discover wildlife in the surrounding areas.