Today I want to share A Lady in London’s guide to 15 beautiful villages in England. The English countryside is the stuff of dreams. From the Cotswolds to Cumbria, Norfolk to Northumberland, there are fairy-tale villages everywhere. Read on for my top picks.

Beautiful Villages in England

Beautiful Villages in England

It’s hard to make a list of beautiful villages in England because there are so many of them. In fact, the whole of the English countryside is pretty. Some of the best places to visit in the UK are here.

From rolling hills to fluffy sheep, it feels like something straight out of a storybook. But since it’s real and since I’ve set myself the task of making a list of pretty English villages, here goes. I hope you like them.

Castle Combe Village in England

1. Castle Combe

First on my list of beautiful villages in England is Castle Combe. With its chocolate-box high street, picturesque side streets, and shops with teapot signs overhead, it has everything I love in one place.

Castle Combe is one of the best Cotswolds villages to explore for its picture-pretty houses and bridge over the By Brook river.

This quintessential village in Wiltshire will get you dreaming about England. It makes a great day trip from London by car, too.

Castle Combe, England

2. Robin Hood’s Bay

Up in the North York Moors National Park, Robin Hood’s Bay is one of the most beautiful villages in England when it comes to seaside charm.

Robin Hood’s Bay is an old smugglers’ settlement on the coast in North Yorkshire. With narrow passages winding up a hillside through a tangle of houses and pubs, this fishing village is a treat to explore.

Add to that sandy beaches and coastal views, and Robin Hood’s Bay is an English village worth discovering.

Street in Robin Hood's Bay Village in England

3. Grasmere

Grasmere is next on my list of beautiful villages in England. This gem in the Lake District is one of Cumbria’s sweetest spots.

Literally. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is a big draw. Its thin squares of gingery goodness are made from a secret recipe that hasn’t changed in over a century.

Grasmere also has a pretty high street with local shops and a historic churchyard where visitors can see Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s grave.

Speaking of Wordsworth, his home, Dove Cottage, is in Grasmere. The small whitewashed former pub where he wrote many of his famous poems is in this Lake District village.

Visitors can tour the low-ceilinged rooms and learn about his life and work.

Dove Cottage in the Village of Grasmere, Cumbria

4. Lacock

Back in Wiltshire, Lacock is near Castle Combe and is famous for being a filming location for everything from Downton Abbey to the Harry Potter movies.

This beautiful village in Britain is brimming with yellow stone buildings and pretty roadside stands with baked goods and bunting. Photogenic shopfronts with bicycles outside round out the scene.

The village is also home to the 13th-century Lacock Abbey. It has stunning medieval cloisters and a museum dedicated to the history of photography.

Bakery in the Village of Lacock, England

5. Painswick

Back in the Cotswolds, Painswick is another of the most beautiful villages in England.

With its pretty stone buildings, larger-than-life topiary trees, and my favorite hotels in the Cotstwolds, this village is bursting with beauty.

The streets are full of heritage details, and the Painswick Rococo Garden is a stunning 18th-century number in a hidden valley with views across the English countryside.

House in the English Village of Painswick, Cotswolds

6. Shere

Down in Surrey, Shere is one of the most beautiful villages in England for good reason.

Picture-pretty Shere is famous for being a filming location for The Holiday and the Bridget Jones movies. In fact, the village church was used in multiple Bridget Jones films.

The streets of Shere are everything I dream of in an English country village, and pubs like the White Horse have historic interiors worthy of a leisurely Sunday lunch.

Add to that a pretty pond full of ducks and streets lined with beautiful heritage buildings, and Shere has it all. It’s one of the most beautiful villages near London.

Church in Shere, One of the Most Beautiful Villages in England

7. East Meon

Over in Hampshire, East Meon is another of the most beautiful villages in England.

This idyllic place has a river meandering through its heart. Thatched-roof cottages and pink facades make it a fairy tale lover’s dream.

Cheerful hollyhocks bloom on the waterfront in the warmer months, and red post boxes are set into by brick walls in true storybook fashion.

Pink Thatched Roof Cottage in the Village of East Meon, Hampshire

8. Upper Slaughter

Back in the Cotswolds, Upper Slaughter wins hearts with its pretty stone cottages and historic manor.

Upper Slaughter and its neighbor, Lower Slaughter, are some of the most beautiful villages in England. They’re great to visit on a Cotswolds day trip.

The village lies on a slope above a stream and is known for its 15th-century manor house, attractive medieval almshouses, and historic St Peter’s Church.

Upper Slaughter Village in England

9. Burnham Market

Out in North Norfolk, Burnham Market deserves a place on my list of beautiful villages in England. Often referred to as Chelsea-on-Sea, its central green is surrounded by pretty buildings and cafes.

With great shopping, lively pubs and restaurants, and access to nearby coastal gems like Holkham Beach, Burnham Market is a great place to spend a weekend in Norfolk.

Burnham Market and the surrounding area are some of the most beautiful places in England. The village is the perfect spot for a coastal getaway in the UK.

House in Burnham Market, Norfolk, England

10. Bibury

Home of the most photographed street in the Cotswolds, Bibury sits on the banks of the River Coln. William Morris called it ‘the most beautiful village in England’, and he might just be right.

Arlington Row features 17th-century weavers’ cottages that attract visitors from all over the world. A historic village pub called The Catherine Wheel is the perfect place for a drink, too.

This English village is also home to a water meadow called Rack Isle. It’s an important wildlife habitat in the Cotswolds.

Bibury also has a trout farm. Established in the early 20th century by naturalist Arthur Severn, it stocks local rivers and streams with native brown trout.

Arlington Row in the English Village of Bibury

11. Bamburgh

Up in Northumberland, Bamburgh is one of the most beautiful villages in England for a specific reason: Bamburgh Castle.

Dominating the skyline, the hilltop fortress can be seen from everywhere in the village. Its long form dominates the scene and adds medieval charm to Bamburgh.

But it’s not just the castle that makes this English village a treat to see. Bamburgh has a pretty high street, and there’s an amazing beach below the castle that’s worth visiting.

Bamburgh Village and Castle in England

12. Bretforton

Out in Worcestershire, Bretforton is another of the most beautiful villages in England. This place has thatched-roof cottages, historic churches, and half-timbered pubs dating back centuries.

Bretforton’s narrow streets have great details to discover, and the Church of St Leonard features a pretty churchyard steeped in history.

This English village is best known for being the home of The Fleece Inn, a 15th-century pub with historic interiors and loads of atmosphere. It’s a National Trust Cotswolds property, and it’s worth a trip for a drink in its warren of rooms.

Cotswolds Cottage in the English Village of Bretforton

13. New Grimsby

Way out in the Isles of Scilly, New Grimsby is a coastal gem on the island of Tresco. Located on the west shore, this pint-size settlement features a crescent beach that’s beautiful at sunset.

New Grimsby is also home to a village pub with an interior that feels like the inside of a boat. Dark wood prevails, and in the evenings the place fills with a lively crowd.

There’s also an art gallery, shop, and quay in the village. New Grimsby’s quiet charm makes it the perfect place for a remote getaway in Britain.

Beach on Tresco, Isles of Scilly

14. Arkesden

Over in Essex, Arkesden is another of the most beautiful villages in England. Thatched roofs abound, and a red phone box doubles as a lending library.

The idyllic Wicken Water stream runs through the village, and pretty cottages line its banks. A historic church sits at the top of a hill, and the surrounding churchyard has lots of atmosphere.

Arkesden is near other picturesque villages like Wendens Ambo, too. It’s worth taking Essex walks through the English countryside to see them.

Cottage in Arkesden, Essex, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in England

15. Sapperton

I have to end my list of beautiful villages in England where I began: the Cotswolds. Sapperton is one of my favorite places in this part of the UK.

The village is full of pretty houses, many of which feature Arts and Crafts architecture. Some of the most famous architect-designers of the movement lived here and are buried in the churchyard.

Speaking of which, St Kenelm’s Church is worth popping into for its historic interiors. There’s also a village hall, which is across the street from The Bell at Sapperton pub. It’s fun to have a drink in the atmospheric surroundings.

Camper Van in the English Village of Sapperton

Beautiful Villages in England

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of beautiful villages in England and that you’ve found some inspiration for your future British travels. I’ve been to all the villages on this list, and I’m confident you’ll love them as much as I do.

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Beautiful Villages in England

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