There are many beautiful villages in the UK, and it’s tricky to choose which ones are the best. We’ve put together a list of seven lovely villages, which we think deserve special recognition for their natural beauty and quaint charm.
From Cornwall to Scotland, here are some of Britain’s most beautiful, must-visit villages.
Bibury was described by Victorian designer William Morris as “the most beautiful village in England”. With its traditional Cotswold-stone buildings and lush cottage gardens, it’s still an exquisite place.
Bilbury was once a busy trading port on the River Coln. Today it’s a more peaceful place, surrounded by the rolling Cotswold countryside. The village contains many historic buildings, including the 13th-century St Mary's Church (designated as a Grade I listed building by English Heritage for its architectural interest).
The village is also home to Arlington Row, a picturesque row of cottages that were built as weavers' homes in the 14th century. It’s now one of the most photographed scenes in England, and has been used as a backdrop for many films and television programmes.
Bibury is a lovely place to visit and it's no wonder that it has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in England. If you’re visiting the Cotswolds, grab your camera and head for Bilbury.
Mousehole is one of Cornwall’s most famous villages. The harbour village is just west of Penzance, on some of the country’s most stunning coastline. The village itself is picture-perfect, with harbour views that look like something out of a storybook. Pretty white houses sit next to cosy fishermen's cottages, and its narrow streets run down to the quayside where small fishing boats are moored. It's no wonder that Mousehole is a favourite spot for artists and photographers.
One of the main attractions in Mousehole is its annual Christmas lights display. The harbour is lit up with thousands of coloured bulbs, and it's a wonderful sight to see. In the summer, enjoy the small harbour beach and the rock pools, or walk along the coast path to Lamorna or Penzance.
If you're looking for a beautiful place to relax and take in the stunning Cornish scenery, Mousehole is definitely worth a visit.
This is another postcard-perfect coastal village, this time in Devon. Beer is a small place on the Jurassic Coast - and yes, it is a good place to enjoy a pint, in one of its many inviting pubs.
There are lots of things to do in Beer. The sheltered shingle beach is a lovely spot, protected by the limestone cliffs and bustling with activity from the local fishing boats. If you want to try something a bit more adventurous, book a tour of Beer’s Quarry Caves, or hike the World Heritage Site cliffs.
Explore the pretty village itself, with its 12th century church and plenty of places to shop and eat. Beer, Devon is the perfect place for a weekend getaway, and there’s a choice of places to stay in and around the village.
And we’re back to the Cotswolds, for a beautiful village with an unusual name. Lower Slaughter is known for its well-preserved buildings and narrow streets, and is one of the most photographed villages in the United Kingdom.
The curious name comes from an Old English word meaning “muddy place”, a reference to the wetlands the village was built on. Today, it’s pretty dry underfoot, apart from the attractive little River Eye that runs alongside the main road, crossed with narrow stone bridges.
Lower Slaughter’s Copse Hill Road was once voted Britain’s most romantic street. The buildings are lovely, made from that warm Cotswold stone and retaining their original features such as mullioned windows and tall chimneys. A church, an old mill and a choice of welcoming pubs add to the atmosphere.
You might recognise Lower Slaughter as the star of several movies and TV shows, including Midsomer Murders and The Vicar of Dibley. Look out for film locations as you explore Lower Slaughter, or pass through the village on The Cotswold Way trail.
Kingham is another quintessential English village with all those essential ingredients: pretty old cottages, green spaces and a medieval church, as well as an idyllic Cotswolds setting.
The village is six miles from Chipping Norton and ten miles from Witney, making it an excellent base for exploring the area.
It’s also a great place if you’re feeling peckish. The village pub, The Kingham Plough, serves classic pub fare alongside local beers and ciders. There are also several independent shops in the village, including a bakery, butcher and grocery store.
Beddgelert is a pretty village in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Its name translates as “Gelert’s Grave”, named after the legendary burial site of the dog who saved Prince Llewelyn’s baby son (and yes, you can visit the grave).
The village is home to several pubs and restaurants, as well as gift shops and art galleries. If you’re looking for a comfortable base for a walking or climbing holiday in Snowdonia, Beddgelert is an excellent choice. There’s also plenty of gentler walking country along the river and through the wooded hills, and you’re close to other North Wales attractions such as Caernarfon Castle, Llanberis and the beautiful coast .
The “Jewel of the Highlands” is one of the most beautiful villages in Scotland. The village is located in a sheltered bay, with stunning views across Loch Carron and the surrounding landscape. Plockton is also known for its warm and welcoming community, which makes it a great place to visit or live.
There are plenty of things to do in Plockton, from hiking and biking to shopping and dining. Take a boat tour, or head out by yourself in a kayak or rowing boat.
Catch a train ride on the Kyle Line that travels through some spectacular scenery - just get back in time for a fish supper in Plockton.
There are so many beautiful villages in the United Kingdom, it was hard to choose just seven! We hope this has inspired you to find out more about Britain’s lesser-known destinations, and that you’ll want to explore them yourself.