England is an incredibly beautiful country… although we’ve got some pretty incredible cities (here’s looking at you, London) there are a whole heap of amazing towns, villages and hamlets that everyone should visit at least once…

… and I don’t say that lightly! Think old English charm, crooked rooftops, creeping vines and chunky cottage doors – there really is a whole array of stunning little nooks, hidden within the southern English countryside.

English Countryside

Take a look at the very best places that you should visit during your next adventure…

1.) Lacock

Inside The Beautiful Cotswolds Village Of Lacock... (53)

Lacock is a tiny little village within the English county of Wiltshire. It’s a picturesque little place that oozes olde English charm… Imagine lots of crooked houses, historic cottages and a gorgeous abbey. The whole village is protected and owned by the National Trust, which looks after the village for generations to come.

Top tip: Make sure to pick up some local preserves (jams, marmalade, eggs) that are all available from the villages ‘honesty boxes’ that sit on people’s doorsteps.

See more on Lacock in our post, here.

2.) Bibury

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (8)

Nestled within the Cotswolds, Bibury is one little town that every visitor to the Cotswolds should visit. Don’t forget to visit Arlington Row, arguably one of England’s prettiest little streets.

Top tip: To avoid the crowds at Arlington Row, make sure to visit early in the morning or a little later in the evening.

See more on visiting Bibury (and Arlington Row) in our post, here.

3.) Cambridge

Returning To Grand Old Cambridge! (2)

One of England’s smallest cities, Cambridge is one place that’s easy to visit from London. Only 45 minutes by train, it’s the perfect place to unwind, see King’s College and try your hand at punting upon the cities waterways.

Top tip: Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at the Cambridge Chop House… just make sure to work up an appetite before going!

Read all latest Cambridge post, right here.

4.) Castlecombe

Exploring One Of England's Most Beautiful Villages - Castle Combe (7)

Castle Combe is a tiny little town in the country of Wiltshire. Take a stroll through the main street and discover the town’s charming houses. Don’t forget to visit Castle Combe Market that happens occasionally in the town hall… think local crafts, beautiful antiques and local produce.

Top tip: Grab a bite to eat at the local pub, a great place to try some typical English grub!

5.) Broadway

An Afternoon In The English Villages Of Broadway And Bourton-On-The-Water... The Cotswolds, England (53)

Broadway is one of the largest villages in the Cotswolds and is one stunning place to visit on a summery day. Take the day to explore the many independent shops and antiques that Broadway has become known for.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to take a short ramble up Broadway Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds.

Read our post on how to visit Broadway, right here.

6.) Warwick

Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom (4)

Warwick is a relatively small city  in between London and Birmingham. Easily reached by train whilst in the UK, it’s the perfect place to visit some of the regions beautiful history, including the medieval Lord Leicester Hospital and Warwick Castle, that is arguably one of the best castles in England.

 

Top Tip: Don’t forget to visit Charlecote Park, it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

7.) Salisbury

Stonehenge To Salisbury - The Start Of Our Great English Road Trip! (28)Salisbury is home to one of England’s most magnificent medieval cities. Visit mid-morning and discover the beautiful streets, the 14th Century town clock that sits pride of place, and the iconic Salisbury Cathedral.

Top tip: Don’t forget to partner your trip to Salisbury with a trip to the beautiful Stonehenge. It’s only 9 miles from the city itself and a perfect place to see a piece of prehistoric England.

8.) Banbury

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (31)

Banbury is one of Oxfordshire’s best little cities to discover some of the county’s quaintest sites. The whole area around the town is filled with beautiful sights to see, including Broughton Castle and Upton House.

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (32)

Top tip: Iif you’ve got time, make sure to visit the lovely Sulgrave Manor that’s close by.

9.) Watergate Bay

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (54)

Watergate Bay is nestled on the Cornish coastline a few hours west of Bristol. Easily reached by train from major cities like London, Watergate Bay is a beautiful little place that’s only a few miles from the surf capital of the UK, Newquay.

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (14)

Top tip: Make sure to stop by Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant that overlooks the beautiful coastline.

Make sure to check out the Watergate Bay Hotel, which is absolutely stunning.  See our full post on visiting Watergate Bay right here.

10.) Wood Norton

How To Plan The Perfect Weekend In The Picturesque Cotswolds, England (2)

One of the best ways to experience the charm of the Cotswold’s is to stay within the area of outstanding natural beauty itself. The Wood Norton Hotel  is close to the town of Evesham and a grade II listed building whose elegance has to be seen to be believed.

Take a look at our posts on the Wood Norton, right here.

11.) Isles of Scilly Kayaking in Bryher, Honesty Boxes and Tropical Island Hues... In Bryher Island, Isles of Scilly, UK (50)

These, almost tropical, islands are one of the England’s best-kept secrets… especially for people visiting the UK. Only 30 miles from the Cornish coast, the Silly Isles is one of England’s most lush landscapes.

Due to its location, it benefits from the hot currents of the gulf stream that keep the waters warmer and air a little hotter…. This means that many tropical plants can grow on these lush islands. Take a boat from Cornwall or a flight from Exeter or New quay to discover these absolutely stunning islands.

First Impressions Of The Isles Of Scilly... (11)

Top tip: Visit in the summer months and bask in the clear waters and sandy beaches, they’re incredible!

See our posts on visiting the Scilly Isles, right here.

12.) Bath

24 Hours In Bath, England (41)

This beautiful city is easily one of the best-preserved Roman cities in all of England.  The Roman Baths, situated right in the heart of the city still stand and can be visited to see what the city was like almost 2,000 years ago.  Whilst in the city, don’t forget to check out Bath Abbey and the gorgeous Royal Crescent.

Top tip: Make sure to stop at Sally Lunn to sample one of their delicious buns!

24 Hours In Bath, England (51)

Read all our posts on visiting England, right here.


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  • I really regret not visiting nearby cities like Cambridge when I stayed in London for 3 weeks! I could’ve done so much more. Btw, those huts (?) in Salisbury are so cute!
    – Charmaine
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, there’s always a next time! 🙂

      The huts are part of the Stonehenge site, they’re so cute aren’t they! We loved them too.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Dee

    Oh snap, I can’t believe I spent a year in UK and only visited like half of the list 🙁

    http://thejackieofalltrades.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, I wouldn’t worry… I’ve spent my whole life in the UK and only recently completed the full 12! You’re doing great, Dee! Haha! 🙂

      Lloyd xx

  • Kate Parmaku

    Lovely pictures but I am sure one of them is Burford (rather than Banbury)? Pretty either way!

  • Nisha Dalal

    Looks like an interesting bucket. I am also planning my big England trip for next year. Thanks for the suggestions! 🙂

    Nisha | http://www.andthereshegoesagain.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay, you’re going to love it, Nisha – let us know if you need any more advice or tips… always happy to help! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • You’ve made some wonderful suggestions on here 🙂 Bath is one of the very first places I visited when I moved to the UK and I loved it! Oxfordshire has such lovely country pubs. I can recommend Bourton-on-the-Water too (it’s known as the Venice of The Cotswolds).

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Bourton-on-the-Water… Yassss! It’s such an lovely place isn’t it.

      Honestly, If I didn’t live in London, I think I’d choose Bath – it’s gorgeous!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • All of these place are quite stunning. Thanks for the suggestion. I love your photograph as well.

    Travel Visa Australia

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Faye – there are some gorgeous places in Southern England isn’t there 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Okay, if you could only pick ONE of these places, which one would it be?

    I’m planning on adding all of these to my itinerary next May when I visit London. Hopefully I can hit all twelve – fingers crossed! I’ve already been to see Bibury but I’d love to go back. It was such a charming, serene place <3

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You should definitely see Bath and Cambridge… though, are you driving?

      We’re still up for the coffee if you are! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • I’m hoping to rent a car, yes. If not, I can always take the train. That’s what I usually do. I freaking LOVE your public transport. Ours in Toronto pales in comparison. To put it bluntly, our public transit system sucks ass!

        Yes, definitely! I’d love to meet you guys xx

  • Holly

    Wow Watergate Bay looks gorgeous! I was in Broadway this summer and it’s one of the most beautiful little towns in Cotswolds.

    Holly x

    http://www.ldnmuse.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So happy you like it too, Holly – the Cornish coastline is very special isn’t it. I swear, the Cotswolds just hit it out of the park with beautiful villages… How they do that!?!? haha! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • The Isles of Scilly look incredible!
    Great post guys, I love many of these places too – particularly a cream tea from Sally Lunns. ; )

    • I need to visit Scilly!

      • HandLuggageOnly

        It’s a gorgeous place to visit Sophie, especially in the summer months. You’d be fooled into thinking you’re a million miles away from Britain 🙂

        Lloyd & Yaya xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Gotta love Bath, I swear we like the same places Jamie! 🙂

      Ps – you’d love the Isles of Scilly, it’s such a beautiful place.

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • Yes! Love this post, highlights all the great things the south east has to offer xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So happy you love the places, Sophie… you’re so right, the South East has soooo much to offer. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ollie

    Banbury…..seriously?

    Ok, so you can kind of claim Broughton Castle as it’s 2 miles from Banbury, but Upton House is a good 7 miles out of Banbury.

    Ive never seen the part of Banbury the first photo is of…. would love to know where it is as it’d be nice to know Banbury can look good (rather than just smelling of coffee from the douwe egberts factory!) As for the second photo…..that’s Burford, 25 miles away. It even says so on the sign post.

    It’s a shame as the rest of the article is lovely, but Banbury is a big let down being an addition to the article. Especially as it’s surrounded by wonderful little vukages. Maybe next time try Bloxham with its cottages dating back to 800 (yes 800AD……1200 years old!) and even a street called “Unicorn Street” – I’m not joking

  • Hi Lloyd!

    Great post. We loved our time in London last summer, but we really loved getting out of the city also. We took the train out to Salisbury and toured the city center and cathedral and then it was out to Stonehenge. I fell in love with the countryside and the thatch-roofed cottages as we rode through the countryside.

    Wimbledon happened to be on while we were visiting so we couldn’t resist a short trip out for some strawberries and cream and a little champagne to wash it down.

    Beautiful photos! I’m inspired to take a look at returning and exploring some more of England.

    Cheers and safe travels,

    Carrick

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much for your kind comment, Carrick – you just made my evening. So kind, thank you!

      You’re so right… it’s an incredible region isn’t it. We love heading out in the car and just taking as much time as we want in each little town and hamlet… they really are stunning!

      Wimbledon and strawberries & cream! Yes! That’s an institution that we should always partake in! 🙂

      Lloyd 🙂

  • Courtney Mehmen

    Would April/May be too early to visit Scilly? I was thinking of starting in Edinburgh and working my way down. Wedding photographer here, so summer months are pretty hard to get off! Any thoughts? Lovely post, thank you so much!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We visited the Scilly Isles at the end of June. You can definitely visit in April or May just try not to expect summer weather. As long as your lucky to get some dry sunny days, it will be perfect… you’ll honestly love it, Courtney.

      Let us know if you need any other advice too. Always happy to help. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • The Cotswolds is where I MUST go to properly next year!

    Isobel x

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    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’ll love it, Isobel 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • These are all SO charming! The Cotswolds has been on my list since I saw the movie About Time but now I’m thinking I need to take an extended trip somehow to visit all of these!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’ll love them Rachel – it’s a reall special place! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Now that’s some real inspiration for the new year!!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhh, so glad you like them, Gemma… there’s so incredible places to see. We LOVED the Cotswolds and the Scilly Isles sooooooo much!

      Biggest hugs,
      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • I love Bibury, Bath, and Cambridge! Such beautiful places.

    Noelle
    noelleacrossthepond.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      They’re gorgeous places aren’t they, Noelle 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • they all look beautiful im having a really hard time trying to pick which one to go after stroud (visiting my friend who lives there)!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’re going to love them all – you can easily stop in a few if you’re driving. 🚙

      Lloyd & Yaya xx