In the new Feb/March 2017 issue of Discover Britain – out today – we celebrate England’s prettiest villages but whittling down the list of candidates was tough, so here are a few more beautiful British villages which should be on your must-see list.
With its higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets, Staithes has the air of a place lost in time. Once one of the largest fishing ports on the North East coast with its own delightful sandy beach, this hamlet is now a great base for exploring Yorkshire’s clifftop paths.
Porthdinllaen, Llyn peninsula, Wales
With its clear waters and stone houses, Porthdinllaen is a little-known jewel. Now in the care of the National Trust, here you can relax and watch the fishermen bring in their catches before heading the Tŷ Coch Inn for a cosy tipple, all with glorious views of Snowdonia.
A quaint harbour village full of narrow wynds, Crail’s cobbled streets are packed with charm and its eastern location offers an air of seclusion for those looking to get away from it all. Explore Crail’s ancient history – it was well settled by the 800s, was a thriving town by the 1100s, and was made a royal burgh by Robert the Bruce in 1310.
Castle Combe, North Wiltshire
Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village often named as the ‘prettiest village in England’ in the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north west Wiltshire. It is made up of beautiful honey-coloured stone and has everything you might want from a Cotswold village – a 13th-century church, cosy pubs and hotels, and warm English atmosphere.
The cottages of this unspoilt fishing village in Cornwall cling to slopes and offer spectacular views of land and sea, so it no wonder it has become an artist’s paradise. Polperro also offers plenty of places to eat, and local galleries dot the village selling work by local artists. There’s also an arts and music festival in June, which includes the crowning of the mock mayor and parades through the narrow streets.
Portmeirion was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976. He wanted to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. And, despite being nestled on the Welsh coast, its iconic architecture is Italian in style, giving an otherworldly feel. With its scenic surroundings and vast woodland gardens, Portmeirion is home to quirky cottages which are available to rent, as well as a spa and award-winning restaurants.