Great Britain is an ancient kingdom boasting a mythical and medieval history and idyllic pastoral landscapes. Here we are lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most picturesque countryside locations in the world. We have picked one exemplary rural paradise from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so here is a guide to four of the most beautiful, rural and historical villages in the UK.
Located in the picturesque Cotswolds, Castle Combe was voted the most beautiful village in England in 1961, and since then not much has changed. Alongside its flowing streams and charming stone cottages are some beautiful historical buildings. Visitors should check out the Dower House and the White Hart as well as the 13th century church. Even the likes of top Hollywood producers have flocked to the idyllic village for its beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings. Films such as the 1967 musical version of Doctor Doolittle and recent blockbusters Stardust and War Horse haveall been filmed in Castle Combe.
Due to its mountainous fairy-tale scenery, North Wales is home to some of the most picturesque villages in Britain. Betws-y-Coed is tucked away in a rocky valley of Snowdonia National Park, and is a model of pastoral charm. It has become a honeypot location for tourists, with numerous cafes and attractions springing up over the years. Aside from those wanting a peaceful getaway the village also attracts adventurous types due to its mountainous landscape, which is great for canyoning and rock climbing.
Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland
One of the older towns in the list, Tobermory was founded in the early 1700’s as a fishing port. However in that time it has managed to build itself a nice little history and amass a few local legends. One of these such legends is that the gold laden wreck of a Spanish galleon lies buried beneath Tobermory Bay.
In World War II the village was home to a Royal Navy training base, on which the biographical novel Terror of Tobermory is based. Tobermory’s colourful waterfront is famous and widely recognised since the village was used as the setting for popular children’s television programme Balamory. In spite of its stardom, the colourful fishing village maintains a population of only 700.
Glenarm, Northern Ireland
Some historians suspect that eastern coastal village of Glenarmis possibly the oldest village in Ireland, which is remarkable considering the island’s rich ancient history and mythical beginnings. There are records of this seaside haven dating back as far as 5 AD. The name Glenarm translates in Gaelic to “valley of the army” and throughout its long history the village has acted as a power base for multiple Irish warlords, and has housed a Norman stronghold and a central sea port.
The village boasts its own ancient Palladian castle, which was the family home of the Earls of Antrim for 400 years. The castle’s 18th century blooming walled garden is definitely worth a visit in the summertime. It also has a small forest, its own river, a restored harbour and a modern marina. Now a conservation area, Glenarm is ideally located only 40 minutes from Belfast, with breathtaking coastal walks and a thriving salmon industry.
If you’re searching for a countryside break or looking to relocate, take a look at our outdoor country clothing options.