UK’s most picturesque villages

Coastal, Rural

Plockton, Scotland SSP FEATURED

Forget about Santorini in Greece, Positano in Italy or Banff in Canada – they haven’t got anything on the UK’s most picturesque villages.

OK, so we may be biased. But whether they’re lined with quaint chocolate-box cottages or backed by spectacular forests, UK villages can be truly stunning.

Don’t believe us? We’ve listed our top 10 favourites below.

If you want to make the most of a trip to one of these incredible places, our holiday cottages are equally as beautiful. Click here to see our full collection.

Bibury, Cotswolds

Bibury in the Cotswolds

Bibury was once described by William Morris as “the most beautiful village in England” and it’s easy to see why. The typical Cotswolds village is home to Arlington Row, one of the most photographed locations in the country, if not the world. This area was also featured on a Christmas postage stamp set by Royal Mail, testament to its ‘picture-postcard’ appeal.

Where to stay?

Earl Grey Cottage, Bibury

Set in the heart of the Coln Valley with views across the rolling countryside, this beautifully finished hayloft is perfect for a romantic escape to explore some of the area’s quintessential Cotswold villages.

Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro harbour in Cornwall

Polperro is a peaceful fishing village in Cornwall with a charming harbour and sparkling crystal water. Adorned with lovely cottages and with its prime location by the sea, it’s easy to see why Polperro is so special. Enjoy wandering through the winding traffic-free streets, explore the village’s former smuggling history or simply soak up the unbeatable views of the Cornish coastline.

Where to stay?

Four Seasons, Polperro

This stylish and spacious barn conversion is situated on a tranquil farm close to Polperro. With on-site leisure facilities and a children’s playground, this is a superb choice for families.

Burnsall, Yorkshire

Burnsall in Yorkshire

Burnsall is a pretty village in Lower Wharfedale, near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales. Set beside an ancient packhorse bridge over the windy River Wharfe, and with a spectacular fellside backdrop, Burnsall is a truly picturesque village. The 84-mile Dales Way passed through the village centre, making it a destination for walkers from around the world.

Where to stay?

Coopers Cottage, Skipton

Enjoy the best of both worlds at this exquisite cottage full of special touches. Set in the prosperous and thriving market town of Skipton with its award-winning high street, the cottage is only 10 miles from Burnsall making it a great location for a day trip in the countryside.

Cartmel, Lake District

Cartmel in the Lake District

The unspoilt village of Cartmel is steeped in history, with its most famous landmark its 12th-century priory. But most tourists head straight to the village shop which has become the spiritual home of the sticky toffee pudding. Cartmel is fast becoming a foodie destination, thanks also to its coffee and award-winning sheep’s cheese.

Where to stay?

Priory Close House, Cartmel

Located opposite Cartmel’s imposing Normal priory, this beautiful five-star property offers chic and spacious accommodation for ten guests.

Clovelly, North Devon

Clovelly village in North Devon

With white cottages lining the cobbled streets, and the only traffic jams coming from donkeys and sleds, the timeless coastal village of Clovelly is truly unique. Take the 400ft cliff path leading down to the sparkling harbour where the fishing industry is still thriving. Surrounded by stunning countryside too, it’s no wonder Clovelly is one of the UK’s prettiest villages.

Where to stay?

House Martin At The Retreat, Clovelly

One of three converted barns with delightful countryside and far-reaching sea views, this property is just 2.5 miles from Clovelly. The private hot tub is the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring the beautiful Devon coastline.

Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in Scotland

Okay, so it’s technically a town, but Tobermory is too pretty not to include. The bustling harbour is dotted with buildings painted every colour under the sun – some of which you may recognise from the children’s programme Balamory. The town is home to eclectic shops and restaurants while the island itself is a prime destination for wildlife watching.

Where to stay?

Whitewash Cottage, Isle of Seil

This beautifully presented cottage offers an ideal base for those looking to explore the local area and further afield. Take a boat from Oban through the Sound of Mull and past Tobermory.

Lynmouth, Devon

Lynmouth in North Devon

Backed by lush green trees and hills, Lynmouth – along with its twin village Lynton – is often called ‘little Switzerland’ due to its evocative hillside location. Lynmouth is nestled in a deep valley where Exmoor meets the sea and has a rich maritime heritage as well as independent shops and pubs. Its peace and tranquillity truly must be felt to be believed.  

Where to stay?

The Hoe Cottage, Lynton

This stunning lodge-style house – part of our exclusive Joules collection – offers breathtaking cliff-top views and is just a short stroll from Lynton village. With a wine cellar and pizza oven it’s a perfect destination for a relaxing holiday. Take the Victorian cliff railway down the hill to explore Lynmouth.

Stromness, Orkney, Scotland

Stromness on the Isle of Orkney in Scotland

The charming old stone town of Stromness can be found on The Mainland in the Orkney archipelago. While the seaport has been unchanged for centuries, the town is refreshingly cosmopolitan. Artists and writers have long found inspiration in the narrow streets and the town’s abundance of crafts, textiles, jewellery and galleries are testament to their creativity.

Where to stay?

Lower Midgarth, Orkney

This unique detached cottage is set in 2.5 acres with panoramic sea and countryside views, and also offers a separate dwelling. Across the island from Stromness, it’s a perfect base to explore all that The Mainland has to offer.

Plockton, Scotland

Plockton in the Highlands of Scotland

Often called the ‘jewel of the Highlands’, Plockton has a spectacular waterfront setting overlooking the glistening Loch Carron. Within a sheltered bay lined by charming white cottages, the village has a dramatic backdrop provided by the distinctive craggy hills of the Highlands.

Where to stay?

Victoria Cottage, Shieldaig

Ideally situated on the seafront, this traditional fisherman's cottage sits at the heart of a picturesque village and enjoys wonderful views of the loch, coast and surrounding mountains. Plockton is 33 miles away – perfect for a day trip.

Portmeirion, Wales

portmeirion in North Wales

The quirky and enchanting private village of Portmeirion was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village, with the aim of demonstrating how a natural site can be developed without destroying it. Safe to say, its abundance of natural beauty and sympathetically developed architecture makes Portmeirion a unique and beautiful place to visit.

Where to stay?

Black Lake Cottage, Porthmadog

This period property boasts a hot tub, a games room and a large garden in an idyllic countryside setting close to Porthmadog. It’s the perfect retreat for friends and family to relax or be active in Snowdonia National Park, with Portmeirion only 8 miles away.

If you're looking for even more inspiration for where to go on your next UK holiday, check out these posts for even more wonderful places to visit:

Posted by Ruth on 11th April 2019