England’s Most Beautiful Villages to Explore on a Walking Holiday

St. Johns Church, Osmotherley | John Millen
St. Johns Church, Osmotherley | John Millen
England is home to some of the most charming, picture postcard villages in the United Kingdom, and perhaps even in the world. Their well looked after streets are lined with quaint pubs, idyllic stone cottages and shops selling all kinds of local craft. On your walking holidays throughout England, you suddenly step into these beautiful places that will make for a perfect break in your day. 

To help you navigate your way to England’s most beautiful villages, we have collected eight of our favourites scattered around the country, from the Cotswolds to Cornwall and Dorset to Yorkshire and everything in between. 
 

Broadway – Cotswolds 

An early evening in the streets of Broadway, Cotswolds |  <i>John Millen</i>
Reach the beautiful and picturesque town of Broadway via traditional English places such as Chipping Campden, Fish Hill and the unique Broadway Tower. The latter, offering remarkable views of the Cotswolds and interesting exhibitions of its role as an observation tower used by the ROC, plus Cotswolds’ famous artist William Morris. Broadway’s main street is lined with magnificent stone-built houses as well as some great antique shops.
    > Walk in the Cotswolds

Muker – Swaledale, North Yorkshire 

Views towards the village of Muker
The very pretty little village of Muker lays on the low-level route to Reeth. This beautiful place in England is surrounded by beautiful pastures and in town itself find a welcoming traditional pub and a wool knitting centre.
    > Walk the James Herriot Way

Grasmere – Lake District, Cumbria 

Grasmere Bridge provides a picturesque rest stop on the Coast to Coast Trail |  <i>John Millen</i>
Grasmere is one of Lakeland’s most celebrated villages. To walkers of the UK’s Coast to Coast trail, the town is the first larger village since St.Bees and can feel like a bustling metropolis, despite being relatively small. Cafes, bars and hotels line the pretty streets which are often filled with fellow walkers ending their days in the fells. Grab a pasty or an ice cream, visit the poet Wordsworth's home at Dove Cottage, and drop into Grasmere’s famous Gingerbread Shop!
    > Walk the Coast to Coast trail
 

Osmotherley – North York Moors National Park

Sign for Osmotherley |  <i>John Millen</i>
On the third day of our Cleveland Way walking holiday, you’ll start off in Sutton Bank and then follow the ancient Hambleton Cattle Drovers Road to Osmotherley. It is a walk of about 11.5miles/18.5km. The old market and mining village of Osmotherley lies on the western edge of the North York Moors and is surrounded by the whaleback Cleveland Hills and softer Hamleton Hills. The English village houses a remodelled 15th century church with 12th century Scandinavian carvings.
    > Walk the Cleveland Way
 

Whitby – Yorkshire Coast

Whitby on the Esk |  <i>John Millen</i>
This red-roofed, beautiful place on the Yorkshire Coast was once one of the most important ports in England, involved with fishing, whaling, coal export, shipbuilding and the mining of gemstone jet. Shops in the colourful streets sell jewellery made from the famous Whitby Jet, the leaves of fossilized Monkey Puzzle Trees. Whitby is also famous for its Abbey ruins and for Count Dracula (there is a Dracula Trail in town). Stroll around the old streets and visit the Captain Cook and Whitby Jet Museums. You can, in reasonable weather, take a boat ride along the coast and finish your day with a Fish ‘n Chips, claimed by some to be the best in the country!
    > Walk the Cleveland Way or St Hilda’s Way to spend time in Whitby 

Mousehole – Cornwall 

Mousehole Front |  <i>John Millen</i>
A visit to the pretty English village of Mousehole is essential before entering Penzance to finish the walking bonanza that is the South West Coast Path. Mousehole (pronounced ’Mowzl’) is a picture postcard village by the sea, with a history of pilchard fishing and today has a small artists community.
    > Walk the South Downs Way in Cornwall
 

Burford – Cotswolds 

Sweet shop jars in the pretty Cotswolds village of Burford |  <i>Matt Seymour</i>
Burford is an attractive town which you call on during our Cotswolds by Bike trip. When cycling down the scenic Windrush Valley and past Windrush village’s Norman church you’ll find Burford. It is an elegant town with its steep main street leading down to the river and was once a wealthy wool trade centre. Find 15th Century alms-houses, anitique stores, traditional pubs and welcoming country inns and you’ve got your postcard picture Cotswolds town.  
Other beautiful villages in the Cotswolds well worth your time are: Snowshill, visit the Tudor Manor with its collection of art and artefacts from all over the world; Guiting Power, nestled in the hills above a small valley, is a typical upland Cotswold village; and Bibury, described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England - and its famous row of weavers' cottages.
    > Cycle in the Cotswolds

Cerne Abbas – Dorset 

Cerne Abbas and its famous Giant, Dorset |  <i>Pete Harlow</i>
Cerne Abbas, in the Dorset Downs, is a beautiful village with a ruined abbey and the famous Cerne Abbas Giant carved in the chalk hillside. It is one of the largest hill figures in Britain and was first written about in 1751 in a letter by John Hutchins. In the beautiful village of Cerne Abbas itself you can visit the Abbey Tower ruins, St Augustine's Well and the Tithe Barn, reputedly the scene of Sergeant Troy's revels in 'Far From the Madding  Crowd'. You’ll also find a good place for afternoon tea in Long street, just before Duck Street. 
    > Walk the Dorset & Wessex Trails
 
 

What is your favourite village in England? Have you visited during a walking holiday in the UK? 
Which of England's most beautiful villages would you still like to visit? 

Let us know in the comments below! 

England, Untied Kingdom

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