Eight Quintessential English Villages to Visit this Winter

Eight Quintessential English Villages to Visit this Winter

It’s probably because we’ve seen The Holiday a hundred times, but a visit to these picture-perfect pockets will give you that warm fuzzy feeling – and not just because you’re sitting too close to the pub fire.

a Sunday roast, chocolate-box English villages are
something that make us proud to be British. Come summer, their cricket
grounds ring out with the sound of a bat and ball, while village
fetes take us straight back to childhood with tombolas and coconut
shies. But there’s something about winter that brings an added
magic to the countryside. It’s probably because we’ve seen The
Holiday a hundred times, but a visit to these picture-perfect
pockets will give you that warm fuzzy feeling – and not just
because you’re sitting too close to the pub fire.


The Cotswolds

The reigning “queen of the Cotswolds” is a historic wool town
built from trademark Cotswold stone. A gorgeous church comes with a
side serving of superstition; 99 yew trees are planted in the
graveyard as legend has it that the devil would destroy the
hundredth (they have recently taken the plunge, so watch this
space). The village also claims the country’s oldest bowling green.
Borrow a pair of wellies from The Painswick Hotel and set out on an afternoon
ramble following the footpath through the cottages. Neighbouring
Paddock Farm supplies The Village Pub so settle in front of the
fire and tuck into some local grub.


The New Forest

Like a bulldog in a bowler hat, Brockenhurst screams best of
British. Wisteria-clad homes, babbling brooks and even Brockenhurst
“beach” (actually a secret local swimming spot on the Lymington
River) make it one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.
Check in to The Pig where a pottery shed has been turned
into a spa complete with tartan blankets, while an on-site forager
supplies a rotating seasonal menu. Out on the village green, the
local cricket club tend to needs an extra man, so muck in and stick
around for the cricket teas that usually fare better than their



Home to Jenson Button, the historic market town of Frome is a
delightful place to take some time out of the fast lane. Steep
hills and cobbled streets provide the backdrop for an independent
market which shuts down the town centre on the first Sunday of
every month. Rumoured to have the best scotch eggs around, The
Three Swans is a good pit stop, or head to The Talbot Inn for their
legendary sausages rolls. Sleep off your food coma at the peaceful
, where a breakfast hamper is delivered to your door in the
morning. Take it straight outside to eat in the surrounding



Three pubs, a butcher, a baker (but sadly no candlestick maker)
give this 1100-year-old village something to celebrate. They hosted
a string of bunting-festooned street parties to celebrate their
mammoth birthday, the highlight being a quilt festival where 50
handmade quilts were displayed. Just a 90-minute drive from London,
it’s a wholesome weekend getaway. Look out for the Ashwell
County Fair on August Bank Holiday Monday, featuring a sheep grand
national, tug of war and Great Ashwell bake off.

Port Isaac

North Cornwall

You might have a sense of deja vu peering upon this rugged,
Cornish charm as it was the fictional Port Wenn for Doc Martin, our
guilty Sunday night TV favourite. Leave your car on the hillside,
as the narrow streets lined with ramshackle whitewashed fisherman
houses are hard to navigate. Freshly caught crab and lobster are
sold on the harbour front each morning and can be ready on your
plate by lunchtime. Head to The Good Food Guide’s top restaurant
for 2018, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, for a seafood tasting menu
accompanied by incredible views.



Heavily romanticised by The Holiday and Bridget Jones, this
Surrey sweet spot is undeniably swoon-worthy. Wrap yourself up á la
Diaz and head to The William Bray pub, where with any luck you’ll bump
into your very own Jude Law. Failing that, get acquainted with the
wine selection in the Edwardian tavern at the neighbouring Albury
Estate. After some soul-nourishing Shere Drops (the local beer) and
a plenty of fresh air, you’ll be ready for anything on Monday

Castle Combe

The Cotswolds

With its honey-stone houses, evergreen countryside and abundance
of wild flowers, it’s no surprise that Castle Combe is known as the
prettiest village in England. A row of gabled houses rub shoulders
along the Bybrook River, completed by a Roman bridge and swans
slowly sauntering past. Sleep like royalty in a four-poster bed at
the vine-clad Castle Inn and you’ll be looking at house
prices before you know it – before rapidly recoiling.

Burnham Market


This pretty Norfolk parish is just a stone’s throw from the
coastline and brings together all the charms of a traditional
village. A parade of colourful shops seem to compete for the best
dressed windows and are stocked with local produce for the
surrounding countryside. Book a room at The Hoste – though be warned, this village’s
charms mean it has become rather popular among the Hooray Henry
brigade. The Hero in neighbouring Burnham Overy Staithe has won
awards for its top-notch food and is just a 10-minute drive from
Holkham beach, which features in the closing scene of Shakespeare
in Love.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

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