The United Kingdom is full of well-known cosmopolitan cities that welcome millions of visitors every year.

There is nothing wrong with visiting the large cities, especially if it is your first time visiting the UK. However, we believe that it is worth taking some time to travel to a historic village or a town and indulge in the rich history, architecture and quient streets to explore a different side of the country.

You will get to learn about the rich history of the UK, and get mesmerised by the combination of contemporary urban, grand architecture, engage in the culture and of course, go sightseeing and have fun.

But with literally hundreds of towns to choose from, where is best to go? Let our guide help plan your perfect break.


How to Get Around

The UK has an extensive transport network, and if you are arriving from overseas you should know you can travel by road, rail or plane.

Driving provides a lot of flexibility and hiring a car is super easy online, as you can compare vehicles and book the one you love on the spot online.

Bus companies ike Megabus and National Express connect the whole country and are affordable especially if booked a few weeks inadvance. 

Trains are possibly the quickest way to get around, although prices can be high if not booked early, and sometimes services unreliable.

If you plan to travel long distances for example southern England to Scotland, you might be best flying. This is usually cheaper than trains, and much quicker than driving or getting the bus. 

Now, all you need is to find the perfect idyllic place to visit. 


1. St. Ives, Cornwall

St. Ives, Cornwall

St Ives is one of the most scenic destinations in the UK, and a really popular place to visit during summer. Located in Cornwall on the south coast of England, St Ives is famous for its surf beaches, and its art scene. 

Popular places to visit include the seafront Tate St Ives gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. A boat trip to Seal Island, just west of town, to see the seal colony is a recommended day trip. 


2. Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Stratford upon Avon old house

We will start with a pretty important and well-known place in England.

Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of the prolific and eminent poet and playwright William Shakespeare. It goes without saying that the number of sites that involve the writer and his family’s life are a lot.

You can see the actual house where Shakespeare was born and raised, the Holy Trinity church where he was baptised, married and buried and the cottage where his wife, Anne Hathaway (yes, like the actress!) used to reside.

Of course, a theatre could not be missing from the home of Shakespeare; at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre you can watch both Shakespearean and contemporary plays. 


3. Steventon, England

Jane Austin House Museum, Steventon, England

Another location which a rich literary heritage and also lesser-known even to Brits, is Steventon.

If you like literature then Steventon is a must. This is where Jane Austen was born and spent her childhood and early adulthood (when she was 26 years old, her family and she moved to Bath). You can go to the spot where she wrote some of her best novels, like Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

You will find a lime tree at the spot where the rectory in which she was used to doing all her writing was. You can still see the church where her father, George Austen, was a rector.  This is the St Nicholas church, and it hasn’t changed much since the Austens were there. 


4. Conwy, Wales

Conwy Castle, Wales

Wales is full of beautiful cities, but this little town in the north of the country will leave you speechless.

Visiting Conwy is like travelling back to medieval times with its ancient city walls, cobbled streets and pretty old buildings. There are so many things that you can do there even though it is a small town it is a great place for sightseeing.

Attractions include the Conwy Castle which is the number one sight, as the eight towers and the walls are simply impressive. Other spots that you shouldn’t miss are the Conwy Nature Reserve, the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art and the Plas Mawr. 

There are also lots of great day and longer trips from Conwy including Portmeirion, Snowdonia and Chester.


5. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Henley on Thames often gets voted one of the most beautiful towns in England, and it is one of the most exclusive places to live in the UK.

Located in the English countryside, Henley on Thames has a pretty town centre and is surrounding by acres of woods, meadows and rivers.

Henley is most famous for its links to rowing through the Henley Royal Regatta. It was first established here in 1839 because of the straight part of river known as the Henley Reach though this stretch was subsequently extended artificially.

Henley is a perfect destination for a weekend, and a great weekend break away in the UK.


Other Towns

These are more popular towns and villages to consider visiting:

  • Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • Rye, East Sussex
  • Bibury, Gloucestershire
  • Dedham, Essex
  • Richmond, North Yorkshire
  • Warwick, Warwickshire
  • Painswick, Gloucestershire
  • Alfriston, East Sussex
  • Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway
  • Clovelly, Devon
  • Burford, Oxfordshire
  • Lewes, East Sussex
  • Windsor, Berkshire
  • Lyndhurst, Hampshire
  • Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire
  • Avebury, Wiltshire
  • Whitstable, Kent
  • Shaftesbury, Dorset
  • Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
  • Cardigan, Wales
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire


Plan Your Town Break in the UK

These towns are perfect for a few hours, a few days or you could plan a road trip to take in multiple towns as part of the same trip. You will get to see some amazing places and understand why these towns are some of the most popular places to live in the UK. 

Do you have any favourite towns in the United Kingdom? Let us know.