I stopped at so many cute villages on my Great Britain road trip adventure, and I loved them so much that I wanted to share my favorites with you. Below you’ll find eight villages in England and Scotland that you should stop at while traveling through Great Britain.
Check out some of the other posts from my England and Scotland adventure:
Windsor, Berkshire, England
I’ve been to Windsor a few times on trips to London prior, but this was the first time I stayed in the village for a few days. If you’re in London, I highly recommend taking some time to drive or take the train to Windsor. It’s a cute little town with royal connections and history. I loved just walking around and taking in all the scenic spots around town.
You can also read my day trip to Windsor post for more info on things to do and where to stay.
Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
This old medieval market town is just a two-hour train ride from London. It makes for a good day trip if you’re looking for a small village shopping experience. If you’re a theatre buff, Stratford is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, so you can see where he lived and take in a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company. They perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre, located in the village along the River Avon.
My favorite part about Stratford was the old wattle and daub-Elizabethan buildings and homes scattered around town. It made you feel like you were stepping back in time as you explored the village.
York, North Yorkshire, England
Did you know that York is one of England’s most visited cities outside of London? I had never been to the village, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by all the cute shops and cobblestone alleyways in Shambles Market. And the Gothic cathedral of York Minster was a must-see.
In certain spots, it felt like you were inside a Harry Potter movie as you walked around Shambles Market.
Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, England
Just before Scotland, you should make a stop at Heddon-on-the Wall. It’s a tiny but famous village built by Hadrian’s Wall. The stone fence was built to keep the “barbarian” Scottish of the north from entering England. Or, at least, that’s what the Romans were hoping.
It was fun to stop at Hadrian’s Wall and learn more about that part of the country’s history. After visiting Hadrian’s Wall, walk into the village and stop at a little pub called Three Tuns for soup, sandwiches, and ale for lunch.
Gretna Green, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Near the Scottish and English border, Gretna Green is a parish that has a small town square with white and black buildings that you can explore. It’s a great spot to find last-minute Scottish gifts, food, and clothing before leaving the country. I bought a checkered cashmere Scottish scarf while there, as I wanted something to remind me of my trip to Scotland.
Grasmere, Cumbria, England
Grasmere was by far my favorite place to visit. It’s an idyllic village set in The Lake District National Park with everything I was hoping for in a little English village. From cute shops and cobblestone streets, surrounded by beautiful fells, a lake, and a babbling river.
I only spent a few hours in the village, but that was enough time to tell me that I should visit again. There’s so much to do in the Grasmere and the surrounding area, with other cute villages nearby to explore. And lots of hiking options!
You can read more about my stop in the village of Grasmere for more info on things to do and where to stay.
Ludlow, Shropshire, England
Near the Welsh border and perched on the River Teme, Ludlow is another cute village to make a stop up while exploring the English countryside. It’s a market town nestled in a designated Area of Natural Beauty with shops and restaurants to explore, along with great options for nature lovers, hikers, and cyclists.
The city square has a small market where merchants set up each morning with their wares, so that was another fun thing to do while in Ludlow. And similar to Stratford-Upon-Avon, it also has a lot of Elizabethan-styled buildings and homes that I loved seeing.
Bath, Somerset, England
Last on the list is Bath. I love visiting every time I am in London as I think it’s such a pretty little village nestled along the River Avon, with beautiful architecture, a lovely bridge over the river, and of course the famous Roman Baths.
The preservation of the Roman Baths is fascinating, so it’s a must-see while visiting the village. There are also cute and upscale shops and restaurants to check out, which makes Bath a great day trip option if you’re staying in London.
I hope this little list of eight villages helps put a few destinations on your map as you’re planning for your English countryside road trip. I’d love to go back and discover more villages to add to the list, especially in the Lake District and The Cotswolds.
What English village did I miss? Share your favorite spots in the comments below.
Let’s go places,
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