Weymouth, Dorset, England
The seaside town of Weymouth is perfectly situated in the middle of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO Heritage-listed stretch of coastline where many of the craggy cliffs date from the (you guessed it) Jurassic Era.
Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Just around the corner from the stunning Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-rederope bridge, Ballintoy is a harbor town known for its unobstructed views of the sea, an elegant white church perched on a hill above the village, and—more recently—for being a filming location on Game of Throne.
Bakewell, Derbyshire, England
A market town located on the River Wye, Bakewell is known as much for its rolling hills as for its desserts: the Bakewell pudding and Bakewell tart (both variations of a flaky pastry filled with sweet jam and almond paste) both supposedly have their origins here.
Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England
Just south of the Scottish border, it’s easy to see why Scotland and England fought for ownership of this picturesque town for so long. Situated at the mouth of the River Tweed, Berwick is home to several gorgeous bridges that make it easy to explore by foot—and take great panoramic photos of the Medieval walls that surround the town.
Rye, East Sussex, England
An important shipping center since Roman times, on an enormous embayment of the English Channel, the Camber Sands, Rye was once entirely surrounded by sea. The best views of the hodge-podge of medieval terracotta roofs and and timbered walls are from St. Mary’s Parish Church tower or the Ypres Tower, the two oldest buildings in town. If you’re visiting in early Spring, don’t miss the annual Bay Scallop Week. Rye is scenic two hour train journey from London St. Pancras International, making it an easy day trip.
Crail, Fife, Scotland
The historic village of Crail is tucked along the Scottish coast. Although it’s about an hour and a half away from Edinburgh, Crail feels like it’s lost in time, with fishermen setting out to sea in the morning and returning home along the cobblestone streets at night. Originally settled around the year 800, many of the town’s most beloved buildings, such as the stone tollbooth, date from the 16th century.
Burford, Oxfordshire, England
If you imagined what a typical English village might look like, odds are good that you’d conjure up something like Burford, with its rows of yellow limestone houses and tree-lined streets. Located in the Cotswolds, the town’s church is built over the ruins of a Roman villa (you can still see some fragments of tile mosaics).
Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, England
Known for its bucolic lakeside setting, charming architecture, and The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction (less kitschy than it sounds—with a delightful garden), this Lake District town became a bonafide hit for travelers in the nineteenth-century with a railway extension from Kendal. England’s largest lake contains 14 islands to explore in a plethora of water craft.
Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales
Few would expect to find an Italianate Village in North Wales, but here it is. Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, this fanciful creation makes for a near-psychedelic getaway (Noël Coward wrote Blithe Spirit while staying in one of the “town’s” on-site suites). Extensive gardens burst with rhododendrons, azalea, and camellia in spring, Douglas Firs and Coast Redwoods provide summer shade, and exotic Gingko Biloba trees blaze as golden as the sun in autumn.
Whitby, North Yorkshire, England
A picturesque Middle Ages fishing port on the wild heritage coastline of east Yorkshire (don’t miss a visit to the spooky ruins of Whitby Abbey at East Cliff), pick up some Whitby Jet jewelry (mined in the nearby moors and treasured by Romans and Victorians alike), and don’t be surprised to stumble upon crowds of subculture types attending the bi-annual Whitby Goth Weekend. Of note: Caedmon, a monk during the Abbey’s heyday, is the world’s first known Anglo Saxon poet.
Source from CONDE NAST TRAVELER.