The South Of England's 6 Prettiest Villages You Need To See
The rolling hills of the South Downs, idyllic coves, fairytale castles; the South of England is home to many a picturesque spot. Punt on the River Cherwell as it winds its way through Oxford, discover Canterbury Cathedral dating back to the third century or retrace the steps of the famous novelist Charles Dickens in Bleakhouse, Broadstairs, Kent. No matter your preferred pastime, the south is a haven for lovers of the outdoors.
With April heralding the start of spring, we've travelled from east to west to bring you our top six prettiest villages to visit for an afternoon tea.
6. Great Bookham,
As well as being home to a vibrant high street, an artisan choclaterie and picturesque country walking paths, Great Bookham is also an ideal village to visit just to see Polesden Lacey. The beautiful house and grounds are managed by the National Trust and were once the venue for the honeymoon of the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Relax and enjoy country walks, explore the regal house and enjoy homemade food in the cafe and restaurant.
Within the village itself, we'd recommend Carolina's Coffee Shop on Church Road for their one- of-a-kind vintage afternoon tea.
5. Beaulieu, Hampshire
Beaulieu is a quaint village situated on the south-eastern edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire and has remained largely unspoilt by modern infrastructure. It is home to both Palace House and the British National Motor Museum, and is a favourite destination among visitors to the New Forest and the charming Exbury Gardens.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu is also home to The Montagu Arms, in which sampling their fine, traditional afternoon tea with a twist is essential.
The beautiful village of Bibury cannot be mentioned without invoking thoughts of it's iconic ensemble of cottages, Arlington Row. One of the most photographed scenes in the Gloucestershire countryside, it is an integral part of a visit to the Cotswolds.
Situated just three miles away from Bibury sits the grand Barnsley House in Cirencester where you can enjoy a beautifully set afternoon tea. It is well worth the little diversion and you will have the opportunity to take in the sights of Cirencester.
3. Evershot, Dorset
Evershot is a beautiful, 1,100-year-old village tucked away in the county of Dorset. Seeing Evershot and it's surrounding locale is best done on foot. By far the most popular walk in Evershot, the Frome Valley Trail meanders behind Frome Terrace and will take you out to Blue Bridge, taking a couple of hours to complete.
Should you be driving through Dorset, 20 minutes away from Evershot lies Bridport where you can enjoy a light lunch out on the deck at The Bull Hotel, a 16th-century townhouse with seaside-inspired interiors.
The historic village of Alfriston is located in East Sussex and with it's sophisticated high street abound with curated boutiques, Alfriston is a top destination for stylish vacationers from the City. Visit the National Trust's Alfriston Clergy House or if you walk along the buzzing high street, make sure you visit the Wallow, a boutique store offering a menagerie of hand-picked clothing and accessories to suit all tastes.
For a more stylish afternoon tea on our list, pay a visit to Wingrove House, a recently refurbished colonial-style house dating back to the mid-19th century.
1. Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village aptly named as the ‘prettiest village in England' by many who have visited. Within Castle Combe you’ll find a Market Cross and St Andrew’s Church which dates from the 13th century. Stroll along the bridge within the village and you will not only enjoy the views but may be able to purchase homemade cakes, sweets or bunches of flowers from outside the houses of the local residents.
Castle Combe made our comprehensive list because of it’s exquisite attraction, The Manor House. The exclusive hotel and golf club, with it's pretty afternoon tea, is a welcome break after exploring the nearby area.
Let us know which villages you've visited and which you think should have made our list down below in the comments.