Villages

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ALNMOUTH

Alnmouth is a picturesque and interesting coastal resort, as its name suggests located at the mouth of the River Aln. It boasts sandy beaches, one of the oldest golf courses in Britain, a small museum and plenty of places to eat and drink. It was once a bustling port and a particular focal point for the export of local grain and the import of timber. For a time, it was an importer of guano. Shifting sands influenced its fortunes and a violent storm of 1806 not only also destroyed its church, but also changed the course of the river – and the fortunes of the port – forever.

Many of the old buildings associated with Alnmouth’s past are preserved, converted to houses. It is on the edge of an area of outstanding natural beauty, but also has one of the biggest collections of WW2 tank traps you will ever see, strung along the shoreline, many of them partially buried in the sands.

Region/Nation
County
Northumberland
Post Code
NE66 3NH
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Great location. Alnwick Castle, Warworth and Craster all nearby.
Primary Management
Local Authority
Arnside, Cumbria

Arnside was a tiny fishing village until it grew as a holiday destination in Victorian times. It is located on the estuary of the River Kent on the north-eastern corner of Morecambe Bay, within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is predominantly residential. There's a small pier, a collection of shops and cafes, a couple of pubs and easy walks along a modest promenade with lovely views of the Cumbrian mountains. The tides at Arnside go out a long way, and turn very quickly creating a tidal bore when the water floods back. It is also highly dangerous to venture onto the sands. Nearby Arnside Knott, a limestone hill, provides woodland and open hillside walks and is famous for its views over Morecambe Bay - and its butterflies and flowers. On the Silverdale side of Arnside Knott is Arnside Tower, a Pele tower built as a defence against border (Scottish) raiders. The railway (Furness Line) between Lancaster and Carlisle via Barrow-in-Furness crosses the River Kent via the Arnside viaduct.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arnside
County
Cumbria
Post Code
LA5 0HE
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Arnside Knott, Levens Hall, Carnforth, Kendal
Primary Management
Local Authority
ASHBY ST LEDGERS

Very small, attractive, village between Daventry and Rugby. The Jacobean manor was owned by the Catesby family and the gatehouse is famous for being the place where the Gunpowder Plot was planned (neither the gatehouse nor the manor is open to the public). There is a wonderful medieval church, dedicated to St Leodegarius, a pub (the Olde Coach House) and a series of estate workers' cottages designed by Lutyens.

NB Warning notice that village website may be hacked, hence the link has not been included here.

Region/Nation
County
Northamptonshire
Post Code
CV23 8UN
Main Historic Period
All
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Off the A361 between Kilsby and Daventry
Primary Management
Local Authority
BAMBURGH

Bamburgh is most famous for its castle. Fortified since ancient times, it perches on a massive, 180-foot (55 metres) high lump of basalt and is one of Northumbria’s most iconic images. But Bamburgh is an attractive little village in its own right, with plenty of watering holes, the RNLI Grace Darling Museum and the Church of St Aiden. The beach is simply wonderful and, if not always warm enough for bathing, it is lovely to walk along it, paddling as you go, or have a quick kick-about with the kids.

Region/Nation
County
Northumberland
Post Code
NE69 7DF
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Lindisfarne
Primary Management
Local Authority
The Rebel Tree in Clifton

The Battle of Clifton Moor took place on 18 December 1745 and was, many believe, the last battle on English soil. It depends on your definition of ‘battle’. The rumpus at Clifton Moor was more of a skirmish and formed part of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which culminated in the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The rebel Jacobite army was retreating from Derby and its rearguard met up with an advance part of the Government army that was in pursuit. 10 Government troops were killed and 12 rebels. The action delayed the Government force and facilitated the Jacobite retreat. There are a number of points of interest in the village of Clifton. Firstly, the Rebel Tree in the south part of the village marks the possible site of the fighting and is the traditional burial place of the Jacobites. There is a small plaque underneath the tree which, until fairly recently, was surrounded by fields; it is now surrounded by a small residential estate. Across the road, opposite the George and Dragon pub, is the Kelter Well – an old village well where someone has placed another memorial plaque to the battle. A memorial stone in St Cuthbert’s churchyard (north end of the village) marks the burial place of the Government soldiers. The cottage where the Duke of Cumberland spent the night is still there.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Clifton
County
Cumbria
Post Code
CA10 2ER
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Tip/Nearby
St Cuthbert's Church and Clifton Hall, both in the village. Eamont Bridge has prehistoric remains. Brougham Castle and Penrith nearby also.
Primary Management
Local Authority
BIBURY

The Cotswold village of Bibury on the River Coln is lovely, has been around since at least Saxon times and was described by William Morris as “The most beautiful village in England”. It is much-visited by tourists, much photographed and particularly known for a row of cottages called Arlington Row – which has featured in movies.  Arlington Row was built as a wool store by monks in the 14th century and was converted into weavers’ cottages in the 17th century.  One, No 9, is owned by the National Trust and is available for holiday bookings.  An area of marshy water meadow close to Arlington Row was known as ‘Rack Isle’ and was where wool was hung on racks after being washed.  These days, it’s a nature reserve.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Cirencester
County
Gloucestershire
Post Code
GL7 5NP
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Other Cotswold villages and attractions, including the Cotswold Wildlife Park
Primary Management
Local Authority
Blakeney

In the Middle Ages, the small village of Blakeney was a thriving port handling exotic products like spices. Silting of the harbour changed its fortunes and it’s now an attractive tourist destination and a good base for exploring north Norfolk. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Norfolk Coastal Path passes through the village and the whole area is a magnet for walkers and wildlife lovers. The harbour and surrounding marshes are owned by the National Trust and is a nature reserve. Within the village are the remains of the medieval Blakeney Guildhall, the twin-towered medieval St Nicholas church as well as pubs and restaurants. The largest seal colony in England can be visited by boat to Blakeney Point, which (with restrictions to protect wildlife) can also be walked to from nearby Cley-next-the-Sea. Samphire is grown on the point and, as well as seals, ringed plovers, oystercatchers, brent geese and common teal can also be spotted.

Region/Nation
County
Norfolk
Post Code
NR25 7NE
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Nature reserve, seal spotting, Holkham Hall, Castle Acre...
Primary Management
Local Authority
BONCHURCH

Bonchurch is an intriguing small Isle of Wight village east of Ventnor, and one of the oldest settlements on the Island, with prehistoric and Roman roots. It is situated on a stable former landslip, with small steep, wooded, hills, stepped paths and attractive Victorian houses. The alluring village pond is fed by a spring, which is believed to have been the reason for the original settlement. It is known for the old church of St Boniface, who traditionally preached nearby in the 8th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Survey as ‘Bonecerce’. The Battle of Bonchurch was fought in July 1545 when 500 French soldiers landed as part of a French invasion and were decisively beaten by the local Isle of Wight militia. In the 19th century, Bonchurch became a fashionable place, welcoming such visitors as Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle and Thomas Macaulay. The poet Algernon Charles Swinburne spent his boyhood in the village, at East Dene house, and is buried in the churchyard of St Boniface New Church.

Location/Address
Nr Ventnor
County
Isle of Wight
Post Code
PO38 1RG
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
South coast of IOW between Shanklin and Ventnor
Primary Management
Local Authority
BOSCASTLE

Picturesque ancient Boscastle perches on the side of a small valley in north Cornwall. It is possibly best known for its long narrow harbour, a natural inlet at the mouth of the River Valency, protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584 by Sir Richard Grenville. It is packed with history, from the remains of the castle that gives it its name – Boterelescastel (1302), to its old fishermen’s cottages. It has an industrial past, but is now a destination for tourists who come for its potteries, art galleries, the Museum of Witchcraft, views – and walking; the South West Coastal Path runs through Boscastle. It has associations with Thomas Hardy, who met his first wife, Emma Gifford, while working as an architect on the nearby church of St Juliot. Boscastle is ‘Castle Boterel’ in his 1873 novel, ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’. Beneath Penally Point is a blow-hole known as the Devil's Bellows, which sometimes blows a horizontal spout of water halfway across the harbour entrance.

Severe flash floods in 2004, and to a lesser extent in 2007, turned roads into gushing torrents and caused considerable damage.

Most of the land is owned by the National Trust.

Region/Nation
County
Cornwall
Post Code
PD35 0HD
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Saint Nectan’s Glen, Crackington Haven, Tintagel.
Primary Management
National Trust
BOSHAM

Bosham is a small, attractive, village on the side of an inlet in Chichester Harbour and beloved of yachtspeople. It is an ancient place, and apparently the (contested) location for King Cnut's encounter with the waves. His daughter is allegedly buried in the lovely church.  Nice place to watch the world go by, there is also a craft centre, tea shops and a couple of nice pubs. Beware rising tides and be careful where you park.

Situated off the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Near Chichester
County
West Sussex
Post Code
PO18 8HX
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Chichester. The foreshore gets flooded at high tide - best not leave your car there.
Primary Management
Local Authority

This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022. 

Entries have links for further information, such as opening times and entry fees.

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