Villages

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Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

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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
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
BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER


Bourton-on-the-Water, known as ‘the Venice of the Cotswolds’ is a large village with an extremely attractive and much-photographed centre. The shallow River Windrush flows alongside the High Street, which is flanked by attractive buildings constructed from honey-coloured Cotswold limestone. Across the river are five picturesque bridges, dating from 1654 to 1911. Children paddle in the river among the ducks, all around are tempting shops, cafes and restaurants. A football match takes place every year in the river, on August Bank Holiday. The village is also famous for its model village and motor museum.

Region/Nation
County
Gloucester
Post Code
GL54 2BU
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Lower Slaughter, Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold
Primary Management
Local Authority
BRIGHTLING

Brightling is a tiny village in the Weald, surrounded by lovely countryside and other tiny villages. There are two reasons you might want to visit. Firstly, it has an attractive church, dedicated to St Thomas à Becket, which was actually mentioned in the Domesday survey.  So, given that Thomas was murdered in 1170, the church was obviously originally dedicated to someone else, possibly St Nicholas.  The current building dates from the 13th century and among its features are some good brasses, 17th century wall paintings (biblical texts) and a rare barrel organ.  The second reason to visit Brightling is to see the large stone pyramid in the churchyard.  This was built as a mausoleum for John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller (1757-1834), the local squire.  Fuller was an eccentric, drunk, Member of Parliament, plantation and slave owner, philanthropist, patron of the arts and science (he supported JMW Turner and Michael Faraday) and builder of follies.  Local legend was that he had been buried in his pyramid seated at a table in full evening dress with a bottle of claret but, sadly, that was shown to be untrue.  Among his other structures are a ‘temple’ in the grounds of his house, Rosehill (now Brightling Park) next door to the church, an observatory (now a private residence), an obelisk on a local hilltop, ‘sugar loaf’ (no idea, sorry) and a tower – which is easily accessible a short walk across fields south-east of the church.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
The Street
Brightling
County
East Sussex
Post Code
TN32 5HH
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Tip/Nearby
Bateman's, Bodiam
Primary Management
Local Authority
CHIDING STONE

The Chiding Stone is a block of smooth sandstone which allegedly (but probably not) gives the village of Chiddingstone in Kent its name and which has a mysterious past. One story is that it was used as a place of judgement in ancient times - hence 'chiding stone'. The village is a peach - most of the buildings are owned by the National Trust and are over 200 years old.

Chiddingstone is located on a minor road between Edenbridge and Tonbridge; the River Eden flows just to the north.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Chiddingstone
Nr Edenbridge
County
Kent
Post Code
TN8 7AH
Main Historic Period
Prehistory
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Chiddingstone Castle, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle
Primary Management
National Trust
CLOVELLY

The picturesque and very unusual village of Clovelly, with its distinctly Celtic-sounding name, is situated on Devon’s beautiful north coast.  A little frozen in time, with most of its buildings listed, it has been in private ownership since the time of Elizabeth I and home to the Rous family for over 400 years. A charge is payable for visitor access.  The village is still a working fishing port, clinging to a 400 foot cliff overlooking Bideford Bay. There has been no motorised vehicular access to its steep, cobbled, street since the 1920’s – just donkeys and sledges.   These days, donkeys are used to give children rides – all goods are moved using man-powered sledges.  Access to the village is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Region/Nation
County
Devon
Post Code
EX39 5TA
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Bideford, Hartland Heritage Coast
Primary Management
Private - open to the public

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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