Europe

Road Trip: Superb Small Towns in the United Kingdom

As per the usual scenario, our modus operandi at HotelClub is to let you, the traveller, off the hook with as little work, fuss, muss and research as possible. Our rundown of the most picture postcard perfect hamlets in the United Kingdom is a good example. With this stellar list your itinerary is done. All you need is a set of wheels and a lot of open road to make those Downtown Abbey dreams come to life.

Cotswolds countryside – Photo credit

Sherborne, Dorset

A castle, medieval streets and two – not one – abbeys punctuate this Dorset darling.

Where to stay: Best Western Hotel Prince Regent Weymouth

Marlborough, Wiltshire

A marvel of a market town on Old Bath Road between London and UNESCO World Heritage Bath.

Where to stay: Barcelo Combe Grove Manor Hotel Bath

Bath City Guide

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Once part of medieval Rockingham Forest, Market Harborough is well worth the short half hour drive from Leicester.

Where to stay: Stapleford Park Country House Hotel & Sporting Estate Leicestershire

Leicester City Guide

Framlingham, Suffolk

Locals call it the “Fram” but we call it “Framtastic”.

Where to stay: Lattice Lodge Guest House Ipswich

Ipswich City Guide

Louth, Lincolnshire

Louth it and love it, it is uncouth to pass this market town in East Lindsey by.

Where to stay: Campanile Hotel Hull

Hull City Guide

Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

The most exquisite town on the River Nidd is just outside of Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

Where to stay: Rudding Park Hotel & Golf Harrogate

Harrogate City Guide

Sedbergh, Cumbria

Set your nav system for Sedbergh – the wee town in Yorkshire Dales National Park will not disappoint.

Where to stay: Burn How Garden House Hotel Windermere

Lake District Guide

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

A mere 4 km from Scotland, Berwick-upon-Tweed puts the north in Northumberland.

Where to stay: Howard Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh City Guide

Hereford, Herefordshire

Wherefore let us be grateful for Hereford. The cathedral and county town of 55,000 is gorgeous.

Where to stay: Pengethley Manor Hotel Ross-on-Wye

Beverley, East Yorkshire

The county town of East Yorkshire is old. Both the original Beverley Minster and Beverley Grammar School date back to 700.

Where to stay: Best Western The Lairgate Hotel Beverley

Presteigne, Powys

No less a reputable authority than Clive Aslet considers Presteigne, “Gateway to Wales”, one of the top small towns in Britain.

Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Hotel Birmingham

Birmingham City Guide

Whitby, North Yorkshire

Seaside charm and a Grade I Benedictine abbey make Whitby a win-win.

Where to stay: Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough

Inveraray, Argyll

Inveraray, a fine royal burgh on Loch Fyne, is a road trip lock.

Where to stay: The Argyll Hotel Inveraray

Ramsgate, Kent

One of the most venerable Victorian-era seaside resort towns, Ramsgate still has pull.

Where to stay: Holiday Inn Express Ramsgate Minster Hotel

Elgin, Morayshire

Elgin proves yet once more that a good cathedral city and royal burgh is hard to eclipse in the photogenic arena. On the River Lossie, 105 km northwest of Aberdeen.

Where to stay: Eight Acres Hotel & Leisure Club Elgin

Scarva, County Down

Some 50 km from Belfast, Scarva (pop. 320) won Northern Ireland’s Best Kept award in 2010.

Where to stay: Ten Square Hotel Belfast

Belfast City Guide

Clovelly, Devon

Clovelly is lovely and a popular summer tourist target in Torridge, Devon.

Where to stay: Buckerell Lodge Hotel Exeter

Exeter City Guide

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Just as fun to visit as to say, Chipping Campden was once home to Graham Greene for a few years.

Where to stay: Cotswold House Hotel

Betws-y-Coed, Conwy County

You may butcher the pronunciation but nevermind: Betws-y-Coed is painfully picturwelshque.

Where to stay: The Royal Oak Hotel Betws-y-Coed

Burford, Oxfordshire

No trip to UNESCO World Heritage Oxford is complete without a few side trips within the county. Beautiful Burford is 33 km to the west.

Where to stay: Macdonald Randolph Hotel & Spa Oxford

Oxford City Guide

3 Comments for "Road Trip: Superb Small Towns in the United Kingdom"

David Todd says on January 15th, 2012 at 7:18 am:

Good list of towns but it is missing my favourite: Ludlow in Shropshire. I think that would be on many lists.

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