Summer 2021 may be the perfect time to embark on a pretty English staycation. We may not be able to jet off to the golden coasts of Spain or Greece this year but, there are plenty of beautiful English villages and towns that will definitely make up for it. Although located in the same country, these gorgeous corners of Britain are the perfect place to escape your everyday life and relax amongst the very best that this part of Europe has to offer. If you are in need of some staycation inspiration, here are 7 quaint English villages and towns that you need to see.
Dartmouth is a picturesque British town located along the tranquil River Dart which has been labelled as an area of outstanding beauty. If you are interested in history, you won’t be disappointed by the town’s rich past and admiration for local tradition. Dartmouth is a market town which means that there is plenty on offer if you are looking for a weekend of shopping and exploring local businesses.
Dartmouth is also a great place for water sports. Visitors are able to hire boats, kayaks or paddle boards at a range of local beaches so that you can see this beautiful area from a completely new perspective. As a river town, the water around Dartmouth is calm which makes it the perfect destination for learning a new water sport and enjoying hot days in the blue waters.
Just a 45-minute drive from Bath, Wells is the perfect location for a short getaway. This small city is known for its medieval roots, having a wealth of immaculate historic buildings, including the renowned Wells Cathedral. With its grand, Gothic architecture, you’ll be forgiven for mistaking the interior for something a part of Hogwarts.
The medieval streets lined with little cottages will take you back in time, but if you’re looking for somewhere the kids can run around, no need to worry. Bishop’s Palace Gardens has a dedicated Dragon’s Lair – a play area that’s great for children wanting to blow off some steam. Overall, Wells has something for everyone; if you’re looking for a long weekend, then this is a great place to explore.
Georgeham is the ideal location for a summer adventure, whether with family or for a couple’s getaway. From traditional Devon beaches to art galleries, Georgeham has everything you need for your staycation.
One of the top-rated things to do in this quaint village is visiting the St George’s Church, a thirteenth-century Grade 1 listed building that’s beautiful both inside and out.
Georgeham is not only home to a small community nestled in North Devon; it’s also home to plenty of local restaurants and amenities. So once you’ve taken in the breath-taking natural scenery that surrounds the village, you can stop for a bite in one of the charming British pubs based in the area.
St Ives sits along the Cornish coastline and is a popular destination for coach holidays and weekend trips away. St Ives has recently been voted as best family holiday destination by Coast magazine and has earned its reputation as being the ‘jewel of Cornwall’.
Many tourists flock to the golden beaches of the town for surfing- the blue waters and flat, sandy shores make it the perfect place for catching waves. Also popular with tourists is the gorgeous coastal path which allows walkers to journey to the infamous Lands End. St Ives has the quaint look of a traditional seaside village but provides an array of seasonal activities for all of the family to enjoy- you will never get bored on a holiday in St Ives.
Watergate Bay forms part of the infamous Cornish coastline and is a must see for any beach lovers. The beach stretches for 2 miles of glorious golden sand that will make you think you’re in Spain! If you catch the good weather, this is the perfect location to top up your tan and spend your days in and out of the blue sea.
If you feel like exploring away from the beach, Watergate Bay is only a 15-minute drive from Newquay which is a lively tourist town that offers an array of shops, restaurants and activities for all of the family to enjoy. The surrounding area at Watergate Bay is a hilly countryside that makes the perfect place for coastal hiking or watching the sun go down on a clear evening.
If you would like to indulge in the British sun, Padstow is the perfect village to visit. The town is five minutes from seven glorious sandy beaches, blue waters and the beautiful Camel River. You will find a range of pretty walks to choose from on your stay that will help you to make the most of the summer sunshine.
Padstow is also a popular destination for food lovers who can indulge in an array of delicious eateries including a Rick Stein Seafood Restaurant and many smaller, family run restaurants and cafes. You will definitely find the perfect English cream tea! The town is also an ideal destination for water sports including an exhilarating speedboat trip which will take you to all corners of this beautiful coastline in style!
Renowned for its old-world charm, Mousehole is a fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall and should not be missed from your summer holiday plans.
This Cornish village is known for its picturesque harbour, with plenty of boats bobbing across the water. The beach itself comes with its own spectacular views – be sure to spend an evening eating fish and chips on the sand, watching the sunset over the sea.
And if you’re looking to explore, you’re in luck. Mousehole is full of narrow streets that host a variety of hidden gems, such as art galleries, pubs, and quaint little homes selling books and plants to anyone who walks by. Just pop your coins through the letterbox and take home your new find!
Charlotte Murphy is a freelance writer focused on UK travel. Originally from South Wales, Charlotte enjoyed summers at her grandparent’s home in Cornwall during her childhood. When she isn’t writing, Charlotte can be found cooking up a storm in her kitchen or walking her dog, Ringo.