Most tourists coming to the UK spend the bulk of their time in major centers like London, Birmingham, and Glasgow. After all, these popular destinations are home to many of the region’s most famous tourist attractions like the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, and the historic Stratford-upon-Avon.
As wonderful as those and other sites like Madam Tussauds, the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey are, visitors should also make a point of seeing the other side of the UK. They should experience the pleasures that small towns in the UK offer. Many small towns in the UK offer pastoral landscapes, a peaceful environment, and plenty of historical significance. When traveling there, you can take in the scenery or check out Match Center to find a sports bet to kill the time. But, believe us, it’s worth it.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the United Kingdom drew around 31.2 million visitors from overseas in 2022. And they would have naturally got a much fuller picture of the UK life, if they visited those small towns. So let’s look at a few destinations that are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Located approximately 2 hours west of London in stunning Wiltshire countryside, the quaint village of Avebury is over 1,000 years old.
One of Avebury’s main attractions is the Stonehenge-style stone circle that surrounds a good portion of the town. It is among the largest Neolithic stone circles on the planet and, unlike Stonehenge, guests are free to wander around and even touch the stones. Those who want to learn more about Avebury can check out the Avebury Museum. And while you’re in town, you can also take in some of the unique architecture, explore the picturesque walking trails, and enjoy the local pubs.
If you were ever intrigued by the stories of King Arthur, then a trip to Tintagel is right up your alley. Historic Tintagel is located on the coast of Cornwall and it serves up some of the most spectacular coastal vistas the UK has to offer. Guests can visit Tintagel Castle which is frequently associated with the King Arthur legend as is Merlin’s Cave. Don’t forget to visit King Arthur’s Great Halls, Tintagel Beach, and any of the cafes and dining establishments that serve up authentic Cornish cuisine.
Castle Combe is a tiny village in Wiltshire that is famous for its charm and panoramic views. Despite its diminutive size and having a population of under 400 residents, there is lots to see and do in Castle Combe. The stone cottages, village green, and ancient bridge that spans the Bybrook River will take you back in time. So will the medieval St. Andrew’s Church which is brimming with history and architectural beauty.
Getting lost in an unfamiliar city can be nerve-wracking, but not if that city happens to be Rye. Located in East Sussex, Rye is a small fortified town that sits atop a hill. Aside from 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside, guests can see iconic landmarks such as Rye Castle, Camber Sands, and the Rye Art Gallery. Nature lovers will want to visit Rye Harbour Nature Reserve which has several scenic trails, coastal views, and an abundance of wildlife.
If Rye is on your itinerary, then you might as well add nearby Winchelsea to it. This small town features more medieval architecture, ancient churches, and other unique local attractions like Winchelsea Beach, St. Thomas the Martyr Church, and the Winchelsea Town Trail.
Lavenham was one of the wealthiest towns in the United Kingdom back in the 1400s. However, the local wool trade eventually collapsed resulting in a mass exodus. Whilst many people left, the streets, buildings, and history have largely remained intact. The timber-framed Lavenham Guildhall, the medieval Lavenham Church, and Little Hall are just a few examples of the many historic sites that still stand and are open to the public. Make a point of visiting the Lavenham Falconry which is home to many magnificent birds of prey and offers educational demonstrations, photographic opportunities, and even falconry courses.
Small UK Towns Are Great Alternatives to the Crowded Cities
One of the greatest things about visiting the UK is that history, art, culture, and cuisine are almost everywhere. Those who venture out of the major cities are sure to encounter small UK towns like the ones mentioned above. These villages will introduce you to a different side of life in the UK and leave you wanting more.