Big, bustling cities with bright lights make a great trip, but there’s nothing quite like the English countryside.
From emerald-green rolling hills to cobbled streets that led you to chocolate-box cottages, the beauty of the countryside is truly breathtaking. Watch boats glide the still waters by fishing ports or favour unspoilt golden sand on the beach.
With more and more people venturing out into the country for a serene getaway, we’ve listed some of the most beautiful countrysides in England. Whether you want to whisk your partner away or take your family on a tranquil retreat, there’s something for everyone in the countryside.
The Lake District
After being named the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, there’s no doubt that the Lake District is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Joining sites like the Great Barrier Reef, this award-winning park is one of England’s greatest treasures.
Renowned for its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife and cultural heritage, it’s most known for it’s cool, clear lakes that give the Lake District a remarkable backdrop found nowhere else in England.
But don’t just take our word. The beauty of the Lakes has been an inspiration to great poets such as William Wordsworth, who have brought its still, tranquil waters and dramatic, rocky lands to life.
What to do: With the highest concentration of outdoor activity centres in the UK, this is a treat for those who like to be active. Walk, cycle or sail through the captivating waters. Climb the peak of Langdale Pikes and take in the unreal views of sheet-like lakes, fluffy woodlands and dotted sheep across the valley.
Where to stay: For a pretty site, reside in a pretty town. Situated in the picturesque town of Grange-over-Sands, Winster Cottage boasts rustic living, in a rural setting, offering you and your loved ones a peaceful stay.
Where to eat: After a long day of climbing, retreat to the Cavendish Arms Restaurant, not far from Winster Cottage. Renowned for its hearty dishes, you’ll be left undecided when choosing between the succulent lamb rump and scotch beef fillet. If you’re looking for something less meaty, there are also vegetarian dishes available.
The Yorkshire Dales
Located in North Yorkshire and compromising most of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this diverse landscape gives each ‘dale’ a distinct character.
Known for having numerous personalities, from wild and unruly to calm and tranquil, explore its unrivalled limestone terrain, from crags and pavements to an underground world of caves. It’s gushing waterfalls and dense forests contrast with the industrial remains of days old, bringing together the nature and people that have shaped this incredible landscape.
What to do: If you’re still searching for beauty, take a romantic stroll to Malham Cove. Once covered in sheets of ice, this now white limestone cliff forms what is well known as the ‘beauty spot’ within the national park.
Where to stay: For a lovers abode, nest in The Stable. From it’s whitewashed cottage exterior, luxurious exposed beams, to its proximity to grazing ponies and other wildlife, it’s the perfect home for an intimate break.
Where to eat: Try something different and startle your taste buds at Konack Meze. The turkish restaurant serves traditional dishes, desserts and coffee, and has outdoor seating.
Located in the South West of England, the Cornish county has a strong Celtic heritage. Its land is embellished in Bronze Age standing stones and the Cornish language, with its pre-historic roots, still lingers villages.
In the North, visit seaside towns like Bude, for golden sandy beaches to wonders like the part-natural, partially man-made sea pool. A portion of the ocean has been sculpted into a lido, allowing you to safely swim in the rawness of the ocean. The South is known for its idyllic moorlands, olive-green estuaries and the Great Gardens of Cornwall that houses exotic flora which flourish in Cornwall’s mild climate.
What to do: Known as the hub of water sports, take the family on a daring adventure. Breath in the fresh sea air and feel the might of the crashing waves as you kayak, paddleboard or surf at Loe Beach.
Where to stay: For a coastal retreat, look no further than Beam Ends. It’s a pearl for families who want to explore the coast during the day and retreat back home at night. With stylish outdoor seating, decking and a mile-long shingle beach, you’ll be able to hear the soft waves of the beach and feel the sea breeze on your back.
Where to eat: A short walk away from Beam Ends, is the award-winning Cricket Inn. A hidden gem on Beesands beach, you’ll be able to watch the slow tides recede over a plate of mouth-watering linguine.
Famed for its rolling hills, dreamy chocolate box cottages and market towns, you’ll be taken aback by the beauty of the Cotswolds’ countryside. The Cotswolds provides an idyllic backdrop like no other, covering the gorgeous counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.
Its takes the crown for the largest area of outstanding natural beauty in England, housing some of the world’s most spectacular gardens. Visit the Cotswolds Lavender, a breathtaking field of purple that displays a variety of lavender plants.
What’s more are the picturesque villages that the Cotswolds is known for. Scattered throughout are pockets of medieval structures, from the stone cottages of Painswick to the honey-coloured market town of the prettiest village in England, Castle Combe.
What to do: Go on an expedition that transports you back in time. The Stonehenge, Salisbury and Cotswolds tour allows you to marvel the ring of standing stones, the enchanting Magna Carta, as well as mystical villages, like Lalock National Trust, which was used to film Harry Potter.
Where to stay: For a lovers nest, relax and unwind in Pike Cottage. Cosy around the crackling fireplace or layout back in the garden with a glass of wine, and watch the sun set. This dainty cottage has retained its original features and resides in the unspoilt parish of Acton Turville, making it the perfect home to get whisked away to.
Where to eat: Take an evening drive from Pike Cottage to the Horseshoe. Treating everyday like it’s a beer festival, try the pub’s variety of alternating beers and homemade food made with love.
Lush patchwork fields and rolling hills, juxtaposed by rocky coastlines and fossil cliffs make this diverse countryside one of England’s finest. With national parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, and two Blue Flag beaches falling within Devon’s region, its sheer beauty alone is more than enough to visit.
Bounded by Cornwall to the West, Somerset to the North East and Dorset to the East, much of the countryside lies within South Devon. Find man-made beauties like the Beer Quarry Caves, a series of incredible caves produced by the Romans by quarrying stone. Or, discover natural marvels like Lydford Gorge, an alluring wooded gorge with a gushing waterfall and an impressive whirlpool known as the Devil’s Cauldron.
If you want to dwell by the coast, Devon is home to two award-winning beaches, Blackpool Sands and Bigbury-on-Sea. Enjoy the feeling of sand between your feet at these highly favoured spots. If you’d prefer more privacy, explore Mattiscombe Beach for secluded cloves and untouched sand.
What to do: Take a scenic walk with your family through the beauty of Bellever Forest. This emerald green plantation is bursting with gorgeous walking trails and enchanting white ponies, making South Devon one of the most beautiful countrysides in England.
Where to stay: Retreat to the tranquil village of Kingswear at Waterhead View. Embedded along River Dart, you and your loved ones can take in long, interrupted views of the still waters from your terrace. Pets are welcome, allowing you to take cool, morning walks with your four-legged friend along the calm river bank.
Where to eat: Situated in the fishing village of Dittisham, enjoy delicious seafood at the Anchorstone Cafe. This idyllic cafe serves a heavenly menu filled with local sea catch, with views of the river. Pets are allowed too!
We seek beauty in many forms and Cambridgeshire’s lush marshy fenland, medieval markets and cathedral towns make this search easy. Decorated with stone cottages in dainty villages and highly regarded in literature, Cambridgeshire is one of the most beautiful countrysides in England.
Known for its larger cities like Cambridge and Peterborough, explore the smaller market towns and high streets. Walk hand-in-hand with your loved one through the village of Bourn, which looks like it’s been taken from a page in a fairy tale. Its cottages and pubs give off a mystical aura, from its inviting foliage tunnels that beckon you inside, to its rustic furniture and twinkling lights.
What to do: Punt down the River Cam. It’s the perfect trip for you and your partner so relax by each other’s side as you journey through the waters and take in Cambridgeshire’s most stunning sights.
Where to stay: For a lovers getaway, reside in Hope Cottage. This spacious two-storey home is fitted with a crackling fire to sit snugly by. It’s also hidden on the edge of marshy fenland, making it perfect for long romantic walks and views of the marshes.
Where to eat: For an ideal place to visit in the UK for couples, it doesn’t get any cosier than The Black Bull. Only a walk away from Hope Cottage, this medieval pub offers plush seating, fine food and boisterous brews.