a road with flowers on the side of it

Whether you live in the U.K. and need inspiration for a mini break, or are visiting and looking to see a bit more of the countryside- heading to one of these places for a relaxing weekend is a must. With beautiful walks, quaint villages, classic English village pubs, history and some good ole’ fresh air, you’re sure to fall in love, whether it rains or not.

a row of colorful hutsSouthwold, Suffolk

On the Suffolk Heritage Coast, Southwold is a quintessentially British seaside town that oozes charm. With sandy beaches, an array of shops and markets, great restaurants and the famous Adnams brewery, there’s plenty of things to keep you busy. You’re not too far from other pretty Suffolk towns either, if you’re looking to venture out a little.

Things to do:

Southwold Boating Lake and Tea room

Adnams Brewery Tour

-East Suffolk Markets

Coastal Voyager

Places to stay:

Trustans Barn

Sutherland House

The Swan Southwold

Places to eat:


-The Little Fish and Chip Shop


The Crown Hotel Southwold

a large stone building with a lawn and chairsPainswick, The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are known all over the world, almost fabled for the beauty of their cute English  picturesque towns. Painswick is surrounded by lush rolling countryside and is perfect for pretty walks, gardens and of course, a pint. There  are beautiful towns to explore nearby too, so the trip is absolutely worth it.

Things to do:

Painswick Rococo Garden

Stroud Walks

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

-Cycle Tour, Berkeley to Painswick

Places to stay:

The Painswick Hotel and Restaurant

Cardynham House

Croft House Painswick

The Falcon

Places to eat:

Dinner at 6

Jrool Bistro

The Painswick Hotel and Restaurant

a white building with a sign on the frontHawkshead, Cumbria

Hawkshead was home to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter and loved by both. With its cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages it’s a beautiful, quintessentially British town with gorgeous inns, cozy teashops and heaps of old character. Cars are no longer allowed in the village, making it a walking paradise. But fear not- there are places to park very nearby. It’s the perfect place to endlessly wander and fall in love with its charm.

Things to do:

Beatrix Potter Gallery

-Esthwaite Water

-Grizedale Forest

Places to stay:

Sawrey House Hotel

Walker Ground Manor

Lakeland Hideaway Cottages (self catering)

Places to eat:

Hawkshead Brewery and The Beer Hall

Sawrey House Hotel

Porto Restaurant

a group of boats in a body of water with buildings in the backgroundSt Ives, Cornwall

This town has so much natural beauty, it attracts artists from all over the world, aiming to capture just a dose. Full of cafes, boutiques and arty shops, it’s a popular place to visit, especially in the hot summer months. Yes, you may even get a tan in England! There’s a mix of fisherman’s villages and narrow streets, relete wity natural light and scenic vistas. Cornwall is well worth a visit.

Things to do:

Tate St Ives

-Portminster Beach

Minack Theatre

Boat Trip to Seals Island

Places to stay:

West by Five

The Olive Branch

Carbis Bay Hotel

Places to eat:

Alba Restaurant

Gurnard’s Head

The Loft


a street with buildings on either side of itRye, Sussex

Just a couple of miles from the sea, Rye is a historic town with beautiful Tudor buildings. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a better time. Perched on a hill, it’s cobbled lanes and charming streets make you feel like you’re suspended in vibrant history. Be sure to admire the architecture that surrounds you and check out the sweet, local shops-  and their traditional British delicacies.

Things to do:

-Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Lamb House (check when it’s open)

-Rye Castle (The Ypres Tower)

Places to stay:

Jeake’s House

Knelle Dower Studio B&B

The Mermaid Inn

Places to eat:

Webbe’s at The Fish Cafe

Fletcher’s House

Mahdi Spice

a stone wall in a valleyMiddleham, Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales are known for their stunning scenery, making thee perfect place for a beautiful aimless walk. Middleham is a small market town and home to the beautiful Middleham castle, once the childhood home to Richard III. If you’ve come in search of authenticity, history and natural delight, this is a spot not to miss on your countryside trip. 

Things to do:

Middleham Castle

-Harmby Waterfall

-Countryside walks

Places to stay:

The Priory

Wensleydale Heifer

The Blue Lion Inn

Places to eat:


The Yorke Arms

The White Swan

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. great list as so many stay in London and don’t explore further. I love Brighton for a seaside escape and the lavender fields of Hitchin – both easy day trips by train since I don’t drive on the left (yet) and prefer train or bus transit

  2. Try Exeter and the south west. So many beautiful places, lots of cafés and bars, long relaxed walks and shopping!

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