Charming UK Towns To Exlore

An assortment of top towns to put on your visit list this summer.

Forget the city – the UK has some truly beautiful, characterful and tourist-ready towns that can offer all the same charm and enchantment, whilst providing a feeling of connection and belonging that’s so easily lost in bigger, bustling conurbations.

1. Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Located on the banks of the River Severn, Shrewsbury is an underrated gem, albeit it pulled in seven million visitors in 2022. The town boasts over 600 listed buildings, including Shrewsbury Castle, Shrewsbury Abbey,
and the historic market square. It’s also the birthplace of Charles Darwin.

2. Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
This picturesque town, complete with historic canals, is nestled within the stunning Calder Valley, surrounded by hills and forests. It is well-known for its artistic community, independent shops, and vibrant cultural scene.

Visitor numbers were boosted last year by the success of Sarah Lancashire’s Happy Valley BBC drama.

3. Rye, East Sussex
Rye is a medieval town steeped in history and charm and is visited by over a million tourists each year. With its cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, and ancient Mermaid Inn, Rye has an enchanting atmosphere. Visit the Rye Castle Museum, the 14th-century St. Mary’s Church, and the surrounding nature reserves such as Rye Harbour or Dungeness.

4. Alnwick, Northumberland
Alnwick is a charming market town that features the magnificent Alnwick Castle, which alone welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year.  It is the second-largest inhabited castle in the UK, and the inspiration for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. The Alnwick Garden, adjacent to the castle,  is similarly stunning.

5. Bakewell, Derbyshire
Known almost exclusively for its Bakewell pudding and tart, this charming market town is situated in the heart of the Peak District National Park.

It boasts beautiful stone buildings, a medieval bridge, and lovely walking paths along the River Wye.

6. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
This picturesque coastal town is located within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and boasts colorful Georgian buildings, sandy beaches, and a historic harbor. Explore the town’s medieval walls, visit the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, and take a boat trip to the nearby Caldey Island, which is home to a Cistercian monastery.

7. Hitchin, Hertfordshire
A market town with a rich history and well-preserved medieval layout, visitors can take in the British Schools Museum, St. Mary’s Church, and Hitchin Lavender Farm, a popular attraction where you can ‘pick your own’ during the summer months. The town also hosts a weekly market and boasts a variety of independent shops and eateries.

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