Previously we published an article giving you 6 more reasons to head to London this September. But what if you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the big city? Well, here’s an insight into the quieter side of British life with some of the most traditional towns the UK has to offer. Travelling up the country from south to north, this list will uncover the best offerings from a selection of the most quintessentially British places in existence.
Located in East Sussex just 2 miles from the English Channel, Rye’s charming cobbled streets are overflowing with history. A must-see is the Ypres Tower which is one of its oldest buildings, having been constructed in 1249 by King Henry III to defend the town from French invaders. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a warm summer’s day, the town is situated walking distance from Camber Sands, one of the country’s most famous beaches.
©Woolley & Wallis
Shaftesbury is perhaps best known in the United Kingdom for being the setting of one of the nation’s most loved television adverts (directed by Hollywood’s Ridley Scott). With its steep streets and well-kept cottages set in the backdrop of rich English countryside, the town defines picturesque.
The smallest town on this list with a population of only 3,000 people, but in the case of Petworth little does certainly not mean less. After visiting some of Petworth’s many antique stores, you may want to head to the stunning Petworth park, the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The park also contains the town’s main attraction in the shape of the grand Petworth House, one Britain’s most well-known country homes.
©Shropshire Hills Tourism
Situated in the west of England, just a 20 minute drive from the Welsh border, this is one of England’s most beautiful medieval towns. As well as being a site of great historical interest, Ludlow is famous for having more Michelin stars than anywhere outside London. With critically acclaimed restaurants such as the modern British ‘Mortimer’s’, and vegetarian friendly ‘The Green Cafe’, this town really is a must for food-lovers.
This spa and market town is rich in history and is home to the ruins of an ancient but impressive castle as well as a wide and winding river. Undoubtedly the best day to visit is on a Wednesday when the town becomes crammed with stalls and vendors selling their goods at the traditional Yorkshire market.
Although technically a city rather than a town, its small size affords it town-status and it would be almost impossible to write about tradition and not mention Durham. Located deep in the north of England and home to one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious universities, the architect Nicholas Pevsner referred to Durham as ‘One of the great experiences of Europe’. Replete with breathtaking sights, Durham’s greatest attraction is its Cathedral, which was described by author Bill Bryson as ‘the best cathedral on planet earth’ and has been used as a location for films such as Harry Potter as well as the most recent Avengers film.