Best small village in England

Old Jun 12th, 2022, 02:40 PM
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Best small village in England

Hello everyone,
We are searching for the best village to stay in England. By village we mean small country houses, an old pub, and some place not very touristy. We want to be able to walk around the village as we won't have/rent a car.

Being near a bus or train station would be great so we can visit other towns.

A village that is north of London would probably be best as we hope to travel to Scotland at some point. (Maybe around half way or less to Scotland)

A village that is near an old castle would be wonderful.

We have done a lot of research and can't decide on a place to visit. We will be renting a home while we are there.

Any airbnd or other stay recommendations? A village with rentals would be wonderful if you know any.
Thanks for all the help!
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 02:51 PM
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Silly site froze up on me mid-post . . .

Since there are (literally) hundreds of possibilities . . . in your research have any places particularly piqued your interest?

Would you settle for a small town/large village? There aren't all that many small villages with either good bus service or a train station.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 02:58 PM
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OH -- and how long would you (or from your earlier thread . . . Your parents) be staying in the village?

And is this besides the best towns that you asked about here? Best town in England for 60 yr old couple-1st time traveling-40th Wedding Anniversary
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 07:01 PM
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Hello again,
You are definitely right about the hundreds of possibilities. Castle Combe is one such area that has piqued our interest but we are still searching. Thought we would repost with a few updates to the search. It's also great reading others peoples experiences.
Thank you for the responses.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 07:43 PM
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What do you think goes on in small "not very touristy" villages? What goes on in small non-touristy villages in the US? I think you will be very, very bored, always assuming you find one with somewhere to stay, especially without a car. And if you pick a place with a station on the main line from London to Scotland it likely won't be small.

I grew up in a smallish town with a station in commuting distance from London, and believe me, there was (and is) nothing of interest to foreign visitors, and a village would be worse unless it was touristy - in the Cotswolds or Cornwall, for instance.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MrStanford View Post
Hello everyone,We are searching for the best village to stay in England. By village we mean small country houses, an old pub, and some place not very touristy. We want to be able to walk around the village as we won't have/rent a car.

Being near a bus or train station would be great so we can visit other towns.

A village that is north of London would probably be best as we hope to travel to Scotland at some point. (Maybe around half way or less to Scotland)

A village that is near an old castle would be wonderful.

We have done a lot of research and can't decide on a place to visit. We will be renting a home while we are there.

Any airbnd or other stay recommendations? A village with rentals would be wonderful if you know any.
Thanks for all the help!
There are two places Iíd recommend due to their Britishness, charm and transportation opportunities.
1) Norwich: lovely town that offers everything you ask for and more
2) York: lovely historical Northern town
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
What do you think goes on in small "not very touristy" villages? What goes on in small non-touristy villages in the US? I think you will be very, very bored, always assuming you find one with somewhere to stay, especially without a car. And if you pick a place with a station on the main line from London to Scotland it likely won't be small.

I grew up in a smallish town with a station in commuting distance from London, and believe me, there was (and is) nothing of interest to foreign visitors, and a village would be worse unless it was touristy - in the Cotswolds or Cornwall, for instance.

Ditto^^^

I made close to the same comment on the OP's original thread. "OK put on a different hat . . . If a visitor from the UK was visiting the USA for the very first time -- would you recommend they stay three weeks in your Parent's small town? Unless it is a pretty special place, probably not. . . . "
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kleeblatt View Post
There are two places Iíd recommend due to their Britishness, charm and transportation opportunities.
1) Norwich: lovely town that offers everything you ask for and more
2) York: lovely historical Northern town
Both are great . . . but neither is anything like a small village - FAR from it. York's population is close to 160,000 (just inside the city boundaries) and Norwich is about 150,000.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 09:55 PM
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I agree both arenít small villages but are great hubs to get to small villages while enjoying some stellar British history, architecture and life.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kleeblatt View Post
I agree both arenít small villages but are great hubs to get to small villages while enjoying some stellar British history, architecture and life.
No question -- I agree they would be great bases -- especially York - just so much on offer. But the OP has over two lengthy threads maintained they want a 'village'. I do think there may be a misunderstanding what staying in a 'village' entails.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 10:41 PM
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Village with pub and shop is tricky. Small town possibly. I have a few
Masham in North Yorkshire
Stamford in Rutland
Stromness in Orkney Blandford in Dorset
Liskard in Cornwall
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 11:19 PM
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AFAIK only two of those have rail service. (Stamford which is bigger than a village, and Liskeard). What they want is a unicorn.
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 01:40 AM
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Perhaps prioritise their unicorn, so pub, then must be smaller than 1500 people etc
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
AFAIK only two of those have rail service. (Stamford which is bigger than a village, and Liskeard). What they want is a unicorn.
loved Stamford and could imagine that would tick many boxes.
Donít know Liskeard.
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 02:25 AM
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MrStanford - We have done house and pet sitting projects in many places around the UK and my advice would be to forget about the small village thing. There are a few I could think of but most people would be bored to tears after anything more than a few days! There are some lovely villages around Henley on Thames or Marlow, many of which feature regularly in TV programmes like Vicar of Dibley, Midsommer Murders , Endeavour etc. because they are so picturesque and unspoiled . Places Like Turville and Hambleden spring to mind. However, I think most people would be happier actually staying in small riverside towns like Marlow and Henley etc.which have as many pubs, restaurant as you could possible want.

Winchcombe in the Cotswolds would be a good option. Many Cotswolds footpaths converge there so great walking . Lots of pubs. Sudeley Castle home to Henry VIII last wife is there. We even stayed in the castle cottages there which I think are still available to rent. Close to Cheltenham and a lot of small, if touristy villages in the Cotswolds.

Stamford as mentioned above is another small town but there are other smaller and even quainter options, close by like Uppingham and Oakam. Lots of lovely small villages near those towns too but when we stay in these villages we are usually in very nice house but really grateful to have the dogs to walk otherwise there would not be a lot to do.

In addition to airbnb, maybe take a look at some of the house sitting websites. We are currently inundated with requests to look after peoples home and pets and increasingly, we are finding that in many cases there are no pets, people just want their homes occupied when away. Currently we are turning down 2 or 3 requests a day because we are booked.

Re finding somewhere "halfway to Scotland" . I would really worry too much about that as it will likely to be a lot easier to head straight to Scotland from London by train or plane. (OK there may not be many trains running I the UK this summer so renting a car may be the only option!)
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 02:35 AM
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Let's lift your eyes up the map a little to the small towns of Clitheroe in Lancashire, or the slightly larger (but still small) town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. Both have castles, Skipton's is bigger and in better shape, restaurants and lovely shopping in both. Both have rail links to get up to Scotland and are surrounded by wonderful countryside. You could get to the Lancashire coast or the Lake District from Clitheroe, or up to Harrogate or York from Skipton
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 04:24 AM
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I think this is in the same category as wanting to "live like a local". You know what locals do? They get up early, fix breakfast, see the kids off to school, go to work, come home, fix dinner, watch TV/see friends/go to the pub for a couple of drinks and go to bed. Exciting, no?

Places become touristy for a reason - there are things for tourists to see and do.

I checked my home town, referenced above, on AirBnB. The one and only listing is for a hotel.

I am still wondering what the parents, referenced on the OP's other thread as the reason for this trip, actually want to see/do in the UK. Just because they are in their 60s doesn't mean they have to be protected from the big city.
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 05:35 AM
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Some suggestions are not going to meet your location requirements.
You are going to find it hard to meat some requirements. A small town is going to hit those more than any village.
Being near a bus or train station would be great so we can visit other towns.
north of London
A village that is near an old castle would be wonderful
I will suggest Kendal.
Has a great number of accommodation.
Many pubs and places for tea and eats.
On the way to Scotland.
Has national bus an train connections. Oxenholme is the nearest train station
Local bus services can get you to countryside and other historical sites Like Wordsworth's Grasmere.
Lastly it has that important castle.
Look at visit-kendal website for more information

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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 05:48 AM
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Kendal, being in the Lake District, will be overrun with visitors during August and probably much of September, which is when these people will be traveling according to the OP's other thread.

Based on the photos, Kendal's castle is a small ruin, no one would go to Kendal for that.

Kendal has a train station, but you would need to take a train to Oxenholme for the main line to Scotland.
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Kendal, being in the Lake District, will be overrun with visitors during August and probably much of September, which is when these people will be traveling according to the OP's other thread.

Based on the photos, Kendal's castle is a small ruin, no one would go to Kendal for that.

Kendal has a train station, but you would need to take a train to Oxenholme for the main line to Scotland.
Everywhere will be busy in August.
There are a lot of castles in England that are ruins. Like Corfe Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle, or Tintagel Castle (to name a few) which are classics for a tourist visit. Why so negative about Kendal Castle?
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