January 20, 2018

3 Little Gems of England

A few months ago we discovered two of Europe’s secret villages, Kuressaare in Estonia and Giethoorn in Holland.

Today we’re opening the door on a few more of these “secret” villages by traveling to cheery old England.

Castle Combe Tea Room Cotsowld England

Castle Combe Old rectory tea room by Saffron Blaze

England is littered with small beautiful villages sprinkled across the landscape. Some regions of England, like the Cotswold’s, are famous for their little gems. Even though the villages we’re discovering today are within easy reach from London, visiting these beauties will give you the feeling as if you’ve gone back in time!


Introducing 3 Little Gems of England!


Castle Combe river Cotswold England

Castle Combe river by Saffron Blaze

Castle Combe is located a mere 85 miles west of London in a lovely lush valley in the Cotswold’s. The castle of this beautiful and serene village no longer stands but you can still see a medieval church including one of the few medieval clocks in England that is still in use and a 14th century carved market cross marking the site of the town’s old wool market. Wandering this village, dubbed by some as “The Prettiest Village in England”, you will still notice the traditional Cotswold architecture of thick walls and roofs made of natural stone tiles. The village is so charming that it has been the filming site of many movies including last years Warhorse.

St Giles Church Chalfont St Giles England

St Giles Church by Skinnyde, on Flickr

Chalfont St Giles is the 3 time winner of the “Best Kept Village” competition and anyone walking the village will see why! At every corner the cozy town oozes old world charm. Chalfont St Giles is located in Buckinghamshire only 25 miles from London but seems a world away. The village green still hosts cricket matches and the river Misbourne has a Roman road crossing it. If you’re looking for traditional English pubs maybe one of the six located in the village will be to your liking! As London was being ravaged by the plague, it was here that Milton settled in 1665. In this 11th century village Milton’s cottage, where he finished Paradise Lost, still stands. Noel Gallagher of Oases used to call Chalfont St Giles home as did William Penn who is buried here – next to both his wives!

Chalfont St Giles by timo_w2s, on Flickr

Since 1944 Lacock has been almost entirely owned by the National Trust which helps ensure its charm stays intact. This well preserved village was once a medieval market town and its streets are lined with Tudor style houses. Besides the quaint houses of Lacock, visitors will want to see the parish church and the Lacock Abbey. The Abbey was founded in the 13th century by Lady Ela, who was Countess of Salisbury and whose husband was an illegitimate son of King Henry II. Lacock has also been seen in many TV shows on the BBC including Pride & Prejudice and the Abbey was seen in Harry Potter films as well as the Other Boleyn Girl.

Lacock Abbey Forecourt Cotswold England

Lacock Abbey Forecourt by Ian Petticrew

As you can see, all 3 of these villages can be descried using the same words – serene, beautiful, charming, medieval, unspoiled, prettiest, picturesque and traditional.

Ford in Lacock Cotswold England

Ford in Lacock by Immanuel Giel

Some may even call these “secret” villages but I think little gems fit better!

What do you think?

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  1. Beautiful, serene, charming, medieval, enduring. All very beautiful and for once maybe, I can say I’ve been to one – Lacock. Loved it! Will have to add the other two for my next trip to London. They’re so close too, no excuse not to go.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Summer Breaks in Manchester: Screenfields 2012

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      You’re the second person who has said they’ve been to Lacock! I really must get there.

  2. cindy says:

    I haven’t gotten to this part of England – your photos make me want to get there! Lovely post.
    cindy recently posted..Photo Thursday: The Singer Takes a Break (Denver, Colorado)

  3. Awww, I LOVE Castle Combe and Lacock! Well, I love all of the Cotswolds, so I guess I’m just trying to stay consistent. 😉
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..An Insider’s Look at Prostitution in Amsterdam’s Red Light District

  4. Denise L says:

    We were in the Cotswolds last summer and you now have me itching to go back soon! A very nice post.

  5. A few gems indeed….I love finding small places to explore like this. Of course, if more people knew about them then they’d probably lose their gem status:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Bay Hill Golf Club – Footsteps of The King

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thats exactly what I think eveytime I wonder why more people don’t know about these types of villages!

  6. Thanks for giving me tips for my own neighbourhood. I go to Cambridge way too much (it’s just so pretty), but these villages will be amazing for a change! Another reason why I love London, so many great places to visit around this fab city too!
    Christina (Jandal Road) recently posted..An afternoon in Steveston, BC

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Why is that we don’t explore our local environment more thoroughly? You’re right, there are quite a few wonderful villages to explore that are easily accessible from London.

  7. Marlys says:

    I totally agree! They really are gems and for me still secret villages. Hope to be able to visit these when we’re back in London.
    Marlys recently posted..The Coalminers Trail

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes on your next trip to visit your son you’ll have go discover one or two of these gems 😉

  8. inka says:

    England sure does have a lot of charming, secret corners. Well done discovering these gems.
    inka recently posted..Goodbye Turkey – hallo Spain!

  9. I love it! Great discoveries, would love to see them up close & personal.

  10. All of those look so charming. My parents went to England last year and went to some really cute towns in the Cotswolds. I’d love to go someday too.
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..The Top 5 Sights in Rome, Italy

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I think you’d really like it. The Cotwolds are full of cute towns and then there is the amazing architecture of the cathedrals!

  11. These are indeed gems. My only experience in the Cotswolds was a stop at Anne Hathaway’s cottage on our way to Stratford-upon-Avon — totally loved it! Would like to see more of the area and explore these places. Thanks for the fun and historical information, too.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      The Cotswold’s are a beautiful part of England! So many great villages, that are full of history, to explore.

  12. Leigh says:

    All three of the villages look wonderful. That’s what I do love about England, Ireland & Europe – coming across these incredibly beautiful villages you never knew even existed.
    Leigh recently posted..7 Reasons Why You Should Plan a Stop in Salmon Arm, BC

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes, Europe is indeed full of small wonderful villages like these and they are a joy to explore!

  13. Lisa says:

    As soon as I saw the title, I was hoping that Lacock was one of the villages. We visited the village briefly two years ago while on a Harry Potter tour and I fell in love – it is such a lovely place and we had a fabulous feed of fish and chips at The George Inn. The other villages look beautiful too!!
    Lisa recently posted..Cows – Yummy Ice Cream And So Much More

  14. Ooo! I’d love to go where Pride and Prejudice was filmed. Didn’t know all the other movies were filmed in Lacock too. So cool! So pictureesque. Thanks for the education and virtual trip there. 😉
    Courtney Mroch recently posted..No Posts Were Found!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      These small little villages seem to have a lot of movies filmed there, don’t they? Just lets me know how really beautiful they must be 🙂

  15. These villages look so quaint and pleasant.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Mountain Biking… For Real!


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