Inland destinations such as Wells, Castle Combe, Hay-on-Wye, and Aberfeldy received high ratings from readers for their scenic beauty, variety of food and drink options, and other factors.

The UK’s best towns and villages

The best-rated towns and villages in the United Kingdom each have something special to offer guests, whether they are looking for rural tranquilly, a variety of independent shops, or a taste of British history. This is because each of these communities has developed its own distinct character over the years. According to the results of our most recent survey, a number of highly regarded towns and villages located further inland have famous connections.

John Constable was inspired to paint the water meadows of Dedham while he was there. Robert Burns was inspired to write songs about the town of Aberfeldy. In addition, the poet William Wordsworth relocated to Grasmere because he was so taken with the beauty of the area.

However, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by 5,333 readers of Which?, the village that received the highest rating lacks any artistic connections. In its place, it provides a window into the prehistoric history of England by being home to the largest stone circle in the world. This, in addition to the fact that it has the atmosphere of a traditional English village, could be the reason why Which? readers like it best.

The British town or village with the highest rating is Avebury, Wiltshire, with a score of 90%.

The stone circle in Avebury, Wiltshire The UK’s best towns and villages

Our survey awarded Avebury a perfect score of five stars for its scenery. This may be due to the fact that it features many of the typical elements that are associated with rural England, such as a pub with a thatched roof, a church that is more than 1,500 years old, and front gardens that are full of roses. But in addition to that, it is the location of the largest stone circle in the entire world.

You are not required to pay an admission fee to visit Avebury Stone Circles and Henge, in contrast to the more well-known Stonehenge, and you are free to roam around the ceremonial site, which dates all the way back to somewhere between 2850 and 2200 BC.

A few houses, a couple of bed and breakfasts, a manor owned by the National Trust, and a Greene King pub dating back to the 19th century are also located in the village. Druids in robes can be seen drinking at the pub.

Castle Combe, in Wiltshire, received an 88% satisfaction rating, placing it in a tie for second place among towns and villages in the UK.

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

It should come as no surprise that the picturesque English village of Castle Combe was given a perfect score of five stars in our survey regarding its attractiveness and scenery. Houses dating back centuries and topped with crooked slate roofs can be found lining winding lanes.

The many tourists can get something to eat at the welcoming pub as well as one of the nearby shops. The church was built in the 15th century and is backed by a forest of beech trees. There is a stone bridge that crosses the stream above it. It seems as though Castle Combe was built specifically for the purpose of serving as a film set; in fact, it has been featured in a large number of movies and television shows, including “War Horse” and “Downton Abbey.”

Wells, which is located in Somerset, has a rating of 88%, making it the joint second best town or village in the UK.

Cathedral in Wells, Somserset

Wells may be considered a city because of the magnificent cathedral that sits at its very centre, but its size and charm make it seem more like a mediaeval country town than anything else. The cathedral was built in the 13th century, and its west facade, which features intricate carvings, makes it an exceptional example of early English Gothic architecture.

The nearby Vicars’ Close is an exceptional example of a fully preserved mediaeval street, and it is still occupied by priests today. More secular pleasures can be found at the twice-weekly markets, and it is likely that the combination of these fascinating things to do that are popular with crowds is the reason why Wells received a score of five out of five for tourist attractions.

Hay-on-Wye, in the county of Powys, received the highest rating of any town or village in Wales: 84%

Book shops in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

This Welsh border town has been attracting artists and other creative types for decades, thanks to the breathtaking scenery of the Black Mountains and the beauty of the River Wye. Both of these natural features have been given a rating of five stars. It was a sleepy place until bookseller Richard Booth transformed it into the world’s first Book Town by opening a number of shops and proclaiming himself King of Hay in the process. At that time, it was the only place of its kind in the world. Now, during the once-yearly literary festival, the town of Hay’s population increases to a whopping 10,000 people from all over the world. In addition to bookstores, the area features a large number of farm and food shops, as well as cafés and pubs, and on Thursdays there is a market.

The community of Aberfeldy in Perthshire received the highest rating in Scotland with 82%.

Bridge in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

Robert Burns was so fond of the scenery around Aberfeldy that he wrote a song lyric about the local landmark, the Birks of Aberfeldy. At the beginning of the path that leads to the waterfalls, there is a statue of him that visitors can admire.

However, this prosperous town is comprised of more than just the notoriety that was bestowed upon it by the renowned poet.

It is the first Fairtrade Town in Scotland, and its retailers promote products that are better for the environment. The Watermill, the company’s bookstore, is located in a historic oatmeal mill that has been renovated into a retail space and also features an art gallery. In addition, for those interested in imbibing, the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, which is located on the outskirts of town, offers tours as well as whisky tastings.