We have scoured the country to find Britain's most beautiful places to live. There are hidden villages, dream homes, and a range of prices to suit all budgets. Here is our pick of the top 10 places if you are thinking of escaping to the country or prefer city life.
1. Isle of Skye, Scotland
This is the perfect place to live a simple life. The strikingly beautiful natural scenery and stunning countryside angle would make it even easier to leave fast-paced city life behind.
“The largest of the Inner Hebrides, it's home to some of Scotland's most iconic landscapes. The island has countless ways to enchant you, with its mountain ranges, miles of dramatic coastline and captivating history. Bring your sense of adventure,” says Visit Scotland.
There are lots of opportunities to start a croft on the island, with land prices starting at around £60,000. A four-bedroom detached home, right on the coast, can cost under £400,000.
2. Bath, Somerset
The historic city of Bath is known for its honey-coloured stone buildings, the natural hot waters at the Roman Baths, and its fascinating history.
Lonely Planet said: “Britain's littered with beautiful cities, but precious few compare to Bath. Home to some of the nation's grandest Georgian architecture – not to mention one of the world's best-preserved Roman bathhouses – this slinky, sophisticated, snooty city, founded on top of natural hot springs, has been a tourist draw for nigh on 2000 years.”
With a relaxed atmosphere and a social calendar full of festivals, Bath is drawing more professional people from London every year.
One-bedroom flats in the city start at around £180,000, while a house on an iconic crescent in the centre of town can cost up to £5,000,000.
3. Kew, London
This suburban area near Richmond in West London is the capital’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site. It boasts a stunning location, tucked between a curve of the River Thames and the incomparable Kew Gardens. Lovers of the outdoors will appreciate the amount of green space in such an urban area, with the extensive Richmond Park only a stroll away.
“It offers unique landscapes, vistas and iconic architecture from every stage of the Gardens' history,” says Kew Gardens. “Our collection of living plants is the largest and most diverse in the world, growing out in the landscape and within our glasshouses and nurseries.”
Prices for a one-bedroom flat start at around £350,000. A premiere home with over five bedrooms is likely to cost over £3,000,000.
4. Seaford, East Sussex
This coastal town in East Sussex has incredible views over the Severn Sisters cliffs.
This part of the world has an interesting history, as the town once suffered from regular attacks from French pirates. Back in the 14th to 16th centuries, the locals had a reputation for looting and causing shipwrecks, according to Seaford’s website.
In this area, a one-bedroom flat with sea views can cost as little as £130,000. A detached five-bedroom home can cost up to £800,000.
5. Polperro, Cornwall
Polperro is a seaside village with winding streets, cute cottages, and a picturesque harbour. The village has a colourful past as a smuggling port in the 18th century.
“The village lies just a few spectacular miles along the coast from Looe. Sheltered from the ravages of time and tide in its cliff ravine, it's an enchanting jumble of cottages, each one unmistakably the work of a Cornish fisherman,” says Cornwall Online.
Historic one-bedroom cottages cost upwards of £200,000. At the other end of the market, a four-bedroom detached home can cost around £400,000.
6. Castle Combe, Wiltshire
This quintessential English village is a highlight of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“Castle Combe has been called 'The Prettiest Village in England' and with good reason; visitors have been coming to enjoy its charms for at least a century and the small street leading from the Market Cross down to the By Brook is as picturesque today as it ever was,” says the Castle Combe village website.
“The village has played host to many filming activities, the most famous of these being ‘Doctor Doolittle’, filmed in and around the village in 1966. More recently the village has had a major role in 'War Horse'.”
Property prices range from over £1,000,000 for a large period detached home, to £330,000 for a charming two-bed terrace.
7. Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland’s capital city is unparalleled. Each twist and turn can uncover a new secret, be it a sign of the past or a quirky new restaurant or bar. This is certainly a beautiful place to live.
“From its world-famous castle, perched atop a volcanic rock, to its palace, HM The Queen's official residence in Scotland, and from the Georgian House to the National Museum of Scotland and every brick and cobbled alley in between - the city is a historical jewel,” says Visit Scotland.
Within walking distance of the city centre, a one-bedroom flat can cost upwards of £140,000. A townhouse in a central Edinburgh location can cost as much as £1,750,000.
8. Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia
This traditional Welsh village is widely known as the gateway to Snowdonia, with fantastic access to walks, including Wales’s tallest mountain; Snowdon. It has lots of places to eat and drink, plus the beautiful Swallow Falls are nearby.
“Betws-y-Coed is the principal village of the Snowdonia National Park. Covering more than 800 square miles, the park is a region of haunting beauty and grandeur, of wild rocky mountains, hidden valleys, cascading rivers, still glacial lakes and deep forests,” said the Betws-y-Coed Region Tourism Marketing Group.
A three-bedroom terrace or semi-detached house will start at around £250,000, while a countryside house near the village with four bedrooms can cost around £600,000.
9. Shaftesbury, Dorset
This Dorset town is the setting for one of ‘Britain’s best-loved adverts’. After starring in a 1973 advert for bread, this hill became known as ‘Hovis Hill’ and people still visit the village to see the famous location today. Shaftesbury also has a farmers’ market, information centre, museum and supermarket.
Prices range from £100,000 for a one bedroom flat to £850,000 for an eight-bedroom home.
10. Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District
Sitting on the shore of Lake Windermere, this town is one of the most popular destinations in Cumbria. It is known for the wide variety of water sports available on the lake. Others visit to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Lake District. There are stunning countryside mansions that line the shores of the lake, and these homes have some of the most beautiful views in the country.
“Bowness-on-Windermere is now one of the main centres of Outdoor Activities in the UK,” says Visit Cumbria. “The Victorian influence can be seen everywhere – in the late 19th century, wealthy businessmen from Lancashire built large residences overlooking the lake, and some have now been converted to hotels.”
Prices for a one-bedroom flat in the village start at £120,000. If you have your eye on a waterfront mansion, be prepared to pay upwards of £3,000,000.
Are you looking for your dream home in a beautiful location? Contact Fine & Country today to start your search.