The leaves are now crisp and brown and the temperature is steadily dropping, marking the move into autumn. But where are the prettiest villages to live this autumn? We have scoured the country to find hidden gems in everywhere from Wiltshire and Derbyshire to East Sussex and Somerset.
1. Castle Combe, Wiltshire
The Castle stands no more, but the village does have an interesting history as a British hill fort which became occupied by the Romans. The Normans came later and built the fort into a Castle.
House prices range from £700,000 for a detached family home to £350,000 for a terrace.
2. Crovie, Aberdeenshire
Leave your car on top of the hill as they won’t fit down into this former fishing village. Rather than visit in the sunshine, Undiscovered Scotland recommend visiting when an autumn gale is blowing up from the sea, which is only a few feet from the front of the cottages.
“Crovie is built on a remarkably narrow ledge between the base of the cliffs forming the east side of Gamrie Bay and the sea,” says Undiscovered Scotland. “The shelf on which the village is perched is so narrow it only has room for a row of cottages and the footpath in front of them. Only a few feet from the cottages is the drop to the rocky foreshore and the sea.”
Property is very affordable here. Detached homes cost around £300,000, while smaller cottages can cost as little as £135,000.
3. Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
This quaint village sits beside the River Eye and is known for its unspoilt cottages in the traditional Cotswold style. The stream running through the village is crossed by two small bridges and the local attraction is a converted mill with original water wheel.
It’s a lovely place to live in autumn as the leaves turn crisp and brown, matching the Cotswold stone cottages.
Properties are few and far between in the village. Semi-detached cottages can be found for £250,000, while a four-bedroom detached home nearby can cost £600,000.
4. Castleton, Derbyshire
“Castleton is an outstandingly pretty village situated at the head of the lovely Vale of Hope, in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park,” explains Derbyshire UK. “Castleton is surrounded on three sides by steep hills. On a hill, overlooking Castleton, is the ancient Peveril Castle.”
“Castleton has 4 underground show caves which are all worth a visit for their own interesting features.”
Characterful cottages start at £450,000 while semi-detached homes cost around £250,000.
5. Mickleton, Gloucestershire
Mickleton is popular with vegetable growers and are sold at local markets. Young plants, seed plugs, apples, cauliflowers and asparagus, or gras, are grown locally.
Meon Hill, scene of the so-called 'witchcraft' murder of Charles Walton in 1945, lies to the north of the village.
Mickleton.com say the village is great because it is not just inhabited by Londoners at the weekend, like some nearby villages. Instead, it’s a bustling village with a butchers, post office, grocery store and two pubs.
Detached homes in the village cost over £700,000. New build homes can cost as little as £60,000.
6. Rye, East Sussex
Rye is a fortified hilltop town with cobbled streets, tea rooms, and historic properties.
“One of the best preserved medieval towns in England, Rye is home to the enchanting cobbled Mermaid Street, the impressive Norman church of St Mary’s, a rich selection of specialist shops and a thriving fishing fleet. Rye was once surrounded on three sides by the sea and its maritime heritage dates back to Norman times,” said tourist board 1066 Country.
Prices range from £185,000 for a one-bedroom flat to over £850,000 for a large five-bedroom detached house.
7. Dunster, Somerset
“The medieval village of Dunster is in Somerset within the Exmoor National Park,” says Dunster.org. With its Castle, Yarn Market, Tithe Barn and a wealth of listed buildings, Dunster is a favourite destination for many tourists.
With the whole of the Exmoor National Park to explore by day, by walking trails or horseback, and the stunning views of the stars by night, there is a lot to occupy visitor.
Small detached cottages cost in the region of £350,000 and you could pick up a two-bed property for under £200,000.
8. Malham, North Yorkshire
Malham is a small village in the Pennines.
“It's a pretty place, surrounded by limestone dry-stone walls, and a stream that runs right through the middle of the village,” says Malham Dale.com.
“Mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Malgun', Malham has been a settlement for at least a thousand years. Traces of Iron Age boundaries are still visible today. One hundred years ago, Malham was a place of mills and mines. Nowadays, hill farms and tourism are the main activities.”
Properties rarely come on the market in this village. A detached house is likely to cost over £600,000.
9. Boscastle, Cornwall
Boscastle is in a conservation area amongst beautiful countryside, and is one of the few remaining unspoilt harbour villages in Cornwall. The National Trust own and care for the beautiful medieval harbour and surrounding coastline.
The small harbour hosts a number of fishing boats, but was once a hive of activity with trade taking place between Wales, Bristol and the south of England. There are lots of walks to discover in the area, and Boscastle is a great base.
Two-bedroom terraced homes start at £170,000. Clifftop properties with incredible views can cost £1,000,000.
10. Shaftesbury, Dorset
Shaftesbury is not strictly a village, but it still has a village feel. The setting for one of ‘Britain’s best-loved adverts’ is in Shaftesbury. In a 1973 advert for Hovis bread, a baker’s boy had to push his bike to the top of the cobbled hill. Even now, people still visit to see the famous hill. The village has a farmers’ market, information centre, museum and supermarket.
“The beauty of the surrounding Dorset countryside is complemented by the collection of fine historical buildings that make up the centre of Shaftesbury itself. WIth a number of delightful Inns, restaurants and hotels, it has become a popular tourist destination for a relaxing family holiday or short break,” says Shaftesbury Dorset.com.
Expect to pay close to £700,000 for a large family home. A one-bedroom apartment will cost around £100,000.
11. Dedham, Essex
Situated in the Dedham Valley Area of Natural Beauty, this village has inspired many artists, including John Constable. “It was here that Britain's greatest landscape artist went to school,” says Visit Essex. “The attractive main street is lined with Georgian-fronted houses, old inns and a large art/crafts centre. The magnificent 15th century church was built from the wealth of the medieval cloth industry.”
“Dedham is frequently rated as containing some of England's most beautiful Lowland landscape, most particularly the Water Meadows of the River Stour, which passes along the northern boundary of the village forming the boundary between the counties of Essex and Suffolk.”
The most expensive properties here cost over £1,250,000 but a small cottage will cost around £250,000.
12. Lerryn, Cornwall
The tidal village of Lerryn is separated by a creek which exposes stepping stones between the two sides of the village at low tide. The most common way to cross, though, is via the old stone bridge.
Lerryn village has a local Port Office and stores and a pub, the Ship Inn, which has been open since the 16th century.
There is a great community spirit in the village, including with the Seagull Race, which happens every winter. Teams strap a low-powered motor to their choice of floating device and race to raise money for the RNLI.
Small cottages start at around £200,000. At the other end of the market, a six-bedroom detached home in the area can cost over £600,000.
13. Bibury, Gloucestershire
Bibury is situated in the Cotswolds on the River Coln. “The village centre clusters around a square near St. Mary's, a Saxon church,” says Cotswolds.info. “Some of the Saxon remains inside the church are replicas as the originals are housed in the British Museum.”
“One of the village's main tourist spots and overlooking a water meadow and the river is Arlington Row, a group of ancient cottages with steeply pitched roofs dating back to the 16th Century.”
“Bibury has provided the backdrop for blockbuster films including Stardust and Bridget Jones's Diary.”
A stunning country mansion can cost around £3,000,000. Cottages start at around £300,000.
14. Sandsend, North Yorkshire
This small village is north of the popular seaside town of Whitby. It stretches along a sweep of fine beach, divided by a stream running into the sea, with clear views of historic Whitby Abbey.
It boasts fine food including beach shacks, tea rooms and gourmet restaurants. There is also a gallery showcasing the work of local artists. It is a great place for dog lovers, as there is a spa that is dedicated to pampering pooches.
Properties are sought after here, particularly if they have a sea view. A cute three-bedroom cottage is likely to be under £300,000.
15. Brockweir, Gloucestershire
Brockweir is an attractive village located alongside the River Wye, which used to be a key location for the boat building industry. “It is reported that vessels up to 90 tonnes could reach this point from the sea, where their cargoes were transferred to shallow barges and hauled up the river by teams of men,” says Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.
“Before the cast iron road bridge was built in 1904/6, only one narrow road led into the village and access was usually achieved by water, with a ferry-taking travellers to and from the Welsh bank. Many of the buildings had river connections, acting as warehouses and although today only one public house remains, there were once 16 inns to satisfy the demands of locals, watermen and shipbuilders!”
Family homes can cost up to £1,250,000 while smaller family homes are around £500,000.
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