From stunning summer flowers to pretty patterned homes that catch the sun, there is nothing better than a colourful town or village during the summer. They are the perfect places to live or visit. We have picked ten of the UK’s most colourful locations, from hidden coastal villages with multicoloured cottages, to towns that burst into bloom. Where would you most like to live?
1. Cobh, Ireland
This Irish town is one of the most important ports of emigration in the country, and was even the place where Titanic set off on its ill-fated maiden voyage. The view of the town from the sea is stunning, with row upon row of coloured homes to welcome cruise ships.
“The waterside town is steeped in history, awash with culture, full of great restaurants and bars, and has lots of attractions within a short distance of each other,” says Visit Cobh.com. “There’s oodles of fun things to do for everyone, from families to the adventurous and those seeking culture and heritage.”
2. Finchingfield, Essex
This pretty village is characterised by winding country lanes arranged around the large duck pond and village green.
“There are three charming pubs, a post office, general store, a health centre and a primary school. Visitors can even buy a copy of the newsy parish magazine, the Villager, from the local post office,” says About Britain.
Period cottages start at around £325,000. Property in the area can be expensive, with stately homes nearby costing up to £8,000,000.
3. Portmeirion, Wales
This colourful village has an admission fee to enter for the day, though visitors can choose holiday there, staying overnight in the hotel or self-catering cottages. Architect Clough Williams-Ellis took over fifty years to design and build Portmeirion, which has narrow backstreets, pretty buildings and Italianate architecture. The colourful buildings take inspiration from the fishing port of Portofino on the Italian Riviera.
The town of Porthmadog is nearby, where a two-bedroom terraced home can cost as little as £120,000, while a five-bedroom house can cost up to £500,000.
4. Looe, Cornwall
From the sandy yellow beach to the twinkling blue sea, Looe is certainly a colourful Cornish town.
“The seaside town of Looe keeps visitors entertained all year round and is still very much a working fishing port,” says Visit Cornwall. “Start your day early and you can watch the day’s catch being auctioned on the quay and pick up some fresh fish for yourself.
“Looe is famous for its food and many eateries in the town serve up award-winning fare, from fish and chips near the river to gourmet menus in smart restaurants perched on the hill overlooking the harbour.”
5. Ludlow, Shropshire
With over 500 Listed buildings, this historic market town has a quiet charm. You will find colourful homes hidden down the narrow side streets, as well as the colour of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the doorstep.
“Ludlow has many things to offer - from walking the streets of this historic town and visiting Ludlow Castle and St Laurence's Church, to a meal at one of Ludlow's restaurants,” says Ludlow.org.uk.
“The town is noted for the many events and festivals that take place throughout the year, from the annual Medieval Christmas Fayre and the famed Ludlow Food and Drink Festival.”
Detached riverside family homes with more than five bedrooms cost over £1,000,000. Terrace homes cost around £150,000.
6. Tobermory, Isle of Mull
This town on the Isle of Mull in Scotland is famous for its colourful homes. You may recognise it as the location of Balamory, the children’s television program.
Visit Scotland says: “It is one of the prettiest ports in Scotland, thanks to the colourful houses and a sheltered bay where, legend has it, one of the Spanish Armada ships sank in 1588 carrying gold bullion.
“Built as a fishing port in 1788 on a design by Thomas Telford, the town curves around the harbour and rises into the hillside beyond. Main Street is a mix of shops, eateries, hotels and guest houses and has an excellent selection of locally produced arts and crafts.”
A home near the harbour with seven bedrooms can cost almost £500,000, while a semi-detached bungalow with two bedrooms costs around £125,000.
7. Lavenham, Suffolk
This must be one of Britain’s finest medieval villages. It features original Tudor buildings, many of which have been painted pink and yellow, combining colour with history.
“Lavenham offers the perfect backdrop with fine historic buildings, the National Trust Guildhall and the church of St Peter and St Paul with the tallest village church tower in England,” says Discover Lavenham. “The village plays host to live events, car rallies, and has been an inspirational location shoot for TV productions and films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.”
You can find a beautiful Grade II Listed end of terrace home for around £700,000, or a two-bedroom apartment from £250,000.
8. Norwich, Norfolk
This popular city features an iconic row of coloured houses, which reflect into the picturesque canal. From the local stately homes to explore, to the nearby Mid-Yare National Nature Reserve which leads into the Broads National Park, it’s a beautiful place to live.
“Norwich stands alone. Its geographical separation from the spreading sameness of other English cities has infused it with a rich character all of its own, an invigorating mix of past and present; of openness and offbeat charm,” says Visit Norwich.
A two-bedroom flat or terraced home can cost around £150,000. Historic homes with over six bedrooms can cost up to £1,500,000.
9. Notting Hill, London
This colourful location is significantly busier than some of our others favourites, but the pastel colours of this London borough are hard to pass by. From bright, lively shopfronts, to the glittering carnival every August, this is the capital’s most colourful spot.
Lonely Planet says: “Fashionable Notting Hill is one of London's most iconic neighbourhoods. Best known as host to the world’s second biggest carnival (after Rio’s Mardi Gras) and home to the famous Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill is also a serious destination for culture buffs and those on the hunt for a quintessential London experience.”
One-bedroom apartments in the area start at around £500,000. Detached homes in Notting Hill are rare. Expect to pay over £15,000,000 for the privilege.
10. Portree, Isle of Skye
This small town has an iconic row of multicoloured houses lining the port.
“Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye, is a bustling port and a thriving cultural centre,” says Visit Scotland. “Set round its natural harbour and fringed by high ground and cliffs, the harbour continues to be used by fishing boats as well as pleasure craft. It boasts excellent leisure facilities including a swimming pool, pony-trekking and boat cruises plus plenty of shopping.”
A terraced house on the island can cost around £125,000, while a family home with land and outbuildings can cost over £500,000.
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