If you have got your wellies already packed, read our guide below to Residential Estate’s best kept villages in the UK to help you decide which one to visit next.
Best Kept Village Awards
There are many “best kept village” awards, leading to hotly contested competitions in the United Kingdom. Villages are usually selected based on tidiness, appropriateness, and “typicality”. The competitions have traditionally been organized by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) since the early 1970s alongside other competitions by Channel 4 and also independent Borough Councils. Each competition can get rather competitive with locals pruning hedges and weeding borders with great determination in the run up to the competition.
A panel of anonymous judges tour villages and take a close look at what is going on to compare one village from another. The judges are on the lookout to make sure there is no litter, graffiti or unsightly rubbish dumps in the village. They will be looking for carefully maintained communal areas, notice boards and public seats. Churchyards, private and public buildings, gardens and allotments will all be under scrutiny and even community spirit is assessed.
Below is a roundup of some of the villages Residential Estates consider the finest villages in the UK based on their charm and well-kept appearance. We wish them all well in future best kept village competitions.
Residential Estate’s Top 10 Best Kept Villages 2019
Grasmere, Cumbria, England
Grasmere is a hidden gem, nestled at the bottom of grand Lake District peaks. Renowned for being the home of poet William Wordsworth, tourists flock to see the stunning daffodils and church where Wordsworth’s family are buried. The quaint and traditional Grasmere Ginger Bread shop attracts visitors from around the globe and the babbling stream that runs through the centre of Grasmere make it the perfect spot for an afternoon amble. Make sure you indulge in a cream tea and watch the world go by in this pretty village the next time you are in the Lake District.
St Monans, Fife, Scotland
St Monans sits high on a hill overlooking the Firth of Forth. It enjoys stunning views of the Bass Ross and across to Edinburgh. Well maintained pastel colours and well-tended gardens mix with quaint fisherman cottages lining the seafront. St Monans is a very special village to visit and stop to admire the view.
Broad Campden, Gloucestershire, England
If you imagine an English chocolate box village, chances are you will be thinking of Broad Campden. Gentle rolling hills provide the perfect backdrop for a country walk around the perimeter of the pretty village. Then you can return to admire the carefully manicured traditional thatched cottages which really belong on a postcard. Broad Campden is an unspoilt village that can transport you back to times gone by.
Kingham, Oxfordshire, England
A previous winner of “England’s Favourite Village” Kingham is a small hamlet with a lot of community spirit. The open village green is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer’s day and appreciate the traditional limestone charming cottages in this Cotswolds idle. Cucumber sandwiches and lashings of tea are what is called for on a visit to Kingham.
Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Nestled in the Carmarthenshire hills, Llanfyndd has everything you need in a village. The steep valleys roll down to the streets and lanes, dotted with sheep and cattle. Ancient hedgerows, woodland, pine forest, and grasslands provide the perfect home for wildlife and there are plenty of walks to be had nearby. The quaint chapel, church and pub create a village hub and community spirit alive and kicking in the beautiful Welsh valleys.
Wrea Green, Lancashire, England
Wrea Green is a picturesque Lancashire village with the heart of it being a carefully maintained village green, complete with a traditional duck pond. A popular pub sits across the road from the green. Wrea Green looks like the perfect spot to don your whites and take part in a spot of cricket. Village pride is high and litter is rarely spotted in Wrea Green which is another reason it scores highly in best kept village competitions.
Hillsborough, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Hillsborough received the top honour at the Best Kept Awards 2018 for Northern Ireland. The community involvement impressed judged and the effort from businesses and councillors working together to improve their surroundings helped it win the award. Best kept villages are more about pride in the community and place you live than in the natural beauty of an area. Attention to detail with carefully maintained communal fittings and fixtures are what it is all about to make a village feel like a well-kept home.
Grappenhall, Cheshire, England
Grappenhall is a hidden gem, close to Warrington in the North West of England. Canal walks, village pubs and immaculate houses create a distinctly unique character. Well maintained footpaths allow visitors to enjoy the woods and semi-rural location of Grappenhall, while benefiting from not being too far away from it all. Head on to the canal for the day or explore by bike, this well-kept village is certainly worth a visit.
Wedmore, Somerset, England
Just a short drive from Wells, Wedmore sits in between the River Axe and River Brue. A grade I listed Church dating back to the 15th century and surrounded by beautiful gardens is a focal point for Wedmore and helps create a community hub. There is a great community spirit in Wedmore with annual festivals celebrating real ale and cider, traditional pubs and friendly locals to help you navigate your way round.
Thornton-le-Dale, Yorkshire, England
Thornton-le-Dale belongs on a painting. The 17th Century thatched cottage, which is now a village museum, is so pretty it has appeared in many calendars and merchandise over the years. A pretty stream runs by the road and thatched cottages sit with pride in perfectly pruned gardens. English villages don’t get prettier than this.
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