10 Villages Near London Worth a Visit

Sometimes, the best treasures lie just off the beaten path. This is especially true for London, a sprawling metropolis that's rich in history, culture, and iconic landmarks. But venture just a couple of hours beyond the city's bustling streets, and you'll uncover charming villages that offer a slice of tranquillity amidst the country's beautiful landscapes. These villages are brimming with unique character, scenic beauty, and a much slower pace of life, making them the perfect spots for day trips or weekend getaways. In partnership with Viewbound, we'll guide you to 10 picturesque and unique villages near London that you can reach within a two-hour journey. Ready? Let's escape the city and embark on a charming adventure.

Picturesque and Unique Villages Near London

1. Shere, Surrey

Just an hour's drive from London, Shere is the epitome of a charming English village. Its quaint half-timbered houses, idyllic duck pond, and delightful tearooms are the perfect setting for a relaxing day out. Take a leisurely stroll around the village, enjoy a cup of tea at one of the local cafes, and capture Instagram-worthy shots of its charming scenery.

2. Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Dubbed 'the prettiest village in England,' Castle Combe is a must-visit. With its honey-coloured Cotswold stone houses, lush meadows, and an enchanting 14th-century market cross, Castle Combe looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale.

an empty street lined with stone buildings
Castle Combe - One of the prettiest villages near London

3. Rye, East Sussex

With its cobbled streets, medieval buildings, and charming harbour, Rye is a treasure trove of picturesque sights. Explore its rich history by visiting Rye Castle, enjoy fresh seafood at local eateries, and don't forget to photograph the beautiful Mermaid Street, known for its photogenic half-timbered houses.

4. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Famous for its annual Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames offers more than just watersports. Its charming Georgian architecture, beautiful riverside setting, and vibrant local culture make it a great day trip destination. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Thames or simply unwind at a riverside cafe.

5. Arundel, West Sussex

Arundel's skyline is dominated by its grand castle and stunning cathedral, but its charm extends to its lovely independent shops, antique markets, and tea rooms. Wander its quaint streets, visit Arundel Castle, and take in the beautiful views of the River Arun.

green grass field near gray concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Arundel Cathedral of Our Lady & St Philip Howard

6. Epping, Essex

If you're a nature lover, Epping is the place for you. This lovely village is right on the doorstep of Epping Forest, an ancient woodland that's perfect for leisurely walks. Don't miss the chance to explore its historic market and charming High Street.

7. Whitstable, Kent

Known for its oysters, Whitstable is a delightful seaside village. With its colourful beach huts, bustling harbour, and independent shops, it's the perfect place to enjoy a day by the sea. Grab a fresh seafood lunch and watch the world go by.

8. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Rich in history, Berkhamsted is home to a magnificent castle ruin, a traditional high street, and the Grand Union Canal. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the canal, explore the local shops, and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Berkhamsted Castle grounds.

9. Dedham, Essex

Situated in the heart of Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Dedham is renowned for its beautiful countryside that inspired many of John Constable's paintings. Rent a rowing boat for a peaceful trip along the River Stour, or simply enjoy the view from one of the riverside pubs.

10. Lavenham, Suffolk

Often regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval villages in the UK, Lavenham is known for its half-timbered houses, including the iconic De Vere House featured in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'. Visit the Lavenham Guildhall to learn about the village's rich history, and don't forget to capture its unique architecture.

brown and white concrete building
Tudor style houses in Lavenham, Suffolk

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the closest village to London?

The village of Epping in Essex is one of the closest to London. It's conveniently located on the outskirts of the city and is accessible via the Central line on the Tube.

What is a small town near London?

Shere in Surrey is a delightful small town near London. It's known for its half-timbered houses and quaint tea rooms, and it's only an hour's drive from the capital.

What's the nearest countryside in London?

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the nearest countryside areas to London. This scenic area boasts lush woodlands, vibrant meadows, and picturesque villages like Shere and Dorking.

What are the villages in London?

While London is primarily a city, there are several areas within the city that retain a village-like charm, such as Hampstead, Highgate, and Greenwich.

Where is the best place to live just outside London?

Many people enjoy living in towns like Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, which offer a great balance of countryside charm and easy access to the city.

people walking on street near houses during daytime
Shere Village in Surrey, just outside London

Things to Know When Visiting These Villages Near London

Travel Arrangements: Always check the best travel routes before your visit. Some villages may be easier to reach by car, while others are well-connected by trains or buses.

Local Etiquette: Remember that these villages are home to local residents. Keep noise levels down and respect private properties.

Weather: The UK weather can be unpredictable, so it's wise to pack an umbrella or a raincoat.

Opening Times: Some attractions, shops, and eateries in smaller villages may have shorter opening hours or may be closed on certain days. Check their opening times in advance.

Local Produce: Many of these villages are known for their local produce. Don't miss the opportunity to try local delicacies.

Walking Shoes: These villages offer beautiful landscapes for walking. Comfortable shoes will enhance your experience.

Photography: Keep in mind the lighting for photography. Some villages look especially beautiful during the golden hour – just after sunrise or before sunset.


There you have it – 10 unique and picturesque villages near London, each with its own charm and beauty, and all within a two-hour journey from the capital. These delightful escapes from the city offer a glimpse into a slower pace of life, where history, nature, and tranquillity blend together seamlessly.

With Viewbound as your guide, you can plan the perfect day trip or weekend getaway, complete with travel tips, routes, and must-see spots in each village. Discover the charm of the English countryside, indulge in local delicacies, and capture stunning photos that will have your Instagram followers swooning.

So why wait? Start exploring these enchanting villages near London with Viewbound today.

Continue reading

Travel more

easy, fast, budget-friendly
Download now