If you find yourself scrolling through Instagram saving dozens of pretty places in England, then this post will hopefully help narrow down the choices. With a few notable events taking place here in 2022 I’ve found a couple of good reasons to support taking a trip to one of these lovely locations with your camera.
AD (invite): The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park
1. Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor Castle is said to be one of Her Majesty The Queen’s favourite residences, and 2022 is a great time to visit Windsor as it’s The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year with a four day celebration planned for 12th-15th May. The town centre and surrounding Crown Estate are well kept year-round and offer a wealth of photo opportunities – my favourite being The Long Walk’s iconic view of the castle entrance.
Photo ideas: Street bunting, Jubilee decorations, Windsor Castle and The Long Walk
Planning a trip to take photos? Remember to respect the local community and take your litter home with you to preserve these beautiful places. Read this guide on Conscious Travel for some tips on how you can travel more mindfully.
2. The Slaughters, Gloucestershire
In 2021 Upper and Lower Slaughter (together ‘The Slaughters’) was ranked number 1 by The Times as the prettiest village in the UK. I can see why it tops the list, Lower Slaughter paints such an idyllic picture of rural life with a river trickling through the street past an old mill, and a cosy Country Inn where you can sit beside an open fire.
3. Bath, Somerset
I’ve done a couple of Instagram takeover’s for the Visit Bath tourism board around Christmas time – it is in-fact my favourite city in England; I love the grand Georgian buildings, how it’s all built using the same limestone and the abundance of places for tea.
That said, I was going to forgo Bath on this list as it’s already so well known, but it cannot be ignored when the second season of Bridgerton is set to be released on Netflix in March. The comeback will no doubt cause a flurry of interest in popular Instagram spots in the city like The Royal Crescent which was one of several Bridgerton filming locations during the first season.
4. Shaftesbury, Dorset
The backdrop of one of Britain’s favourite TV adverts, Gold Hill or “Hovis Hill” in Shaftesbury is considered to be one of the country’s most romantic views. Overlooking the rolling hills of the English countryside is a charming row of cottages lining a steep cobbled street, an idyllic setting for Hovis bread to use for their television advert in the 1970’s and again in 2019 after being remastered.
5. Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Highclere Castle is the setting for the Downton Abbey TV series which will be thrust into the spotlight once again in 2022 when the sequel to the Downton Abbey movie, titled ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ is released in March. The grand Victorian property and surrounding estate is instantly recognisable from the opening titles, so there’s no better time to visit and capture it for yourself.
6. Castle Combe, Wiltshire
When I think of pretty places Castle Combe is one of the first locations that springs to mind. The village is located in the county of Wiltshire and has long been a popular place to visit in The Cotswolds – I don’t think I can open Instagram without coming across a photo, Reel or Story of this place within a few minutes.
The view from the river bridge is probably one of the most famous views of England that is known across the world.
7. Rye, East Sussex
Rye’s cobbled streets take you back centuries and one of the most well known on Instagram is Mermaid Street as it’s lined with pretty houses and a half timbered hotel called The Mermaid Inn. Tucked away in the middle of the town is the aptly named Cobbles Tea Room, a quaint spot for tea and cake that I discovered on the photo sharing app.
If you visit the Church of Saint Mary you can pay to access the bell tower (via steep and narrow staircases) and enjoy panoramic views of Rye and the surrounding countryside and coastline.
8. Edensor, Derbyshire
Part of the Chatsworth Estate in the Peak District is the village of Edensor, constructed by Sir Joseph Paxton who rests in the Churchyard alongside members of the Cavendish family. The cottages are uniquely designed with influences from Switzerland and the Tudor era – amazing if you love both architecture and photography.
Further reading: 7 Amazing Places to Visit in the Peak District in the Autumn
Before you leave there’s a pretty picture postcard view of Edensor and the Church from across the road on a path that leads to Chatsworth House.
9. Bibury, Gloucestershire
Bibury is the “the most beautiful village in England”, or so artist and designer William Morris one said, and many would agree. Arlington Row, now protected by the National Trust, is so well loved an illustration of it was used inside of all British passports. The weaver’s cottages overlook a meadow on the banks of the River Coln.
The Cotswold village is also home to The Swan Hotel, another popular place I frequently see on my Instagram feed.
10. Wells, Somerset
Vicars’ Close in Wells is thought to be the oldest purely residential street that’s still intact in Europe! It’s easy to see what draws people here with their camera, the old row of houses with their uniform design and tall chimney stacks are an amazing sight to capture in England’s smallest city, as well as the spectacular Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace and Gardens nearby.
What other places are popular in England on Instagram?
Here are five that I frequently see but have yet to visit!
- York, Yorkshire – Steeped in history, including The Shambles
- Haworth, Yorkshire – A charming hillside village
- Honington, Warwickshire – Home to one the prettiest cottages in England, Rose Cottage
- Clovelly, Devon – Picturesque seaside village with a cobbled street
- Wherwell, Hampshire – Pretty thatched cottages
These places are popular for a reason and I would recommend visiting them outside of the peak season (the summer and school holidays) on a weekday for the best experience as they can get quite crowded. If you’re not flexible with your time but are keen to visit pretty places in England then view my guide to 5 lesser-known places in The Cotswolds and the Medieval Towns and Villages in and around Herefordshire.
Enjoy exploring Great Britain?
Join me on Instagram @explorewithed to discover the best of Britain as I visit beautiful towns and villages in search of all things old and ancient, and venture out into the country seeking cosy tea rooms and stunning viewpoints.