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The Best English Locales for a Countryside Retreat



England is blessed with no shortage of picturesque countryside, making it an ideal destination for a rural retreat. From the rugged peaks of the Peak District to the rolling green hills of Yorkshire, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a scenic spot for a relaxing getaway. Here are some of the top English locales to consider for an idyllic countryside holiday. Screenshot 2024-04-23 at 11.40.57


Devon is a county in southwest England renowned for its stunning natural scenery. The northern part of the county forms part of the Dartmoor National Park, home to sweeping moorland, rocky tors and deep river valleys. Meanwhile, the coastline offers sheer cliffs, secluded coves and popular seaside towns and resorts like Ilfracombe and Salcombe. Devon is the perfect base for enjoying outdoor pursuits like hiking, cycling, surfing and horse riding. The South West Coast Path runs the length of the shoreline for spectacular coastal walks.

Accommodation options in Devon range from cosy thatched cottages and farmhouse B&Bs to grand stately homes converted into hotels. Visit in the spring to see the Devon hedgerows ablaze with wildflowers or in autumn to wander through ancient woodlands resplendent in rustic colours. Wherever you go, you’ll be treated to bucolic views and the chance to unwind surrounded by nature.


As England’s largest county, Yorkshire packs in a variety of landscapes perfect for a rural retreat, from the wild North York Moors to the tranquil Yorkshire Dales. There are endless opportunities for scenic walks, whether it’s the challenge of the famous Three Peaks or a more leisurely stroll along one of the Dales’ green valleys.

After working up an appetite, refuel at a local pub or tea shop famous for hearty Yorkshire fare like pies, Wensleydale cheese and Yorkshire puddings. Work off the indulgence with a bit of horse riding, cycling or fishing, or simply relax at your countryside accommodation. There are cosy hideaways like the large holiday home Yorkshire with hot tub at Yellow Rush Lodge located 20 minutes outside of York, as well as remote barns and inns off the beaten track.

Lake District

Situated in the northwest of England, the Lake District is renowned as one of the country’s most scenic national parks. With its deep lakes, rugged fells and quaint villages, it’s a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Adventurous types can try rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and kayaking with stunning views as a backdrop. Gentler activities include lake cruises, pony trekking and train rides between the valleys. 

While here, wander around the “capital of the lakes”, Ambleside, with its outdoor gear shops, galleries and cafes. Visit Hill Top, the 17th-century farmhouse where Beatrix Potter dreamed up her beloved children’s tales. The Lake District has plenty of charming accommodation, from remote inns to boutique hotels overlooking the lakes. Take the chance to switch off and soak up the natural splendour that has inspired artists and writers for generations.

England certainly isn't short on breathtaking countryside in which to enjoy a rural retreat. With charming towns and villages, options for outdoor adventures, and luxurious places to stay, these locations offer the perfect English escape.


image courtesy of unsplash