Natural Scenery

The 7 towns and villages so beautiful they belong in a fairytale all 1 hour away from London

We can all feel a bit exhausted from time to time and after a nightmare 18 months we’ve had, some of us need a break from reality.

If you’re looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, these idyllic counties close to London might just be the perfect Christmas break.

Here at MyLondon we have rounded up seven of the best villages and towns only an hour from London to give you some inspiration.

From quintessential British country houses to villages that boast some of the best pubs in the UK, you’ll thank us later for these getaway suggestions.

READ MORE: The 7 magical Kent villages and towns so beautiful they belong in a fairytale

1. Maidstone, Kent

Leeds Castle in Kent is 900 years old

Less than two hours from London, Maidstone is an idyllic town situated in the heart of the Kentish countryside.

It is home to magnificent attractions and tourist hotspots such as the 900-year-old Leeds Castle.

From historic castles, captivating scenery, art galleries and stunning walks; Maidstone really does have it all.

There are also plenty of high-quality restaurants and cafes to pay a visit to if you’re staying for a longer trip, such as The Yew Tree Kitchen.

2. Lavenham, Suffolk

Lavenham is a charming village bursting with history and scenery

Lavenham is a village in Suffolk that should definitely be added to your travel list.

The village was used to film Godrick’s Hollow, the birthplace of Harry Potter, as part of the hit film franchise.

Numerous timber-frame buildings dating from the 15th-century line the cobbled streets of the village.

Visitors can make the most of the area’s art galleries, Christmas craft market, village walking tours.

If you’re looking for somewhere that ticks all of the boxes above and also has some cracking food, Lavenham could be a great place to start.

3. Great Milton, Oxfordshire

Great Milton makes you feel like you’re in the South of France

For those looking for a weekend trip from the city, this attractive South Oxfordshire village might just be the ideal place to go.

It’s only 45 minutes away from London and home to the famous restaurant and hotel Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which is owned by the renowned French chef, Raymond Blanc.

What’s more, there are over ten gardens to explore as well as a whole world of sculpture if you decide to stay overnight.

4. Chiddingfold, Surrey

Tiled and brick cottages on main road at Chiddingfold

This charming Surrey village is proving very popular with London commuters and its not hard to see why.

Independent shops, charming inns and stunning scenery – Chiddingfold has an array of must-see attractions.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in town, with Elliott’s Coffee Shop being the most popular.

It’s no trouble getting to and from the city, with the one-hour drive through Guildford approaching London from the South West.

5. Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire

Great Shelford is amongst one of the best places to live

Just four miles south of the city of Cambridge has been crowned one of the ‘best villages to live in the UK’ by The Sunday Times.

The village also home to one of the best delis in the UK too, The Shelford Delicatessen, where customers can everything from fruits and vegetables, to cheeses, meats – and coffee.

The area also has plenty of nature to explore. The Beechwoods Nature Reserve provides plenty of walking routes, wildlife, and interesting history.

6. Whitstable, Kent

Find your inner peace at Whitstable

This pretty Kent seaside town just an hour from London with plenty of quaint harbours and beaches.

The dock is known for its fresh seafood and none other than the famous Whitstable oyster.

There are also two beaches that you can take advantage of, and are great locations for windsurfers.

Inside the town you’ll also find shops, galleries and spas to give yourself a quick treat before leaving.

7. Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

Go punting down the river in Grantchester

Resting on the banks of the River Cam, the village of Grantchester is just two miles south of Cambridge.

It is just over an hour away from London and is said to have the world’s highest concentration of Nobel Prize winners.

The village is also perfect for exploring the great outdoors, as the Grantchester Meadows are just a stone’s throw away.

Escape reality and step into the village of Grantchester – who knows what you’ll find there.

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