When most people visit England, they visit only the big cities like London or Manchester. These big cities are great, and they have lots of shopping and sightseeing to do, but there are lots of small, charming, old towns in England that get overlooked. These are the 7 old towns in England, that you don’t want to miss.
Henley-on-Thames is a historic market town located in Oxfordshire. Only 23 miles from Oxford and 9 miles from Reading, it also provides the opportunity of visiting a close-by bigger city if needed. It sits on the River Thames, where the Royal Regatta is held every year. It is a small town with a long history. The first mention of it dates to 1179. The high street is aligned with little shops, bakeries, cafes and pubs which will surely provide a very relaxing weekend.
Shrewsbury is a small town located in western England. It is looped by the River Severn and it is Shropshire’s county town. It is also the birthplace of Charles Darwin. The town is full of old Tudor and Jacobean buildings and you can also visit the medieval Shrewsbury Castle – perfect for those interested in history.
Melrose, Scottish Borders
Melrose is a small town located in the Scottish Borders. It is very small but there is lots to do. Melrose Abbey is a beautiful abbey founded in 1136. Melrose is also the birthplace of Rugby Sevens and the small town is perfect for those who would like to discover rural Scotland.
Totnes is a market town located at the head of the estuary of the River Dart. It is within the South Devon Area of Natural Beauty. Totnes has a very long history, with the first record dating back to AD 907, which is when its first castle was built. It is a town rich in history, music and culture.
Wells is a cathedral “city” located on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Wells is often referred to as the smallest town in England, but it comes in second behind the City of London in terms of area and population. There is a lot to do in Wells, for example, the Wookey Hole Caves feature 60,000 years of human history and Wells Cathedral is a gothic cathedral with a 14th-century clock. With the abundance of things to do it is a good idea to look up a travel itinerary.
Abergavenny is located near the border between England and Wales. It has very good road and rail links, which makes it easy to get to. The Abergavenny Food Festival is held on the 11th of December, where local producers sell their goods. Whilst there you can also visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Abergavenny Castle and go hiking around Sugar Loaf mountain, which is located 2 miles out of the town.
Saffron Walden, Essex
Saffron Walden is a small town located 18 miles south of Cambridge which provides the opportunity to visit the historical University of Cambridge. The town has a very rural appearance and Walden Castle itself dates to 1140. The market is held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, where you can buy local goods.
England is full of beautiful old towns and they are all rich in history. The small towns are perfect for a weekend getaway as you will be able to sightsee, shop and enjoy yourself, without feeling constrained for time.