This post's overview:
Welford-on-Avon is England’s best-kept secret. Ready to find out more about the prettiest thatched village in England, the thatched house paradise? Keep reading!
I must confess that I’m obsessed with English villages. I’m based in London; however, I take any opportunity to drive outside the city and explore the beautiful countryside in England. If you’re interested in more road trips and weekend trips from London, check my UK posts category (I’ve got a lot of posts about travelling in England).
On one of such trips (this time, it was a trip to Birmingham), we decided to stop in a lovely village that I previously found on Instagram. This village was located close to Cotswolds and even closer to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. Just as Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon is situated in Warwickshire. It took us almost 3 hours to get there from London (less if you don’t stop on the way or depart from North or North-West London).
Welford on Avon – the prettiest village in England outside Cotswolds AONB
If you ever visited Cotswolds, you know, that Cotswolds is an entirely different story. Cotswolds is like a fairytale – a stunning place, with villages straight out of movies and books. However, what about other beautiful villages in the country?
Welford-on-Avon, in my opinion, is the prettiest village in England outside Cotswolds. Let me tell you why!
The simple reason why I think that Welford on Avon is the most charming village in England is because of its timber-framed thatched cottages. There are so many, and yet, each of them is unique and incredibly photogenic. Thatched cottages are usually ancient and require a lot of effort to maintain the roof; however, all the houses in Welford-on-Avon are in an immaculate condition and look like small gingerbread houses. On some photos, they even look like Hobbit houses (like on the movie set of Lord of the Rings, Hobbiton, in New Zealand).
Also, many houses feature unique weather vanes on their rooftops – I’ve seen many cottages and haven’t seen two that are the same.
The village only has a population of circa 1400 people, so it’s a tiny community. Most of the houses were built in the 17th century, however, some of the buildings, including the remains of the church date to the 13th century.
If you want to stay for longer, there are two excellent pubs in the village. Also, Welford-on-Avon is closely connected with the death of Shakespeare – as the famous poet and writer allegedly contracted fever on a cold and rainy day while passing through Welford-on-Avon and later died in Stratford-upon-Avon.
How to visit Welford-on-Avon?
As I mentioned before, we drove to Welford-on-Avon. As it’s not a touristic place, it doesn’t have a visitor centre, so there is no dedicated parking for the visitors. However, you can easily find parking on the streets.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to visit Welford-on-Avon by public transport (there is no train station nearby, and you will need to to change means of transport four times), so you would need a car to get there. If you don’t own a car, you can rent one using rentalcars.com – we were always renting through them.
Summary: Welford-on-Avon – the prettiest village in England
To summarise, I think that Welford-on-Avon is one of the prettiest villages with thatched cottages in England if not the most charming village in England! However, it’s quite challenging to reach this village, so I recommend to combine the visit to this village with visiting Stratford-upon-Avon (they are just 20 minutes driving away from each other) or other places. Perhaps, if you’re driving to Warwick, you can stop there for an hour or two. It would take you no longer than 1 hour to see the entire village, but if you’re keen on visiting one of the pubs, you would probably need a little longer. If you like thatched cottages, you will absolutely love Welford-on-Avon!