These 20 villages have been voted the best hidden gems in the UK

·2-min read
Photo credit: GordonBellPhotography - Getty Images
Photo credit: GordonBellPhotography - Getty Images

Looking for a rural countryside escape? The top 20 lesser-known villages in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have been revealed in a new study — and they are well worth a visit.

As part of HomeToGo's 2021 UK Hidden Gem Index, the team ranked the most picturesque villages in National Parks and AONB across the country. As well as rating location, HomeToGo analysed factors including weather, outdoor activities, pubs, and price and availability scores to find the perfect places.

Taking the top spot is Hathersage, situated in the beautiful Derwent valley, Derbyshire. Renowned for its breathtaking views, stellar pubs and dry summer weather, it scored an overall total of 53.9. Elsewhere, other hidden gems include the medieval village of Dunster (49.5) and spectacular Mullion in Cornwall (48.7), famed for its cracking coastline.

Of those featured, five villages are in the Lake District National Park, three in the Cornwall AONB, and two in the Norfolk Coast AONB. You'll be pleased to know that none of them appear on the list of the 500 most-searched destinations for summer 2021, meaning you won't have to worry about heaving holiday crowds.

Take a look at the full findings below...

Top 20 lesser-known villages to visit in the UK

1. Hathersage, Derbyshire (53.9 overall score)

2. Dunster, Somerset (49.5)

3. Mullion, Cornwall (48.7)

Photo credit: ianwool - Getty Images
Photo credit: ianwool - Getty Images


4. Porlock, Somerset (48.3)

Photo credit: Matthew J Thomas - Getty Images
Photo credit: Matthew J Thomas - Getty Images

5. Boscastle, Cornwall (47.0)

Photo credit: diane10981 - Getty Images
Photo credit: diane10981 - Getty Images


6. Hawes, North Yorkshire (46.9)

7. Kingswear, Devon (46.8)

Photo credit: GordonBellPhotography - Getty Images
Photo credit: GordonBellPhotography - Getty Images


8. Castleton, Derbyshire (46.2)

9. Beddgelert, Snowdonia (45.5)

10. Reeth, North Yorkshire (45.4)

11. Thornham, Norfolk (44.7)

12. Coverack, Cornwall (44.4)

Photo credit: acceleratorhams - Getty Images
Photo credit: acceleratorhams - Getty Images


13. Hawkshead, Cumbria (44.2)

14. Killin, Scotland (44.2)

15. Braithwaite, Cumbria (44.0)

16. Portinscale, Cumbria (43.6)

17. Elterwater, Cumbria (43.5)

Photo credit: Gyrohype - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gyrohype - Getty Images


18. Orford, Suffolk (42.9)

19. Burnham Market, Norfolk (42.7)

20. Bassenthwaite, Lake District (42.4)

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