Streets you won’t want to miss
Georgian townhouses, thatched cottages, perhaps a spectacular view over the rolling Dorset countryside. A heady mix of ingredients go together to make Britain’s most beautiful streets, but they all share a sense of charm that makes them well worth a visit.
Once a medieval livestock market, The Shambles in York is one of the oldest and most charming streets in Britain. Its half-timbered medieval buildings are gathered together in a cosy avenue, lined with independent boutiques and steeped in charm. It’s very much like stepping into a different age.
Fournier Street is a picture of early Georgian elegance in the heart of London’s hip East End. Built to house the growing community of Huguenot silk weavers who had escaped persecution in France, it became a centre of this growing industry. In the 19th century, the surrounding area became Jack the Ripper’s hunting ground. You can take a walking tour to explore the area’s history.
It might take you a while to reach the bottom of this historic cobbled street, as you’ll have to keep stopping to take in the view over the Dorset countryside. If you can tear your gaze away, don’t miss the old stone cottages, the 14th-century St Peter’s Church and the walls of Shaftesbury Abbey – once the wealthiest nunnery in England.
Edinburgh’s Royal Mile actually combines a couple of streets, but it functions as one long thoroughfare stretching from Edinburgh Castle down to the elegant facade of Holyrood Palace. Lined with historic buildings, including the towering St Giles’ Cathedral and tartan and whisky shops, it’s a mile well worth walking. Be sure to explore the rugged hills of Holyrood Park, just beyond the Palace itself, for views over the city.
If English country charm could be distilled into a single street, Copse Hill Road in the heart of the Cotswolds would probably be the result. That’s probably why it was voted Britain’s most romantic street. A tree-lined avenue complete with limestone cottages and a stream beside the road criss-crossed with footbridges, it’s the ideal spot for a stroll.
This sweeping sandstone crescent has become a symbol of Bath’s refined elegance and along with the Circus, also built in the 18th-century, it’s one of the world’s most famous streets. For a real treat, stay at the Royal Crescent Hotel which you’ll find near the centre of the crescent.