The closest village getaways to London

We love London, as do those who live there, but sometimes you just want to get out to a place where time forgot, to a place where there is no noise, where there’s more greenery than skylines and that’s where our list of the closest village getaways to London comes in.

1. Shere, Guildford, Surrey

Distance from London by car: 1 hour 13 minutes

Shere, Guildford, Surrey

Just outside the M25, on the A3, is the quaint little village town of Shere. With just over an hour’s drive, you are able to take yourself back in time with its historical buildings and period-correct architecture. You’ll also be able to take in beautiful sights such as the viewpoint at Newlands Corner and Silent Pool during your visit.

2. Chilham, Canterbury, Kent

Distance from London by car: 1 hour 51 minutes

Chilham, Canterbury, Kent
Image by Zoltan Tasi

This place is like another world. There’s the Chilham Medieval Village Square which houses a number of ancient timber-framed abodes that have been perfectly preserved to make you feel like you’re entering another century. There’s also a stunning manor house nearby, built in the early 1600s on the site of an old fort that predates the house by four centuries!

3. Bibury, Gloucestershire

Distance from London by car: 2 hour 13 minutes

Bibury, Gloucestershire
Image by Ivy Barn

All hail the Cotswolds. A little further out of London at 2 hour 13 minutes’ drive time, you’ll happen across the Cotswolds. Known for its history, the well-preserved area features many a village, each one as quaint as the next, but we’re in Bibury in particular, with one street in the village being wholly owned by the National Trust. Built-in the fourteenth century is Arlington Row that features a line of stone cottages along the River Coln. Amazing!

4. Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk

Distance from London by car: 2 hour 13 minutes

Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk

If character is what you’re looking for then Lavenham ticks the box. With its wonky, but quite beautiful, timber houses, it’s straight from medieval times. There are more than 300 listed buildings in the village and each one is more unique than the rest with wonky beams and interesting colour combinations. Even the Little Hall Museum is situated within a building. And once you’ve finished walking around the beautiful streets as well as marvelling at the spectacle that is the central Guildhall, settle in for afternoon tea at the Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Rooms.

5. Lacock, Wiltshire

Distance from London by car: 2 hour 17 minutes

Lacock, Wiltshire

A fan of Harry Potter? Well, Lacock, Wiltshire, is home to the impressive 800-year-old Lacock Abbey, where its medieval cloisters were used in the Harry Potter movies as Hogwarts School. Snape and Quirrell’s classrooms were also filmed here. Lacock is also home to the Potter residence in the Philosopher’s Stone. Lacock village is owned almost completely by the National Trust and is home to the Potter residence in the Philosopher’s Stone. And, after you’ve finished taking in the quaint half-timbered houses and traditional English pubs, if you’re a chocolate lover, be sure to bag yourself some goodies from Coco Chemistry.

If you don’t have access to a car and you want a hassle-free door-to-door trip you could rent a car from one of your neighbours through hiyacar. If you use code DRIVE20 you can get £20 off your first rental. 🚙

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte Simmons

Community Growth Manager at hiyacar

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