Old Picturesque Villages Near London – Road.Travel

Old Picturesque Villages Near London

Road Trip Route. Explore the eastern part of England, Get to know the castles, manors and gardens, Take a walk through the old streets of picturesque towns.

The eastern part of England is filled with various picturesque villages, where you feel the history and at the same time the peace of a leisurely life. This trip will be accompanied by an incredible amount of castles and manors, which keep the history and rich decoration. You will also be impressed by the botanical gardens, parks and views. On this trip there will be a lot of crossings, be ready to dive into the atmosphere of the trip in the morning and be ready to enjoy the views and spots that you will visit.

History and Culture. From: London

Anastasia Omelchuk. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Unspoiled nature

Today is your first day in the new city and the first where you go and take some rest after arrival is the restaurant. Enjoy the fresh food and admire the atmosphere.

Côte Brasserie

In the Côte Brasserie guests are offered French cuisine, which all are presented in the restaurant menu. Here you can order an amazing steak with french fries, chicken breast and squid. In this place visitors can try for dessert a good cream caramel, pudding and caramel ice cream. The wine list also is very diverse.

Day 2: The beauty of architecture

Today you will see the surroundings of Cambridge and get acquainted with one of the oldest cathedrals in England, visit the rooms with a luxurious interior and the castle with an interesting history.

Hedingham Castle

Hedingham Castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century in the era of William the Conqueror. The location on the hill allowed the castle to occupy a dominant position over the surrounding lands. The first owner was Aubrey de Vere, Norman baron. Today the castle is still privately owned Jason Lindsay and his wife are its rightful owners. The castle looks exactly as we imagine the medieval fortress. Everything is simple, strictly functional. The same situation, without any frills, was the situation of residential premises. Fireplaces on each tier, narrow windows that barely let in light, simple wooden furniture, pieces of leather hanging instead of doors that was how the inhabitants of the castle lived. Of course today everything inside looks much brighter and more elegant but the harsh stone walls and steep stairs keep the spirit of the times.

Audley End House

One of the most magnificent houses in England invites tourists to get acquainted with the life and lifestyle of the English aristocracy. Passing through its luxurious rooms, you will follow the most interesting moments in the history of the life of the estate owners. Today, 30 luxuriously decorated halls are open to the public. Guests will see magnificent ornamental ceilings with stucco, silk-covered walls, elegant lamps, beautiful carved furniture, a collection of silver and much more interesting. Art lovers will enjoy the contemplation of the paintings by Holbein and Canaletto. You will be offered to look into the household premises of the house, where they will tell and show who served its rich inhabitants and how.

The Crown & PunchBowl

Be sure to visit this bar if you like British cuisine. They cook good cod, roast beef and crabs here. In the menu, pay attention to the delicious toffee pudding, panna cotta and fudge. Try a delicious wine, a draft beer or ale here. The restaurant has a convenient location and beautiful interior. From the customers point of view the staff here is attentive.

Ely Cathedral

One of the best examples of the Norman style the oldest cathedral in Great Britain in Ely was founded in 673, but it acquired its modern appearance only by the middle of the 12th century. Its local name is “ship among the marshes”, as its relief form rises above the surrounding marshy swampy surroundings. In 970, on the site of this monastery destroyed by the Danes, a Benedictine monastery emerged which in 1108 became the residence of the bishop when a new diocese was established. Construction of the cathedral lasted almost three hundred years, from 1083 to 1375. At the abolition of the monasteries of Henry VIII, the cathedral suffered relatively little, although the statues in the chapel and the tomb of Etheldreda were seriously damaged. By 1541 the cathedral was restored.

Parker's Piece

One of the reviews: "One of the centrepieces of Cambridge, this large and open expense of green serves as the ideal meeting point and rendezvous for anyone congregating in Cambridge. Steeped in history, with my favourite aspect in particular being the role it plays in celebrating the supposedly first regulated game of football played in Cambridge, Parker’s Piece is much more than just a summertime meeting point and often hosts festivals and carnivals throughout the calendar year. On this most recent visit, we made our way across the common to the pubs and restaurants which run parallel to it and Regent Street, Cambridge."


Be sure to take here deliciously cooked beef on the grill, chicken in a creamy tomato sauce and flat iron steak. Millworks offers a nice brownie, salted caramel ice cream and caramel ice cream. After a long day’s work, you can relax here and try some good homemade wine, lager or ale. Be sure to visit this place to admire the beautiful view from the window. Most customers write that the staff in this place is helpful.

Day 3: History of Cambridge

This day you will spend exploring the culture and history of the city by visiting museums. Also you will visit the bridge of sighs whose name was as a tribute to his brother in Venice.

St. Mary and All Saints' Church

It was built in the 1860s to the plans of the famous 19th-century architect G.F. Bodley, and is a triumph of Victorian art and design. The interior is richly decorated - almost every surface painted, stencilled or gilded; flowers run riot over the walls. Light gleams through stained-glass windows designed by leading Arts and Crafts artists, including William Morris and Ford Madox Brown. Only a couple of minutes from a soleless Sidney Street and you can step back in time and be surrounded by a Tractarian vision of a medieval church. The beauty here is in the small detail. Don't forget to look up as you leave - there are two William Morris angels in the west window. The building is maintained by The Churches Conservation Trust and is open daily for visitors.

Bridge of Sighs

Covered bridge of incredible architectural beauty. He crosses the river Cam connecting the Third and the New Courtyard of St. John’s College. The name of the bridge was in honor of his "brother" located in Venice. True the "sighs" here are completely different. According to legend, the bridge was named so because of sighing students going to the exam. The Bridge of Sighs was built by architect Henry Hutchinson in 1831. Intricate architecture and interesting legend turned it into one of the most romantic attractions of Cambridge, which was repeatedly confirmed by Queen Victoria calling it a favorite place in the city.

Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwillam Museum is a museum of art and history at the University of Cambridge. This is, first of all, the university museum, therefore all the exhibits placed in the museum are somehow connected with the students of the University of Cambridge. The museum has several departments, and the most important of which are the Archaeological and Artistic. Here are collected exhibits of student archaeological expeditions, as well as paintings by artists who later acquired the name and fame. The museum exposition is divided by the year the work was created and by country of origin. Inside the museum there is a magnificent balcony, which can be reached via a spiral staircase. On the balcony is also an exhibition of paintings. The museum presents works by Rubens, Renoir, Picasso, Claude Monet and many other prominent artists.

@72 China

Go to 72. China and discover Chinese cuisine. Have a wonderful time here and order deliciously cooked pork in sweet and sour sauce, fish and chicken. Guests write that this place is a good tea.

Whipple Museum of the History of Science

The Whipple Museum contains an extensive collection of scientific instruments: apparatuses, models, drawings, photographs, books related to the history of science. It was founded in 1944, when Robert Whipple presented his collection to a wide audience. The museum plays an important role in the teaching and research process of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. The museum is one of eight museums in a consortium of University Museums.

Trinity College Fellows' Gardens

This college has more members than at any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, if you count students and teachers together but by the number of students it is slightly less than Homerton College of the same university. Also the college has a very solid reputation, many members of the British royal family were its graduates.

Cambridge Chop House

Cambridge Chop House serves British cuisine. Here you should definitely order a delicious lamb steak, haggis and venison. This place is famous for its good toffee pudding, ice cream and crumble. Try a great homemade wine, ale or draft beer.

Day 4: Houses with an interesting history and peaceful nature

Today you will visit the abbey, after which you will go to church whose dimensions are very impressive. Next you will see stately home in the village of Long Melford. Later you can enjoy the beauty of nature in the botanical garden and park.

Anglesey Abbey

The Augustinian canon society built Englesey Abbey during the reign of Heinrich the First in the 12th century. The priests were expelled from the abbey in 1535 during the Dissolution of the monasteries. The former Priory was acquired in 1600 by Thomas Hobson, who converted it into a country house for his son-in-law, Thomas Parker. Now the house is decorated with a valuable collection of furniture, paintings, objects of art, including 37 rare clocks. In the vast landscaped gardens grow roses, dahlias, here you can find dozens of different varieties.

St. Peter And St. Paul

In 1525, the famous Peter and Paul Church was built, which is considered the highest in Britain. Its size is simply impressive, and once again show how rich the city was. The church was built with the money of Springs the most affluent merchant family Lavenham. The church is too big for the size of the village, and its towers, towering to a height of 43 meters.

Melford Hall National Trust

A manuscript book was found in the estate of Melford Hall, containing an extensive collection of works by the eminent English poet John Donne. The manuscript was discovered by the expert of the Sotheby’s auction house Gabriel Heaton, who examined the Melford Hall private archive. In one of the boxes along with other documents, was a calfskin bound volume. According to experts, the collection from Melford Hall is the only manuscript collection of poems by John Donne, which is now privately owned. It put up Sotheby’s at the next auction on subjects related to English literature, science and history.


At Prezzo you can always enjoy Italian dishes. The chef at this place prepares good sea bass, pizza and bacon salad. Many guests recommend to try a good ice cream, panna cotta and cheesecake. According to reviews of visitors, they offer a good prosecco. Most guests say that there is a first-class interior and a pleasant atmosphere.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall

The former farm estate Hyde Hall with a total area of about 55 hectares was acquired in 1955 by Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. The farmhouse of the 18th century is located on the top of a hill blown by all the winds, in the driest region of England. When the couple came here, there was no garden here, only six trees on bare and clay soil, practically unsuitable for gardening. The spouses managed not only to clear the territory, but also to break up a magnificent garden with a lot of various plants, including various species and willows, which theoretically cannot grow in such conditions. The Robinsons began to create their own garden as part of the National Gardens project.

Weald Country Park

Review from visitor: "Great place to visit, lots of wildlife. The deer were beautiful and it was lovely to be able to get so near. So nice to see parents and children enjoying the wildlife. We were very impressed with the cafe - the lady who was serving was really friendly, smiled and engaged with you - such a difference from other places we have visited. We will definitely visit again".

Shepherd & Dog

Try British cuisine at this restaurant. Order here an amazing pork belly, roast lamb and roast beef. In Shepherd And Dog you can order a good toffee pudding, cheesecake and apple crumble. Be sure to try the great ale, craft beer or draft beer. In this restaurant you can enjoy live music. Many visitors say that the staff at this bar is great.

Day 5: Variety in types of attractions

Today you will experience the culture of suburban cities. A visit to the museum in the Norman castle, a walk through the picturesque gardens, abbey and a very nice village awaits you.

Colchester Castle Museum

Colchester Castle is a powerful fortification built by the Normans after their invasion of Britain. Today, a historical museum has placed its exposition inside its walls. Colchester Castle was built by decree of William the Conqueror. The work lasted almost 50 years, starting around 1070. The foundation of the fortress served as the ruins of the Roman temple of Claudius. Thanks to the work of archaeologists, today they are available for inspection. The builders of the castle were not too picky when choosing materials stones and bricks from Roman buildings preserved at that time were used. In the Middle Ages the fortress was a prison for criminals and a place for keeping witches exposed.

Beth Chatto's gardens

The Beth Chatto Gardens began in 1960. From an overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil and boggy hollows, using the principles of ecological planting, it has been transformed into 7 acres of informal garden comprising of the Gravel Garden, Water Garden, Reservoir Garden, Woodland Garden and Scree Garden all harmonising with the surrounding countryside. The gardens are an inspiration to anyone who visits them - the art of planting at its best. There is also an extensive Nursery with choice of over 2,000 different kinds of mainly herbaceous plants and bulbs. Light and spacious Tearoom with homemade cakes, light lunches, breakfasts, fresh ground coffee and selection of teas.

The Green Room

The Green Room offers British cuisine. In the menu, pay attention to the delicious salmon, shrimp and pork belly. Be sure to order here a good pudding, ice cream and raspberry sorbet. Guests believe that this place is a good wine, beer or scotch.

Mistley Towers

The Mistley Towers is the only thing left of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in 1776 by the famous English architect Robert Adam. Rich residents of Mistley, the Rigby family conceived to transform their village into a fashionable resort, where wealthy aristocrats could come. The church that existed at that time did not correspond to the status of a prestigious place. Therefore, Rigby asked Adam to create something original. The architect did not disappoint their expectations: the temple, built according to his project, was radically different from the sacral buildings that were traditional at that time. In 1870, the main part of the church was destroyed, and the towers were left as navigation signs. Those parts of the towers that adjoined the building were restored, adding columns and making the towers symmetrical.

Wymondham Abbey

Wymondham Abbey is the town's parish church. As well as being an active church with services every day, the Abbey is also a hub for the community for events such as family activities and concerts. In November 2015 the Abbey Experience opens with improved facilities including the display of original artefacts and manuscripts and hands on activities for adults and children to engage in the heritage of this special place. There is lots to see at the Abbey and Stewards are always on hand to answer questions. The Abbey also has a shop which sells souvenirs, locally made gifts and produce, seasonal products and spiritual books.

Pull's Ferry

Review from visitor: "On the Riverside walk one passes Pull's ferry. It is worthwhile to stop, look at the building and consider that, during the construction of the Cathedral, Pull's ferry was the quay from which a canal ran up to the Cathedral itself to carry the blocks of stone which had been brought from Caen in France to build the cathedral itself."

Shiki Japanese Restaurant

At Shiki, you can enjoy Japanese cuisine. It is worth visiting this place to try the delicious sushi platter, sashimi and katsu from pork. Have a good evening here and try a good ice cream and delicious tiramisu. Order a great plum wine or good beer.

Day 6: Castles and pacifying nature

Today you will have the opportunity to see various castles one of which has been preserved and the second is already in ruins.You will also visit a beautiful beach and a impressive park.

Norwich Castle

The castle in Norwich was built as a medieval fortress of William the Conqueror. It was his only fortified castle in East Anglia, and the only royal house in that part of the country remained until the construction of the castle at Oxford in the 12th century. Its construction began in 1066 and ended in 1075. A massive castle with a courtyard was built, which sat on top of a hill and was surrounded by a deep moat. According to historical archives, major repairs to the Norwich Castle were carried out in 1156 and in 1205. After 1220, the palace no longer serves as a home for the royal family and is being used for prison. It performs this role until 1887, when the city was acquired and turned into a museum.

Weeting Castle

Review from visor: "Just a short walk off the beaten track, what is left of Weeting Castle is well worth visiting. It was a fortified manor house, very rare for the 12th century, and has a decent history. Set in a charming little woodland, the moat is now dry but still there, and adds to the beauty of the place".

Layer Marney Tower

The building is mostly a creation of Henry the First Lord Marnie, who died in 1523, and his son John, who continued its construction over the next two years, until his own death. After him, not a single male heir left who could continue construction. The buildings were severely damaged during the Great English Earthquake in 1884. The restoration work began with brother and sister Alfred and Kezia Pesch. They replaced the roof and the floor in the wrong building, smashed a garden on the south side. Voltaire de Zoet, the next owner continued the restoration, expanded the gardens, built artificial ruins, known as the Tea House, turns the stable into the Long Gallery to store his collection of furniture, paintings and other art objects. As a result, the interior reflects more the aesthetic taste of Walter than the Marnie family.

Lucca Enoteca

The restaurant serves Italian dishes. Order the amazing calzone pizza, spaghetti carbonara and calzone. Lucca is worth a visit to try some good bread pudding, Nutella pizza and panna cotta. Be sure to order here a good homemade wine, beer or sherry.

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

The area of outstanding natural beauty of the coast of Suffolk Coast and Wastes (AONB) is a stunning landscape full of wildlife and fascinating places to explore and discover. Here, everyone will find something for themselves, a calm and untouched landscape, including the mouths of rich wildlife, ancient wastelands, pebble beaches strewn with wind, historic cities and villages.

Christchurch Park

Some review from visitor: "Hagley Park is huge, divided into south and north sections. The north section has the Botanic Garden and Canterbury museum with river Avon flowing through it. The south section has Hagley Oval, Christchurch's test cricket venue and other playgrounds. The park was lovely to explore with brilliant autumn colors and should be in every nature lover's list of things to do in Christchurch".


This restaurant is famous for its Mexican cuisine. In Chiquito - Colchester, be sure to try mouth-watering tapas, salmon and chicken wings. Order a good cheesecake, pudding and brownie here. From the point of view of visitors, in this place serves a good draft beer.

Day 7: Majestic castles

Today you will visit many castles each of them with its own individuality and is completely different from each other so get ready to enjoy.

Rochester Castle

This is one of the first stone castles in England and the highest of them. The English city of Rochester, standing on the ancient Roman road (Watling Street) from Dover to Canterbury, was a strategically important fortress from ancient times. The first stone fortifications in Rochester were built by the Romans. Some of these fortifications have survived to our time, being built into the city wall. In 1870, the Rochester Corporation rented a castle from the then owner Lord of Jersey and organized an amusement park there. And in 1884, for 6572 pounds, the castle was bought and restoration of the dungeon began. Since 1965, the castle is in the registry of the Ministry of Public Rear and Works, and since 1980 under the control of the organization English Heritage.

Leeds Castle

Rich in history and events castle, which can often be found in history, and with which the history of England is inextricably linked. The name of Leeds Castle is derived from the name of its first owner Señora Lida. It was she, who in 857 built a small wooden fortress on this site. The first facts about the castle date back to the end of the eleventh century. The castle consists of four forts, each of which was capable of self defense. At the entrance, closest to the shore, is the gate tower with the Barbican. The stone bridge that you go to the castle was originally a wooden drawbridge.

Oak on the Green

The Oak on the Green offers generous portions of freshly prepared food throughout the day. Use quality ingredients locally produced where possible; along with a fantastic selection of interesting ales and lagers from local brewers and a carefully selected wine list.

Knole House - National Trust

A noble estate combining elements of a dwelling house and a castle, the Knole House was built in the 15th century for the archbishop Thomas Burshier, later owned by the Canterbury archbishops and dukes of Dorset. The house was erected in the Renaissance style. An interesting feature of the Know-House: in accordance with the principles of Renaissance harmony, it is designed as a calendar house. It has 365 rooms and 52 stairs - both days and weeks a year. And 7 more patios, like days in a week. Knole house among all the nobility estates of England is remarkable for the good preservation of the interiors of the 17th century.

Penshurst Place & Gardens

Penshurst Place is a magnificent example of a Tudor country estate.The house, garden and park in Penkherst form an unusual ensemble: a medieval stone house with towers is located in one of the country's largest walled gardens. In Penshurst Place, all species are turned inside the garden, but its elegant fenced areas and skillful atmosphere changes completely compensate for the lack of promising species. This medieval masterpiece was home to many famous families in the UK. But since 1552 and until now, the estate belongs to the Sydney family, which perfectly preserve the warmth and atmosphere of the beloved estate.

Church House Gardens

Review from visitor: "This is a really nice park, literally hidden behind the paved section of the High Street in Bromley town centre. The easiest way to find it is via the entrance by the Churchill Theatre. In the park, the grounds are very well kept with lots of tarmac paths through lovely gardens. There are also two children's play areas, a small lake and I even found a little amphitheatre built into the hillside by the lake (the park is built on a hill, but all areas are accessible via sloped paths). It is incredibly peaceful and a wonderful break from busy shopping area".


Enjoy your time here and order the delicious steamed pork, breaded chicken curry and katsu chicken. If you are among the admirers of good tea, you will appreciate Wagamama. This place has great service. The prices here are attractive.

Day 8: Country residence of Sir John Champneys

Today is your final day of the route before you go to the airport you will have an exciting trip to house and award winning gardens.

Hall Place & Gardens

Located on the banks of the River Cray Hall Place was once the country residence of Sir John Champneys a wealthy Tudor Merchant. Today you can explore the 500 - year- old house and it's award winning gardens, bring a picnic or relax at the Riverside Cafe. Exciting exhibitions and events make us the perfect destination for all the family. With extra attractions from onsite partners All About Owls - Jambs Owls, or Butterfly Jungles you will be spoilt for choice.