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    18 Places In The UK That Straight Up Belong In A Fairytale

    For when you need to escape IRL to something that feels a bit more like a storybook.

    We're still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so before travelling please check the local guidance relevant to your destination.

    And when you get there be mindful of locals, keep to social distancing rules, and pick up and dispose of your litter!

    1. Rye, East Sussex, England

    Cobbled streets with houses either side on a sunny but cloudy day
    Vfka / Getty Images

    Medieval pubs? Check. Cobbled streets? Check. A famously haunted hotel? Check. Rye has all of the elements to make for the perfect fairytale and a great place to take a trip if you're needing an escape.

    As well as the beautiful town itself, you're only a couple of miles away from the East Sussex coast, so you can refresh your mind with a dip in the icy cold waters of England.

    2. Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England

    A bridge covers the Bybrook river in the village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire
    Dark_eni / Getty Images

    This pretty Wiltshire village is postcard perfect, so much so that it's part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's also become a regular backdrop for TV and movie productions, with 2010's War Horse being filmed in the village.

    Take in the Hollywood-worthy scenery whilst dipping in and out of the tea rooms, pubs, and award-winning restaurants.

    3. Hope Cove, Devon, England

    A group of cottages with thatched roofs in Hope Cove, Devon
    Andyroland / Getty Images

    Thatched roofs are a fairytale staple, right? Head to the old fishing village of Hope Cove where there are more than a few.

    The village sits across two beaches and is within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so it is safe to say that it is full of Mother Nature's finest creations.

    4. Lacock, Wiltshire, England

    A traditional 15th century inn in Lacock, Wiltshire
    Snowshill / Getty Images

    Lacock is the epitome of British fairytale vibes. The village centre is full of 18th century (or earlier) buildings whose leaning structures feel like they're straight out of a storybook.

    You may also recognise the beautiful Lacock Abbey from some of your favourite films as it has served as a backdrop for many, including several from the Harry Potter franchise. As well as being a monasterial estate, it was at one time home to the scientist and inventor William Henry Fox Talbot who invented the paper negative for photography.

    5. Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland

    A view across Edinburgh from Calton Hill at dusk
    Jui-chi Chan / Getty Images

    Edinburgh's charms are known the world over, and so while it may not have the quaintness of a village or a small town, it is a natural fit for the list – from Arthur's Seat to Calton Hill and Circus lane, the city is a verified gothic fairytale come-to-life.

    Want to really delve into the history of the city? There is no better place to look than the castle, which is the most besieged place in Britain.

    6. Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

    A view across a beach towards the coast road in Cushendun, Northern Ireland on a grey day
    Andy2673 / Getty Images

    Sitting on the mouth of the river Glendun, is Cushendun, a coastal village in Northern Ireland which is renowned for its Cornish-style houses (which are now owned by the National Trust).

    The nearby Cushendun Caves are well worth a visit too – if you were a fan of Game of Thrones you may recognise them as The Stormlands backdrop.

    7. Bamburgh, Northumberland, England

    A pink and gold sunset view across Bamburgh castle and the beach in Northumberland
    Daverhead / Getty Images

    What does every fairytale need? A castle in a location that lends itself well to emotionally fraught love scenes, and Bamburgh, on the northeast of England, has just that.

    As well as a pretty village centre with traditional stone dwellings, Bamburgh Castle and the beach surrounding it is about as dramatic as it gets.

    8. Boscastle, Cornwall, England

    A view from above over the stone houses of the village as it sits in a valley with a river running through
    Diane10981 / Getty Images

    Nearing the south west corner of England is the Cornish town of Boscastle. The historic fishing port is set within a ravine, with luscious greenery surrounding it.

    If the natural beauty of the area isn't enough to convince you that it's fairytale worthy, then the presence of The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic might cast its spell on you.

    9. Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England

    A view of the village's stone houses from over the River Windrush on a sunny and clear day
    Matthewleesdixon / Getty Images

    Known as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", this quaint village is as picturesque as could be with its traditional stone houses and low bridges. Not only does it look great, there are loads of attractions for visitors, including the Cotswold Motoring and Toy Museum.

    If you make the trip, make sure you order a bottle of Cotswold Brew Co. lager which comes from one of the oldest independent lager microbreweries in the UK.

    10. Conwy, Conwy County Borough, Wales

    The habour with sailing boats and the castle in Conwy on a grey and cloudy day
    Eyewave / Getty Images

    Conwy is full of fairytale-esque places to visit. While in the area, you should make sure to explore the imposing ancient castle from which the town gets its name, as well as the beautiful Bodnant Gardens.

    While it may be closed at the moment, take a detour for a picture outside of the smallest house in Britain, Quay House, which stands at a minuscule 122 inches high.

    11. Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

    The bay of Portree with the village's colourful houses sat on the coast road
    Zhuzhu / Getty Images

    As the capital town on the Isle of Skye, Portree is a great place for any protagonist in their own personal fairytale to plonk themselves. This colourful harbour town is surrounded by leafy hills and stunning vistas.

    If you're visiting, make sure you pop your hiking boots in your bag as the area is well known for its walking trails. The most famous of them all is the route to the Old Man Of Storr, an iconic pinnacle of rock.

    12. Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, Wales

    The lighthouse sits on a small hill on the island
    Julian Gazzard / Getty Images

    Llanddwyn Island is straight out of a fairytale. The tidal island is easily reachable when the tide is down, but your way back to the mainland becomes blocked off by the sea when it rises so it appears to be its own entity.

    Check the tide times, and take a daytrip to the island where you can pretend you've been banished to the Tŵr Mawr Lighthouse by an evil witch.

    13. Staithes, North Yorkshire, England

    A small fishing boat is on the river in Staithes with the houses either side. You can see the beach and the sea in the distance
    Khrizmo / Getty Images

    On the Staithes Beck lies the pretty coastal town of Staithes. The historic village used to be an important fishing base, and is still a great place to base yourself if you crave some fresh seafood.

    If you fancy yourself an amateur paleontologist then you'll pleased to know that the area is known as the "Dinosaur Coast" thanks to the amount of fossils that have been found in the craggy cliffs and on the beach.

    14. Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales

    Looking up on the bell tower in the village with a sunny sky behind
    Edward Haylan / Getty Images

    The modern day Portmeirion came into existence in 1925 when the Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis bought the land in order to build an experimental ideal village.

    The buildings are said to be inspired by Italian architecture, so while the village sits just outside of the Snowdonia National Park in Northern Wales there is a distinctly Mediterranean feel.

    15. Keswick, Cumbria, England

    A view across the town of Keswick from above with the snow-capped mountains in the background
    Esentunar / Getty Images

    North in the Lake District, is the beautiful market town of Keswick. After a life as a mining town, its now become a popular tourism spot thanks to its proximity to the incredible hiking trails that the area offers.

    If you're looking for a moment of peace, head to Friar's Crag for a beautiful view across the Derwentwater lake.

    16. Plockton, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

    The small village of Plockton is in the forefront, with the Lock Carron behind as well as some tree covered mountains
    Roll6 / Getty Images

    Known as the "Jewel of the Highlands", Plockton can be found in a bay overlooking Loch Carron in the Highlands of Scotland.

    An old fishing community, the village is now a National Trust conservation area and a tourism hotspot. If you're a fan of wildlife, then keep your eyes peeled for seals, sea birds, and even dolphins or porpoises when walking along the coast.

    17. Porthcurno, Cornwall, England

    The outside theatre made from stone is perched on a cliff – you can see the cliffs of Cornwall in the background with the sea below
    Tbradford / Getty Images

    Porthcurno and its beach might be a feast for the eyes, but those who are craving a bit more amateur dramatics, might want to also take a ramble up to the legendary Minack Theatre.

    The open air theatre was built by the land's owner, Rowena Cade, less than a hundred years ago and is a magical place to either take in the dramatic scenery or watch a matinee or evening performance.

    18. Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon, England

    A bridge covers a river while houses sit among the greenery of the hilly scene
    Travellinglight / Getty Images

    Looking to escape the trappings of modern life for something that feels a bit...quieter? A trip to Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon might be just the ticket.

    Take time out from your screens and traverse the hilly area – start your day off in the Victorian village of Lynton, which is perched high on the cliffs, before taking the world's highest and steepest water powered railway down to the harbour village of Lynmouth.

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