8 (more) Beautiful Thatched Cottages in England
Exploring England, Scotland, and Wales
In an earlier article I looked at 8 stunningly beautiful thatched cottages in England I've run across on family excursions over the past 20 years of exploring Britain. But how could I possibly stop at just 8? So with a blare of trumpets and the sound of drums, here are 8 more beautiful thatched cottages in England.
1. Niton, Isle of Wight
I seem to discover a lot of thatched cottages by happy accident. That was certainly the case here. I was on my way to explore the medieval parish church of Niton, on the Isle of Wight, when my route took me past this stunningly gorgeous thatched cottage.
I love the deep 'eyebrow' window openings and the way the house seems half hidden behind shrubs of different sizes, shapes, and colours.
Niton is really a village in two parts, Upper and Lower, divided by the main road. Upper Niton is further inland and is set low in a hollow of hills, while Lower Niton, also known as Niton Undercliffe, is literally under the cliffs that line Reeth Bay, about 4 miles west of Ventnor.
The main historic attraction in Niton is St Catherine's Oratory (aka The Pepperpot), a peculiar oratory and lighthouse built in 1328 beside a Bronze Age burial mound.
2. Otterton, Devon
Our family came to Otterton to visit the historic mill and see the medieval parish church. after we had finished exploring my wife wanted a break so she sat in the car and had a snack and a bit of a read.
I couldn't sit still, since the late evening sun looked so inviting, so I grabbed my camera and went for a stroll up the main street through the village.
On my way along the street, I passed this beautiful thatched cottage draped in wisteria. The scent of the wisteria was simply heavenly - I think I can still smell it now!
One thing I noticed is that most of the thatched cottages I found in Devon have a whitewashed exterior. Compare that to the previous photo from Niton, where you see the cottage's bare stone walls.
3. Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire
Minster Lovell is a delightful village a few miles west of Witney. We found this cottage during a family walk on a sunny summer afternoon. We began the walk from Asthall, on what we thought would be a well-trodden and fairly easy footpath.
Unfortunately, we hadn't counted on the lush undergrowth that had sprung up during the summer months and made the trail almost impassable in places. Since the going was so tough we decided to split up and half of the family took one alternate route over the fields and the rest took another alternate route.
My daughter and I had to bushwhack our way through deepest, darkest Oxfordshire to reach the road leading into Minster Lovell where we planned to meet up with my wife and our son at the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall.
Our route to the Hall led us directly down the High Street and as we walked along we came to this lovely row of cottages made of the locally quarried Cotswold stone with its distinctive golden hue. Wow.
4. Lockeridge, Wiltshire
Lockeridge is a small village near Marlborough, Wiltshire. We weren't intending to stop in Lockeridge; we were on our way back home to Gloucestershire after a few days at a Centre Parcs venue near Warminster. Our route home just happened to go through Lockeridge.
My wife was driving, so I was free to gaze out the car window. As we came around a corner I saw this delightful little thatched cottage set back from the road.
It was such a beautiful sight, lit by the afternoon sunlight, that I must have gasped out loud. My wife, bless her, is used to this sort of reaction from me, and offered to stop. I wasn't going to turn down the offer!
Luckily there was an easy place to pull off the road 100 yards on, so I was able to grab my camera, run back, take several photos and hop back in the car, without having to even turn off the engine.
The architecture is typical of Wiltshire, with bricks used around window openings and freestone blocks of different sizes used for the cottage walls.
5. Kingham, Oxfordshire
The Oxfordshire village of Kingham is just a few miles from our home in the Cotswolds. We go there frequently, though usually to take the train to London, as it is on a direct route to Paddington station.
There's more to Kingham than just a rail station, however!
Most of the houses are built of locally quarried Cotswold stone, known for its honey-toned appearance. Though most are roofed with slate, there are a few thatched cottages, including this beautiful example.
I had passed this cottage several times whilst on my way elsewhere, and the light had never been good for photography.
To get this photo I made a special trip, which was a lot simpler than it sounds as I just had to look out the window, realise that it was a nice day and the sun was in the right spot, hop in the car, and get to Kingham in about 10 minutes.
6. Hemingford Abbots, Cambridgeshire
Hemingford Abbots is a small village on the River Great Ouse, a few miles from St Ives, Cambridgeshire. A footpath runs along the river bank, linking Hemingford Abbots to the neighbouring village of Hemingford Grey, where you will find Hemingford Grey Manor, the inspiration for author Lucy Boston's Green Knowe series of children's books.
If you take the riverside trail the other way you come to Houghton Mill, a restored 17th-century water mill now owned by the National Trust. Houghton Mill is the last remaining water mill in Huntingdonshire and stands on the site of a 14th-century mill built by the monks of Ramsey Abbey.
I was taking the riverside trail from Houghton Mill to St Ives and was simply passing through Hemingford Abbots when I came upon this gorgeous thatched cottage near the village pub.
I love how the thatch seems to come down so low to the ground, while the flower border in front of the cottage rises up, so that you only get a glimpse of the timber-framed cottage exterior.
Compare this style of cottage with the earlier Cotswold stone or the whitewashed cottage in Otterton.
7. Calbourne, Isle of Wight
Shall I bend the rules a little bit? Rather than a single thatched cottage here's a photo of a whole street. This is Winkle Street, in the village of Calbourne on the Isle of Wight.
You can't see it in this photo but off to the left are several more thatched cottages, standing beside a peaceful stream running through the village.
Calbourne is the sort of place most tourists fondly imagine that all England looks like. It doesn't, of course, but there are still idyllic village scenes like this one to be found if you look for them.
What I remember most about taking this photo is that cat came out of one of the houses near the village green and stalked me during my whole visit, looking for attention.
The nearest accommodation on our books at the moment is in Freshwater.
8. Thornton-le-Dale, Yorkshire
This is Beck Isle Cottage, perhaps the most frequently photographed cottage in Yorkshire. It stands beside Thornton Beck on the southern fringes of the North York Moors National Park. The pretty cottage makes regular appearances on local and national calendar covers, and you can see why.
Curiously, none of the neighbouring houses is roofed with thatch, just this one. Beck Isle Cottage (also known, for obvious reasons, as The Thatched Cottage) was built in the 17th century and boasts its original cruck construction. It is listed Grade II by Historic England for its heritage value.
That's the lot. All that's left is for me to find 8 more beautiful photos to share! Which is your favourite?