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1. Posted by LELIVELLA (Budding Member 3 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hi, please I would like to go for a holiday in UK and I am looking for a quite, natural beauty, shopping and restaurants. I am thinking of Kent UK. But I don't know in which town of Kent. Maidstone, Canterbury, Dartford, Margate, they all look amazing. And there is Bluewater shopping Centre looks very interesting.

Other destinations are welcome but I am not looking for big cities such as London, Rome, Paris ;)

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2942 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Shopping and restaurants means you need lots of people, which clashes with quiet.

Away from the towns, Kent has some countryside, but I never heard of someone visiting the country for it.

For natural beauty look at the Lake District, Snowdonia, Malvern hills, Cotswolds, Lochaber, Trossachs, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Argyll, Brecon Beacons, Jurassic Coast, Isles of Scilly, North York Moors, Scottish Borders, Northumbria, Quantock hills, Dartmoor.

3. Posted by LELIVELLA (Budding Member 3 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hi AndyF,

Thanks for your reply and I will look all the places you mentioned, very interesting!

When I mentioned shopping and restaurants yes it clashes with quiet but I mean in a very smaller dimension compered to big cities such as London, Rome, Paris. I mean I like to go eating in a quiet old villages.

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6285 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

>I mean I like to go eating in a quiet old villages.

Almost all UK villages town and cities are 'old'. Most date back over 1000 years. So there are thousands of 'quiet old villages' in the UK but none have 'shopping' and 'restaurants'. Quiet old villages simply don't have enough people to support such things. If it's lucky a 'quiet old village' will still have it's village shop and pub though nowadays many don't.

The few 'old villages' which can support 'shopping & restaurants' are those which are regularly full of tourists & tour groups such as Bourton-on-the-Water in The Cotswolds...hardly 'quiet'.

Why Kent in particular? Imo the only Kent town in your list which comes anywhere near the desription of 'amazing' is Canterbury. It's full of fascinating history...with plenty of 'shopping and restaurants...but it's also full of tourists, tourgroups and hundreds/thousands of foreign language students.

If you're set on Kent you'll need a car to find most of its 'natural beauty'. Without a car you'd do best to base yourself in one of the towns you mention...or Rochester, Royal Tunbridge Wells or Sevenoaks....and use local buses to explore the surrounding area.

[ Edit: Edited on 5 Mar 2024, 08:21 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2942 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Ah okay, country pubs in quiet villages? We have lots of those.

I'm sure Kent has plenty of those, but I'm not sure what you would spend the rest of your time on.

Keswick may be an idea. It's a small town in the Lake District which acts as the hub for the area. You can take a stroll to the lake in an evening for almost jaw-dropping beauty. It has at least a dozen pubs with atmosphere - hearty food, cosy surroundings, dogs. Plenty of shops too, though quite busy with people. It's a good base for exploring further - lots of walks for all ability levels to see mountains, lakes, forests, waterfalls.

York is a small city with lots of history - it ticks the shopping box as well as having lots of architecture to see, food pubs. On a pleasant river for the natural beauty aspect.

If you would be touring with a car then you could make an itinerary for any of Northern England, North Wales or Western Scotland. For example in Northern England if you flew into Manchester airport I'd consider a loop of York, Pickering, Glaisdale, Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby, Staithes, Guisborough, Durham, Teesdale, Keswick, Buttermere, Little Langdale, Coniston, Arnside, Forest of Bowland.

North Wales is full of steam trains, mountains, villages with houses built of slate - very pretty and not many people.

In Scotland there are touring routes taking in Glencoe and the Isle of Skye which have plenty of visitor amenities like pubs with good food, roaring fires, and tartan carpets. What you bolt on to this depends on the available time.

A lot depends on how long you want to visit for, and how you'll get around.

6. Posted by LELIVELLA (Budding Member 3 posts) 11w 1 Star this if you like it!

AndyF I really thank you for all the info, I think I will go to Keswick in the Lake District.

As you AndyF and leics2 said, there are thousands where to go so it's more difficult to choose where to go but I keep checking all the places that you mentioned before I confirm that I go to Keswick in the Lake District.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2077 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Andy also suggested, "For example in Northern England if you flew into Manchester airport I'd consider a loop of York, Pickering, Glaisdale, Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby, Staithes, Guisborough, Durham, Teesdale, Keswick, Buttermere, Little Langdale, Coniston, Arnside, Forest of Bowland." and I think that is brilliant. We visited the UK twice from the USA and spent a month each time. The suggested itinerary above was absolutely our favorite. We also spent a night in Firth to visit the James Herriot Museum and Firth is a really pleasant town.

I'm not fond of cities and rural England is just lovely. I suspect you will really enjoy it.

8. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2942 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Sally, thanks. I think you mean Thirsk. Yes, a lovely town, similarly Ripon and Boroughbridge in the same area.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2077 posts) 10w 1 Star this if you like it!

Yes, you're right. The town was Thirsk. BTW, I believe you mentioned Pickering. We spent an entire week there and I could move there easily. It's small enough but has nice restaurants, shopping, the railroad, very friendly people and there is a lot to do in the area. It would be a great base to explore the entire area. On the whole, we liked the Yorkshires better than the Cotswolds and the Lake District. It seemed more like a place where people live than a tourist destination. Must admit I'm a Herriot fan of many years.

10. Posted by naocayasso (Budding Member 4 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

I'm a big fan of The Scottish Highlands and I think it's the perfect destination if you're looking for quiet nature. Plenty of beautiful and tranquil countryside towns to spend a relaxing holiday. The Dorset region in England, specially Shaftesbury, is also top of my list. I also spent some time in Honiton in East Devon and it was lovely!

None of these locations are much for shopping, unless you're looking for countryside-quaint-little-shops. Much more authentic and unique experience! Otherwise you will have to get closer to the cities if you want more mainstream shops.