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The best small towns in England by train

19th November 2021 Print

England is filled with quaint villages and historic towns. Many small towns are accessible by train – even those in the middle of the countryside.

You can hop on the train and explore a new English town for the day. You can go for a hike, enjoy a pub lunch and finish the day with a glass of wine on the train. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best small towns in England.


There is a direct line for London to Rye on the South East coast. Rye is one of the more picturesque towns in England,  and its history goes back to the 12th century. Wander around the cobbled streets and learn about the stories of the town at Rye Castle Museum. It’s a port town with several medieval buildings and a National Trust townhouse named Lamb House. There is plenty to do in Rye with your family.


Lewes is on a hill between a priory and a castle. It has lots of little houses made from timber, lint and brick. Some of them go all the way back to the 1500s. Lewes has narrow lanes through the town and lots of attractions to entertain the kids. You could wander around Lewes Castle or play outside in Southover Grange Gardens.   


Stamford was built from honey limestone and features beautiful Georgian houses. You can see Burghley deer park alongside Burghley House and admire the wonderful natural beauty of the area. Or, stay in the market town and walk over to Stamford Town Hall and courthouse. 

Hebden Bridge

Up North, Hebden Bridge is one of the most charming villages in Yorkshire. It has a river and a canal running through it and its very own museum, The Heptonstall Museum. You can pop into a few independent shops, cafes and pubs in the town centre. Hebden Bridge is considered Yorkshire’s most “woke” town. 

Hardcastle Crags is a must-see for those visiting Hebden Bridge for the first time. You can walk along the stream and catch some Insta photos in the woods.


Marlow is a little fancier than the other spots on our list. Marlow has two Michelin star restaurants and its own regatta. It’s right on the Thames, and there are plenty of charming houses to look at. You can take a short drive to the Chiltern Hills from Marlow or a train back to London. 

Explore a new town in the countryside this winter.