As life under lockdown has left many city dwellers dreaming of escaping to the country, it’s only a matter of time before houses for sale in the UK’s prettiest villages are snapped up.
From the top of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall, we’ve found the top 20 prettiest villages to scope out for your next property search.
Clovelly, a stunning harbour village in Devon, tops the rankings for the UK’s most Instagrammable village. It has been captured on Instagram 134,353 times, according to analysis of hashtags. This is perhaps unsurprising when you read on Clovelly.co.uk:
“Its flower-strewn cottages “tumble like a waterfall” down a cleft in the cliff to the ancient working port. There are breath-taking views down-a-long the traffic-free high street. The street is unique with just its donkeys and sledges. And the working harbour, with its 14th century quay, is another scene to be captured as a treasured memory.”
Meanwhile Portmeirion (114,323 hashtags), an enchanting Italianate village in Wales, is the runner-up Instagram location.
Castle Combe, a village within the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty in Wiltshire, is the 3rd most Instagrammable village (99,641 hashtags). Castleton follows next with 91,848 hashtags. This village is found in the lee of mysterious Mam Tor, known locally as the ‘Shivering Mountain’. Finally, Grasmere, a village in the centre of the Lake District, takes its name from the adjacent lake and lands in the number 5 spot (87,367 hashtags).
To find out which Instagram location is the most searched online, Bankrate analysed Google search volumes.** The findings could indicate where people are currently thinking about travelling to, for a staycation or short break, as lockdown restrictions ease across the UK.
The search volumes show Shanklin, a popular seaside resort on the Isle of Wight, is currently the most searched online. In the last 30 days, 17,390 people on average have inquired about the location, followed by Castleton, the 4th most Instagrammable village in the UK, and Mousehole in Cornwall.
If you want to escape to the country but avoid the crowds, the search volumes imply you should visit locations like Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire (740 average monthly search volume), the prettiest village of them all, Clovelly (630 searches), and Gloucestershire’s finest Bourton-on-the-Water, which has the lowest average monthly search volume of every Instagram location, at just 320.
1. Use natural light – and avoid using your flash!
2. Shoot at the right time
Taking a picture in the golden hour (the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset) makes every snap sharper. It’s nature’s very own ‘Instagram filter’.
3. Consider your viewpoint
To take pictures with panache, mix up your viewpoints. Try shooting from above or below, crouching low to the ground, or scaling a (safe) height. Leaving space around the focal point of your photo can add interest too – particularly if you are considering landscape.
4. Add character
Pictures that include layers of shapes, textures, colours – even a passer-by or two – will give your snap depth and bring it to life.
5. Be creative
To stand out from the crowd and offer something original, you need to let creativity shine through. Don’t be scared to try new shots.
To find the most Instagrammable villages, Bankrate.com/uk trawled through Google to find pages of the UK’s most “picturesque”, “beautiful” and “prettiest” villages listed online and noted down 100 recurring village locations. Bankrate then took to Instagram and assessed the number of hashtags for each location, and extracted the 20 villages with the highest number of tags to be showcased in this blog.
*Instagram hashtags are live data and are subject to fluctuation, data was collated on 08/07/2020.
**Bankrate inputted each village in the keyword analytics section of online visibility and marketing tool SEM Rush, to find out which rural location is currently most popular with people in the UK.