The Most Beautiful Country Towns of England

Author(s): Hugh Palmer


An inspirational tour and celebration of some of the most attractive small towns in the English countryside. Complementing the best-selling "The Most Beautiful Villages of England," Hugh Palmer has produced a stunning sequence of images of those ancient towns in which the true heart of England lies. All the places included here embody a long, preindustrial heritage; they are also communities of a well-preserved beauty, widely visited by travelers from all parts of the world. Twenty-five of the most beguiling small towns of rural and seaside England are included. Here are market towns that have traditionally owed their importance and prosperity to the agricultural land surrounding them, towns that grew up by river crossings, small ports harboring both fishing and trading fleets, centers of religious activity, and even spas. The whole of England is represented in Palmer's delightful photography and perceptive commentaries, revealing how history, site, and the availability of local building materials have combined to shape the appearance of towns in different parts of the country. Darker stones lend a slightly forbidding yet noble air to the towns of the north, such as Barnard Castle. The eastern counties have a wealth of ancient half-timbered architecture, punctuated by buildings in flint and limestone, while to the west lie the honey-colored streets and houses of the Cotswolds. Here, too, are towns formed by their social and cultural contexts--the elegant Georgian and Victorian houses of Buxton, Derbyshire, reflecting its heyday as a fashionable spa; the imposing terraces in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, an expression of its importance as a market town and religious centerwith a magnificent abbey. A Traveler's Guide, listing places to visit, to stay, and to eat, helps both armchair and actual travelers enjoy even more a visit to England's delightful countryside. 260 color photographs. First published September 2005.


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Hugh Palmer is one of Britain's foremost photographers of rural life. His previous books include Garden Ornament and The Water Garden (both published by Thames & Hudson) as well as many titles in the Most Beautiful Villages series.

The Northern Counties: Barnard Castle; Hebden Bridge; Howick Keswick; Beverley; The Midland Counties: Chipping Camden; Bridgnorth; Buxton Ludlow; Ross-on-Wye; Stratford-upon-Avon; The Eastern Counties: Bury St. Edmunds; Swaffham; Saffron Walden Stamford; Wisbech; The Southern Counties: Alton/Alresford; Farnham; Faversham Hastings; Sandwich; The Western Counties: Bradford-upon-Avon; St Ives; Totnes Glastonbury; Shaftesbury.

General Fields

  • : 9780500512357
  • : Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • : Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • : October 2005
  • : 310mm X 250mm X 23mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 914.20486
  • : 208
  • : 255 colour illustrations
  • : Hugh Palmer
  • : Hardback