Muddy Insider Guides
On your travels? Pack our in-the-know local guides to the cool, quirky and unmissable towns and cities across the Muddy counties
We’re all about the insider info at Muddy – after all, our editors all live in the counties they write about. So who better to tap up for insightful, honest, bang up-to-date guides to these gorgeous cities and towns?
St Ives, Cornwall
There aren’t many British seaside resorts that manage to be quaint and cool at the same time but St Ives ticks all the boxes. As well as its famous white sand beaches, turquoise sea and golden light, this artists’ mecca has a thriving foodie scene, great surf and miles of breathtaking, nearby coastline to explore.
Have you checked out Exeter recently? A city neatly tucked between the beaches of the south coast and the wilderness of Dartmoor, it’s such a fab option for a weekender; it’s small, totally walkable and has a very cool visible cross-section of history, starting with *that* gorgeous Gothic cathedral; it has a nightlife to please everyone from students to the most discerning crowd; and its indie scene is alive and kicking, baby!
Arty, off-beat and yet not too cool for school, Salisbury is the only city in Wiltshire but boy what a gem it is. Toxic nerve agents aside, it’s full of medieval splendour with a cluster of funky independent shops and restaurants and only a few short miles from the Neolithic splendour of Stonehenge, so when you’re bored of shopping, eating and drinking you can hot-foot it there and find your inner druid.
A little Royal Wedding has put Windsor in the spotlight and it is a town that wears all its accessories at once. It is just 30mins from London, surrounded by 5,000 acres of parkland and is nestled on the River Thames. There’s nothing more quirky than the Queen waving at you from a turret, but look beyond the pomp and ceremony, for a cool non touristy vibe.
From Austen and Keats to gong baths and gin; cathedrals and choristers to cold-brewed coffee — Winchester’s easy mix of deep-past and ultra-now runs the cultural gamut, and some.
Brighton & Hove, Sussex
Arty, quirky and inclusive, Brighton & Hove is often dubbed London-On-Sea, yet the city is within easy reach of the South Downs. Visitor or local, there’s so much going on you’ll always find new places to discover.
A city that on the surface is just dreaming spires and tourist coffee shops, but it’s way more groovy than that if you know where to head (and yep, I do!). Read on for the coolest, quirkiest, unmissable bits of the city, whether you’re a local or heading here on a special break.
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Well-heeled riverside spa town, Leamington Spa, renowned for its stunning white Regency architecture and lush parks and gardens, has a quirkier side with a vibrant and creative independent scene.
Leicester is a melting pot of culture tucked away in the East Midlands. The city lies on the River Soar and is brimming with diversity making it a fantastic place to soak up the incredible restaurants, fab indie shops, festivals, art, theatre and more.
Sure, there are the Roman Baths, Jane Austen and it’s stuffed to the gills with gorgeous Georgian architecture – cripes, the whole city’s been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site – but there’s so much more than history to discover in Bath…
While there is plenty of Regency loveliness to enjoy and lots of oohing and aahing at gorgeous architecture in this super sumptuous centre of the Cotswolds, it’s not blanket la-di-da in the spa town – honestly, there’s hip and quirky too.
St Albans, Herts
St Albans is urban, busy and buzzy, with bags of Roman history, winding cobbled streets, impressive views and heaps of contemporary style.
Canterbury is the most popular place for Londoners to head when moving out to Kent and it’s no wonder – perfect for culture vultures, the city has outstanding theatre credentials, top tourist attractions and is a shopper’s paradise all rolled into one.