Updated: Sep 21, 2021
On our three-month UK tour, we visited Lacock Village in Wiltshire having read that it's one of the must-see villages in the UK. Of all the pretty villages I had seen up until that point, from Tissington in Derby to Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, this was something else entirely.
Famous for the TV programs and movies that have been filmed here, you can understand why Lacock is a favourite for shows like Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. But by far the most high-profile movie to have been filmed here is some of the Harry Potter's, and you really do feel like you're in the movie as you meander down the crooked 13th-century streets.
This is a wonderful place for children to visit, particularly if you're teaching them about this time period. A village completely untouched by modernisation is a unique find. Most of us have been to visit pretty, quaint English villages before, but this one is truly special. The only downside is the number of cars parked around, making photographs a little harder to take.
The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust. It's free to visit but Lacock Abbey isn't. As well as being famous for the movies shot here, the village was also home to Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of the negative/positive photographic process and whose descendants gave the Abbey and village to the Trust in 1944.
Aside from being a beautiful village to visit, allowing you to step back in time and imagine, it's also a really fun place to come if you or your children are Harry Potter fans. Some of the movies were filmed here and inside the cloisters at Lacock Abbey and there are many references to the film throughout the village. What a great way to avoid the expense of the Harry Potter studios, and come to a film set that doesn't cost a thing!
If you want to visit the cloisters from the Harry Potter movies, you will need to go into Lacock Abbey for which there is a charge. You can see the full information and charges here.
You will see more than just the cloisters inside the Abbey. Before you go in, visit the Fox Talbot Museum and see the history behind the invention of the negative/positive photographic process, another great learning opportunity. There's also the astronomy photographer of the year display if you want to incorporate your space learning into this educational day trip, and the lovely botanical gardens too.
There's something for everyone at Lacock Village. Enjoy a day in the past whilst marveling at the wonders of the future, walking in the footsteps of stars, seeing actual stars far out in space, captured by the amazing eye of young talent. Lacock is more than just a village. It's a snowglobe filled with history, encased in unbreakable bonds.
If you get time, and for an added bonus, drive another twenty minutes down the road and visit Castle Coombe village. If there was ever a village to make you say wow, this one is it!