Sunshine-soaked slopes and sprawling fields of vines are often associated with the southern coasts of Italy or the Champagne region of France – but who can forget the gorgeous vineyards we have on our doorstep in the UK!
Some may be surprised to learn that there is blossoming viticulture in the UK due to the warmer climate in southern areas and the increasing demand for British-made goods. The most recent harvest figures show approximately 79,128 hectolitres (one hectolitre is equivalent to one hundred litres) of wine were produced in the UK in 2020; something that’s only increasing year on year.
To find the most beautiful of the bunch, SWR analysed the 268 visitable vineyards in the UK against Instagram hashtags, five-star TripAdvisor reviews, and the number of times 'beautiful', 'stunning' and 'gorgeous' appeared in reviews.
Amongst the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside lies Llanerch Vineyard. Home to an oasis of blossoming vines, this is the oldest vineyard in Wales. If that wasn’t enough to warrant first place on our list, Llanerch garnered the most mentions of ‘beautiful’, ‘stunning’ and ‘gorgeous’ compared to the other vineyards in our study amongst a myriad of glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.
This estate in Hensol boasts an established winery and is also a gorgeous hotel retreat for visitors. With a range of tours available, guests can experience the journey of Llanerch’s award-winning Cariad wines from grape to glass.
Located in the heart of the so-called Garden of England, Chapel Down’s vineyard ranked in second position. This stunning winery is certainly worth writing about, as Chapel Down has almost 18,000 Instagram hashtags - one of the highest figures on our list.
On the banks of this south-eastern metropolis, the grapes of Chapel Down benefit from the warm, maritime climate to produce a variety of sparkling and still wines. Whether you want to set out on the Walking with Wine tour or prefer a simple tasting experience, there are plenty of ways to experience UK viticulture at Chapel Down.
Set in Devon, this vineyard saw its first harvest in September 2020 and has already impressed its visitors. Many have professed their love for Lympstone Manor on Instagram and TripAdvisor, with 285 reviews including the terms ‘beautiful’, ‘stunning’ and ‘gorgeous’.
In a short few years, this dilapidated mansion has transformed into a thriving estate, offering hotel stays, vineyard tours and more for its guests. With such a promising beginning, Lympstone Manor wines are set to lead the south-west’s viticulture scene.
As the largest vineyard in England, with over 265 acres of vines (and 627 acres overall), Denbies Wine Estate stands out on our list. With a huge volume of positive reviews on TripAdvisor and 11,906 Instagram hashtags from the estate, a trip to Denbies in Dorking is sure to be a beautiful day out.
Although the estate is famous for its indoor winery tours and vineyard train rides, there are also a variety of tastings to attend, or visit the on-site brewery and art gallery.
Want to raise a glass in these gorgeous surroundings? Travel from London Waterloo to Dorking, and once you arrive, the estate is only a 15-minute walk from the station.
Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery
Overlooking Hambleden Valley in Oxfordshire, Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery has a long-established tradition of excellence. Boasting the most five-star reviews on TripAdvisor out of all the vineyards on our list, it has a well-deserved reputation for perfection!
Chiltern Valley wines are famous throughout the UK, but rumour has it that these wines taste the best when poured by the makers. Visitors can enjoy a two-hour tour around the estate, ending with a tasting of Chiltern’s wines, ales and liquors. No matter your preference, there is something to suit everyone here.
Nyetimber Manor Vineyard
Prefer a bottle of bubbly? Nyetimber has bubbles worth bragging about! With 20,336 hashtags of Nyetimber Manor’s vineyard, they can also boast being the most Instagrammed vineyard in the UK.
Established in the South Downs for over 25 years, Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvée is produced from 100% estate-owned grapes and is renowned as one of the finest English sparkling wines. Here the soil has the same composition as the Champagne region, so you’ll have fun trying to taste the difference during the vineyard’s tasting tours.
Tucked away in West Yorkshire, you’ll find Holmfirth Vineyard, which came in seventh place. This vineyard has amassed 482 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, and 166 mentions of its beauty.
On your visit to the vineyard, you can expect to learn about the colourful history of the Holme Valley and, of course, test out the award-winning wines. This is the most budget-friendly option on our list, with the basic tour and tasting costing just £10 per person.
Camel Valley Vineyard
Our list wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Cornwall. Camel Valley is exceptionally beautiful (with 147 mentions of its gorgeous surroundings in reviews), whilst being renowned for its world-class wines.
Whether you’re fond of a rosé or prefer a pinot noir, Camel Valley has a curated selection of wines to suit all tastes. Tours of the vineyard take place every day, with the option to continue your tasting experience in the restaurant on site.
Want to taste the best wines that Cornwall has to offer? If you’re in the area, add this to your itinerary for a wonderful day out.
Woodchester Valley Vineyard
For a quintessential English countryside vineyard, look no further than Woodchester Valley in the Cotswolds. With 494 glowing five-star reviews on TripAdvisor and 802 hashtags on Instagram, visitors can’t walk away from a weekend in Woodchester without spreading the good news.
Established on the steep limestone slopes of Gloucestershire in 2007, this vineyard produces a range of still and sparkling wines. Take a tour to witness the grapes transform from vine to wine, with a choice of a classic vineyard tour or one focusing on the sparkling variety.
The Vineyard Leonardslee Gardens
Located in some of the finest woodland gardens in England, this vineyard in West Sussex is surrounded by an oasis of beauty. TripAdvisor reviewers would agree, with 185 mentions of how ‘stunning’ and ‘gorgeous’ this vineyard is.
As England’s first pinotage vineyard, this winery saw its first harvest in August 2020 and expects to produce its first batch of wine in 2023. However, for now, they offer a range of different wine tours with tastings from their sister vineyard in South Africa.
To get to this oasis, begin your journey at Clapham Junction station, take a train to Horsham, then the vineyard is only a 30-minute ride on the 17 bus.
Nothing beats a day trip which revolves around a beverage! Whether you want to explore the inner workings of independent breweries or prefer to clink glasses in a cocktail bar, it’s time to start planning your perfect day out. If beautiful vineyards, wine and a good time sounds like your ideal trip, plan in advance and book your train tickets online. Looking for a saving? Check which Railcards and discounts you may be eligible for.
To find the most beautiful vineyards in the UK, SWR collated a seed list of 268 visitable vineyards from Wine Cellar Door.
Each vineyard was analysed against its number of hashtags on Instagram, the number of TripAdvisor reviews that contained the words 'beautiful' 'stunning' and 'gorgeous' and the number of five-star TripAdvisor reviews.
The data points were given a 40/40/20 weighting respectfully to award a score out of 100. Data accurate at time of collection (April 2022).