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Burford High Street in the Cotswolds

War of Independence

In the first issue of Do Not Disturb, we launched a campaign against the advance of ‘clone town’ Britain, a dreary place with identikit high streets and a homogenised retail experience.

We sung the praises of towns that remain individual, bloody-minded and independent, and asked you, the reader, to vote for your very favourite ‘UK town of character’. Your nominations came flooding in. Some of you were even moved to, er, poetry…

Three winners received a Nikon COOLPIX camera (find out who at Here are some of our favourite entries.

Newcastle upon Tyne
Nominated by Cornelia Marsh of Newcastle
Bridges, castle, culture, shops,
Newcastle life never stops;
Vibrant, friendly, bursting with pride,
Geordies come top – nationwide!

Cheltenham Spa
Nominated by Rachel Lee of Cheltenham
Best town is Cheltenham Spa.
Welcoming and most beautiful by far
Visit by train, coach and car
Welcoming perfection? Very bourgeois!

Nominated by Caroline James of Oldham
Edale is a beautiful place in the Peak District that offers great walks and scenic views perfect for capturing photographs.

Nominated by Carol Finning of Exeter
Underground passages, simply unique
Shopping centres, modern and chic.
History, charm, the old Roman Wall
Exeter simply has it all.

Market Drayton
Nominated by Wendy McDonald of Market Drayton
Tudor buildings monochrome splendour, picturesque canal runs through.
Local produce, rolling farmland. This market town welcomes you.

Nominated by Lisa Hughes of Cleckheaton
Ee by gum, friendly folk and the tastiest pork pies.
The Brontes, historical buildings and fabulous countryside!

Nominated by Paul Tyack of Southampton
The perfect blend of friendliness, charm, good pubs, good restaurants, interesting people, beautiful views and all this by the sea.

Nominated by Patricia Owen of Walsall
Horsham’s inns have cheery moods,
Tree-lined avenues raise smiles.
Country crafts and farmers’ foods
Riverside walks for scenic miles.

By Harold Goodwin, Do Not Disturb (in-hotel magazine)


  1. can’t find a listing on FB – please can you tell us who won? thank you. and possibly their answers?

  2. please could you tell us the winning entries – can’t find anything on FB, thanks lots

  3. The winners were:

    Gill Wright – Shrewsbury in the heart of Shropshire with cobbled alleys and black and white buildings. A Place of Beauty and Mystery.

    Cristina McDowall – Looe, Cornwall – Tiny winding streets; beaches; riverside; boats bobbing in the harbour: Looe keeps you clicking until your memory runs out

    Andy Robinson – Whitby – It’s quaint and it’s quirky with quality cuisine. There’s history and mystery, boats and jewels. It’s divine!

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