The towns, villages and hamlets across the UK that share a name with some of the world’s most iconic locations, have been revealed. As holidays abroad were no longer an option, looking for getaway inspiration became a popular topic. Staying optimistic and dreaming of stepping off the plane in a brand new destination is a great way to keep your travel spirits high.
Whilst the UK offers major cities to visit, such as London, Liverpool and Edinburgh, what about Hollywood, California and Perth? Online travel agency, Loveholidays, has revealed the UK’s towns, villages and hamlets that share their names with iconic destinations across the globe, as well as the history behind their famous names.
A hamlet just outside the town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire shares a name with the country of New Zealand.
Nestled in the rolling hills of the British countryside, it gained its interesting name from a particular breed of cow that was farmed in the area.
Cornwall has many areas of natural beauty, but it also has its own Barcelona. It was once the ancestral home of the Trelawney family, and was named after a man from Barcelona saved a member of the family from a shipwreck. It’s now a holiday park and popular destination for families seeking out the sun in the UK.
Steve Frost / Newton Farm
The Scottish hamlet of Moscow doesn’t have the same impressive architecture as its counterpart, but it does see plenty of snow. It was originally named Moss Hall, but it’s spelling was changed to mark Napoleon’s retreat from the current Russian capital.
Bright lights and huge celebrities come to mind when hearing the name Hollywood. But, Birmingham has its very own version of the iconic star studded location. It’s thought that the hamlet got its name from the woods that once surrounded the area, where holly would thrive.
David Stowell / Douglas Road, Hollywood
The UK has its own iconic cities of London, Belfast and Edinburgh, but it also has its very own New York. The British hamlet is located in the Lincolnshire countryside and has more of a relaxed approach to life, compared to the American metropolis. It’s not the only New York in the UK either, as Tyne and Wear has its own NYC too. Both the UK destinations were actually named after the city of York.
Tyne and Wear is also home to the large town of Washington. Many historians believe its name derived from the Anglo-Saxon “Hwæsingatūn” which roughly translates to ‘estate of Hwæsa’; a family that may have settled there. There are other towns across the UK with similar American namesakes, such as Columbia in Tyne and Wear as well as Denver in Norfolk. Popular US cities seem to be a source of inspiration for many of the UK’s villages and hamlets.
3,500 miles away from its namesake is a small village named during the American Revolutionary War. A local colliery owner commemorated the British capture of the city of Philadelphia.
There is even a village cricket field named ‘Bunker Hill’ after another famous battle in the same war.
Just one mile out of the town of Thornton, in Bradford, is Egypt. There are no pyramids, but the hamlet’s high walls that hold back rock from nearby quarries have been nicknamed “The Walls of Jericho”. There isn’t any clear explanation of how the hamlet got its unique name, but there is a theory that its name may be related to commemoration of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt.
The Isles of Scilly has a hamlet that shares its name with the famous northern region of France, Normandy. The tiny settlement is on the small island of St Mary’s and is home to the only public swimming pool on the entire Isles of Scilly.
A sleepy village in the British countryside has a unique name with a fascinating backstory. Toronto, County Durham had some of its land owned by a baron, who when visiting Toronto in Canada was informed that coal had been discovered under his land. To commemorate the findings, he named the new coal mine Toronto.
Just off the southern coast of England is a tiny village of Kingston, sharing a name with the capital city of Jamaica. It was originally named “The King’s Settlement” which slowly developed to Kingston.
Greater Manchester is known more for its rainy weather than beach resorts. But a small village eight miles from the city centre shares its name with the famous tourist spot, Rhodes. Whilst its name origins aren’t clear, its claim to fame is the great calico-printing works that were established in the village back in 1833.
The UK doesn’t have beautiful sandy beaches, but it does share names with destinations that do. A small village in Andover has the interesting name of Palestine, although it’s not clear how it got its name.
A wide sandy beach in Great Yarmouth also took inspiration from popular beach destinations across the world. The British beach was named in 1848, when some sixteenth century gold coins were discovered in the sand, at the same time when the California gold rush was taking the world by storm.
Bermuda in Warwickshire also took inspiration from idyllic sandy beaches. The small suburb just outside of Nuneaton was named by a local landowner who was a former Governor of Bermuda. It’s clear the UK loves sun, sea and sand!
This Bedfordshire village shares a name with the overseas territory of Gibraltar, but this one has swapped out beachside resorts for thatched cottages. That’s not the only location in the UK that shares a name with once overseas territory.
The market town of Melbourne shares its name with Australia’s second most populous city, but its name actually means ‘mill stream’.
Scotland has its own Australian inspired destination too. The city of Perth lies on the banks of the Scottish River Tay, but that’s where similarities end. The name actually derives from a Pictish word for wood, a now dead language spoken by the Picts, the ancient people of Eastern and Northern Scotland.
The Lincolnshire countryside has rolling hills and fields of flowers, just like Holland. But, that’s not why the British village of Holland got its name. The small village was part of the three main divisions of Lincolnshire. In old English, the word Holland meant ‘land of the hill spurs’ leading it to be named Parts of Holland. Over time, the name has been shortened to just Holland.
Loveholidays spokesperson said: “We know that many people are dreaming about their first post-pandemic getaway, and we can’t blame you! We can’t wait to jump on a plane and hit the beach, but in the meantime, the UK has a wealth of fascinating destinations to consider.
“Our research reveals the UK is home to some surprisingly named places, with many of them sharing names with famous global destinations. They may not have been on your radar before, but there’s never been a better time to add some closer-to-home destinations to your bucket list.