An area near Colchester has been named among the top 7 underrated beauty spots in the UK, according to a new list.

The Times included Dedham Vale as one of the best "off-radar places to target if you are craving countryside without the crowds."

They added: "Big-name National Landscapes include the Giant’s Causeway and the Cotswolds, but plenty are less well known and equally beautiful, and make brilliant spots for a weekend away."

The full list of the best-underrated beauty spots in the UK can be seen on The Times website here.

Great British Life: Dedham Vale was praised for its 'green and pleasant pocket of thatched cottages'Dedham Vale was praised for its 'green and pleasant pocket of thatched cottages' (Image: Newsquest)

What did The Times say about Dedham Vale?

Discussing Dedham Vale, The Times praised it for its "peaceful riverside" and Georgian architecture among other features.

They wrote: "Essex may not be famous for its natural beauties, but this one — streaking inland from the East Anglian coast, between Colchester and Ipswich — wipes out any Towie-based ideas of superficiality.

"Tracing part of the River Stour and its tributaries, along with the Cattawade Marshes, Dedham Vale is a green and pleasant pocket of thatched cottages, peaceful riverside, Georgian architecture and weeping willows.

READ MORE: Your guide to Dedham and Constable country

Great British Life: Dedham Vale being next to the River Stour is one of its main featuresDedham Vale being next to the River Stour is one of its main features (Image: Newsquest)

"It certainly inspired the local artist John Constable in the early 1800s — head to Flatford Mill for a view straight out of The Hay Wain."

It's not just The Times that admires Dedham Vale as in September 2023 Which? rated the village of Dedham as one of the best towns and villages in the UK after more than 9,000 members cast their votes.

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The survey asked members to rate locations they had visited based on the quality of their food and drink, tourist attractions, shopping and more.

Each of the locations on the list received a Destination Score out of a possible 100 per cent as well as being ranked out of five stars in various categories.

The village was given an overall destination score of 74 per cent, and was awarded a five out of five for its scenery, four for its attractiveness and four for its tourist attractions.