Naming things is not always easy, but someone has to do it. While the UK is home to many familiar towns and cities, it also has a few that are quite silly. Want some proof? Here are a few of the most unusual place names you’ll find in the United Kingdom.
The UK isn’t the only place with some weird names. Check out these Unusual Town Names in Canada.
Unusual Place Names in the United Kingdom
1. Scratchy Bottom, Dorset – “Bottom” refers to its valley location and “Scratchy” is a way to describe the thick and itchy grass native to the area. There is not much happening in this small clifftop valley, but it does have one claim to fame–appearing in the movie “Far From the Madding Crowd” in 1967. And it’s name, of course.
2. Little Snoring and Great Snoring, Norfolk – These little towns are located next to one another. The names suggest towns filled with chronic snorers and date back to the Saxon invasion in 450AD. The settlement at the time was called Snear, which means “swift” or “alert”.
3. Ugley, Essex – Although its name might suggest the opposite, the town of Ugley is filled with quaint, storybook-like cottages and cobblestone streets. The name dates back to around 1041, referring to a “woodland clearing of a man called Ugga.” Ugley is home to St. Peter’s Church which includes an admirable Tudor-style tower.
4. Shitterton, Dorset – This is yet another unfortunately named town in the Dorset region of the United Kingston. The name comes from the French word for stream which is schute. Many people stop in this town just so that they can get a photo of the sign, some have even attempted to steal it!
5. Foulness, Essex – Unlike some of the other places on this list, Foulness is an island off the coast of England. Despite the name, people are still drawn to Foulness. In addition to its windswept cottage getaways, it was once home to a military weapon-testing center.
6. Beer, Devon – This town may not be known for its beer, but surrounding it there are many grapes that are used to make wine. Like many towns in Devon, it has an impressive shoreline boasting gorgeous cliffs and rock formations. People flock to Beer for its incredible fishing areas.
7. Nomansland, Salisbury – Given the name because of its location on the edge of a Parish, it was once sought after as an escape from the city and conflict during WWI.
8. Sexhow, North Yorkshire – Every summer this town is home to the Elim Festival, a festival focused on family activities. It is organized by a local church and provides a camp-like worship experience. The name comes from the Norse word Sexhou. This translates to “Sek’s burial ground.”
9. Mudchute, London – This unusually named area is almost right in the center of London. At Mudchute there is a very large park and an urban farm. The name comes from the 1860s when mud and dirt from the waterways covered nearby land.
10. World’s End, Hampshire – This small hamlet is home to restaurants, farms, and cottages. While it is not the end that many may imagine, the isolation of this place could be considered world-ending!
Do you know of any other unusually named places in the United Kingdom or Europe? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Yearning for more facts about the United Kingdom? Check out these articles.
- What Is the United Kingdom?
- London’s Great Stink of 1858
- Royals in the British Line of Succession to the Throne