Contributed by Simply Business
8/04/2022 - The Sunday Times
The comprehensive guide, which includes 70 locations, is released online today and an edited version will be available in the paper on Sunday.
The Sunday Times’s expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.
They look to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres; attractive, well-designed homes, and locations bursting with community spirit – which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.
An average house price for each location has been supplied by Halifax, the sponsor of the guide, and up-to-date information on broadband speeds has been provided by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.
Please note: apart from the regional winner, the other locations are not ranked, but listed in alphabetical order.
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022: East
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?
“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.
“This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the Southwest, and a commutable Scottish island.
“We hope there is something to suit everyone.”
There are comments from the judges on each of the chosen locations below. More details are available on request. Helen Davies, editor of the guide, and the judges are available for interview, to discuss specific entries and any other issues raised by the guide.
Winner: Norwich, Norfolk: Britain’s most likeable small city has all the things we love: high culture, café culture and beautiful buildings of every kind. The market is one of the country’s best. The city centre, dominated by independents, is full of charm and everywhere is within walking distance.
Average house price: £304,000
Growth since 2020: 13%
Boxford, Suffolk (New): This thriving village makes its debut in the list, thanks to its many beautiful old houses, all wonderfully served by an outstanding primary school, farmers’ market, family-run butcher and a village shop that could be the oldest in the country and is still going strong.
Average house price: £480,000
Fall since 2020: 1%
Great Massingham, Norfolk (New): With its huge, picturesque green, complete with duck pond, and brilliant community spirit, village life is at its most idyllic here. The shop is an award-winner and there’s a property to suit every taste, from brick-and-flint cottages to hefty barn conversions, and the coast is just a half-hour drive away.
Average house price: £364,000
Growth since 2020: 31%
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (New): The best bit of Southend, Britain’s newest city, earns its place due to its winning combination of lively bars, coffee shops and brunch spots, and attractive seaside surroundings. It’s funky and friendly, the schools are excellent and the fast trains to London are a bonus.
Average house price: £429,000
Growth since 2020: 13%
Saffron Walden, Essex: With its multicoloured medieval houses, huge common, lively market and local shops, Saffron Walden is the poster child for non-Towie Essex. The town has a strong cultural streak, with a not-for-profit cinema, art gallery and Saffron Hall, an award-winning music and arts performance space.
Average house price: £517,000
Growth since 2020: 16%
St Ives, Cambridgeshire (new): Unlike its Cornish namesake, this market town 15 miles from Cambridge is all the lovelier for being off the tourist trail. This St Ives has delightful period architecture from medieval to Victorian, some good pubs and restaurants and a relaxed riverside vibe.
Average house price: £303,000
Growth since 2020: 5%
Woodbridge, Suffolk: This Best Places to Live favourite is beautiful and buzzy, with its lovely period houses, picturesque stretch of river and tasty food scene. It’s getting cooler, too, with bright young twenty- and thirty-somethings taking full advantage of its combination of cosmopolitan living, nearby coast and all the locally sourced organic produce and fancy coffee they could desire.
Average house price: £430,000
Growth since 2020: 18%
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live covers the following regions: North and Northeast, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Southeast, Wales, Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest.
Ilkley, West Yorkshire, was named as the overall Best Place to Live in the UK.
For more information visit The Sunday Times Best Places To Live website
All articles on this news site are submitted by registered contributors of SuffolkWire. Find out how to subscribe and submit your stories here »