When considering where the ‘best’ place to live might be, a lot of factors come into play, which can be different for everyone. From commuting time and distance from friends and family to whether you prefer an urban or rural landscape, the answer would likely be different for everyone.
However, as the pandemic has changed how we live (in some ways temporarily but in other ways for good), a lot of us have discovered that things such as access to nature, a quieter pace of life and, perhaps most importantly, a cheaper way of life, are more important to us than we may have previously thought.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why Stroud in Gloucestershire has just nabbed the title of ‘Best place to live in the UK‘ by The Sunday Times.
The historic market town has ‘a unique independent spirit that comes to the fore in its impressive local food scene and at the brilliant weekly farmers’ market that brings the town and surrounding countryside together,’ reads The Sunday Times‘ description of Stroud. Not only that, Stroud is surrounded by the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – great for all those weekend rambles we’re all now so used to.
It also has excellent transport links, which means London is just a 90-minute direct train ride away, while Bristol a 45-minute drive; the city of Gloucestershire is just 10 miles away and the large spa town of Cheltenham 13 miles.
Meanwhile, if you’re used to the sky-high property prices of London and other cities, the fact that the average rental price in Stroud is £711 per month for a 2-bed and the average starter home comes in at around £195,000 (comfortably below the UK’s average property price) will be music to your ears.
The full list of the best places to live in the UK organised by region, according to The Sunday Times, is as follows:
Overall winner: Stroud, Gloucestershire
Southwest: Stroud, Gloucestershire
East: Woodbridge, Suffolk
London: Teddington, Richmond
Midlands: Stamford, Lincolnshire
North & Northeast: Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Northern Ireland: Holywood, Belfast
Northwest: Altrincham, Greater Manchester
Scotland: North Berwick, East Lothian
Southeast: Surrey Hills, Surrey
Southwest: Frome, Somerset
Wales: Usk, Monmouthshire