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Britain’s Best Places to Live Influenced by Georgian Architecture and a Waitrose!

A recent survey of the most popular locations in Britain has revealed that history, fine British architecture, and supermarkets are a pivotal choice when people are deciding where to live. It seems that Georgian architecture and a neighbourhood Waitrose are dealmakers. 

Many of the towns and cities in the top 20, such as Bath, Chester, Chichester, and York feature elegant examples of Georgian-era British architecture. All but two of the 20 have a Waitrose in the area, with only Falmouth in Cornwall and Skipton in North Yorkshire requiring residents to travel if they want to shop for groceries at the national chain. 

Other factors that decide desirability include culture and attractiveness, which is why Cowbridge emerged as the South Wales regional winner. 

According to the Sunday Times' annual ‘Best Places to Live’ survey, property prices in these sought-after areas average £339,000. For those who prefer to rent, average monthly cost is £1,350 per month to rent. 

Property price data was provided by Countrywide. Its director, Johnny Morris, said that today, properties in the towns and cities that have regularly been named as the best places to live command a premium, with people willing to pay more to settle in them. 

Mr Morris said that every one of the places regarded as desirable places to call home has a long and varied history. Some have been highly sought after since the beginning while others have experienced dramatic and positive changes in fortune. 

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During the five years that the survey has been running, places like Cambridge and Winchester have consistently been popular and ranked high. 

The regional winner for the north and northeast was Newcastle Quayside, which has undergone significant regeneration in recent years, particularly in the area of the Tyne and Wear city. In the south east, Wadhurst in East Sussex took the top spot due to its appealing mix of old and new shops while Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire was voted as the best place to live in the Midlands. Cowbridge was the big winner In south Wales while Ballycastle in Co Antrim took the top spot for Northern Ireland for the second year in a row. 

The factors that went into choosing these regional winners included diversity and quality of restaurants and shops, attractiveness, community spirit, and schooling. Transport links, crime rates, life expectancy, and broadband speed were also deemed highly important. 

The overall winner for last year was Winchester, which includes some stunning examples of British architecture. Its predecessors for the distinction of best place to live included Stamford, Lincolnshire, Newnham, Cambridgeshire and Skipton, North Yorkshire. 


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