A town in Gloucestershire has been named the best place to live in the UK, as experts said the coronavirus pandemic has made towns stand out above cities
Stroud has topped the Sunday Times list of 78 locations across the country.
The town was praised for its schools, transport links and green space along with a “unique independent spirit”.
The Sunday Times guide looks for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and community spirit.
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings.
“With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.
“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages.
“Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.
“Stroud has been chosen as our winner because it has all the basics covered in perfect style: it has excellent schools, convenient transport links and easy access to lots of glorious green space.
“Best of all it 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.”
Stroud’s average house price is £265,000, while the average rental price is £700 pcm.
Teddington in the London Borough of Richmond has been named the best place to live in London, North Berwick the top place to live in Scotland, Usk, Monmouthshire was deemed the cream of the crop in Wales, while Holywood in County Down came out in front for Northern Ireland.
Previous winners of the top title in The Sunday Times Best Places to Live include Altrincham last year, Salisbury in 2019, York in 2018 and Bristol in 2017.