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Best places to live in the countryside: Where to buy a home

Published Jun 27, 2021 – 18 mins read

If you’re considering moving to a more rural setting you might be interested to learn about the best places to live in the countryside

Village greens, tranquillity, a local pub just a short walk away and lots of fresh air and space. 

Whatever you want from the countryside, whether a rural location or a village with a small but lively community, we can help you find your dream property. 

In this article, we suggest top locations in the country and where to buy a home.   

Shere, near Guildford, Surrey

Shere, near Guildford, Surrey

Key facts about Shere:

  • Education: Shere Church of England Aided Infant School in the village and Peaslake Free School (for 2 to 7 year-olds) in the nearby hamlet of the same name are both rated Good by Ofsted. Of the state secondary schools (ages 11 to 18) the academies St Peter’s Catholic School and Guildford County School in nearby Guildford are rated Outstanding by Ofsted. This part of Surrey also has several notable independent schools for secondary age pupils—the fee-paying Guildford High School (for girls aged 4 to 18) and the Royal Grammar School (for boys 11-18), in Guildford, stand out;
  • Transport links: for a countryside location, Shere is very well connected. It lies just off the main A25 trunk road that runs from Guildford to Dorking, both of which are just five miles (8 km) or so away. From either Guildford or Dorking, you can access the national motorway network. Heathrow airport is around 45 minutes’ drive away, while the drive to London’s second airport, Gatwick, takes around half an hour;
  • Trains: Gomshall train station is less than 1 mile (1.6 km) away for connections to several London stations including London Victoria and London Waterloo—the journey from Gomshall to London by train takes around an hour. 

Why live in Shere?

Shere is a quintessential English village that combines country living with ready access to the capital and neighbouring towns and cities.

The village boasts ducks on the tranquil River Tillingbourne, two pubs, a post office, bakery, and greengrocer, and even a fine dining restaurant.

With nearby Guildford and Dorking acting as popular hubs for the so-called stockbroker belt of Surrey, Shere is very much a commuter town—with the benefit of attractive countryside surroundings. 

Shere has been described as one of the best commuter villages within an hour’s distance of London.

Grassington, North Yorkshire

Grassington, North Yorkshire

Key facts:

  • Education: Grassington Primary School was rated Good at the last Ofsted inspection in 2017. In nearby Skipton, both Greatwood Community Primary School and Water Street Community Primary School are rated Outstanding by Ofsted. In the secondary sector, Upper Wharfedale School (for boys and girls from 11 to 16), also in Skipton, is rated Outstanding. Notable independent schools in North Yorkshire include Ripon Grammar School and Harrogate Ladies College;
  • Transport links: Grassington is a small market town in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, so remains relatively remote. By road, Skipton is some 10 miles (15 km) to the south and Ripon 22 miles (36 km) to the east. Harrogate (some 24 miles, 38 km) to the southeast offers access to the main AI(M) and the national motorway network;
  • Trains: The nearest railway station is at Skipton where trains to London, King’s Cross, take around three and a half hours.

Why move to Grassington?

The North Yorkshire Dales have featured as the setting for countless television series in the UK—the countryside is some of the best in Britain. In fact, Grassington was transformed into Darrowby for the remake of the iconic series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. 

Set amidst stunning scenery in Upper Wharfdale in the heart of the Dales, Grassington also boasts a strong village community, pubs, shops, and centuries of rural history.

Although you’ll be in the heart of wonderful countryside, you won’t be living completely off the grid—Skipton is about a 20-minute drive away and Harrogate around 40-minutes. 

Beaminster, Dorset

Key facts:

  • Education: there are three primary schools in the town and two of them are rated Good by Ofsted namely, Broadwindsor Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School and Parrett and Axe Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School. The local state secondary Beaminster School is also rated Good by Ofsted. Just 17 miles (27 km) away is one of the UK’s foremost independent, fee-paying schools for boys, Sherbourne School;
  • Transport links: Beaminster is about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of the county town of Dorchester in the western part of the county of Dorset. It lies midway between the towns of Crewkerne to the north and Bridport to the south. In a part of the countryside relatively far from the major road networks, the 144-mile (232 km) drive to London may take around two and three-quarter hours;
  • Trains: the nearest railway station to Beaminster is at Crewkerne, some 5 miles (8 km) away. Journey times from here to London Waterloo are around two and a half to three hours.

Why live in Beaminster?

Beaminster has been called laidback and pretty and is like a cross between the charm of a small French village with the more chic quarters of a big city.

In short, it is a town in its own right, both quaintly charming and authentic.

East Meon, Meon Valley, Hampshire

East Meon, Meon Valley, Hampshire

Key facts:

  • Education: the local East Meon Church of England Controlled Primary School was rated Good by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in 2019. Secondary level state education is available at Petersfield School, a little over 5 miles (8 km) away, which was rated Outstanding at the most recent Ofsted inspection at the end of 2018. The leading independent boarding school for boys and girls, Bedales, is also on the outskirts of Petersfield;
  • Transport links: East Meon is in the western part of the South Downs National Park, enjoying a rural setting relatively far from the major road networks—even though the City of Portsmouth is only 19 miles (31 km) to the south and London 61miles (98 km) to the northeast. Gatwick international airport is only 24 miles (39 km) away;
  • Trains: the nearest railway station is in Petersfield some 5 miles (8 km) away. Direct trains from Petersfield to London Waterloo take a little over an hour.

Is East Meon a nice place to live?

Nestled at the head of the Meon Valley in the South Downs National Park, East Meon offers country living at Hampshire’s best.

Here you’ll find stunning rural scenery, a quiet pace of life, yet the bright lights of urban centres (and even the capital) not too far away.

Goring-on-Thames (or Goring), Oxfordshire

Goring-on-Thames (or Goring), Oxfordshire

Key facts Goring-on-Thames:

  • Education: there are three primary schools (ages 4-11) in the immediate vicinity, all of which have been rated Good by Ofsted: Goring Church of England Aided Primary School, Streatley C.E. Voluntary Controlled School, and South Stoke School. The state secondary school at Emmer Green, some 10 miles (16 km) away, is Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre, which has also been rated Good by Ofsted. The nearby co-educational independent boarding school Pangbourne College received a glowing evaluation by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in November 2019;
  • Transport links: Goring is a historically strategic settlement on the River Thames, occupying the Goring Gap between the Chilterns to the east and the North Wessex Downs to the west (both are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Goring offers a bridging point across the Thames to Streatley on the opposite bank and is a natural stopping point on the old road between Oxford and Reading. Indeed, it is at Reading (some 10 miles or 16 km to the south) that you can join the M4 and the national motorway network. The M4 also takes you to Heathrow Airport some 36 miles away (58 km);
  • Trains: there is a direct train service to London Paddington from Goring and Streatley railway station that takes around an hour. 

Why live in Goring?

Nestled into the Goring Gap between the Chilterns and the North Wessex Downs, with its riverside frontage, Goring-on-Thames has been on the tourist trail since Victorian times.

The twin villages of Goring and Streatley span the River Thames but present a single harmonious and friendly community to visitors. 

Surrounded by green hills and escarpments, the villages have pubs and local independent shops aplenty.

Ashburton, South Devon

Ashburton, South Devon

Key facts about Ashburton:

  • Education: the local Ashburton Primary School may be somewhat smaller (in terms of pupil numbers than other schools) but has nevertheless been rated Good by Ofsted. The Atrium Studio School, an Academy (for 14 to 19 year-old students), has been rated Good by Ofsted. Ashburton is also home to the small independent, fee-paying, co-educational Sands School; 
  • Transport links: Ashburton sits on the edge of Dartmoor National Park on the main road, the A38, from Plymouth 20 miles (32 km) to the south and Exeter 17 miles (27 km) to the north, where there is also access to the M5 and the national motorway network. Ashburton is in the far southwest of England, so the 191-mile (307 km) journey by road to London is likely to take around three and a half hours. The regional airport at Exeter also serves several European destinations;
  • Trains: The two nearest stations are both about 7 miles away at Totnes and Newton Abbot. Both lines go into London, taking around three to three and a half hours to arrive at London Paddington.

Why live in Ashburton?

Ashburton offers the wild and rugged open spaces of Dartmoor, yet also sits alongside the so-called Devon Expressway—the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth—giving you the immediate choice between remote countryside or bustling provincial cities.

A little-known fact about the town is its fame once upon a time for “Ashburton Pop”, a beverage said to taste something like champagne, but the recipe for which was lost between 1785 and 1835.

Cheriton, Hampshire

Key facts about Cheriton:

  • Education: Cheriton Primary School is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The secondary level public sector Perins School in Alresford – 2.4 miles (4 km) away – is rated Good by Ofsted. Also, in Alresford is the independent, fee-paying, international boarding school for 14 to 19 year-old girls and boys, Brockwood Park School;
  • Transport links: Cheriton is in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, some eight miles (13 km) to the east of Winchester. Although those eight short miles put the village in the heart of the countryside, Winchester is a gateway to the M3 motorway and, from there, the whole of the national network. By road, the 74-mile (119 km) drive from Cheriton to central London is likely to take around an hour and a half to two hours;
  • Trains: for train services to London Waterloo, travel first to the nearest mainline station at Winchester—the average onward journey takes around an hour and a half, though some of the faster trains take around an hour.

Is Cheriton a good place to live?

A village hall, award-winning pub, chocolate box thatched cottages, a cricket pitch and tennis court—what more could you ask of an English country village? Cheriton has it all.

The village is surrounded by the lush, fertile farmlands of Hampshire yet is only a stone’s throw from the county capital—historic Winchester—and the whole of Britain beyond. With a short drive to Winchester station and a train ride of less than an hour, Cheriton also passes muster as a highly desirable commuter town.

Ufford, Near Stamford, Cambridgeshire

Key facts about Ufford:

  • Education: There is a choice of local schools and colleges. An eleven-minute drive of 5 miles (8 km) or so brings you to two primary schools rated Outstanding by Ofsted—The Bluecoat School and Great Casterton Church of England Primary School, both in Stamford. Notable independent fee-paying schools include Stamford Endowed Schools and the renowned Oundle School;
  • Transport links: the short 5-mile (8 km) drive from Ufford to Stamford brings you to the main A1(M), a motorway-standard trunk road leading south to London and North to Grantham and Newark. The principal transport hub for this part of the country, Peterborough, is also just 8.5 miles (13.6 km) away;
  • Trains: from the mainline station at Peterborough there are more than 100 trains a day to London Kings Cross, with an average journey time of around one hour and fifteen minutes. 

Why move to Ufford?

Ufford is a small village in the northwest corner of Cambridgeshire, close to the borders with Lincolnshire and Rutland. This puts the place in the heart of England and an almost exclusively agricultural history.

Today, farms have been amalgamated and the former patchwork of tenant farmers has all but disappeared. In their place, most residents of the village now travel to work in Stamford or Peterborough—and increasing numbers take advantage of the fast train services from Peterborough to commute daily to London.

For many, it has become the perfect spot in which to put down family roots in the countryside. 

Woodstock, Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

Woodstock, Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

Key facts about Woodstock:

  • Education: Woodstock Church of England Primary School, in the village itself, and Combe Church of England Primary School, in nearby Witney, are both rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The Cherwell School—a public sector Academy for 11-18 year-olds—is also rated Outstanding by Ofsted and is just 7.4 miles (12 km) to the south of Woodstock. Oxford High School (for girls) is a highly-regarded independent school for pupils from pre-school age up to completion of their sixth-form at 18.
  • Transport links: Woodstock is on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but is strategically situated close to Oxford and the M4 motorway southbound and northwards to Banbury and the M4 to the Midlands. Oxford International Airport is only three miles away (5 km) and offers mainly regional services – and private charter flights – but also some scheduled European destinations;
  • Trains: the nearest railway station is at Tackley, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) away, where the average train services will take you to London Paddington in around two hours.

Is Woodstock a nice place to live?

Not only does it have everything you might want of a rural market town in the Cotswolds—stunningly quaint architecture and independent shops and markets—but it also has its own famous and much-visited palace at Blenheim.

Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage site and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It is currently the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

A place in the Cotswolds, a palace on your doorstep, and ready transport links by road and rail to the rest of the UK—Woodstock clamours for attention as one of the best countryside locations for a home.

Hambleton, Rutland

Key facts about Hambleton:

  • Education: there are five primary schools in Hambleton’s catchment area, all of which are in nearby Oakham (3.2 miles, 5 km) and all of which are rated Good by Ofsted. In the public sector, the sixth-form (ages 16-19) Academy, Harington School, in Oakham, is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The independent Oakham School (founded in 1584) – and a twin of the renowned Uppingham School which was founded in the same year – is for pupils aged 10 to 18 years of age;
  • Transport links: Hambleton is the only town on the peninsula that projects across Rutland Water. All transport links, therefore, are through the closest town on the “mainland”, Oakham – 3.2 miles (5 km) away. Oakham, in turn, exactly midway between the City of Leicester to the west and Peterborough to the southeast – 26 miles (42 km) and also 26 miles (42 km). From Leicester, there is direct access to the M1 and 12.5 miles (20 km) away at Stamford, the road meets the north-south M1(M). The 113-mile (182 km) drive to central London is likely to take close to two and a half hours;
  • Trains: from the railway station at Oakham, the average time to London Kings Cross and St Pancras takes just an hour and a half.

Why live in Hambleton?

Hambleton – practically on its own island in the middle of Rutland Water – was recently voted one of the top four places to live in the whole of the UK.

Some have described it as a “dreamy location” surrounded by beautiful countryside, lakeside views, and a waterscape just begging for the next glorious sunset – although you might need deeper pockets than most to be able to afford to live there.

Clitheroe, Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Clitheroe, Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Key facts about Clitheroe:

  • Education: of the 8 primary schools in the catchment area for Clitheroe, 3 are rated as Outstanding by Ofsted: Barrow Primary School, Chatburn Church of England Primary School, and Clitheroe Pendle Primary School. In the public sector at secondary level, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School (co-educational, ages 11 to 19) is also rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The independent, co-educational day and boarding school in the Ribble Valley, Moorland School, will soon mark its 100th anniversary;
  • Transport links: Clitheroe sits at the head of the Ribble Valley, on the southeast edge of the Forest of Bowland, some 34 miles (55 km) northwest of Manchester. It is linked to Manchester by the M66 motorway, and from there to the whole of the national motorway network. Clitheroe also sits astride the principal cross-Pennine route, the A59, which leads eastwards to Harrogate and York. Clitheroe is therefore especially well connected by road. Manchester’s international Ringway Airport is 46 miles (74 km) to the south;
  • Trains: Clitheroe is also well connected by rail, especially within the region to places such as Blackburn, Rochdale, and Manchester Victoria. There are around 18 trains a day to London Euston, with an average journey time of five hours. 

Why live in Clitheroe?

With the Forest of Bowland on one side and Pendle Hill on the other, Clitheroe sites comfortably at the head of the delightful Ribble Valley and it’s little wonder that it attracts scores of local tourists in a nostalgic search for a slice of rural England.

It’s not all country living, Manchester is readily accessible, as are the genteel cities of Harrogate and York just across the Pennines.

The Royal Burgh of Peebles, Scottish Borders

The Royal Burgh of Peebles, Scottish Borders

Key facts:

  • Education: Priorsford Primary School (the biggest primary school in the Scottish Borders) and Kingsland Primary School are both highly regarded and located in Peebles itself. Still, in the public sector and also regulated by the Scottish authorities, Peebles High School traces its roots back to 1464 and today offers co-educational opportunities for pupils aged 11 to 19;
  • Transport links: Peebles is in the south east of Scotland, reasonably close to the border with northern England, and approximately midway between the east and west coasts. The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is some 22.4 miles (36 km) due north – a drive of around one hour. Glasgow is 52.7 miles (85 km) or a drive of around an hour and twenty minutes away. The closest English city is Newcastle-upon-Tyne – about 93 miles (150 km) to the southeast;
  • Trains: Peebles no longer has a railway station—the nearest are around 20 miles away (31km) at either Curriehill (for Edinburgh) or Carstairs (for Glasgow).

Why live in The Royal Burgh of Peebles?

Life in Peebles offers country living at its best: the charm of the countryside, yet the benefits of living in a small, friendly, and community-oriented market town.

Surrounded by peaceful and attractive countryside and with a town that has been voted one of the best independent retail shopping towns in Scotland, it is little wonder that Peebles has also proved something of a magnet for those looking to live a comfortable retirement.

Appledore, Kent

Key facts:

  • Education: Appledore falls within the primary school catchment area for Ashford, some ten miles (17 km) away, where Great Chart Primary School has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Closer to home there are a number of schools including the specialist Rye College, a specialist College for the Arts for eleven to sixteen years of age, and the Peasmarsh Church of England Primary School;
  • Transport links: Appledore is on the extreme eastern edge of the High Weald of Kent. It is approximately equidistant from the coastal towns of Hastings (19 miles, 31 km) and Folkestone (25 miles, 40 km). The principal transport connections by road, however, are made via Ashford (10 miles, 17 km), and connections to the M20 and M2 motorways northwest to London. It is likely to take around an hour and 45 minutes to drive to central London;
  • Trains: trains from Appledore run to London St. Pancras International. Even with the platform changes involved, the fastest journey times are only around an hour and a quarter though the average journey times can be around 3 hours.

Why move to Appledore?

This is country living under big skies – over the wide expanse of Romney Marsh.

In the other direction is the single high street of Appledore itself, with its post office, three pubs, antique shops, bustling village store, and a 14th-century church.

Clavering, Saffron Walden, Essex

Clavering, Saffron Walden, Essex

Key facts about Clavering:

  • Education: Clavering Primary School has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Just seven miles (11 km) away Saffron Walden County High School – co-educational ages 11 to 18 – is also rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Felsted School (founded in 1564), is an independent, co-educational school for day pupils and boarders, and located just 21 miles (34 m) from Clavering;
  • Transport links: Clavering is a village in the northwest corner of Essex, close to the borders with Cambridgeshire – it is 20 miles (32 km) south of Cambridge – and Hertfordshire. Just 8 miles (13 km) to the south is the town of Bishop’s Stortford and access to the M11 motorway – which runs north to Cambridge and south to London. The 46-mile (75 km) drive into central London is likely to take around an hour and a quarter.
  • Trains: mainline services run directly from the stations at Audley End or Newport – 4 miles (6.5 km) from Clavering – to London Liverpool Street, with an average journey time of around an hour.

Why live in Clavering?

If it’s the countryside you are after, Clavering – its name means “place where clover grows” – is in probably the most rural part of Essex.

As one of the major counties bordering the capital, however, neither are you far from the hustle and bustle of London, which remains about an hour away, whether by road or by rail.

That easy access to the capital makes Clavering an ideal home for commuters – who have the added benefit of returning at the end of each day to a community with its own village green, cricket pitch, two pubs, and post office cum general stores.

Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales

Key facts about Monmouth:

  • Education: Redbrook Church of England Primary School is rated as Good and Whitchurch Church of England Primary School – some 4.4 miles (7 km) away – is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Monmouth Comprehensive School (co-educational, ages 11 to 18) was rated a level “3” by the Welsh authorities. The independent Monmouth School for Boys (founded in 1614) twins with Monmouth School for Girls (founded 1892) – both are highly regarded in the secondary level education they offer;
  • Transport links: the town of Monmouth sits just within the Welsh county of Monmouthshire – 2 miles (3.2 km) from the border with England. It is a historic market town, built at the confluence of the River Monnow and the River Wye. It is 30 miles (48 km) northeast of the Welsh capital at Cardiff, and 113 miles (182 km) west of London. From the A40 trunk road to Ross-on-Wye, it is possible to access the M50 motorway to the Midlands. You may expect to take roughly three hours to drive from Monmouth into central London;
  • Trains: there is no longer a railway station in Monmouth. The closest is at Lydney (10.6 miles, 17 km), where the average journey time to London will take around 4 hours.

Why live in Monmouth?

The ancient market town of Monmouth sits in the beautiful Wye Valley as it winds between Ross-on-Wye to Chepstow, where the Wye meets the estuary of the River Severn. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Wye Valley attracts its share of visitors.

Nevertheless, the town of Monmouth retains an almost sleepy, rural air, despite the excellence of its connections via the motorway network to Cardiff, Bristol, and the Midlands.

St Tudy, Cornwall

St Tudy, Cornwall

Key facts St Tudy:

  • Education: Camelford Community Primary School – just six miles (9.7 km) away – is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Secondary schools are in nearby Bodmin – 8.7 miles (14 km) – where Bodmin College (for 11-18 year-old students) and Callywith College (a sixth-form Academy) are both rated Outstanding by Ofsted;
  • Transport links: St Tudy is in North Cornwall on the fringe of Bodmin Moor. It is an old settlement, in the River Camel valley and about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the only town of any size, Wadebridge. Road transport links are either via the main A30 trunk road to Exeter – and on to the national motorway network – or the A39 which hugs the northern Cornish and Devon coastline all the way to Bridgwater and the M5 motorway to Bristol. The 238-mile (383 km) drive to central London is likely to take at least four and a half hours;
  • Trains: the nearest rail station is Bodmin Parkway where the average London-bound services take around 4.30 hours. 

Why live in St. Tudy?

St Tudy and the immediately surrounding area was designated a Conservation Area by North Cornwall District Council in 1997. This recognises the central role played by St Tudy in the local community and the survival in the village of historic buildings from several different periods in its history.

That community spirit has not only made St Tudy a popular place to live – largely away from it all – but also instils in its residents a sense of pride.

Lavenham, Suffolk

Lavenham, Suffolk

Key facts:

  • Education: Lavenham Community Primary School is rated as Good by Ofsted. Nearby, the Old Buckenham Hall – an independent day and boarding school for girls and boys aged 3 -13 years – received the top rating of Excellent in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI);
  • Transport links: Lavenham is in the heart of the Suffolk countryside – and connections by road might seem to make it relatively remote. The market town and cathedral of Bury St Edmunds are around 12 miles (19 km) due north, while Colchester to the south – 18 miles (29 km) – offers routes through the neighbouring county of Essex to London. Driving the 76 miles or so (122 km) to central London is likely to take around two hours;
  • Trains: the nearest railway station is at Sudbury – just 7 miles (11 km) away – and has around 30 trains a day to London Liverpool Street and an average journey time of around an hour and fifty minutes.

Is Lavenham a nice place to live?

Lavenham prospered from the wool trade in medieval England and the evidence remains today in its collection of half-timbered cottages and circular walks around the small town. Indeed, Lavenham is said to have been one of the twenty wealthiest settlements in England in medieval times.

No longer medieval in its tastes, Lavenham today boasts a luxury hotel and spa, a pub (of course), tea shops, sculpted gardens, a 15th-century church, and a historic Guildhall.

Ditchling, East Sussex

Key facts about Ditchling:

  • Education: Ditchling (St Margaret’s) Church of England Primary School is rated Good but St Lawrence Church of England Primary School – just 4 miles (7 km) away – is rated Outstanding. The independent Hurstpierpoint College (11-18 year-olds) boasts an enviable academic performance and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) granted it “Excellent” following the inspection in 2019;
  • Transport links: Ditchling nestles at the foot of the South Downs and is in East Sussex but close to the boundary with West Sussex. For all that essentially rural location, it is admirably connected, sitting at a crossroads between Brighton to the south (8 miles, 13 km) and Haywards Heath to the north (7 miles, 11 km), with Hassocks to the west (2 miles, 3.2 km) and Lewes to the east (8 miles, 12.6 km);
  • Trains: there are some 41 trains direct to London Victoria from the mainline station at Hassocks. The average journey time is around an hour.

Why live in Ditchling?

It’s a country village at the foot of the glorious South Downs yet only a short drive from Brighton. Little wonder that many commentators describe the settlement as “a bit special” and one of the best places to live in the UK.

Despite the essentially rural location, London remains less than an hour away from the nearby station of Hassocks—making Ditchling a favourite among commuters.

Holt, Norfolk

Holt, Norfolk

Key facts:

  • Education: Holt Community Primary School is rated Good by Ofsted. At secondary level, the publicly-funded Sheringham High School on the Norfolk coast some 7.4 miles (12 km) away is also rated Good by Ofsted. The independent Norwich School is one of the oldest in the UK, dating back to 1096. It admits pupils from the ages of 4 to 18;
  • Transport links: Holt’s very location on the North Norfolk coast puts it away from major centres of population in the UK. A peaceful life in the open countryside of Norfolk is, therefore, more or less assured. The county town of Norwich is 23 miles (37 km) to the south and King’s Lynn 34 miles (55 km) to the west;
  • Trains: the North Norfolk Railway, the “Poppy Line”, runs steam locomotive services between Holt and Sheringham during the summer months and takes in some stunning coastal scenery. There is also a mainline railway station at Sheringham from which residents can take a train to London Liverpool Street, with a journey time of around three hours.

Why move to Holt?

From the town of Holt to the North Sea the land is all part of the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The streets of the market town are lined with Georgian houses and a tree-lined avenue makes its stately way to a 13th-century church. Holt Country Park offers 100 acres of oak, pine, and birch woodland.

The wild North Norfolk coast is always close by and offers mile upon mile of walks along the beach.

Holt has been voted one of the best places to live in the UK.

Wedmore, Somerset

Key facts about Wedmore:

  • Education: the primary Wedmore First School Academy is rated Good by Ofsted. Nearby, The Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School was rated Outstanding by Ofsted following its most recent report. The most well-known and acclaimed independent school near Wedmore is Millfield School (ages 2 to 18) near Street, some 11 miles (17.6 km) away;
  • Transport links: Wedmore is a medium-sized town on slightly raised ground in the Somerset Levels. Glastonbury is some 9 miles (14 km) to the southeast and Weston-Super-Mare some 16 miles (26 km) to the northwest. On the way to Weston, however, the road also crosses the M5 motorway, providing fast and easy access to Bristol and north to the Midlands. By road, central London is approximately 135 miles (217 km) and the drive is likely to take around three hours;
  • Trains: Weston-Super-Mare is also your destination for trains to London. Services travel via Bristol Temple Meads and the average journey time being around 2.15 minutes. 

Why live in Wedmore?

As if the country life in the pretty Somerset Levels was not already comfortable enough, a further feature of the high-brow life was brought to the small town by the formation a few years ago of the Wedmore Operatic company.

Along with several boutiques and “our little Harrods” in the shape of the village stores, Wedmore also boasts three pubs, butcher, greengrocer, delicatessen, florist, and post office.

This so-called Isle of Wedmore has been voted one of the best places to live in the UK.

Finding the best place to live in the countryside

Garrington property finders can help you acquire your dream home in the country. Our buying agents are local experts who have many years of experience, providing assurance at a time when you need it the most. 

To talk to a member of our property finding team regarding your search and the services they offer please do get in touch, without obligation. 

Please note that travel (rail and car) journey times quoted are based on an average journey time. We appreciate that faster journey times may be available depending on train and other transport availability.