Best villages to live in the UK in 2020

Published Mar 6, 2020 – 4 mins read

Larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town – the UK is filled with postcard-perfect villages however it’s not just good looks which make a village an ideal place to live. Amenities, transport connections, schooling, available property and proximity to places of importance are all factors to be considered.

The below represents a small selection of the best villages to live in the UK in 2020.

Empingham, Rutland, East Midlands

The village of Empingham in Rutland is surrounded by stunning countryside and located around 1 mile from Rutland Water, residents can enjoy all the activities available on and around the largest inland lake in England.

Located 6 miles from both Stamford and Oakham, the conservation village of Empingham is well-positioned to enjoy the amenities and transport connections available at both. Excellent independent schools nearby include Oakham, Uppingham, Oundle, Witham and Stamford, the village has its own primary school. 

Grantchester, Cambridgeshire, East

Just two and a half miles from Cambridge city centre the village of Grantchester has long been a popular place to live and is easily one of the best villages in the UK to call home. The village is located to the south-west of the city which allows for easy access to Cambridge train station where there are many useful train connections; in particular the regular, fast service into London King Cross which takes under an hour, or into London Liverpool Street which takes a little over an hour.

Grantchester is positioned alongside the River Cam and is surrounded by open countryside and separated from Cambridge by the pretty Grantchester Meadows, making for a very pretty village setting. There are several well-regarded pubs, a tea room and easy access into Cambridge for wider amenities.

Property in Grantchester can be hard to come by as little becomes available to buy, for this reason, many looking for property in a village near Cambridge consider Trumpington or Comberton.

Writtle, Essex, South East

Writtle is an extremely desirable place to live; centred around the village green and duck pond, there is also a picturesque Norman church; home buyers seeking property for sale in Writtle are drawn to the village lifestyle on offer. Writtle has a wide array of amenities on offer from a delicatessen, supermarket, post office and several places to eat and drink. There are also two primary schools and Writtle College, one of the country’s oldest agricultural colleges is located here.

This sought after village is only 1 mile from Chelmsford allowing residents ready access to the amenities on offer in the city as well as being able to easily take advantage of the transport connections such as the mainline service from Chelmsford into London Liverpool Street.

Chobham, Surrey, South

Chobham in Surrey is a charming village and is located only a short distance from London. This rural village is known for its thriving high street and cosy pubs such as the Four Horseshoes. There is also a highly rated primary school and a church in Chobham, and ready access to Surrey’s selection of excellent private schools.

Those who might wish to reach London can drive to Woking, which is around 3 miles away, and take a direct train into London Waterloo, with the journey taking only 25 minutes.

Property in Chobham is highly desirable and as with many exclusive homes, the best properties are often sold off-market – our expert property finders have access to properties not listed online via their expansive network of industry professionals.

Brockenhurst, Hampshire, South

The large New Forest village of Brockenhurst has previously been voted the most beautiful place to live.  Located within the New Forest National Park Brockenhurst is home to New Forest ponies which roam the streets freely.

Brockenhurst has an abundance of amenities from local shops, restaurants, cafes and the renowned Brockenhurst Manor Golf Club. There is also a good primary school and a tertiary college in Brockenhurst. The mainline train station offers a direct service to London Waterloo which takes around an hour and 40 minutes, there is also a direct train service which stops at Reading, Oxford, Birmingham and other stations along the way to its final destination; Manchester Piccadilly. 

Brockenhurst is located around 6 miles from the Georgian market town of Lymington which has wider amenities including a Waitrose and has a popular market on the high street each Saturday. Lymington is also a centre from which many go sailing and there is a ferry service over to the Isle of Wight. 

Hale, Cheshire, North West

Hale and neighbouring Hale Barns are extremely sought after places to live in the North West of England. Only a short distance from Manchester these villages have long been popular places to live.

Families are attracted to the area for the quality of life, easy commute into Manchester and ready access to top schools which include Loreto, Ambrose and both Altrincham boys’ and girls’ grammar schools.

It takes only 25 minutes to reach central Manchester from Hale for wider amenities but the village has a large selection of shops and places to eat and drink. Altrincham which is also very nearby has further shops and eateries should Hale residents not want to travel to Manchester.

Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland

Longniddry is a highly desirable village to live in; only a short train journey away from Edinburgh whilst having direct access to beaches, a pretty village centre and several excellent golf courses are on the doorstep.

The train journey from Longniddry into Edinburgh’s Waverley Station takes under 20 minutes with the drive from the village into the city taking around half an hour. There is a real sense of community in Longniddry and facilities within the village that allow for many activities. There are a library and community centre, tennis courts and playground. Other amenities include a doctors surgery, Post Office, church, pharmacy and a collection of local shops.

The village has its own primary school which is highly rated and for independent schools, there is Compass School in Haddington and Loretto in Musselburgh with more options in Edinburgh itself – a number of the schools have a bus service which collects from Longniddry.

Villages in the UK

With so many desirable villages dotted across the UK, the above is by no means a conclusive list. Depending on where in the country you’d like to live and the type of village you’d like to live in there will be villages that are best suited to your specific requirements.

If you’re looking at villages to live in or have already shortlisted the villages you’d like to live in but you can’t find the perfect property we’d be delighted to discuss our services with you in greater detail. Please do contact us regarding your search for a village home.