David Prosser of The Times has compiled a list of Britain’s 20 best Market Towns offering “picturesque country living with restaurants, shops, history and wonderful family houses”.
The top 20 guide is published in the Times’ Area Guides (Friday 18th March) and can be found here.
Belper is at No 4 on the list after Market Harborough in Leicestershire, Skipton in West Yorkshire and Retford in Nottinghamshire. Mr Prosser describes us thus:
“Belper which lies in the beautiful Derwent Valley won the Market Town category of the Great British High Street competition in 2014. Locals talk of the wonderful community feel and the Belper’s history as one of the first mill towns in the late 18th century. The schools here are well-regarded, including the Belper School and Sixth Form Centre. House prices have risen more than 10 per cent in the past year, according to Zoopla, but average family homes cost about £200,000.”
The other 16 in the list are:
- Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk,
- Ludlow, Shropshire
- Moreton-in-March, Gloucestershire
- Devizes, Wiltshire
- Cupar, Fife
- Stamford, Lincolnshire
- Helmsley, Yorkshire
- Chichester, West Sussex
- Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
- Saffron Walden, Essex
- Arlesford, Hampshire
- Conwy, North Wales
- Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
- Marlborough, Wiltshire
- Kelso, Borders
- Cowbridge, Glamorgan
Exalted company indeed.
The Area Guides are all about house prices and the desirability of moving to another area and Belper seems to offer the best value for potential buyers with the lowest average house price.
By David George