Are you looking to make a life-changing move? If so, where will it be, and what type of home is at the top of your wish-list?
We know the dream home for many is a detached house in the countryside, or in a cosy cottage by the sea. Finding a location with a small, friendly community is often high on the list of happy moves, too.
So we’ve taken a look to see which ‘rural’ towns, villages and hamlets are attracting the greatest demand from buyers looking to make a life-changing move.
All of them have a population of less than 10,000 residents, while most of them, from Frodsham in Cheshire at the top of the list, to Pulborough in West Sussex at number 10, offer buyers a good choice of period houses, as well as handy rail links to major cities. And while only two are right on the coast, almost all of them are within an hour or two’s drive of the beach.
|Location||Average asking price||Annual change||Five-year change|
|1. Frodsham, Cheshire||£322,242||3%||21%|
|2. Cupar, Fife||£215,356||3%||10%|
|3. Manningtree, Essex||£376,764||13%||35%|
|4. Cromer, Norfolk||£275,106||-3%||18%|
|5. St. Ives, Cornwall||£494,393||16%||34%|
|6. Iver, Buckinghamshire||£633,810||6%||11%|
|7. Carnforth, Lancashire||£261,986||2%||17%|
|8. Denham, Uxbridge, Middlesex||£601,585||9%||4%|
|9. Alnwick, Northumberland||£260,183||13%||14%|
|10. Pulborough, West Sussex||£613,589||3%||11%|
1. Frodsham, Cheshire
Average asking price: £322,242
Frodsham is a good-looking market town just south of the River Mersey. Here you can find barn conversions with country views, Edwardian villas, redbrick cottages and modern flats, plus good commuter links to Liverpool and Manchester.
2. Cupar, Fife
Average asking price: £215,356
There are some serious country houses on the outskirts of this ancient town in east Scotland, and its location just ten miles or so from the glorious east coast is hard to beat. Alongside farmhouses and stone-built cottages, Cupar offers affordable houses and flats in the vibrant town centre. Commuter trains to Edinburgh take just over an hour.
3. Manningtree, Essex
Average asking price: £376,764
Set in the beautiful countryside of Dedham Vale, Manningtree has been attracting lots of buyers moving out of cities, which has pushed average prices up by 13% in a year. Trains from Manningtree to London Liverpool Street take just over an hour, and the Suffolk coast is an easy day trip.
4. Cromer, Norfolk
Average asking price: £275,106
North Norfolk is famous for its beaches, and Cromer is one of its nicest traditional beach towns. Freshly caught fish and seafood is sold daily on the beach, and it’s a great starting point to explore the whole coastline, as well as the Norfolk Broads.
Here you’ll find good-value property prices, but although Cromer is only 23 miles from Norwich, it’s probably a bit too far from London for a daily commute.
5. St. Ives, Cornwall
Average asking price: £494,393
There are few resorts more beautiful than St Ives, which has inspired artists for generations. As well as its lovely beaches, it has attractions such as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Tate St Ives.
Property prices have soared 16 per cent in the past year, and houses with sea views are now selling from well over £1 million.
6. Iver, Buckinghamshire
Average asking price: £633,810
The commuter village of Iver is set at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, so there’s plenty of green space – and it has some dreamy houses. It’s also less than half an hour from London Paddington, and next year will join the Elizabeth line with direct services to the West End and City.
7. Carnforth, Lancashire
Average asking price: £261,986
With the Forest of Bowland to the south, and miles of dramatically lovely sandy beaches to the north, Carnforth is the ultimate “have your cake and eat it” sort of place. There are some seriously gorgeous country houses on the fringes, and some streets of good-value period homes in town, too.
8. Denham, Uxbridge, Middlesex
Average asking price: £601,585
Denham was once known as the Hollywood of the Home Counties thanks to Denham Film Studios (recently converted into flats).
Just within the M25 and on the eastern fringes of the Chiltern Hills, life in Denham offers scenic walks along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal, very fast train services to London Marylebone (from 24 minutes), and a pretty village with some ancient cottages and large executive houses.
9. Alnwick, Northumberland
Average asking price: £260,183
Alnwick is a popular choice for people who work in Newcastle, which is some 30 miles away. Nestled in the shadow of its Norman castle (a location used for the Harry Potter films), Alnwick has regularly been voted the best place to live in Britain. This little town has it all: a great stock of period property, cobbled streets and traditional pubs, and it’s close to the Northumberland National Park and the North East coastline.
10. Pulborough, West Sussex
Average asking price: £613,589
There are some lovely quintessentially English cottages and manor houses in the village of Pulborough, which has a commute to London of less than an hour, the South Downs National Park on the doorstep and Brighton within a half- hour drive to the south.
READ MORE: Six of the top home seller hotspots