Wiltshire area named Best Place to Live 2022 by Sunday Times

Chalke Valley has been named by the Sunday Times as the Best Place to Live in the South West.

The area came top of the list of nine locations in the region, chosen by The Sunday Times in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Chalke Valley stretches from Salisbury, across to Shaftesbury. Broad Chalke is halfway along the Chalke Valley where the River Chalke flows into the River Ebble. 

The Times’ judges base their decisions on many different factors, including schools, transport, broadband, culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

On Chalke Valley, the judges of the guide said: “The community-run Chalke Valley Stores is an inspiring hub for a string of villages that reflect the best of rural life in the 21st century, with a standout pub, Saxon churches,  thatched cottages and a history festival, but also Ch4lke mobile – a locally organised mobile network that will give broadband speeds a much-needed boost.”

Salisbury and South Wiltshire MP John Glen reacted to the news: “Fantastic to see that the Chalke Valley has been crowned as The Times’ best place to live in the south west this year!

“Picturesque countryside, vibrant communities and a short commute to Salisbury – what’s not to love?”

Ilkley, West Yorkshire, was named as the overall Best Place to Live in the UK. 

The guide, which includes 70 locations, is released online today and an edited version will be available in the Times on Sunday. 

The runners-up in the South West are (in alphabetical order): Bridport in Dorset, Bristol, Budleigh Salterton in Devon, Charlton Kings in Gloucestershire, Ashburton in Dartmoor, Sherborne in Dorset, Stroud in Gloucestershire, and Wellow in Somerset.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place.

“For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people? 

“Ten years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the WFH revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.  

“This year we have discovered new best places to live, from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the South West, and a commutable Scottish island. 

“We hope there is something to suit everyone.” 

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live is sponsored by Halifax.

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