May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Gaw
Thursday, March 14, 2013
THEIR secret is finally out. Those living in and around Woodbridge, Nayland and Felsted, have recognised for some time that they are onto something special - be it the beautiful houses, excellent schools, strong communities or stunning views.
But now Suffolk and Essex’s ‘little Nirvanas’ have been officially named as some of the UK’s most desirable places to live in an influential national guide.
The trio, which were joined in the top ten of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in the East of England by Norfolk’s Holt and Norwich’s Golden Triangle, were singled out for their low crime rates, cultural life and sheer beauty.
For Charles Notcutt, Mayor of Woodbridge, the acknowledgment came as no surprise.
“I’m pleased to see that the outstanding merits of Woodbridge as a place to live and visit have been so recognised”, he said.
Mr Notcutt, who has lived in Woodbridge all his working life, added: “For me what sets it apart is the combination of ancient, historical town, with the fine river Deben.”
Alan Thawley, vice chairman of Felsted Parish Council, said there was a lot going for the rural spot, located just a few miles away from Dunmow and an hour’s drive from London.
He added: “Compared to some of the other places it is a very rural parish. I think it has that really good quality of life because it is rural but it also has quite a lot of amenities that are comparable to a fair-sized community.”
Mr Thawley said the presence of the historic Felsted School in the centre of the village may also have been a factor in its selection.
He added: “We have a lot of listed and historic buildings, Oliver Cromwell’s sons came here, so it is historic but it is modern with a diverse community too.”
Richard Cave, who lives in Nayland and represents the ward at Babergh District Council, said it was the combination of villages in the Stour Valley that made the area such an attractive place to set up home.
He added: “Nayland is Tudor village, much of which is in tact, it’s compact, with a strong community and lots of activities and things going on. It’s setting is nice and it’s got great pubs, a restaurant and general stores.”
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live is edited by Sunday Times Associate Editor and regular broadcaster Eleanor Mills.
She said: “Scampering around Britain for my column I find there are particular bits of our crowded island which always retain a particular attraction for people. We have built on this basic information to create a definitive guide.”
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live will run across two weekends on March 17 and 24 in The Sunday Times Home. As well as an overall national winner (announced in the first issue) the guide will announce the top 10 places in nine regions around the country.
The guide names the 10 most desirable locations in the East of England as:
Hemingford Abbotts, Cambridgeshire
The Golden Triangle, Norwich
Saffron Waldon, Essex