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Orford, Terling, Framlingham and Finchingfield make Sunday Times list of the top 10 places to live in the East of England

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 08:11 11 March 2016

Views taken from the beach at Orfordness lighthouse. Pic: Andrew Mutimer.

Views taken from the beach at Orfordness lighthouse. Pic: Andrew Mutimer.

(c) copyright citizenside.com

Each have their own characteristic appeal – and all are among the most desirable places to live in Britain.

Quality of life is the common asset of our region’s 10 top spots, according to an annual Sunday Times list.

Orford, near Woodbridge, comes out on top in the East of England – a title endorsed by local artist, Michael Flint.

A resident since 1989, the retired lawyer’s father and grandfather lived in the same surroundings that now inspire his work.

“I think its charm is partly due its distance from main roads and towns,” said Mr Flint. “It has been left surprisingly unspoilt over the years. Above all, people find it easy to get along.

Framlingham from above. Pic: Mike Page.Framlingham from above. Pic: Mike Page.

“It was built in about 1170 to plans laid out by Henry II – creating a character which, to some extent, it still has.”

Having a shop with a post office is fundamental to preserving a “happy and successful village”, according to Mr Flint, who commended Orford’s pubs, restaurants and tearoom, its famous smokehouse and bakery, thriving sailing club and “magnificent” church and castle, with its well subscribed support group.

Further inland, Framlingham is the other Suffolk spot to feature on the list.

Eileen Coe, clerk to the town council, said: “It’s absolutely delightful – we have a castle, a beautiful church and a thriving market.

The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in the East of England (not in ranking order)

Framlingham, Suffolk

Orford, Suffolk

Finchingfield, Essex

Terling, Essex

Holt, Norfolk

Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk

The Abingtons, Cambridgeshire

Defreville, Cambridgeshire

Houghton, Cambridgeshire

Biddenham, Bedfordshire

“We’re a town with no empty shops. There’s a great community spirit and we are very proactive.”

Jenny Stockman, of the Framlingham Business Association, said the town’s bustling tourist trade was matched by a wealth of amenities for residents.

Essex also boasts two places on the list, including Terling, where long-term resident Pauline Bird said: “The village has a fantastic community, people are friendly and everyone is happy, and it is a good environment.

“We have a lot of village organisations, a swimming pool, tennis courts, village hall, a good nursery and primary school, a shop, pub and tearoom – I don’t think you could wish for much more.”

Rosario Coverdale, a Finchingfield resident who recently co-ordinated the opening of an outdoor gym, said: “My husband has been here 40 years and I have been here 20, and we are blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

“The community is terrific, there is a lot of community spirit, with a cross-section of ages, and there are a lot of services.”

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