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Suffolk one of the best places to live in eastern England, survey finds

PUBLISHED: 16:31 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 26 March 2020

Woodbridge Tide Mill. Picture: PETER CUTTS

Woodbridge Tide Mill. Picture: PETER CUTTS

PETER-CUTTS

Bury St Edmunds, Woodbridge and Constable country have all made it into an influential list of the most desirable places to live.

Picturesque views at Rushbanks Farm in Dedham Vale  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDPicturesque views at Rushbanks Farm in Dedham Vale Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The historic towns and the villages of the Dedham Vale have been chosen by The Times as being three of the Best Places to Live in Eastern England.

Its Best Places to Live survey - which is behind an online paywall - examines factors such as quality of life, schools and commutes in towns and villages all over the UK.

Bury was selected for its “Georgian squares, ancient lanes and architectural eye candy from several eras,” with praise for its markets, the Abbeygate cinema and selection of places to eat.

Dedham Vale was selected for the beauty of the countryside, much of which remained unchanged from when it was painted by its most famous son, the artist John Constable, and “an influx of young families, who are flocking here for friendly village life and gorgeous houses at affordable prices”.

Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds town centre Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDShoppers in Bury St Edmunds town centre Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Woodbridge was described as “enchanting” and praised for the variety of shops and restaurants, with the main Thoroughfare described as “A delightful spot for pottering, with antiques, gifts and books shops as well as great grub on sale,”.

Mayor of Bury Peter Thompson said he was not at all surprised the town had made it on to the shortlist.

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“It’s a very attractive town and there are so many things make it special,” he said.

The Thoroughfare in Woodbridge. Picture: CHRIS MAPEYThe Thoroughfare in Woodbridge. Picture: CHRIS MAPEY

“There is its rich history, but also a very modern and enterprising population. There is a varied shopping area in a strikingly individual town centre - all of that combines to create a very special place in which to live and work.”

Similarly, Mayor of Woodbridge Patrick Gillard said: “It’s a wonderful place with a great sense of community.

“There are lots of things here that other towns do not have and it’s got lots of things for people to do.”

John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council said: “It’s wonderful news that Dedham Vale has been named as one of the best places to live in the UK and I’m proud of the role our council plays in helping its local community to thrive.

The Abbey Gardens ruins in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MARK LANGFORDThe Abbey Gardens ruins in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: MARK LANGFORD

“The ranking is a testament to the people, businesses and communities who work tirelessly to make Dedham Vale somewhere that everyone is proud to call home.”

Also on the list was West Mersea in Essex, described as “a seaside holiday on the doorstep”, with praise for its brightly coloured beach huts, fresh air and calming view across the Blackwater estuary.

Norwich was ranked as the top place to live in the region by the survey.

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