Why these Suffolk hotspots are some of the best places to live in the UK
- Credit: Archant
Three thriving parts of Suffolk and north Essex have been named among the best places to live in the UK - with one market town taking the top spot for the East of England.
Praised for its "arty, creative and historic" feel, the market town of Woodbridge was crowned the best place to live in the eastern region in The Sunday Times Best Places To Live Guide, with Dedham Vale and Shotley Peninsula also on the list.
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor, said Woodbridge was named as the east's winner for its "thriving, independent high street" and excellent schools.
“During the pandemic, it has been the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors, whether it’s sailing or wild-swimming in the River Deben or walking up Kyson Hill or in Rendlesham Forest," she said.
Judges praised the town, which recently featured in the Netflix drama The Dig, for having a vast selection of independent shops, from impeccably tasteful homewares stores such as Vanil and Pascale, to an artisan wine shop (Saltpeter Wines) and Homespun, which sells clothes made from the finest Mongolian cashmere.
They applauded its lively community and also mentioned the town's cultural offerings which include Gallery East and Artspace Woodbridge.
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Honey + Harvey was also mentioned for having "some of the best coffee in the country", alongside popular eateries The Unruly Pig and The Angel pub.
Also featured in the guide, which seeks out locations which are bursting with community spirit and assesses factors such as schools, green spaces, transport and culture, were Dedham Vale and Shotley Peninsula.
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Dedham Vale was described by judges as "immaculate" and "timeless" and was praised for its extensive network of footpaths and cycling routes, along with its fine-dining spots and gastropubs.
These include the Angel Inn and the Crown, the Swan Inn in Stratford St Mary, the Sun Inn, Milsoms, Le Talbooth, and the Old Bakery Café.
The Shotley Peninsula, which is part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), was described by judges as “a slice of prime Suffolk countryside where you can enjoy laid-back village life and swallows and Amazons-style fun in the water”.
Judges commended Suffolk Food Hall's local produce and the views from the riverside pubs such as the Butt & Oyster in Pin Mill, which was described as the prettiest village.
They equally admired the villages of Stutton, Tattingstone and Holbrook.
Saffron Walden, Ely, Epping, Norwich and Wells-next-the-Sea also made the list.
Stroud in Gloucestershire was named as the Best Place to Live in Britain.
See The Sunday Times Best Places To Live Guide in full here.