Following Stamford being previously named as ‘the best place to live in the UK’ by The Sunday Times, nearby Rutland has now been identified by Halifax as ‘the best rural place to live’ in Britain.
For residents who live in the county of Rutland, the news that it has been named as the best rural location in Britain is of no surprise. This tiny county, largely consisting of rolling countryside and a huge expanse of water is an oasis in the heart of our highly populated nation. The analysis carried out by Halifax included factors such as rates of employment, health of the population, weather, crime, affordability of property and a measure of how happy/content the residents feel.
Certainly, when I moved here four years ago from Northamptonshire, I was struck by the ‘holiday’ feel of the place; as you drive round the county regular glimpses of sailing boats bobbing on the water, families cycling round the perimeter of the reservoir and quaint ‘chocolate box’ villages give the impression of a world that works at a slower pace.
Admittedly for those who need to regularly commute to London, the choice of villages in which to buy are largely restricted to Seaton and Lyddington which are less than 30 minutes drive to Kettering station (and then an hour train to St Pancras).
It is not easy to find property in these attractive villages (only 6 have sold in each over the past year) and prices are higher than those further north (average house prices are £445,000 in Lyddington and £485,000 in Seaton). For those looking for a market town, Uppingham is a popular choice and has a buoyant housing market to match. House prices in the town have increased by 19% in the past year and, with over half of the properties currently being marketed under offer, this is likely to continue.
If commuting to the city is not a priority, the village of Hambleton perched on a peninsula jutting into Rutland Water is the aspirational location for those with a healthy budget (average house sale price is £1.45m albeit this is based on a small number of sales). The village houses the luxury Hambleton Hall Hotel and popular gastro pub The Finches Arms, so fine dining is not difficult to achieve.
Houses with views over the water do occasionally reach the market but its popularity often means that they are quickly snapped up. This said, residents do sometimes get carried away by their love for the place so asking prices can become over inflated, buying carefully is the key.
If you are considering buying a home in Rutland and would like further information or advice, please do get in touch.