Posted: 26.03.21 at 08:27 by The Editor
Stamford has again come out on top of a list of the best places to live in the Midlands
Rutland is also recognised in a shortlist for the region, as Nub News also reports.
According to The Sunday Times, from of a list of 78 locations which represent the best places in the UK, Stamford has been named the Best Place to Live in the Midlands.
It is top of a list of ten locations in the region chosen by The Sunday Times in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.
The comprehensive guide is released online today and will be available in the paper on Sunday.
The Sunday Times’s expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.
They look for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.
A detailed breakdown of house prices has been supplied by data specialists TwentyCi and information on internet speeds has been supplied by Thinkbroadband.com, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.
The judges noted how the town might have been ended up like Peterborough had the 3rd Marquess of Exeter not put his foot down in the 1840s at plans to route the Great Northern Railway past his stately home at Burghley House and ruin its 2,000 Capability Brown-designed acres.
"Instead the former wool town of Stamford and its cobbled squares and atmospheric lanes remain architectural eye-candy."
The newspaper praises the 600 listed buildings and noted: "Wherever you turn there’s something to admire: five medieval churches, Tudor pubs, the grade II* listed station, gargoyles, carvings and elaborate door knockers, all of which add plenty of historical interest to any outing.
"And as for greenery there’s no shortage of splendid strolls, to Easton on the Hill, the grounds of Burghley House or the riverside Town Meadows, the daily meeting point for dog walkers, many of whom enter their pets in the annual Stamford Dog Show, which had a record year in 2019 with more than 440 entries."
Friday's market with its 60 stalls was praised as the best shopping experience.
The George Hotel was cited "where roast sirloin of beef is carved from the trolley (and) has started a delivery service for its celebrated Sunday lunches (£60 for two)."
The paper also cited public support for much-loved independent shops "from Askers Bakery, which bakes its loaves in a coal-fired oven, to the arty department store Sinclairs and the hardware emporium Harrison & Dunn."
Stamford Arts Centre was also praised for remaining culturally connected with online art and ukulele classes, a Zoom film group and streamed theatre productions.
The community spirit shown by the Support Our Stamford group was also noted.
Barn Hill and around St Peter’s Street was the best address.
The survey also noted five local primaries are rated good by Ofsted and two are deemed outstanding: the Bluecoat School (inspected in 2015) and, a little further afield, Great Casterton Church of England(2016).
The two state secondaries, Stamford Welland Academy (2017) and Casterton College Rutland (2016), are good, as is the sixth-form college, Stamford College (2017).
Yet the independent Stamford School(s) (£16,300 per school year for senior students) — mixed at infants and sixth form, single sex in between — dominates the town, occupying some of its finest buildings and featuring in The Sunday Times Parent Power guide.
Visitors were advised to Pick up a picnic from Stamford Cheese and Wine Cellar to eat on Town Meadows.
But Stamford as a catch: "Hipsters beware: this is no place for lovers of things edgy or modern."
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor said: “This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.
“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected."
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