There is nothing quite like that moment where you take in that first breath of fresh country air. And with the number of people leaving big cities like London each year for a slice of country living, it would seem that many are embracing rural life.
But where are the best rural spots in the UK? That’s what we’re here to tell you. So, sit back, put down your issue of Country Life magazine, stop daydreaming about lush green valleys and discover which rural area could be your next home. Here are the best rural hotspots in the UK.
1) Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber
The district of Ryedale is full of rural delights that include scenic views and peaceful settings. Located in the Vale of Pickering in Yorkshire and the Humber, Ryedale includes quaint villages and market towns such as Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Malton. A section of Ryedale also lies in North York Moors National Park.
Average house prices in Ryedale: £256k
2) Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Made famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a picturesque town with the sprawling countryside on its outskirts. The town itself features boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, making it a favourite with performing arts lovers.
Average house prices in Stratford: £350k
3) Waverly, Surrey
As well as being a convenient commuter town to London, the borough of Waverly features charming market towns like Farnham and Godalming. The latter has many historical buildings and family-run stores, while Farnham’s storied history goes as far back as British Roman times.
Average house prices in Waverly: £598k
4) Rutland, East Midlands
The average life expectancy in Rutland is 82 years for men and 85 years for women, so it’s no surprise to see that it’s so popular with people looking for rural living. The county of Rutland also features some of the largest homes in the UK, which means you can enjoy plenty of space in your new digs.
Average house prices in Rutland: £381k
5) Orkney Islands, Scotland
Often voted the best rural spot in the UK by many publications, Orkney Islands has over 5,000 years of unique history and is a group of 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited. Kirkwall is the largest town in Orkney and is well known for its coastal tranquillity.
Average house prices in Orkney: £212k
6) Allerdale, North West
If you’re looking for rural living within close proximity to the Lake District, Allerdale should be high on your list. Wigton is a sought-after town in the county of Allerdale, as is Cockermouth and Workington – all of which are some of the cheapest rural towns to live in Britain.
Average house prices in Allerdale: £130k
Another Yorkshire and the Humber hotspot, Craven has the happiest people in the UK according to research by Halifax. Residents in Crave can enjoy plenty of walking and biking opportunities in this little slice of rural paradise.
Average house prices in Craven: £325k
8) Winchester, Hampshire
The city of Winchester is surrounded by rolling hills with quaint – the best ones providing views of the city centre and beyond. In Winchester, you can expect historic buildings, boutique shops and Victorian cottages and terraces in an area that is under 70 miles to London.
Average house prices in Winchester: £575k