Stroud has been named the best place to live in Britain by The Sunday Times, topping a list of 78 locations.
The farmers’ market was praised by the Sunday Times judges as “one of the best in the country”, with stalls selling everything from outstanding bread from Salt Bakehouse and luxurious doughnuts from Poppin to local meat, cheese, and organic veg. And thanks to expert social distancing and local support, it has continued to thrive during lockdown.
The big event of the year is the Stroud Wassail, when morris dancers and mummers gather to see in the new year in semi-pagan style. The local football team, Forest Green Rovers, in Nailsworth, and owned by Ecotricity chief Dale Vince, claim the title of the only vegan football club in the world. They are the world’s first U.N. certified carbon-neutral sports club, too. The club is also set to build the world’s first football stadium made almost entirely out of wood.
Other highlights in the town include the canal restoration, the walks on Rodborough, Minchinhampton, and Selsley Common, and a creative arts scene.
Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor said: “Stroud has been chosen as our national winner because it has all the basics covered in perfect style: it has excellent schools, convenient transport links and easy access to lots of glorious green space.
“Best of all it has a uniquely independent spirit that comes to the fore in its impressive local food scene and at the brilliant weekly farmers’ market that brings the town and surrounding countryside together.”
Average sale price: £265,000
Average rental: £700 pcm