The Sunday Times Best Places to Live: Test Valley in Hampshire has been named one of the best spots to live in the UK

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WITH its quaint cottages, rolling hills and rushing chalk streams, this Hampshire spot has been named one of the ‘most attractive corners’ of the south east as part of this year’s Sunday Times Best Places to Live.

For the first time the Test Valley, which incorporates Romsey, Andover and Stockbridge, has snagged a place on the exclusive list that picks 70 locations.

It was one of 10 places in the south east of England to earn a spot within the guide – with Sevenoaks in Kent being crowned the best within the region.

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The Sunday Times commented: ‘With its thatched, cob and flint cottages, rolling hills and rushing chalk streams, this is one of the most attractive corners of the south east, and its villages are lively and friendly.

Broadlands Romsey
Picture: John MillerBroadlands Romsey
Picture: John Miller
Broadlands Romsey Picture: John Miller

‘Average house price: £745,000.

‘Growth since 2020: 23 per cent.’

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times Property Editor, said: ‘The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list is necessarily subjective. Leave it just to statistics and you will never capture the spirit of a place. For that, you need to visit to take into account that ‘you have to be here’ feeling. Is the pub dog-friendly, for example? Can you live car-free? What are the schools and houses like? Is it multicultural and multigenerational, and can it offer a good way of life to lots of different sorts of people?

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‘10 years ago, when we launched the inaugural list, London’s gravitational pull was strong, the working from home revolution had not yet reached our doorstep and high streets were stacked with chains. How times have changed — and how welcome that change is.

‘This year we have discovered new best places to live from resurgent city centres in the North, rejuvenated suburbs across the country, hidden villages in the south west, and a commutable Scottish island.

‘We hope there is something to suit everyone.’

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The comprehensive guide is released online today and an edited version will be available in the paper on Sunday.

The Sunday Times’ expert judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, transport and broadband to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

They look to celebrate improving towns, villages or city centres; attractive, well-designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit – which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.

An average house price for each location has been supplied by Halifax, the sponsor of the guide, and up-to-date information on broadband speeds has been provided by, the UK’s leading independent guide to broadband.

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The other top locations for the south east included: Fiveways and Preston Park in Brighton, Cookham in Berkshire, Deal in Kent, Englefield Green in Surrey, Farnham in Surrey, Olney in Buckinghamshire, Reading in Berkshire and St Albans in Hertfordshire.

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