The best places to live in Britain?

Candice : After the last post I am somewhat at a loss as to what to follow it with.  I’ve also got a stinking head ache so excuse me if my post is short!

I was reading with interesting in the Sunday Times about the supposed “Best places to live in Britain”.  Flicking through I went straight to the Midlands section and looked for the lovely place where I live.  But no, it was not there, shock horror, but Leamington, where Phil lives, was.  Now, there is nothing wrong with the Spa town but I was surprised that the ‘hull, as Phil likes to call it was not there.  I have to admit I was planing to add £10k on to our house price when we go to sell it again just based on this!

Anyway, it got me thinking about locations and how one might pick where a story is set and why.  I did look to see if March, Cambridgeshire, was in the listing, as this is where our book is based, but no it got away too.  Funnily enough, that probably helps as we don’t give it the best write-up in the novel.

So, where are the best places to live and why is my question.  How did the Sunday Times come up with this somewhat arbitrary list that in such hard times might be to difference between sale or no sale.

Apparently it is based on ‘crime statistics, transport links and life expectancy’ amongst others.  Have they not heard HS2 is on its way? After the nasty nature of JK Rowling’s  A Casual Vacancy that I blogged about the other week, it makes me wonder is there a story in living in the best place to live?  I can see it going a number of ways, Stepford Wives, Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, and other options but none of them pleasant.  Maybe that’s just how my mind works?

I don’t know if I’d want to be marked against such strange criteria, and its the same for our writing.  It’s all personal opinion, what one likes another hates.  We’ve been entering our stories into competitions and have got nowhere, but I’m not going to get down hearted as it’s all just that markers feelings on what they like.  We can’t all like One Direction or the X Factor, you know.

Luckily for the other half, he is working on a development based in Edgbaston and that gets a listing.

Apparently next week there is a second supplement, all about top spots for families and the great outdoors.  Forget putting the house on the market if we don’t get in that one!

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2 Comments

Filed under Candice, Writing

2 responses to “The best places to live in Britain?

  1. This seems very odd to me. The ‘hull has far better shopping than the Spa. The absence of a main road through the centre of the shopping area being a particular plus point but some decent shops you might wish to visit in preference to over-priced “boutique” establishments also leans to the south Brum location.

    Transport is good with both towns being on the same railway line to London/Brum and just off the M40.

    Obviously the Spa is posher, what with being Royal and also not named after a Soily Hill but I doubt that influenced the Sunday Times.

    The only thing I can think of is the “can you buy any model railways” question – a deal-breaker for me obvioulsy. “Classic Train and Bus” in the Spa is a beacon in Old Town even if it is the size of a wardrobe. “Bob’s Models” of Solihull is bigger and caters for a wider range of enthusiasts but it IS in a outskirts of town shopping centre so perhaps the Times reports couldn’t find it.

  2. I think it best not to live in a “best of” location as you get over run by tourists and the property prices are higher. We used to live near Dedham in the heart of Constable Country-overrun by the grockles in the summer plus horrible posh Londoners having a little place in the country.
    Were we are now is never mentioned in the “best place in France to go on holiday” but is a lovely bit of the country with the special advantage that are not many British expats here.
    With regard to your novel, I think you evoke the flat and rather bleak area in the east Anglia rather well.

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