Bath tops list of most desirable urban location for buyers outside of London

Taylor Scott International News

Town and city living is becoming more popular in the England with Bath, Exeter and Bournemouth named as the top locations for urban living. Bath is popular with buyers because of its sophistication and easy access to beautiful countryside, Exeter for its location close to the moors and coastline and Bournemouth for its beach and contemporary architecture. Next on the list, compiled by agency Stacks Property Search, is Cheltenham, Truro, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Marlowe, Wells, Brighton and Winchester. ‘Urban property is becoming more and more sought after, and towns and cities that can offer sophistication, culture, great shopping, schooling and facilities, yet remain relatively small and contained with a clear personality are becoming increasingly popular,’ said James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search. Cheltenham is signalled out for its shopping and desirable suburbs, Truro for being just 30 minutes from some great surfing beaches, Milton Keynes for its lovely old houses within walking distance of the centre, Oxford for its university and culture, Marlowe for being a market town on the River Thames, Wells for being a safe city with a music culture, Brighton as a buzzing and bohemian place to live and Winchester for its quiet riverside walks but just an hour by train from London. ‘What makes these towns and cities so attractive is that they're small enough to be friendly with low crime figures, yet large enough to offer everything that residents want. They're like a hybrid between a market town and London. They don't have sprawling suburbs, so everywhere is fairly accessible on foot and they're surrounded by attractive countryside or seaside,’ explained Greenwood. ‘Urban life on this scale is attractive to numerous types of buyers, including families with older children who don't want to be hidden away in the middle of the country, retirees who want entertainment and company on their doorstep and the younger generation, many of whom find that large city living is too impersonal,’ he added. According to Nick Wooldridge of Stacks Property Search towns within commuting distance of London can be the first stop for city leavers who think that the culture shock of London to country is too severe. But many who arrive in Marlowe, for example, never move on as they enjoy the lifestyle so much. ‘Buyers are looking for a mini-London, and these towns all meet that brief. There are bucket loads of culture, fantastic shopping, a really buzzing atmosphere, restaurants and bars at all levels of the spectrum, good state and private schools, but everything's virtually on the doorstep,’ said colleague Jo Aldridge. While, according to Nicola Oddy it is the location of many of these towns that makes them so special. ‘Truro is an amazing city offering everything an urbanite could possibly want; but being equidistant between north and south Cornish coasts, there are 20 places within half an hour to keep a yacht, go surfing, or picnic on the beach. Bournemouth has seven miles of blue… Taylor Scott International

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