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Lavenham, Nayland and Stutton make Sunday Times' list of UK's top 50 villages, while Woodbridge is amongst UK's best towns to live in




Three Suffolk villages have been named among the UK's best places to live, according to a list compiled by The Sunday Times.

Published yesterday, 'the 50 best villages in the UK' guide says Lavenham, Nayland and Stutton are counted among the top rural addresses to live a 'dream country life'.

The guide quotes Ben Robinson, author of England's Villages: an Extraordinary Journey Through Time as saying: "A new golden age for villages might well be dawning."

Three Suffolk villages have been named among the best places to live in the UK. Picture: Mark Westley/Google Maps
Three Suffolk villages have been named among the best places to live in the UK. Picture: Mark Westley/Google Maps

And The Sunday Times' judges were full of praise for the three Suffolk villages which made its top 50.

Of Lavenham, they said its crooked houses are the 'perfect hideaway for anyone seeking refuge from the modern world and its boring old right angles', with an 'Insta-friendly market square' and 'views over the lush Suffolk countryside' making it a 'higgledy-piggledy feast for the eyes'.

Also of merit it says are the village's old-fashioned bakery, convenience shops, tearooms and pubs, alongside clubs and classes in the village hall.

Lavenham The Guildhall, also known as the Guildhall of Corpus Christi. Picture by Mark Westley
Lavenham The Guildhall, also known as the Guildhall of Corpus Christi. Picture by Mark Westley

While Lavenham is 'beautifully preserved', it does also benefit from electric charging points and 'Suffolk's best' monthly farmers' market.

According to the guide, the average house price in the village is £390,987.

Found a short drive away, in the same district of Babergh, is Nayland which was also chosen as one of the top 50 villages in the UK.

Judges said: "Delightful Dedham Vale still looks as blissfully bucolic as it did in Constable’s day, but these days trains rather than haywains are the crucial method of transport, thanks to the growing number of urban exiles keen to combine hedgerows and birdsong with the just-about-bearable commute from Colchester or Manningtree.

Nayland, Suffolk. Picture: Google Maps
Nayland, Suffolk. Picture: Google Maps

"For day-to-day living, Nayland is the winning address."

Its share of 'pink-painted houses and misty riverside meadows' get a mention, as do its facilities, including a 'good' Ofsted-rated primary school, doctor, dentist, post office, butcher, village hall and local pub.

The average house price in Nayland is £543,365.

Also making an appearance on the list is Stutton, on the Shotley peninsula, described as the 'perfect base' to explore Alton Water and the 'atmospheric shores' of the Stour and Orwell estuaries.

Alton Water. Picture: Google Maps
Alton Water. Picture: Google Maps

Judges drew attention to the fact that 'local love' in the 'scattered' village is so strong that you can buy copies of a film 'Stutton - the Movie' for £5 at the village shop, which is 'staffed by dozens of volunteers, has a garden and sells homemade cakes for a delicious 85p a slice'.

"If that isn't reason enough to live here, there are two pubs, a community hall and a village school," the guide adds.

The average house price in Stutton is £343,973.

Stutton, Suffolk. Picture: Google Maps
Stutton, Suffolk. Picture: Google Maps

It comes after Woodbridge topped the list of best places to live in the East of England in a guide also published by The Sunday Times earlier this year, and on Friday The Times once again commended Woodbridge, when it included it on a list of the UK's top 23 towns to live in.

The article praises the historic town's 'healthy mix of boatyards and boutique coffee shops', and adds the town is known for its 'painted houses that line the winding lanes, and its Tide Mill, which still produces flour'.

Meanwhile there are plenty of local businesses worth visiting, it says, in addition to 'outstanding state secondary and local independent' schools.

Woodbridge. Picture by Mark Westley
Woodbridge. Picture by Mark Westley

According to The Times, the average house price in Woodbridge is £418,215 and it's top for 'messing about on the river'.

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