Thornbury fourth best place to live in the UK
THERE is no place like home - especially in Thornbury which has been voted the fourth best town to live in the entire country by the Sunday Times.
Thornbury was described as "a little Nirvana" and an "attractive small town" by the national newspaper, which named it as one of the top four spots in Britain.
The broadsheet selected it out of 101 shortlisted locations, having taken a range of factors into consideration including transport links, the quality of schools, natural beauty, low crime rate, property prices, cultural life and unemployment figures.
Thornbury was deemed to "have the ultimate lifestyle mix" and praised for its excellent schools, architecture, idiosyncratic character and beautiful countryside.
"It’s an attractive small town with a historic centre - there’s been a village here since before the Domesday Book - a castle, a 12th-century church, and attractive 18th-century houses at reasonable prices," the article said.
It went on: "To top it off parking in the centre is free, so it’s easy to visit the traditional greengrocer and ironmonger, as well as the regular farmers’ market, get stuck into the thriving musical and dramatic scenes or enjoy the pubs, coffee bars and restaurants (including Ronnie's, a Which? restaurant of the year winner.)"
Castle School was also singled out as one of the town’s assets.
Stamford in Lincolnshire scooped first place, while Kendal in Cumbria and Wye in Kent snatched second and third place respectively.
Town Cllr Clive Parkinson told the Gazette that as a long-time resident he agreed with the broadsheet 100 per cent.
"As someone who has lived in Thornbury for 37 years I can only agree with the Sunday Times that it’s one of the best places to live," he said.
"The thing that sets Thornbury apart for me is not the countryside and historic setting, wonderful though they are, but the community spirit that adds so much to all our lives."
He added: "It seems unfair to others to pick any one group out, but given their success in putting the town on the national scene in recent years, Thornbury in Bloom deserves a special mention on this occasion."
The win is another feather in the cap of Thornbury, which has established itself over the years as one of the most attractive towns in the country at the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom competition.
Former Thornbury In Bloom chairman Sue Aitken said: "I am sure that Thornbury In Bloom has made a big contribution in making the town look attractive throughout the year.
"However none of what we achieve would be possible without the tremendous sense of community that Thornbury has.
"The arts culture we have with plays, concerts, art clubs, the carnival plus the farmers’ markets, food fair, Christmas lights and numerous social clubs for all ages mean that we are a very well rounded and vibrant town tucked in beautiful countryside."
Castle School head teacher Melanie Warnes said it was a privilege to be named as one of the town's winning features.
She said: "A thriving school is important for the health of the community but it couldn’t be the success it is without the support of the community of Thornbury – the two are inextricably linked."