The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide looks at factors including employment, schools, broadband speed, culture, community spirit and local shops.
The judges said: "Charles Dickens described Bury St Edmunds, this year’s Sunday Times Best Place to Live in the East, as “a handsome town of thriving and cleanly appearance".
"He’d have little reason to revise that opinion today: from its pastel-coloured cottages and gravity-defying timbered houses to its Georgian squares, the cobbled streets of this market town are a period drama all of their own. Once dismissed as slightly provincial, Bury is reinventing itself as a buzzy cultural hub without losing its neighbourly way of life. The town has a jazz club and an art-house cinema, as well as artisan coffee roasters and a bar serving martinis made from foraged ingredients. All this is less than an hour from the Suffolk coast, and there’s a choice of good schools, too."
The accolade comes ahead of the full reveal of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, including the overall winner, which is published on Sunday, April 14.
The methodology uses robust statistics, including exclusive, up to date house prices provided by Habito and TwentyCi, but also the knowledge of The Sunday Times’s expert panel. The judges combine the hard data with their own on-the-ground experience and insight to ensure the chosen locations truly are places where everyone can thrive.
The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain covers the following regions: North and Northeast, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Southeast, Wales, Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest. It also reveals the overall best place to live in the UK.
The Sunday Times’s unique understanding of the housing market and in-depth property coverage helps readers find a place to call home, whether they are hip young professionals, growing families or discerning downsizers.
Helen Davies, The Sunday Times Home editor said, "Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health. Wherever you are on the property ladder The Sunday Times has championed 101 locations across the UK, and crowned one lucky winner, that we think is a great place to make a home.
"This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture. There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one."
Daniel Hegarty, Founder and CEO at Habito, the online mortgage broker said: “The Sunday Times Best Places to Live really is essential reading for anyone looking to buy, move or renovate their home in the UK.
“We know there are many reasons, beyond house prices, why people live where they live in the East of England. But, regardless of location, getting a mortgage can be the most hellish part of buying. Habito exists to make mortgages easier - whether that’s for a singles pad in Chelmsford, a renovation in Norwich or a forever home in Bury St Edmunds.”
For longer entries, more on air quality, broadband, transport links, comprehensive listings of good schools and lifelong learning opportunities, local voices and property prices you can go online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/bestplacestolive.
Readers can also join in the conversation online by sharing their favourite places and why they love them, using the hashtag #STbestplaces.
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