IF YOU’RE looking for the good life, then you needn’t look further than Monmouth, as the town has been named the third-best place to live in the UK by a national newspaper.
In the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in Britain, the Monmouthshire town came third place. It was described as “Wales-lite, with a charm of its own”.
The list compiled 101 towns and ranked them after considering house prices, crime rates, school performances and quality of life. Skipton in North Yorkshire was named overall best place to live, with Newnham in Cambridgeshire coming second.
Last week, it was revealed it had made the top four, with the official place announced yesterday. Another Monmouthshire town, Abergavenny, featured at number 77 in the list with the Times describing it as “foodie heaven for hill walkers”.
Traders and friends Phil Munday, of Munday & Jones greengrocers, and Duncan Wills, of Le Gourmet butchers, said it boasts a “healthy independent trade”.
Mr Munday said: “I visited from west London 40 years ago and never left I loved it so much.” The town is thriving.” Mr Wills added: “We have retained that community feeling.”
Elizabeth Hacket-Pain, councillor for the Wyesham ward in Monmouth, said: “Everybody who lives here knows it’s the best place to live. It has everything anyone could wish for – beautiful scenery, good schools and wonderful people. The people make the place.”
Cllr Bob Hayward agreed. “It’s a super place to live,” he said. “It’s always been popular. It’s situated in an area of outstanding beauty, it has a thriving shopping centre, places of historical interest, a very safe crime rate and house prices are reasonable.”
Describing the town, the survey said: “In a statement of wry wit, for which his profession is seldom renowned, an estate agent last week described Monmouth as ‘the acceptable face of Wales to the English’. He meant that the attractive market town, with the River Wye running through its centre, has a soft, Anglicised charm far removed from the more rugged beauty of Cymru proper.” “To further illustrate his point, there is a Waitrose. The town is attracting people who travel for their work; the nearby A40 and the M50 place a large part of the country within driving range.”
Sunday Times home editor Helen Davies said: “The Best Places guide is dedicated to celebrating Britain’s abundance of great cities, towns and villages. We combine in-depth data with first-hand personal experience to produce an authoritative list.”