THE best places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times has been revealed - and one Somerset town has come out top.

Frome has been named as the Best Place to Live in the Southwest of England.

The town is top of a list of ten locations in the region chosen by The Sunday Times in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

Mayor of Frome, Anita Collier, said Frome has always had great "community spirit".

"What a great compliment to be winner of the South West region again," she said. 

"Frome has shown such compassion and resilience in this past year; we've always had a great community spirit, and this has grown immensely during the pandemic with residents keeping an eye out for each other, neighbourhood networks springing up all over the town, and supporting our traders by shopping locally.

"I'm certainly very proud to be the Mayor of this wonderful town and I’m excited to see how we go from strength to strength as we head out of lockdown.”

Somerset County Gazette:

The guide has been released today (March 26) and has also revealed Stroud in Gloucestershire as the Best Place to Live in Britain overall.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said the guide "has never been so important".

"The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings," she said.

"With working from home now common, it’s no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live.

“Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages.

"Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.

“Frome has been named our regional winner because of its attractive, creative and energetic community. It is a town where everybody is keen to get involved.

“The Compassionate Frome project shows a caring side that has really come to the fore during the pandemic and sets an example that many towns should follow.”

The Compassionate Frome scheme, launched by the town's GP surgery, dramatically reduced hospital admission numbers by providing community support for patients. It now have more than 700 volunteers.

The Sunday Times’s judges behind the guide assess a wide range of factors, from schools, air quality, transport and broadband speeds to culture, green spaces and the health of the high street.

They look for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and locations bursting with community spirit - which the pandemic has shown to be the most vital quality of all.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2021 in the Southwest list is as follows:

Winner Nationally: Stroud, Gloucestershire

Winner in the Southwest: Frome, Somerset

• Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire

• Bristol

• Kingsbridge, Devon

• Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall

• Swanage and the Purbecks, Dorset

• Tisbury and the Nadder Valley, Wiltshire

• Topsham, Devon

• Wadebridge, Cornwall

“Stroud has been chosen as our national winner because it has all the basics covered in perfect style: it has excellent schools, convenient transport links and easy access to lots of glorious green space," added Helen.

“Best of all it has a unique independent spirit that comes to the fore in its impressive local food scene and at the brilliant weekly farmers’ market that brings the town and surrounding countryside together.”

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