The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
CHOCOLATE BOX APPEAL
CHIPPING CAMPDEN, OXFORDSHIRE Av (Savills): £542,771 +41 pc searches
Chipping Campden is the new Chipping Norton but with more first homes than holiday homes, according to Henry Gladwin of the Buying Solution.
“The surge of buyers moving to the Cotswolds has reached every corner of the region including Chipping Campden. It’s extremely competitive with many properties selling quickly off-themarket,” he says.
His wife, Harriet, runs a baking business from their kitchen (@themcakeco on Instagram). She sees the area as the perfect place to raise a family. “I love the hills to run the children up and down. The views are incredible and on a clear day you can see right across the Cotswolds. The area is steeped with history and full of quintessentially English cottages.”
The good schools entice buyers too, such as Kitebrook Preparatory School, St James’ and Ebrington Primary, and Chipping Campden School.
The popular restaurant Michael’s Mediterranean, following a major makeover, is poised to reopen in April and the town has superfast broadband.
GREAT MASSINGHAM, NORFOLK Av. £241,275 +26pc searches
This pretty village has bagged many awards over the years (including several EDP Pride in Norfolk gongs) but is 58 per cent cheaper than its touristy counterpart Burnham Market. It is 13 miles east of King’s Lynn and is built around an impressive green with several large ponds.
Massingham Stores and the Cartshed
Tearoom delivered goods during the lockdown – from cakes to kindling – while the Dabbling Duck pub is running themed takeaway nights (@dabbling_duck_pub on Instagram). Neighbours include Barn Owls and Sawbill Ducks. “Buyers love the mix of lovely typical Norfolk cottages and grand detached homes,” says Yopa’s Richard Gower.
STOCK, ESSEX Av. £861,541 +43pc searches
The “super-village” of Stock is the most expensive location in the Telegraph’s 21. Russell Quirk of Keller Williams describes it as “popular with buyers who want to live in the commuter camp but with rural ambience”.
Being just six miles from Chelmsford and less than three from Billericay train station, means residents can be at their desk in the City within an hour. Stock has four quaint pubs including the Hoop and the Bear Inn, a village store, a small primary school, a cricket green, vineyard and a windmill.
AMERSHAM, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Av. £694,683 +42pc searches
This small market town on the edge of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty also sits on the Metropolitan Line. The underground service runs into King’s Cross in under an hour.
Kraig Butler of Hamptons calls it the best of both worlds and its proximity to London is certainly reflected in the average house price. However, it is 34 per cent cheaper than the very popular Beaconsfield.
“A high proportion of buyers moving into the area are London families attracted by the highly regarded grammar schools who want the countryside on their doorstep but need the security of the Tube,” says Butler.
During the pandemic, local retailers set up a Facebook page called Shop Amersham directing residents to the businesses that were open, including the award-winning butchers Mayo Brothers (mayobrothers.co.uk). The website is now calling for local performing musicians to take to the streets to fill the town centre with music. Butler recommends the Michelin-starred restaurant Artichoke which does not have outside dining, but is doing a popular take-away menu.
BEESTON, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Av. £345,942 +28pc searches
Beeston had long been thought of as a suburb that blurs into Nottingham but with improving infrastructure such as the tram, new bus station and leisure centre, it is becoming a town in its own right. “Beeston is headed the way of West Bridgford – Nottingham’s designer town,” says Pavlo Jurkiw of Fine & Country. “There are some lovely roads of Victorian and Edwardian houses such as Devonshire Road, Elm Road and Park Road which we see as a mini golden triangle. The new-build homes on Beeston Fields Drive which back on to the golf course can fetch well over £1m.”
It’s only three miles from the city centre and is just south of the green University of Nottingham campus. The 750-member Beeston Hockey Club gives the area a sporting buzz. Jurkiw recommends the tapas restaurant the Frustrated Chef which is currently doing take-alway.
MAIDENHEAD, BERKSHIRE Av. £502,628 +42pc searches
The combination of Crossrail and the prospect of working more days at home is encouraging buyers to look further along the M4 wealth corridor out of London. Maidenhead, on the Thames and in touching distance of the Chilterns, is spiking in popularity as a result. “The majority of sales over the past 12 months have been to families leaving different parts of London, specifically Canary Wharf, Islington, Chiswick, Fulham and Twickenham,” says David Redman of Hamptons. “The draw is countryside living and good schools – both state and private – but with fast links back into London,” he says.
When Crossrail finally arrives in Maidenhead at the end of this year the service will take 19 minutes to Paddington. “As a result of the pandemic people foresee spending more time (and money) in their neighbourhoods and this means that towns with good amenities and strong communities are in high demand,” Redman adds.